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RE: eCos v2.0 licence change

Why not just use the LGPL and remove the requirement for redistribution
of the unlinked binary? I understand your motive for migrating off
RHEPL, but i have to be honest with you, a lot of companies are fearful
of GPL (even with your exception to the viral clause). At least in the
near term i have no intention of upgrading to eCos 2.0. Also, your
license is distinct enough from the stock GPL that it should either a)
have a unique name, or b) in the copyright notice in paragraph two state
that eCos can be used under the terms of "this modified license"; as
stated it can only be used under the GPL 2 or later versions of the GPL.

Another question, why not adjust the RHEPL to be GPL compatible?

Regarding the openbsd tcp stack port, what license is that covered by?
BSD still? If so, i should safely be able to grab the port without
getting any modified-GPL code?

-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Larmour []
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2002 1:51 PM
To: eCos discussion
Subject: [ECOS] eCos v2.0 licence change

As mentioned in my other mail, very shortly, anonymous CVS is to be
with a version of the v2.0 ALPHA codebase.

A key thing to make people aware of is that the licence for eCos is
changing. We stated before that we wanted to make eCos v2.0 GPL
and that's what we have done. For most of eCos, the following licence
apply. This licence is the well-known GNU General Public Licence, with
special modifications to make it more amenable for use in an embedded

 This file is part of eCos, the Embedded Configurable Operating System.
 Copyright (C) 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Red Hat, Inc.

 eCos is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under
 the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free
 Software Foundation; either version 2 or (at your option) any later

 eCos is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY
 WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or
 FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU General Public License
 for more details.

 You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
 with eCos; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc.,
 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA.

 As a special exception, if other files instantiate templates or use
 or inline functions from this file, or you compile this file and link
 with other works to produce a work based on this file, this file does
 by itself cause the resulting work to be covered by the GNU General
 License. However the source code for this file must still be made
 available in accordance with section (3) of the GNU General Public

 This exception does not invalidate any other reasons why a work based
 this file might be covered by the GNU General Public License.

 Alternative licenses for eCos may be arranged by contacting Red Hat,

Now for some helpful clarification on the meaning, although, first of
all I
should say that this is an interpretation of the text above, and not
of the legal meaning...

Q. What is the effect?

A. In the simplest terms, it means that when you distribute anything
containing eCos code, you must make the source code to eCos available
the terms of the GPL.

Q. What if I make changes to eCos, or write new code based on eCos code?

A. Then you must make those changes available as well.

Q. How does this compare with the RHEPL?

A. With the RHEPL you are obliged to make any changes to eCos code
publically available to the eCos community. While encouraging source to
made open, it was however incompatible with the GPL. As an open source
project, we do not want to prevent people using GPL code if they want
The new licence addresses this, while preserving the benefits of open

In addition, since the GPL is better known and more widely understood,
there will be a higher level of compliance.

Q. Do I have to distribute the source code to my application? Isn't the

A. You do not have to distribute any code under the GPL terms other than
eCos code or code derived from eCos. 

This means, for example, if you write a HAL port based on copying an
existing eCos HAL in any way, you must make the source code available
the binary. However you would not need to make available any other code,
say, in a wholly separate application linked with eCos.

Q. But I don't want to release my code! / I'm legally prevented from
releasing my code!

A. Red Hat realises that some people may not want to release their code
changes they make, or even make available eCos code with their binary.
could be due to commercial sensitivity reasons, confidentiality
NDAs etc.

In this case, Red Hat can provide an "eCos Commercial Licence" for your
product that will allow you to release your product based on eCos
unencumbered by the GPL restrictions.

Q. I'm a Red Hat customer. What does this mean to me?

A. All existing Red Hat customers with RHEPL code don't need to worry.
Nothing has changed with the licence to the code you already have.

Q. I'd rather keep with the RHEPL code, but I updated my anonymous CVS

A. You can check out the final version of anonymous CVS before the
change using the CVS tag "last-rhepl". See for details.

I'm sure there will be more queries, so please do ask away. This will go
into the FAQ shortly.

Red Hat, Rustat House, Clifton Road, Cambridge, UK. Tel: +44 (1223)
--[ "You can complain because roses have thorns, or you ]--
--[  can rejoice because thorns have roses." -Lincoln   ]--

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