[ECOS] ecos license question.

Jonathan Larmour jifl@eCosCentric.com
Sat Jan 18 00:50:00 GMT 2003

Fabrice Gautier wrote:
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Jonathan Larmour [mailto:jifl@eCosCentric.com]
> I think you misunderstand me, I _do_ think that allowing more freedom is a
> _very_ good thing. And I do think that the current license is very good when
> _I_ (and i guess you) interprets it. But I'm no lawyer, and even lawyers are
> no judge.

Well *nothing* in the free software movement has been tested in court. Nor 
the MPL.

> So there are in fact to very distincts situations. One for fully GPLed
> applications, one for proprietary applications. I strongly think that having
> two distinct licenses two reflect those 2 situations, is far less confusing
> that the current scheme, I dont see how it could be harder to enforce,

Imagine two different example scenarios:

You're given a binary. It contains dual-licensed eCos. You don't know 
whether you are entitled to the source code or not.

You're given source code from $SOMEONE (not the main site). It's 
dual-licensed eCos. You see the dual licence and think you can use it 
under the MPL, but that someone at some stage introduced GPL code, so 
actually it's being used illegally. The only solution is to go through 
every single file.

>>Enforcement was a real problem. Many people had been writing 
>>new ports, new changes etc. and not making their changes available.
>>It wasn't tenable.
> Just to be clear, under the current license, you have to make your changes
> available only to the people you distribute them right?

The GPL is fairly specific. You either distribute the source code at the 
same time as the binaries alongside them; or you include a written offer 
for _anyone_ to get access to your code. If you hadn't made changes and 
were only using binaries you received, you only needed to pass on any 
written offers.

> If RedHat was not able to enfore the MPL,

They (or we as was) chose not to. It could have been enforced more often 
that it was (although some would obviously inevitably have slipped through).

 > I dont know how anyone will be
> able to enforce the current license. I dont think just using the name GPL
> will make people more conscious about what they do, probably they will be
> just more scared.

Good :-).

>>By nailing our colours to the GPL mast it will be much more
>>recognisable to users that this is an open source licence.
> I still dont see this as an argument against dual license.
> I think the only argument I saw against a dual GPL/MPL would be the
> complexity (which I dont buy)


 > but I'm sure there are other arguments, are
> there ?

GPL has a good "brand" simply. It's preferable for people on the err on 
the side of thinking they have to release their code than the other way round.

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