I recently covered a story with a happy ending: the nasty (and misleading) legal barbed-wire in front of NetBeans got taken down. Next step: let’s do the same thing for Java.net. Read on for excerpts from the legals, but the bottom line is simple: to non-lawyers (like me), this is scary stuff. The person who pointed this out to me closed with the words “and so I’m not a member of java.net.”
My correspondent went on to say: “I’m just an engineer, but the way I read this it means that if one of my postings shows up as exhibit 4367 in a lawsuit between Sun and some other mega-corporation, Sun can ask me to donate my life-time savings to cover its legal fees... I don’t want to take that risk, and so I’m not a member of java.net.”
Ouch. I am a member of Java.net and I am not a lawyer. So maybe those terms don’t say what they seem to say. Or if they do, someone needs to explain why they’re appropriate on a community site. Since the Java.net community seems to be a fine, and well-run thing, I suspect there’s a good solution to this problem just waiting to happen.