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Re: Way forward with FSF
Andrew Lunn wrote:
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
An assignment is a two way thing. Both the assignee and assigner
agree. It would be simple to add a section to the assignemt which says
that eCosCentric agrees to transfer the assignment to FSF imeadiately
they agree to accept the assignments for eCos. This should remove most
That's tricky actually. Ownership is either given or not given. It's
strictly legally not possible to set such future conditions. Once the
assigned-to maintainer or eCosCentric has it, I don't believe it's
possible to set obligations on it within the legal assignment contract
itself. Think of it this way: what would be the redress if the assignee
reneged on it - they already own the code so it's not possible to take it
back (in law).
More practically, we'd want legal advice to change the assignment contract
I suppose we should also consider what happens if it all falls through
with FSF. They change there mind, or say they don't have the resources
needed to sort this out until this SCO thing is sorted out, they go
bankrupt paying legal fees, get burnt down in a bush fire,... The
assignments are then in limbo, being held by eCosCentric waiting to be
tranferred to somewhere they cannot go.
I see your point, but I don't think we really have many alternatives. The
public commitment isn't a legal thing, but since eCosCentric is focussed
on eCos users, pissing off the entire eCos community in one fell swoop
isn't exactly likely to be part of the agenda :-) (and I wouldn't be here
if it was even considered!). If the maintainers collectively decide on a
different course of action eCosCentric would abide by that. Thinking about
it, it's arguably safer for eCosCentric to do it as eCosCentric has face
to lose, meaning lost business, whereas an individual maintainer could
theoretically start setting nasty preconditions and having the rest of the
maintainers over a barrel. But that's probably academic as we all have
code copyright ourselves in the code base anyway so there'd be problems
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.
No thanks. I don't have the resources, willingness etc....
I'm not expecting anyone else to, and there's no real need to as we're
prepared to do it all... but I want to give people the chance in order to
show that all we want is the solution, and eCosCentric's, or individual
maintainers', part in it is just a means to an end.
One other thing comes to mind. It can be hard for some people to get
the PHB to sign the assignment. Having to get first an eCosCentric one
and then an FSF one signed will be double trouble. Maybe something can
be added to the eCosCentric one so that it can act as an automatic
forwarder to FSF once they are up an running. Signing the FSF
assignment then becomes optional for people with an eCosCentric
That might be okay. Although a direct assignment would be preferable
obviously. We'd need to check with the FSF lawyers as and when this
becomes an issue.
Similarly I don't expect people with RH assignments to have to switch over
overnight; although a final deadline may be wise, but again we'll deal
with that when the time comes.
eCosCentric http://www.eCosCentric.com/ The eCos and RedBoot experts
--["No sense being pessimistic, it wouldn't work anyway"]-- Opinions==mine