[ECOS] Are copyright assignments detrimental to eCos?

Andrew Lunn andrew@lunn.ch
Fri Apr 4 15:45:00 GMT 2008

O.K. Now it is getting time for the IANAL and everything i say is
wrong until you hear it from a copyright lawyer...

> So if I contribute code to the anoncvs, I assign the copyright to FSF.
> If eCoscentric includes the code into eCos Pro, it will still bear the
> FSF copyright.


> If they then make a bug fix, any licensee of eCos Pro
> should be able to submit the fix into anoncvs, since the copyright
> is still with FSF and the code is still GPL. Have I got this right?

Nope. They own the copyright to the bug fix. They have to contribute
it to FSF/anoncvs. This is why i expect eCosPro code will have both
copyright eCosCentric as well as Copyright FSF. They are stating they
own some parts of the code.

If you were to fix the bug, you could contribute it to FSF/anoncvs or
eCosCentric. If you contribute it to FSF/anoncvs, eCosCentric can then
pull it into their tree and keep the FSF copyright on your bug fix.

> What I am trying to avoid is a fork of a potential contribution,
> with one version in anoncvs and some other version in eCos Pro.

Not possible, as far as i understand. Anybody can fork any GPL code.

What you may be able to do though is claim the code contains patents
or some other intellectual properly which needs a license and give
away a free license for code in anoncvs only and anybody who wants to
use the code outside of anoncvs needs to pay a billion dollar license
fee for the patents. This probably doesn't hold water, since how do
you define what anoncvs is.... So you definitely need to talk to a


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