Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Java Authors: Liz McMillan, Blue Box Blog, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Java

Java: Article

Java: Money, Freedom and Open Source

Trademarks, licensing agreements, branding, and other fundamental product issues remains unchanged

The current polemic with Java and Open Source boils down to two important issues: money and power.

Money
In 1996, Sun created Java and the terms under which it is distributed. Since then, the Java Community Process (JCP) has emerged, allowing companies to participate in shaping language changes, but the ownership of trademarks, licensing agreements, branding, and other fundamental product issues remains unchanged. One is reminded of this fact every time the Sun MicrosystemsTM trademark appears alongside the Java coffee cup logo, or when one is greeted with the message "brought to you by Sun Microsystems" at www.java.com. For anyone to use the Java-compatible logo on a product requires verification against the test compatibility kit (TCK), for which one has to enter into negotiations with Sun. Java, the technology, the trademark, and the language, are owned by Sun.

The current licensing agreements for Java generate revenue for Sun in two ways; one is through direct fees to its licensees, and the other is through indirect revenue generated off the back end of Java's success.

When asked how much income is generated from Java, Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun, replied, "about $13 billion." He went on to explain that this figure is calculated from many sources, highlighting the revenue generated by licensing products that sit on top of the Java runtime stack. www.forbes.com/work/management/2006/05/04/sun-microsystems-schwartz-cz_ec_0504schwartz.html This demonstrates a mind shift on the part of Sun senior management regarding how Java income should be generated, with a move from direct to indirect revenue streams.

Power
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "power" is "the possession of control or command over others; authority; ascendancy."

For Open Source to succeed power, must be relinquished and transferred. One of my favorite essays on the subject was written by Simon Phipps, the chief Open Source officer at Sun. www.webmink.net/free/Free-ix.htm In it, he discusses how the word "free" in Open Source means much more than giving away something for nothing; that "'free' in this context is not about the price; it is about the liberty. `Free' here is as used in the phrase `free speech'."

One of the perceived problems of Open Source often focused on by its naysayers, is that, with disparate groups of individuals, each with separate agendas, paymasters, and self-interests, the effort will collapse under the weight of its own entropy and confusion. Simon's counter to this argument is that a "`community of code' maintains a code base of Open Source components or elements, using the behaviors and principles of the Open Source movement. These inherently lead to better code being created, debugged and documented faster, not least because of the scrutiny of the community."

I am fortunate to be part of the Eclipse project which allows me to witness such dynamics on a daily basis, so I concur that Simon's vision of what defines a truly free Open Source project definitely works in practice. Within Eclipse, I work with companies that are fierce competitors in the marketplace with my daytime employer, however, together we shape and build the common codebase for the benefit of the greater good: our collective community of customers. Examples of the "freedom" that Simon talks about are that the Eclipse.org web site does not provide disproportionate links to any of its member companies' commercial products, the Eclipse codebase has large and diverse representation of code committers across its member companies, and EclipseCon conferences are not dominated by marketing speeches from CEOs of any of its member companies. It is the perfect implementation of Simon's vision for how Open Source flourishes when practiced well.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Jonathan Schwartz understands how commercial offerings that sit on top of the Open Source stack are key to Java's indirect revenue. Simon Phipps understands the dynamics of how successful projects operate, writing in his freedom essay, "Open Source is not just about the code; it is about the community. You don't make a project Open Source simply by publishing the source code."

When we are told that Java has finally become Open Source, we can judge its success or failure by its meeting the following criteria:

  • Use of the Java trademark is equal among all community members, so that no one community member can brand a product at "Java XXX" while dictating that another cannot.
  • The image of Java in the marketplace is of a community of companies. The Java logo and Java branding are owned by the community, and not by any one of its member companies. Websites such as java.com or java.net cannot carry trademarks specific to member companies disproportionately. Links and marketing stories about commercial products do not favor one member company over another.
  • Content and material for conferences like JavaOne are selected in a way that benefits the attendees, rather than benefiting any one community company's marketing agenda.
  • The number and affiliation of committers to the core codebase is diverse and representative of the participation of the member companies.
  • No rhetoric exists in the Java community, so for parts of the language that are outdated legacy, the community decides what to do for the greater good.
  • "Java" certification for one's own implementation of the language, on any hardware or operating system platform, can be obtained by having access to the TCK at no cost
I just hope for the future of Java that behind all of the current discourse on the subject from Sun, it won't become another case of "do as I say and not as I do."

More Stories By Joe Winchester

Joe Winchester, Editor-in-Chief of Java Developer's Journal, was formerly JDJ's longtime Desktop Technologies Editor and is a software developer working on development tools for IBM in Hursley, UK.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
JDJ News Desk 09/28/06 05:54:36 PM EDT

In 1996, Sun created Java and the terms under which it is distributed. Since then, the Java Community Process (JCP) has emerged, allowing companies to participate in shaping language changes, but the ownership of trademarks, licensing agreements, branding, and other fundamental product issues remains unchanged. One is reminded of this fact every time the Sun MicrosystemsTM trademark appears alongside the Java coffee cup logo, or when one is greeted with the message 'brought to you by Sun Microsystems' at www.java.com. For anyone to use the Java-compatible logo on a product requires verification against the test compatibility kit (TCK), for which one has to enter into negotiations with Sun. Java, the technology, the trademark, and the language, are owned by Sun.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
Health care systems across the globe are under enormous strain, as facilities reach capacity and costs continue to rise. M2M and the Internet of Things have the potential to transform the industry through connected health solutions that can make care more efficient while reducing costs. In fact, Vodafone's annual M2M Barometer Report forecasts M2M applications rising to 57 percent in health care and life sciences by 2016. Lively is one of Vodafone's health care partners, whose solutions enable older adults to live independent lives while staying connected to loved ones. M2M will continue to gr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ciqada will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ciqada™ makes it easy to connect your products to the Internet. By integrating key components - hardware, servers, dashboards, and mobile apps - into an easy-to-use, configurable system, your products can quickly and securely join the internet of things. With remote monitoring, control, and alert messaging capability, you will meet your customers' needs of tomorrow - today! Ciqada. Let your products take flight. For more inform...
Dave will share his insights on how Internet of Things for Enterprises are transforming and making more productive and efficient operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures in the cleantech industry and beyond. Speaker Bio: Dave Landa is chief operating officer of Cybozu Corp (kintone US). Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dave has been on the forefront of the Cloud revolution driving strategic business development on the executive teams of multiple leading Software as a Services (SaaS) application providers dating back to 2004. Cybozu's kintone.com is a leading global BYOA (Build Your O...
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy at GENBAND, will explore what is needed to take a real time communications ...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applications - creating more engaging experiences for their customers and boosting collaboration and productiv...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BroadSoft, the leading global provider of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) services to operators worldwide, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BroadSoft is the leading provider of software and services that enable mobile, fixed-line and cable service providers to offer Unified Communications over their Internet Protocol networks. The Company’s core communications platform enables the delivery of a range of enterprise and consumer calling...
What exactly is a cognitive application? In her session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ashley Hathaway, Product Manager at IBM Watson, will look at the services being offered by the IBM Watson Developer Cloud and what that means for developers and Big Data. She'll explore how IBM Watson and its partnerships will continue to grow and help define what it means to be a cognitive service, as well as take a look at the offerings on Bluemix. She will also check out how Watson and the Alchemy API team up to offer disruptive APIs to developers.
The IoT Bootcamp is coming to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo on June 9-10 at the Javits Center in New York. Instructor. Registration is now available at http://iotbootcamp.sys-con.com/ Instructor Janakiram MSV previously taught the famously successful Multi-Cloud Bootcamp at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in November in Santa Clara. Now he is expanding the focus to Janakiram is the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquired by Aditi Technologies. He is a Microsoft Regional Director for Hyderabad, India, and one of the f...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
So I guess we’ve officially entered a new era of lean and mean. I say this with the announcement of Ubuntu Snappy Core, “designed for lightweight cloud container hosts running Docker and for smart devices,” according to Canonical. “Snappy Ubuntu Core is the smallest Ubuntu available, designed for security and efficiency in devices or on the cloud.” This first version of Snappy Ubuntu Core features secure app containment and Docker 1.6 (1.5 in main release), is available on public clouds, and for ARM and x86 devices on several IoT boards. It’s a Trend! This announcement comes just as...
Wearable technology was dominant at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) , and MWC was no exception to this trend. New versions of favorites, such as the Samsung Gear (three new products were released: the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit), shared the limelight with new wearables like Pebble Time Steel (the new premium version of the company’s previously released smartwatch) and the LG Watch Urbane. The most dramatic difference at MWC was an emphasis on presenting wearables as fashion accessories and moving away from the original clunky technology associated with t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Litmus Automation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Litmus Automation’s vision is to provide a solution for companies that are in a rush to embrace the disruptive Internet of Things technology and leverage it for real business challenges. Litmus Automation simplifies the complexity of connected devices applications with Loop, a secure and scalable cloud platform.
In 2015, 4.9 billion connected "things" will be in use. By 2020, Gartner forecasts this amount to be 25 billion, a 410 percent increase in just five years. How will businesses handle this rapid growth of data? Hadoop will continue to improve its technology to meet business demands, by enabling businesses to access/analyze data in real time, when and where they need it. Cloudera's Chief Technologist, Eli Collins, will discuss how Big Data is keeping up with today's data demands and how in the future, data and analytics will be pervasive, embedded into every workflow, application and infra...
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, will provide some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacenter.
SYS-CON Media announced today that @ThingsExpo Blog launched with 7,788 original stories. @ThingsExpo Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @ThingsExpo Blog can be bookmarked. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
SYS-CON Events announced today that robomq.io will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. robomq.io is an interoperable and composable platform that connects any device to any application. It helps systems integrators and the solution providers build new and innovative products and service for industries requiring monitoring or intelligence from devices and sensors.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vicom Computer Services, Inc., a provider of technology and service solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. They are located at booth #427. Vicom Computer Services, Inc. is a progressive leader in the technology industry for over 30 years. Headquartered in the NY Metropolitan area. Vicom provides products and services based on today’s requirements around Unified Networks, Cloud Computing strategies, Virtualization around Software defined Data Ce...