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Way forward with FSF

Us guys at eCosCentric have been thinking a little about ways to move forward with the FSF. I have just prodded the FSF again, in a slightly more forceful way. I can imagine the SCO stuff is taking up their time which won't help.

At the same time, there seems to be evidence that RH are sitting on assignments, although one has just come through just now. How many others are affected? I seem to recall at least one.

A compromise has been suggested that won't cause problems with the FSF later, but will make us more independent of RH (which as we know stops some people from contributing). However it needs the buy-in from everyone, naturally.

The idea is that instead of assigning to RH, contributors could assign direct to individual maintainers. When the FSF is sorted out, the individual maintainer(s) will assign everything at that point to the FSF. Another possibility is to assign to eCosCentric, and eCosCentric would make a public commitment to assign to the FSF immediately once everything is going. That might be easier logistically, but I can understand it if others here are hesitant about this. But the public commitment may address this.

Certainly of the eCosCentric maintainers (me, Bart, Nick, John), we are able to at least offer eCosCentric's facilities: mail, phone, fax, etc. and are prepared to deal with the admin overhead of doing so. If this becomes new policy we'll want new assignments from existing contributors so there'll be quite a few to deal with, at least at first.

To be clear, this isn't an attempt to take over :-). All your eCos do not belong to us :). As such, if any other maintainer wants to accept assignments (and put up their mail, phone, fax details on the web, mail back executed assignment, etc.etc.) then we can easily list more than one option to contact on the website. Although in that case, if someone opts for that option, they should take care they do not have something in their own employment contract that will mean all the IP assigned to them goes to their employer! Mark and Andrew would probably be affected by this.

Also, in the case of Andrew, it would probably be advisable to explicitly write to RH legal to "cancel" your assignment. For Mark, I guess until the FSF arrangement is set up, its probably least problematic to continue allowing RH copyright contributions.

Or if people aren't happy with this suggestion, we can just maintain the status quo until the FSF is sorted out. We're just looking for a constructive way forward. If people want to just wait until the FSF resolved since, of course, it should be Real Soon Now, then it may not be worth the effort putting this temporary compromise in place. I would like to hope this would be the case, but also want to cut our losses.


eCosCentric    The eCos and RedBoot experts
--["No sense being pessimistic, it wouldn't work anyway"]-- Opinions==mine

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