Count in Sun’s favour so far on Java vote

With New Zealand and 19 other countries still to vote on whether Sun should be able to submit its Java technologies into the process of becoming an international standard, the count is running seven to one in favour. New Zealand, which had voted yes with comments in the first round, casts its vote in two weeks. Sun has since responded to the concerns expressed. In its amendment it says it is willing to negotiate Java patent licences under "reasonable and non-discriminatory terms".

With New Zealand and 19 other countries still to vote on whether Sun should be able to submit its Java technologies into the process of becoming an international standard, the count is running seven to one in favour.

New Zealand, which had voted yes with comments in the first round, casts its vote in two weeks.

Sun had applied under a new process from ISO known as PAS (publicly available specification) but in a first round of voting by standards bodies the application was rejected, mainly because of concerns about Sun continuing to hold Java-related trademarks and the rights to maintenance and development in a way that respondents felt did not cater for sufficient openness.

Sun has since responded to the concerns expressed. In its amendment it says it is willing to negotiate patent licences under “reasonable and non-discriminatory terms”, that its copyright terms will comply with ISO/IEC policy, as applied to ethernet and ANSI, and that it is retaining all of its Java-related trademarks.

Microsoft has been campaigning for Sun to let ISO or another international standards body take control of the maintenance and evolution of Java.

It says the name “Java” should be associated with the standard and that implementers who conform to the standard should be free to use it.

Sun says Microsoft is threatened by the openness of the proposal and that every single thing Microsoft says and does is designed to preserve its (Windows) monopoly.

New Zealand vendors and users want Java as a standard, says Standards New Zealand chief executive Kaye McAulay.

She says there was wide consultation of vendors and professional users before the first “yes” submission with comments, but a certain amount of confusion over what it all meant.

Among the countries which have so far voted in the second round is Australia, which has changed its vote in favour.

The US, however, has voted “no”, though a majority of its delegates were in favour —15 to 10. Under its rules, the US standards body requires a two-thirds majority.

The ISO/IEC International IT Standardisation Committee, JTC1, is expected to announce in the new year its decision on whether it will approve Sun as a PAS submitter.

Sun has proposed the establishment of a special JTC1 working group to maintain and revise a future international standard for the Java platform.

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