[ECOS] Project ideas for graduate course

Andrew Lunn andrew@lunn.ch
Tue Jul 31 12:12:00 GMT 2007

>> IANAL, but i would want to take a close look at the license agreement
>> before using this software.
> Me neither, but put in human words, the license agreement is there to
> ensure 'derived software' (as defined in GPL) stays compatible with
> the (open) EtherCAT standard and assures you won't suffer from patent
> claims in case it does.
>> Also, it is GPL, which is probably not what you want.
> Who do you mean with 'you'? - IIRC the OP was asking for ideas for projects 
> to be conducted by
> graduate students, so I don't see why they would object agains the GPL.
> - We (FMTC) wrote and open sourced the code
> - As stated on the website, interested companies wishing to use this
>   for closed products can obtain a LGPL version against a license fee.

I mean "you" as in anybody wishing to use eCos and EtherCat. The
problem is that it forces the application to be GPL. Most uses of eCos
are in commercial products. Having eCos use "GPL+exception" is
O.K. because it does not force the application to be
GPL+exception. That is what the exception is for. The application,
which contains all the IP, can remain closed. However once you make
use of this GPL code, your application becomes GPL and you have to
give the sources away. Most people using eCos would not like this.
How many open source eCos applications do you know of?

Close source application then need to use the LGPL version. However,
this i don't understand. Since it is LGPL, what is to stop a customer
buying the LGPL version and then distribute the sources under LGPL? It
seems like to me, if you are selling a version for closed source
applications you would use a closed source license to stop it being

The GPL code is also licensed under another license at the same time
as being GPL. This i don't understand. How can it be GPL and something
else at the same time. This is where i would want copyright lawyers to
take a close look.


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