[ECOS] APB - Copyright assignment

Alex Schuilenburg alexs@ecoscentric.com
Tue Oct 6 13:34:00 GMT 2009

Øyvind Harboe wrote on 2009-10-06 10:16:
> Does anyone know how I could get in touch with Graham Henderson
> <graham615@yahoo.com>.
> He wrote the TSE driver for nios2ecos and we either need a copyright
> assignment, remove the TSE driver, rewrite it or live without the
> copyright assignment.
> There is nothing wrong with the eCos license and no copyright
> assignment, except that if, eventually, nios2ecos is to become
> part of the official eCos repository then the copyright assignment
> to FSF is a prerequisite.
Warning: IANAL.

Actually, it is not necessarily the case that you can live without the
copyright assignment, even if it does not become part of the official

One of the strong aspects of eCos is in its licensing and copyright
assignments.  Users of eCos can rest assured that they will not be
pulled up on some copyright or patent violation, license fee demand or
similar. This is mainly because we insist that any major contribution is
assigned to the FSF.  Imagine having to do a product recall on an
embedded device using eCos simply because SCO^W some company wants to
cash in.  It gives us a trace history of the origins of all of the code.

Of course this is not 100% foolproof because a contributor could
misrepresent their contribution or unwittingly violate some patent, but
then they are the ones who will be liable for damages and the regular
user has a way out.

So without proper attribution and/or licensing of the code, that portion
of the code deviates from the type of security users can expect (against
law suits etc) when using any eCos distribution.  So your options in the
long term really are: a copyright assignment;  rewrite the TSE driver;
or remove it.

-- Alex Schuilenburg

       >>>> Visit us at ESC-UK  http://www.embedded.co.uk <<<<
       >>>> Oct 7-8 on Stand 433 at FIVE ISC, Farnborough <<<<

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