[ECOS] Project ideas for graduate course

Andrew Lunn andrew@lunn.ch
Wed Aug 1 10:09:00 GMT 2007

> It does not remove the right to redistribute (modified code) of EML,
> as long as it stays compatible with the (open) EtherCAT standard (which I
> think is not so unlogically?)

And how does that work? 

Say i was to pay for a license and get the GPL source. I make a
product and sell it, distributing the source, to XYZ. XYZ then hacks
on the source and adds some features. They make a new product. They
sell there product to ABC and again distribute the source. ABC does
some more hacking, breaks compatibility and then sell a product to

Now only i have signed a license. However i have no control over what
people do with the GPL code. When FSDS reports the code is no longer
compatible is my license revoked even though the problem is with ABC
code? Do you take me to court, i have to take XYZ to court and XYZ has
to take ABC to court?

More questions for the copyright lawyers.....

Maybe a better way to do this is to throw away the license
agreement. Instead provide regression test cases which demonstrator
compatibility to the standard. Anybody hacking on the code should be
encouraged to run the regression tests to check they have not broken
anything. If somebody adds new features which comply to the standard,
you should ask they add more regression tests and feed back the
changes to you. You can then independently test the changes are good
and then make a new release. So long as you actively maintain and
support the code, the chances of somebody forking it are low. Now this
is what GPL is all about. And it does work. There is huge amounts of
standards compliant protocol software available under GPL or similar


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