Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
Total attendance: 22 of 23 voting members
|Since 75% of the EC's 23 voting members were present, the EC was quorate for this meeting|
The EC Standing Rules state the following penalties for non-attendance at EC meetings (note that those who participate in face-to-face meetings by phone are officially counted as absent):
Aplix attended both this and the previous meeting, and have therefore regained their voting privileges. There are no other changes in voting status as a result of this meeting.
None to report.
Heather presented the usual EC stats.
See the Action Item tracking file.
Heather presented the PMO's plans for JavaOne in San Francisco (see the presentation for details).
Yara Senger suggested that it would be helpful if the JCP and the public EC meeting could be promoted during the opening keynote.
Heather briefly explained the timeline for the upcoming elections. See jcp.org for full info
Patrick introduced the issue - originally raised by Werner Keil: Although the Spec License contains restrictive language intended to enforce compatibility, to many developers "the Specification" is the JavaDoc. When an RI is released under an open-source license it is likely that developers will get their copy of the JavaDoc directly from the RI distribution. They may therefore implicitly assume (or the license and documentation in the release directory may explicitly state) that the JavaDoc is licensed under the same open-source license as the rest of the RI. Such a license by definition cannot enforce compatibility requirements. Even if the Spec Lead believes that the JavaDoc forms part of the spec, and is therefore covered by the Spec License, developers may never see (or may not even be aware of the existence of) that license.
Steve Wolfe then led a discussion on this issue (see the presentation for details). He pointed out that the presentation raised a number of questions but he and IBM were providing no formal answers to these questions - EC members should consult with their own lawyers.
Steve suggested that dual-licensing (where one license is permissive and the other restrictive) is confusing and ineffective, arguing that the permissive license is likely to win out with the result that IP may not be protected in the way that the licensor expected.
Gil Tene noted that the Spec license grants essential patent rights while open source licenses which may be applied to the RI may not.
Werner Keil noted that for JSR 330 the JavaDoc is the Spec (there is no separate Specification document).
Patrick pointed out that for this and all other JSRs you must accept the Spec License before downloading the Spec (even if this simply consists of JavaDoc) from jcp.org. He noted that the Spec License for JSR 330 is the standard one, containing the usual compatibility requirements.
Steve Wolfe suggested that Spec Leads should make sure that there is a separate Spec document. Things that need protection should probably be in the Spec document rather than javadoc.
Werner quoted a Spec Lead saying that the actual spec is dual-licensed.
Steve: responded that this is risky since it may not be possible to enforce rights under the Spec License.
Gil responded that EC members are not lawyers and should not be giving advice. He asked for an official JCP statement.
Steve responded that members should beware of asking Oracle for advice. Oracle is likely to respond that javadoc in a GPL distribution is in fact licensed under a restrictive Spec License. Members should ask their own lawyers.
Patrick stated that he didn't expect to be able to get an official opinion from Oracle Legal.
Werner quoted a Spec Lead on licensing. Patrick responded that we should not be taking legal advice from Spec Leads - they are only technical.
Gil stated that when EC members vote on JSRs they should review whether licenses meet the JCP requirements - that's all.
Patrick stated that he would report this discussion to Oracle Legal but reiterated that he doesn't expect to get an official (public) response.
Patrick reported on recent progress in the IP Working Group and in discussions within Oracle (see the presentation for details). The primary focus of this session was on the IP-flow document. Patrick reviewed the document in order to inform all members of the EC about the discussions that have occurred within the Working Group. EC members were in general agreement with the first portions of the document. However, when we reached the section on patents it became clear that we did not have agreement on what we wanted to say. Patrick pressed Scott Jameson, Mike Milinkovich, and Steve Wolfe on what their intentions had been in drafting the language from which the patent section of this document was derived. See the minutes of the August 8 IP Working Group meeting for the exact language.
In particular, Patrick asked whether their intent had been to relax the strict obligations outlined in section 6 of the current JSPA whereby all JCP members are obligated to license essential patents for all JSRs - even those that they do not participate in - unless they explicitly disclose such patents and declare their intention not to license them. Scott Jameson responded and the others agreed that since considerable time had passed since they drew up that proposal, and since none of them had been present at the August 8 meeting during which these matters were first discussed, they were not sufficiently prepared to address the matter now.
We agreed to continue the discussion at the next meeting of the IP Working Group.