Why should any government promote a private company’s brand (Java) under the guise of Open source?

I find this very curious indeed …

Scott Mc Nealy claims that the new US government has asked him to write a paper on Open source ..

He claims Java is open sourced ..

Whatever the status of Java as open source(and that’s debatable), If SUN claims Java is open sourced and that Scott Mc Nealy is writing a paper on Open source, then it is a marketing coup for Sun ..


Because the Java brand is firmly controlled by Sun .. To the extent that ‘JAVA’ is Sun’s stock ticker

In effect, Sun seems to be getting the Obama campaign to ‘market’ its own brand(and stock) under the guise of ‘open source’

Scott Mc Nealy says ..

“Open source does not require you to pay a penny to Microsoft or IBM or Oracle or any proprietary vendor any money.”

Yes .. But why build up brand royalties for Sun?

Jonathan Schwartz, president and CEO of Sun says when announcing JAVA as sun’s stock ticker (emphasis mine) : “More than a billion people across the globe, representing nearly every demographic, market and industry, rely upon Java’s security, innovation and value to connect them with opportunity. That awareness positions Sun, and now our investor base, for the future.”

This actually does a dis-service for the real Open source folk ..

I would be curious to read this white paper – if indeed that’s true – since any mention of Java – and open source is fundamentally a brand building exercise ..

Update from Andreas of visionmobile

I have a lot of respect for Andreas’s views .. and he sends the following update


a) when Andreas says below ‘which they won’t-it’s GPL’ – it raises a secondary question of which open source license Java phone ME is released – which I did not address for now.

b) Also, I suspect same cetification issues also exist in the enterprise side ie J2EE certification also needs you to pay money to Sun – which should be contrasted to the ‘not a penny’ statement above .. :)

Comments from Andreas as below:

There are two different concepts here:

- The cup & steam trademark and the ‘Java’ name that Sun has trademarked

- and the OSI-approved licenses that Sun has released some of its products under (Java phone ME is GPL-licensed).

So, yes, Java can be called Open source but also if an OEM wants to use the open source phone ME for their phone (which they won’t-it’s GPL) they have to pass the TCK tests in order to call their product Java, in which case they have to pay Sun money.

Clever marketing..