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

I am very pleased to see Jifl finally got a response from Red Hat.

Just to close a few questions you raised...

Andrew Lunn wrote:
You raise a lot of points, which i will just address three.

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

RedHat appears to be ignoring all emails from the maintainers. Why do
you think they will not ignore you as well? How are you different from us?

Paul and I have not had the same problem Jifl had contacting Red Hat and have had dealings with Red Hat legal while you were apparently being ignored, that is all.

Failing that, I suggest that you rather draft an open letter (sent registered)

I don't see the difference between a registered mail letter and an email. We all use email every day. We know that if we don't receive a
bounce, its very likely it landed in the recipients inbox. All a registered letter tells us it reached the receptionist on the front desk. Either way, it just as easy to file into /dev/null.

To me, the deliverary mechansim is not important. What is important is to try to find out why RH policy is to forward everything to /dev/null.

Just because an email landed in a recipient's inbox does not mean that they will read it. Spam filters and a number of other things can easily get in the way, and even the email RFC does state that email delivery is not guaranteed. For example, postfix by default will accept email sent to any aribitrary address and some large sites by default will bin mailer-daemon email because of the large amount of spam sent (who wants their mail queues clogged with undeliverable email).

Registered letters offer proof of delivery and, in the event that you
wish to take things further legally or otherwise, do mean that the other
party cannot claim to have never received the notice/letter.

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.

What i find frustrating is not the time its taking, its the lack of dialog. Why does RH simply not reply saying,

"We are working on it, it should be done any time soon",


"Sorry for the delay. We consider it a low priority task, and our legal team was overloaded by that SCO thing... Hopefully we can get to this sometime soon..."

The experiance from the last year is that all our attempts to start a
 dialog by sending emails to various people does not work. So what we
 need is some other way of kick starting the dialog. Maybe this comes
 down to one of us actually phyically going and knocking on the door?

This is excactly what the registered letter would have achieved, only it
would have been the postman delivering your start to the dialogue ;-)

Jifl earlier also wrote: [...]

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

We're not trying to force them to do anything that they haven't already committed to. Reread

My point was not the assignment but the time period you were attempting to enforce.

and threatening them with bad press is just plain unprofessional.

You are making unfair presumptions about how it's being done. In fact, by making these types of accusations in a publically archived forum, you appear to be hyping it up to be an unprofessional "threat", which may now make them think that's what it is.

I refer you to in which you say you will warn Red Hat that if it does not respond ASAP, you will issue a press release from the maintainers stating that Red Hat had broken its promise. That reads like a threat to me.

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.

Again, you make presumptions about how it's being done.

I was only going from what you wrote in your previous email. You may not have intended to threaten Red Hat, but that is certainly how I and a number of others read it.

And do you _really_ think that even RH think it's being progressed at an acceptable pace?

It does not matter either what I think. As the Red Hat response shows, it was not only Red Hat but also the FSF that caused the delay. Imagine if Red Hat legal were on a two week holiday and you carried out your press release, only to later find out that it was the FSF that were the root of the delay.

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.

If we could enter into a dialogue to do just this, then I would agree. But given the absence of even that, then we have little else to go with.

My point was that while you felt there were no further routes to a dialogue, I know of at least another 1/2 dozen routes Paul and I could have tried that almost certainly would have solicited a response.

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.

Sigh, I assumed the initial caps would forego the need for a sarcastic smiley. That was not a "threat" (does it _really_ read like
a serious statement?), but me mimicing your tone.

This serves to illustrate exactly how easy it is to misinterpret email.

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.

Then I don't think it's obvious that you would represent the maintainers' views, so it would not be appropriate for you to step in.

Errr, we were not offering to do anything more than find out the status of the assignment and jolly it along. We could have done this anyway without your blessing or representing the maintainers because eCosCentric also has a strong interest in the assignment. We just tried to work with the maintainers. You appear to think we are working aginst you.

For starters, the publicising of the unprofessional threat just further serves to alienate the maintainers from the primary copyright holders.

I would appreciate you stop calling this an unprofessional threat when you don't know what's actually being said to them. That in itself is unprofessional :-P.

I was only going from your email

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.

I have no reason to have confidence a letter will be treated any better than an e-mail by either party. At least an e-mail is less effort to respond to. But at this stage, there's no real point bugging the FSF, as they'll only wake up when RH do actually start getting things assigned. Until then eCos cannot be an FSF project (see below).

As above, a registered letter would be far more attention grabbing than email and harder to ignore or deny receipt than email.

Anyway, you have now established contact and hopefully can keep the ball rolling. I think we have beaten this topic to death anyway :-)

-- Alex

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