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Re: FSF status

Gary Thomas wrote:

Have you made any progress with the FSF changeover?

Not for a while. I last prodded them on the 8th (I've attached my last message FYI). There's some speculation the FSF is tied up with SCO (who have now expanded their claims to encompass the validity of the GPL in general: and now there's also Linksys. Both are discussed here:

However there are some steps we can take now other than the assignment to at least work on the vendor independence. In particular, to try and move as many references as possible from to including list addresses; at least as much as we can.

But we haven't formally agreed that everyone's okay with that. I had hoped before for something like, but the FSF's position is such that we would only be able to get at present. So is the only sensible way forward IMHO as I doubt we want to change home pages again if and when we become official GNU. Unless there are objections, I'll assume that's the official stance now and we can look at fixing up references and set up a RedirectMatch in the httpd config to forward to

eCosCentric    The eCos and RedBoot experts
--["No sense being pessimistic, it wouldn't work anyway"]-- Opinions==mine
--- Begin Message --- Hi, it's been over two months now since I've heard anything, so I'm just wondering what the status is?

I really want to get to the point where the FSF is accepting assignments for us (and we're prepared to do so). All this time, more work is being assigned to Red Hat instead.



Jonathan Larmour wrote:

I know you'll have a backlog, but I'm being pestered to resolve this as time ticks merrily on. Any chance someone could look at this?



Jonathan Larmour wrote:

FSF General Contact Address wrote:

On Tue, Jun 24, 2003 at 01:23:16PM -0400, Jonathan Larmour via RT wrote:

Have you had any success in relation to the below mail? I'm just wondering how we can try and push on as we are still keen to do this, and are more than a little annoyed ourselves that it's being held up by Red Hat :-|.

Hi Brett,

I realised I should have replied earlier, sorry.

I am very sorry for the late response to this message. Since we are a
non-profit with very limited resources, messages to this address often get
backlogged, and we are always struggling to catch up.

As a startup company working with OSS, I can vouch for the lack of available time!

So long as eCos is following GNU policies, we are willing to accept its
copyright, even if it does not officially become GNU software.

Excellent! In that case, be prepared to receive some assignments soon.

> As such, so

long as you are doing that, it seems like we can begin a process which will
go something like this: we will take copyright on the eCos software --
excluding the documentation -- as a non-GNU program. Once we can establish
with Red Hat that we hold copyright for most of eCos,

That may take some time to establish as core parts of eCos don't change radically that quickly - people want stability in an embedded OS. Plus to date the policy has been assignments to Red Hat for all contributions, excepting the eCos maintainers' own work (we were able to trust ourselves to assign to the FSF later!).

we will approach them
about assigning their copyright on the work, including the documentation,
to us as well. While we are in those negotiations, eCos can be evaluated
for inclusion as part of the GNU project. With some luck, those processes
will hopefully finish around the same time, at which point we can accept
copyright assignments for the rest of the documentation and have it be part
of GNU eCos as well.

Can you not accept the assignment for the documentation anyway, even if under a non-free licence? Otherwise we have to have people set up two assignments in order to contribute to eCos - one to the FSF for code, and one to Red Hat for documentation (and of course all code should have documentation ;-)).

Obviously if we didn't ask for assignments for documentation at all, then we wouldn't be able to assign it to the FSF down the road either, so this way when we get Red Hat to Do The Right Thing, the FSF will then have everything it needs.

The idea is that this is purely a temporary arrangement with the obvious goal being the FSF's complete ownership of eCos. If that wasn't the goal and we were prepared to be content with the status quo, I wouldn't ask.

Hmm... does this mean the the FSF is no longer pressing Red Hat for changes to the documentation licence (or assigning it)? Were you able to contact anyone in RH and get a response?

As far as I can tell, there is only one outstanding issue. Earlier, you
indicated that you would like some form of guarantee that we will not
remove the license exception from eCos without due cause and prior
discussion with the eCos maintainers. Can you give me a better idea of how
you would like to see this promise made, and how it could specifically be
worded? We want to be sure that everyone is on the same page with this.

Sure. The important fact is that it would be a publically recorded declaration, as we know the FSF wouldn't backtrack on that (we do trust you really :-)) because of the bad press. I'm thinking of something along the lines of:

The Free Software Foundation understands the value to the eCos project of a licence that allows application code to be linked with eCos without being covered by the GNU General Public License. The Free Software Foundation undertakes to preserve the spirit of the current form of the eCos licence, and will modify the licence only with due cause and after discussion and agreement with the eCos maintainers.

Of course this is unlikely to ever be an issue, but we're just covering ourselves, if nothing else, from worries from the eCos developer community when we publicise the FSF's new role with eCos.


--["No sense being pessimistic, it wouldn't work anyway"]-- Opinions==mine

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