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What are the JRL and the JDL licenses?

Posted by pelegri on December 13, 2004 at 8:00 AM PST

Some of you observant types may have noticed that some recent JSRs, like
JAX-WSA list JRL and JDL in section 2.18, "Terms and Conditions". The JRL we knew, it is
Java Research License introduced
at J1 '03. The JDL is a new license, the Java Distribution License.
IANAL and all disclaimers apply, but, here is my operational micro-summary of these two.

JRL and JDL are much simpler that some of the licenses used by Sun in the past, like SCSL: JRL is under 2 pages, JDL under 4. Neither carries some of the most complicated clauses of
SCSL but both remain committed to the Java compatibility requirement and are not, to my knowledge, OSI-approved.
In a nutshell, the JRL is for research and internal use; the JDL is for commercial deployment.

The JDL licenses just started being available. The first actual
deployments are JAX-RPC and JAXB, but Common Annotations for the Java Platform and
JAX-WSA indicate
they will also use JDL, and other specification efforts are likely to use JDL too.
I expect that, as was the case with JRL, some of the details of the JDL will change
as the requirements of other specs are folded into it
and it is quite likely that we will end with several versions of JDL due to conflicting

JDL grants the right to do changes and then distribute the result, provided
the changes are compatible. Compatibility is defined through the specification
and the Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK).
Sun is making the JAXB and
JAX-RPC TCKs available for free to be
used to help test the compatibility of these RIs
(and derivative artifacts)
but that is not necessarily the case for all APIs placed under the JDL.

Hope this clarifies things a bit. I've been involved in the process
for the JAX-RPC and JAXB versions of JDL and I believe they address
those requirements that were not fullfilled by the JRL, but if I'm wrong,
I'm sure somebody will tell me :-)...

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