Software Foundation has resigned its seat on the Java SE/EE Executive
Committee. Apache has served on the EC for the past 10 years, winning
the JCP "Member of the Year" award 4 times, and recently was ratified
for another term with support from 95% of the voting community.
Further, the project communities of the ASF, home to Apache Tomcat, Ant,
Xerces, Geronimo, Velocity and nearly a 100 mainstay java components
have implemented countless JSRs and serve on and contribute to many of
the JCPs technical expert groups.
We’d like to provide some explanation to the community as to why we’re taking this significant step.
recent Java SE 7 vote was the last chance for the JCP EC to demonstrate
that the EC has any intent to defend the JCP as an open specification
process, and demonstrate that the letter and spirit of the law
matter. To sum up the issues at stake in the vote, we believe that
while continuing to fail to uphold their responsibilities under the
JSPA, Oracle provided the EC with a Java SE 7 specification request and
license that are self-contradictory, severely restrict distribution of
independent implementations of the spec, and most importantly, prohibit
the distribution of independent open source implementations of the
spec. Oracle has refused to answer any reasonable and responsible
questions from the EC regarding these problems.
In the phrase
"fail to uphold their responsibilities under the JSPA", we are referring
to Oracle’s refusal to provide the ASF’s Harmony project with a TCK
license for Java SE that complies with Oracle’s obligations under the
JSPA as well as public promises made to the Java community by officers
of Sun Microsystems (recently acquired by Oracle.) This breach of the
JSPA was begun by Sun Microsystems in August of 2006 and is a policy
that Oracle explicitly continues today. For more information on this
dispute, see our open letter to Sun Microsystems.
vote was the only real power the Executive Committee has as the
governing body of the Java specification ecosystem, and as we indicated
previously we were looking for the EC to protect the rights of
implementers to the degree they are able, as well as preserve the
integrity of the JCP licensing structure by ensuring that JCP
specifications are able to be freely implemented and distributed. We
don’t believe this is an unreasonable position – it should be noted that
the majority of the EC members, including Oracle, have publicly stated
that restrictions on distribution such as those found in the Java SE 7
license have no place in the JCP – and two distinguished individual
members of the EC, Doug Lea and Tim Peierls, both have resigned in
protest over the same issue.
By approving Java SE 7, the
EC has failed on both counts : the members of the EC refused to stand up
for the rights of implementers, and by accepting Oracle’s TCK license
terms for Java SE 7, they let the integrity of the JCP’s licensing
structure be broken.
The Apache Software Foundation concludes
that that JCP is not an open specification process – that Java
specifications are proprietary technology that must be licensed directly
from the spec lead under whatever terms the spec lead chooses; that the
commercial concerns of a single entity, Oracle, will continue to
seriously interfere with and bias the transparent governance of the
ecosystem; that it is impossible to distribute independent
implementations of JSRs under open source licenses such that users are
protected from IP litigation by expert group members or the spec lead;
and finally, the EC is unwilling or unable to assert the basic power of
their role in the JCP governance process.
In short, the EC and the Java Community Process are neither.
that end, our representative has informed the JCP’s Program Management
Office of our resignation, effective immediately. As such, the ASF is
removing all official representatives from any and all JSRs. In
addition, we will refuse any renewal of our JCP membership and, of
course, our EC position.
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