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Re: [ECOS] Re: eCosCentric copyright hold in headers

Alex Schuilenburg wrote:
Jonathan Larmour wrote:


We could offer to do the changes for them but would need legal-sign off from someone in Red Hat for all the files that would have their copyright changed. If we are going to help make this happen, I suggest we provide Red Hat with a list of all the eCos files for which they hold copyright and have them approve the list (in writing). We can then make the copyright changes and assignments to the FSF (including eCosCentric and other maintainer held copyrights) in one go, which would make a lot of sense.

I'd have hoped we wouldn't have to be responsible for that. While we could search for the copyright banner in files, I can't guarantee every file contains a Red Hat copyright that should have (even from the days when we^H^HRed Hat were working on eCos). And for the files without a Red Hat copyright banner, it would need careful identification to work out whether they are Red Hat's or someone elses (or indeed are mostly someone elses but may contain portions of RH code thus making it a derived work). The consequences of us making a mistake with the identification is painful; but if Red Hat makes the mistake it's nowhere near as bad and I believe intent does matter a lot in these circumstances.

Hmmm, this is of concern. I thought all of eCos could be attributed to either Red Hat, eCosCentric or one of the maintainers. Are you saying that there are files that are not copyright one of the above?

No, I mean there are files which don't explicitly have a banner saying who owns the copyright, so it makes it difficult to use the copyright banners as a method of determining fully which files Red Hat needs to assign.

If there are files that do not have a copyright banner from their owner (Red Hat or otherwise), then would you also not have to get consent from the owners also on the assignment to the FSF.

Maybe, but it becomes silly if the sole point of the exercise is that it all ends up as Copyright FSF and nothing else. Since we know that all the copyright is held by RH, eCosCentric and the maintainers it's naff if things have to be held up to work out some bureaucratic list; hence my suggested possibly viable alternatives.

It would be much much nicer if Red Hat could arrange some sort of blanket assignment, perhaps just by reference to the contents of the entire eCos CVS repository at Or perhaps just list every repository file, irrespective of copyright and finetune the wording of the assignment so that it assigns any right and title that _may_ belong to Red Hat in the listed files. I'm no lawyer though. I'd be more than willing to talk to them about ways it could be done though..... if they'll talk to me!

IMHO this is not going to happen unless somebody outside Red Hat drives this. I suggest getting a draft together for all maintainers, Red Hat and eCosCentric representatives to sign that simply states that they assign copyright to all the files for which they may hold copyright in the ecos CVS repository to the FSF.

As soon as the FSF starts replying to my mails! There's still the issue of the publically stated "guarantee" we wanted from them not to immediately strip away the GPL exception. It looked like we were very close to agreeing this - it just all went very silent that's all. Right now I know that the FSF is not accepting assignments for eCos. Any agreement will have to be reviewed by either or both of the RH and FSF legal counsels I'm sure, and probably constructed by one of them.

Come to think of it, my previous suggestion of listing the files is not a good idea as there is no guarantee that the list will not change while we are waiting for signature. You will have to freeze contribs while waiting for signatures which will be could be forever in the case of Red Hat.

We could approach Red Hat with a formal written offer to do this so that the assignment to the FSF which they announced can actually take place. If you want help from me, let me know.

It's more a question of getting a dialogue with anyone. I'm sure whatever the issues are we can work them out; but if we can't even start discussing them we're no further on.

I wonder, in all seriousness, if we (or some of us) chipped in to a donation to the FSF so we can say "Talk to us and we'll give you a donation.". I wouldn't have thought it would be too difficult to rustle up $150 or so given the current exchange rate. Maybe eCosCentric would like to chip in too :). I'm willing to contribute personally anyway, just to give myself some peace from this palaver!

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

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