Posted by & filed under Computer Science.

There really are some things that don’t need to be copyrighted. Take the following example for, well, example. Oracle wanted to protect their IP. Sure, it’s only a Hello World program, but they created this specific one.

/*
 * Copyright (c) 1995, 2008, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
 *
 * Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
 * modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
 * are met:
 *
 *   - Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
 *     notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
 *
 *   - Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
 *     notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
 *     documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
 *
 *   - Neither the name of Oracle or the names of its
 *     contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived
 *     from this software without specific prior written permission.
 *
 * THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS
 * IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO,
 * THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
 * PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED.  IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR
 * CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL,
 * EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO,
 * PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR
 * PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF
 * LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING
 * NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS
 * SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
 */ 

/** 
 * The HelloWorldApp class implements an application that
 * simply prints "Hello World!" to standard output.
 */
class HelloWorldApp {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println("Hello World!"); // Display the string.
    }
}

If you want or need a Hello World program in Java, and don’t feel like typing in all the copyright info at the top you can download it here.

And I can’t tell which is funnier. That there’s 28 lines of copyright header, that they put a JavaDoc header above the class, or that the line that actually prints Hello World! is commented.

Either way, this is what happens when lawyers get involved.

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