This is the mail archive of the
mailing list for the eCos project.
Re: Future code ownership
- From: Jonathan Larmour <jifl at jifvik dot org>
- To: eCos Maintainers <ecos-maintainers at sources dot redhat dot com>
- Cc: Tony Moretto <tmoretto at redhat dot com>,Mark Webbink <mwebbink at redhat dot com>
- Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2003 02:42:07 +0000
- Subject: Re: Future code ownership
- References: <200212231553.gBNFrPG09385@toohappy.toronto.redhat.com> <3E1452C7.1030907@eCosCentric.com>
I would like to bring the issue in this thread to a conclusion without
much further delay. However I agree with the sentiments that we should
seek an official position from Red Hat to consider before we make an
To that end I am CC'ing this to two people in Red Hat I believe should be
able to inform us, and I hope they (or some more appropriate person) will
be able to give us an idea of Red Hat's official position. Alas, I think I
will have to put a two week limit on this (Sun Jan 26th) - if nothing is
received in that time, we will have to reach a conclusion without Red Hat.
That is more than enough time for Red Hat to discuss this internally.
To Tony and Mark: in summary, the issue is the continuation of copyright
assignments to Red Hat which a significant number of contributors now
object to, mostly due to Red Hat no longer having any significant role in
eCos's development and therefore little interest in its success. Some
people also feel aggrieved by Red Hat for reasons of their own. Some feel
that, even given assurances, Red Hat can no longer be trusted. Whatever
the reason (and we aren't responsible for those opinions!), it is
something that needs to be addressed in the interests of the eCos open
To that end, a number of options were presented as per
followed up to in subsequent messages. Although no conclusion has yet been
reached, the two options being considered most appear to be dropping the
requirement for copyright assignments completely, or assigning to a
not-for-profit entity. In the latter case, SPI (Software in the Public
Interest) who represent many other Open Source groups (even owning the
Open Source brand) such as Debian Linux, GNOME, etc. have been approached
and have stated their willingness to do so.
Also in the latter case, we see some possibility of permitting exemptions
from the usual GPL licence obligations for large companies who are too
dumb to embrace Free Software, but at a price. That price would be put
exclusively towards the benefit of eCos, the Open Source project.
Restrictions would be put in place to prevent maintainer's benefitting
from decisions about how that money would be spent in which they took part.
It is this more than anything that we seek Red Hat's opinion of. Would
they in principle be willing to work with the maintainers and SPI to
arrange such licensing exemptions? Would they be willing to outline what
the likely terms in principle would be? I should probably point out that
if we cannot come to some mutual agreement then Red Hat will not be able
to benefit at all. I should also add that this cannot be the subject of
long negotiation. There is a 2.0 beta release coming up, with a 2.0 final
soon after. We will not delay the releases to have this resolved, and will
need to reach a decision with or without Red Hat.
If you wish, you may reply in private to me and I will gladly forward to
all maintainers, although purely for transparency it would be preferred if
this was in the open on the ecos-maintainers mailing list (which has
public archives) if it is commercially possible. Alternatively, you can
phone me, and I will act as intermediary as best I can, although the final
decision will be collective. Contact phone number available if you e-mail
me off list.
I should add for the absence of doubt to Tony and Mark, that this is
purely in the context of an eCos maintainer, and nothing to do with
eCosCentric or any other commercial organisation. In this discussion, we
the maintainers (made up of people from eCosCentric, Mind, Ascom as well
as Red Hat) are acting purely for the benefit of the open source project,
even if this is contrary to our employer's preferences; as with other open
Thanks in advance,
// Nominal eCos chief maintainer
--[ "You can complain because roses have thorns, or you ]--
--[ can rejoice because thorns have roses." -Lincoln ]-- Opinions==mine