Apache Software Foundation vs. Oracle

Oracle seem to be on a good path to push out any community participation in any of their open source projects (that have been inherited by the acquisition of SUN). After killing OpenSolaris, pushing out the only members of the OpenOffice Community Council that have not been Oracle employees, and angering the MySQL community with higher prices and by dropping the InnoDB engine from the free version of the product, the Apache Software Foundation is now raising Oracle's violations as being a member of the JCP (Java Community Process) Executive Committee, for which the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) had been re-elected by a whopping support of 95% of the votes.

The issue in hand is Oracle's refusal to release the Java SE test kit which under the JSPA agreement, the ASF has a right to access. The ASP writes:

Oracle is violating their contractual obligation as set forth under the rules of the JCP by only offering a TCK license that imposes additional terms and conditions that are not compatible with open source or Free software licenses. The ASF believes that any specification lead that doesn't follow the JCP rules should not be able to participate as a member in good standing, and we have exercised our votes on JSRs -- our only real power on the JCP -- accordingly. We have voted against Sun starting and continuing JSRs, and have made it clear that we would vote against the JSR for Java SE 7 for these reasons.

The Apache Software Foundation further threatens to leave the JCP should our rights as implementers of Java specifications are not upheld by the JCP Executive Committee to the limits of the EC's ability. The lack of active, strong and clear enforcement of those rights implies that the JSPA agreements are worthless, confirming that JCP specifications are nothing more than proprietary documentation.

Slowly Oracle's behavior towards the Open Source community cannot be seen as misunderstandings or accidental anymore. More and more, this pattern of aggressive and obstructive behavior seems intentional and maybe even planned.

It seems that the Open Source community would be well advised to turn their backs on Oracle and rather use their time and efforts in contributing to project that have more regard for the community like LibreOffice, MySQL forks, and hopefully soon a better solution of Java.

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