[ECOS] ecos license question.

Jonathan Larmour jifl@eCosCentric.com
Sat Jan 18 02:49:00 GMT 2003

Fabrice Gautier wrote:
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Jonathan Larmour [mailto:jifl@eCosCentric.com]
>>Sent: Friday, January 17, 2003 3:42 PM
>>To: Fabrice Gautier
>>Cc: ecos-discuss@sources.redhat.com
>>Subject: Re: [ECOS] ecos license question.
>>>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.
> How so?
> I believe that when someone distribute something that is dual-licensed he
> has three options:
> 1./ Distribute it under MPL
> 2./ Distribute it under GPL
> 3./ Distribute it under Dual License MPL/GPL

It's a binary, so it can't be dual licence. You have to pick.

But how does the user know? How do the people trying to enforce it know 
from the outside, even seeing the binary?

> And I believe that in any case you're entitled to the eCos source code. 

Not with the MPL. If you change something, then someone might be entitled 
to those changes, but that someone isn't necessarily you :-).

>>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.
> Same kind of thing goes for eCos license. [snip]

Oops, yes. Forget that example :-).

> Actually I think one could just take the eCos  source code, and make it pure
> GPL without even including any other code.

Yes, you can restrict the terms of the licence further, but not relax them.

>>>but I'm sure there are other arguments, are there ?
>>GPL has a good "brand" simply.
> Hehe... thats an argument for the GPL, but not one against a dual license
> that also has GPL in it.

It's easier to summarise to people that eCos is GPL'd with a clause so you 
don't have to open source your application, than to say it's dual 
GPL/MPL'd which will more often elicit "what does that mean then" 
questions :).

Anyway, as I said, for better or worse this discussion is largely 
academic. It would take something dire to persuade the appropriate people 
to change the licence now. I speak from the point of view of someone who 
probably spent about 2 or 3 man weeks (distributed over all of last year) 
discussing and debating licence stuff in meetings, in private discussions 
and by e-mail.

eCosCentric       http://www.eCosCentric.com/       <info@eCosCentric.com>
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