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Re: Future code ownership
- From: Jonathan Larmour <jifl at jifvik dot org>
- To: Tony Moretto <tmoretto at redhat dot com>,Mark Webbink <mwebbink at redhat dot com>
- Cc: eCos Maintainers <ecos-maintainers at sources dot redhat dot com>
- Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 02:22:08 +0000
- Subject: Re: Future code ownership
- References: <200212231553.gBNFrPG09385@toohappy.toronto.redhat.com> <3E1452C7.1030907@eCosCentric.com> <3E20D5FF.email@example.com>
Hi Tony and Mark,
Is there really no interest or comment from Red Hat on the below? The
clock is ticking.
Jonathan Larmour wrote:
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
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 source community.
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 source projects.
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