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Re: [ECOS] Status of eCos copyright assignments to the FSF?

Jonathan Larmour wrote:
Alex Schuilenburg wrote:

Andrew Lunn wrote:

I think its about time we officialy told RedHat about our counter
press release we will make on 13th Jan 2005. We should give them a
fair chance to actually make the transfer. I expect they unofficially
know what is coming, i expect somebody in Redhat is reading
ecos-maintainers and has seen the discussion we had at the beginning
of the month. So two weeks notice does not seem too unreasonable.

I will again send mail to Mark Webbink on this, setting this out more forcefully. If he replies soon enough, then that is at least a sign of good intent and we can potentially be more flexible even though the thing won't be done and dusted by then.

IMHO this is not good enough and you are still missing the point. Red Hat offered to donate eCos copyrights to the FSF. They still have the copyright. You cannot force them to do anything against their will and threatening them with bad press is just plain unprofessional. You need to get Red Hat on your side and you need their support.

Just consider your actions from their POV. You offer to donate copyright assignments and the maintainers start threating you because you are not working fast enough to their liking.

I am not making excuses for them, and I agree a year is an embarrassingly long time, but trying to impose deadlines is not the right way. Rather, try and find out what the delay is and see how you can help move things along.

I honestly do not believe that threatening Red Hat with bad press will achieve anything other than annoy them and strongly urge the maintainers to reconsider this course of action. You do not know their reasons for the delay and Red Hat have flip-flopped and suffered far worse press than this. You need Red Hat on your side and this is not the way to go about it.

Since email contact with Red Hat legal has so far failed, and jifl has failed to get hold of them via telephone,

It's true that I would at least like to make contact before Dropping The Bomb.

You should not rely on email on something as important as this. And again, please, stop with the threats. They really will mean nothing to Red Hat and will do eCos and the maintainers no good at all.

both Paul and I are happy to engage Red Hat legal once again to pursue this matter with the maintainers blessing.

I would prefer not to do that - this should come from the maintainers.

The reason we offered to step in in simply because IMO the maintainers are going about this in the wrong way. For starters, the publicising of the unprofessional threat just further serves to alienate the maintainers from the primary copyright holders.

Have you considered why Red Hat legal have not responded to the maintainers so far?

Failing that, I suggest that you rather draft an open letter (sent registered) to both Red Hat and the FSF and formally ask them about the status of Red Hat's transfer and to set a date so that the copyrights held privately by the maintainers and by eCosCentric can simultaneously be transferred with Red Hat's copyright to the FSF.

You may not be aware, but there is an outstanding issue with even the FSF assignment. One which we have an agreement in principle about, but not in practice.This is a publicised guarantee that the FSF understands the purpose of and reasoning behind the existing eCos license and will not seek to "restrict" it (e.g. by switching to full GPL) without consultation with the eCos maintainers.

I am aware. This is also why I suggested an open registered letter to both. You can ask the reasons for the delay, tell them about your frustrations, and most importantly, how you would like to move forward and what you would like to see happen.

Knowing Red Hat and the FSF, two months out is a more realistic date than two weeks (which can easily catch the relevant person on vacation).

They've had a year already!

So what? Red Hat never set out any time period when they would do it in their annoucement. What is the problem with any further delay anyway, apart from one or two contributions being stalled? AFAIK there is only one company (Mind) which has problems contributing temporarily to either Red Hat or eCosCentric (despite both public announcements to forward their contributions to the FSF, and eCosCentric's public commitment). After all, you also worked for Red Hat so you of all people should also know how things work internally :-)

We also know that there are additional complications because Red Hat is no longer sole copyright holder, and that eCosCentric and the maintainers need to sync with Red Hat in contributing copyrights en masse to the FSF. So far eCosCentric have been waiting for the call from Red Hat and the FSF for assignment of eCosCentric's copyright, but we could equally be proactive about this. We could work this in with the offer by Paul and myself to contact Red Hat legal.

I can understand your frustrations, but you should not let them get in the way of what you want to achieve nor let them alienate you from the people you need support from.

-- Alex

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