[ECOS] Question regarding eCos license

Chris Gray chris@kiffer.eunet.be
Mon Nov 10 23:35:00 GMT 2003

On Monday 10 November 2003 00:54, Gary Thomas wrote:
> On Sun, 2003-11-09 at 16:43, Suheel Hussain wrote:
> > I am an embedded system consultant who evaluates OS for clients.
> > Frequently I am asked to suggest real-time OS for client's project. In
> > future I want to suggest eCos as an option to commercial OSs and Linux.
> >
> > I have few questions:
> > 1.  Do I have to give eCos source code to the client? Same for RedBoot?
> > 2.  Does client have to mention -- say in their product literature --
> > that their product is built on eCos?
> > 3.  If I tweak eCos to get better real-time response, etc. Am I required
> > to post this change on discussion list, etc.?
> eCos is covered by a modified GPL license.  Most of your questions are
> answered in http://ecos.sourceware.org/license-overview.html
> In particular:
> (1) - yes.  The client has as much right to the eCos sources, including
> any changes you make to the eCos codebase, as you do.
> (2) - no.  There is no "publicize" requirement.
> (3) - yes.  If you make changes to the eCos sources, including additions
> which end up in the "main" eCos tree, those changes are covered by the GPL
> and must be published.  You would not have to actually send them to us, but
> the effect is the same, they must be made public with no additional
> constraints placed on them.

IANAL, but as I understand it the sources only need to be made available to 
anyone who receives a binary, not to be made "public". Just how mauch 
difference this makes in practice will depend on the nature of the product.

> Note: the exception clause that we have in the license *does* allow you to
> add code/value when using eCos and not make that code public.  In other
> words, you can create an application which uses the eCos kernel, but the
> application code itself is not automatically covered by the GPL.

Chris Gray                                /k/ Embedded Java Solutions
Embedded & Mobile Java, OSGi              http://www.kiffer.be/k/
chris.gray@kiffer.be                      +32 477 599 703

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