Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

Its handy having someone on the inside – further to my “recent speculation”: as to the revoking of CVS commit rights over at the “JBoss”: project, this email from Bill Burke has surfaced:

JBoss Group, as caretaker of the JBoss project, has recently decided to
remove CVS access committers for a few of our committers. We do not remove
from CVS without good reason nor without just cause. These are the reasons
for the removals:

1. These individuals have refused to discuss design issues on our public
forums. It is crucial to have a public record of design discussions so that
others may particpate in future work.

2. More importantly, we have learned that they have forked JBoss. We also
believe they are preparing to submit it, or some derivation, to the new
Apache Geronimo project which would violate copyright and LGPL. Our proof?

3. There is just too much conflict of interest of developers working on two
different J2EE projects that are being developed under two very different
open-source licenses.

JBoss Group believes strongly in the LGPL license and will protect all
copyrights held by any JBoss contributor.

A friend of mine had a look at the elba project:

I had a quick look a random java file on the site above, and it’s a direct copy of a JBoss one, with the JBoss header changed.

From Mark Fleury’s “previous email”: it seems that only the original copyright holders of the code may fork JBoss. That said, the “Core Developers Network”: (who I suspect are the people behind Elba) have among their members some pretty heavyweight JBoss-contributors (they have the entire CMP team IIRC), who probably DO have copyright to areas of JBoss’s code.

_Update_: Just had a look at the Project Member List for the Elba project, and all of “The Core Developers team”: are there, just as I thought. I hope they can afford a lawyer – the JBoss guys sound pissed….

2 Responses to “More on JBoss vs Geronimo”

  1. rhavyn

    Mark didn’t say only JBoss copyright holders can fork the code, he said only they can change the license on the code. Since Geronimo will be released under the Apache license (it has to be to exist in the Apache project) then any contributions of JBoss code by someone other than their original author would be copyright infringement. I believe that is the issue Mark is worried about.

  2. Sam

    Your correct on that – I think I clarify things in a later piece. As you may now be aware, the forked elba project is a GPL-fork of JBoss, desinged to be a drop-in replacement J2EE stack whilst a new stack is written for Geronimo.


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