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Did Sun do right by Java?

Sun, a big company dedicated to increasing its revenue and profits, chose the GPL for a key asset, citing its business advantages.

Ed Burnette has some excellent covererage of today's decision by Sun to release Java under the GPL, rather than its CDDL, including an interview with Tim Bray.

Many observers were no doubt surprised by the decision. I know I was. But after looking at it for a few moments, it makes perfect sense.

Sun was more afraid that rivals like IBM would mix Java with their own proprietary products than that businesses would shy away from Java because of the GPL's viral nature.

That makes the announcement a key turning point. Sun, a big company dedicated to increasing its revenue and profits, chose the GPL for a key asset, citing its business advantages.

This is something that advocates have been pointing out for some time, the idea that the viral nature of the GPL is a protection for intellectual property, because it places licensees under an obligation to release their enhancements. Now Sun has bought the concept.

So, is the argument over?