[ECOS] Licensing terms

Mark Galassi rosalia@lanl.gov
Fri Oct 29 12:25:00 GMT 1999

    Grant> I just got off the phone with somebody from Express Logic
    Grant> (the vendor of ThreadX), and he claimed that if you want to
    Grant> ship product with eCOS you have to pay money to Cygnus.
    Grant> I've read the eCOS license and it sure doesn't look like
    Grant> that's the case to me (standard I Am Not a Lawyer
    Grant> Disclaimer applies).

The guy (a salesman?) was trying to mislead you.  Your reading is
correct.  Richard Stallman (among others) has been through the eCos
license and has said that it was an acceptable "free software"
license.  This means that anyone can make a business out of eCos
without paying royalties.

The only shortcoming of the license is that there is no clause for GPL
compatibility, so if you want to distribute an eCos kernel enhanced
with GPLed code, you can't do it without getting various parties to
make exceptions to their licensing.

    Grant> He also told me that eCOS is a revised version of another,
    Grant> older OS called Helos (or something like that).

Nope: eCos was designed and developed from scratch.  Some of the eCos
designers might have been involved with Helios, but the design, goals
and implementation of the OSes are completely different.

    Grant> I don't know where the "Helos" business came from.  Anybody
    Grant> else here anything like that.

I suspect he had heard of Helios and was using it to create FUD.

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