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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 this.

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
peoples worries.

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 itself.

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 whatever.

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

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