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From: Jonathan Larmour <jifl@jifvik.org>
To: Alex Schuilenburg <alexs@ecoscentric.com>
Cc: eCos Maintainers <ecos-maintainers@ecos.sourceware.org>
Subject: Re: [ECOS] Status of eCos copyright assignments to the FSF?
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2005 16:10:00 -0000	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <41D81D08.8030100@jifvik.org> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <41D5D608.9030406@ecoscentric.com>

Alex Schuilenburg wrote:
> Jonathan Larmour wrote:
> 
>> Alex Schuilenburg wrote:
>>
>>> Andrew Lunn wrote:
>>>
>>>> I think its about time we officialy told RedHat about our counter
>>>> press release we will make on 13th Jan 2005. We should give them a
>>>> fair chance to actually make the transfer. I expect they unofficially
>>>> know what is coming, i expect somebody in Redhat is reading
>>>> ecos-maintainers and has seen the discussion we had at the beginning
>>>> of the month. So two weeks notice does not seem too unreasonable.
>>
>>
>>
>> I will again send mail to Mark Webbink on this, setting this out more 
>> forcefully. If he replies soon enough, then that is at least a sign of 
>> good intent and we can potentially be more flexible even though the 
>> thing won't be done and dusted by then.
> 
> 
> IMHO this is not good enough and you are still missing the point.

I understand what you are saying. I just disagree.

> Red 
> Hat offered to donate eCos copyrights to the FSF. They still have the 
> copyright. You cannot force them to do anything against their will

We're not trying to force them to do anything that they haven't already
committed to. Reread
http://www.redhat.com/about/presscenter/2004/press_eCosFSF.html

> and 
> threatening them with bad press is just plain unprofessional.

You are making unfair presumptions about how it's being done. In fact, by
making these types of accusations in a publically archived forum, you
appear to be hyping it up to be an unprofessional "threat", which may now
make them think that's what it is.

> You need 
> to get Red Hat on your side and you need their support.

That's what we're trying to achieve. If the outcome is something that
sounds like the flame you suggest it would be, then I will have done
something very wrong.

> Just consider your actions from their POV. You offer to donate copyright 
> assignments and the maintainers start threating you because you are not 
> working fast enough to their liking.

Again, you make presumptions about how it's being done. And do you _really_
think that even RH think it's being progressed at an acceptable pace?

I don't think we really expect overnight miracles. It would be _something_
just to break their present radio silence. The last correspondence I
received from RH on eCos assignments was 10th December 2003 (i.e. before
even the press release).

> I am not making excuses for them, and I agree a year is an 
> embarrassingly long time, but trying to impose deadlines is not the 
> right way. Rather, try and find out what the delay is and see how you 
> can help move things along.

If we could enter into a dialogue to do just this, then I would agree. But
given the absence of even that, then we have little else to go with.

And it's hardly a "deadline" because nothing necessarily changes just by us
making a statement. It would just be clarifying the maintainers' position
given the repeated questions from eCos users on this, namely that though
we're still grateful with RH's commitment to do the assignment, like eCos
users we're not very happy with the progress and we'd like something done,
and we call on the relevant parties to bring it to a conclusion. But I
don't want to get into a discussion on the wording of something I'd prefer
not to draft in the first place!

>>> I honestly do not believe that threatening Red Hat with bad press 
>>> will achieve anything other than annoy them and strongly urge the 
>>> maintainers to reconsider this course of action. You do not know 
>>> their reasons for the delay and Red Hat have flip-flopped and 
>>> suffered far worse press than this. You need Red Hat on your side and 
>>> this is not the way to go about it.
>>>
>>> Since email contact with Red Hat legal has so far failed, and jifl 
>>> has failed to get hold of them via telephone,
>>
>>
>>
>> It's true that I would at least like to make contact before Dropping 
>> The Bomb.
> 
> 
> You should not rely on email on something as important as this.  And 
> again, please, stop with the threats.

Sigh, I assumed the initial caps would forego the need for a sarcastic
smiley. That was not a "threat" (does it _really_ read like a serious
statement?), but me mimicing your tone.

> They really will mean nothing to
> Red Hat and will do eCos and the maintainers no good at all.

We're asking them to spend literally just a few minutes on a reply. If they
can't even manage that, what conclusion would you draw?

>>> both Paul and I are happy to engage Red Hat legal once again to 
>>> pursue this matter with the maintainers blessing.
>>
>>
>>
>> I would prefer not to do that - this should come from the maintainers.
> 
> 
> The reason we offered to step in in simply because IMO the maintainers 
> are going about this in the wrong way.

Then I don't think it's obvious that you would represent the maintainers'
views, so it would not be appropriate for you to step in.

> For starters, the publicising of 
> the unprofessional threat just further serves to alienate the 
> maintainers from the primary copyright holders.

I would appreciate you stop calling this an unprofessional threat when you
don't know what's actually being said to them. That in itself is
unprofessional :-P.

> Have you considered why Red Hat legal have not responded to the 
> maintainers so far?

I've thought of all sorts of reasons. If they would just tell us, even
briefly, we would almost certainly be very understanding.

>>> Failing that, I suggest that you rather draft an open letter (sent 
>>> registered) to both Red Hat and the FSF and formally ask them about 
>>> the status of Red Hat's transfer and to set a date so that the 
>>> copyrights held privately by the maintainers and by eCosCentric can 
>>> simultaneously be transferred with Red Hat's copyright to the FSF.
>>
>>
>>
>> You may not be aware, but there is an outstanding issue with even the 
>> FSF assignment. One which we have an agreement in principle about, but 
>> not in practice.This is a publicised guarantee that the FSF 
>> understands the purpose of and reasoning behind the existing eCos 
>> license and will not seek to "restrict" it (e.g. by switching to full 
>> GPL) without consultation with the eCos maintainers.
> 
> 
> I am aware. This is also why I suggested an open registered letter to 
> both. You can ask the reasons for the delay, tell them about your 
> frustrations, and most importantly, how you would like to move forward 
> and what you would like to see happen.

I have no reason to have confidence a letter will be treated any better
than an e-mail by either party. At least an e-mail is less effort to
respond to. But at this stage, there's no real point bugging the FSF, as
they'll only wake up when RH do actually start getting things assigned.
Until then eCos cannot be an FSF project (see below).

>>> Knowing Red Hat and the FSF, two months out is a more realistic date 
>>> than two weeks (which can easily catch the relevant person on vacation).
>>
>> They've had a year already!
> 
> 
> So what? Red Hat never set out any time period when they would do it in 
> their annoucement. What is the problem with any further delay anyway, 
> apart from one or two contributions being stalled?

Because it is the one big thing that stands in the way of considering an
eCos v3 release which is something we have to think about as time carries
on. We talked about this IRL the other week!

> We also know that there are additional complications because Red Hat is 
> no longer sole copyright holder, and that eCosCentric and the 
> maintainers need to sync with Red Hat in contributing copyrights en 
> masse to the FSF. So far eCosCentric have been waiting for the call from 
> Red Hat and the FSF for assignment of eCosCentric's copyright, but we 
> could equally be proactive about this.

You cannot. The FSF will not receive assignments of eCos code, because eCos
is not an FSF project. eCos is not an FSF project because it contains a
documentation license that the FSF finds objectionable, which is fair
enough for them. The documentation license can only be resolved when RH
completes their assignment.

No great synchronisation is particularly required, other than that RH has
to go first.

> I can understand your frustrations, but you should not let them get in 
> the way of what you want to achieve nor let them alienate you from the 
> people you need support from.

I understand your fear that the outcome is an e-mail that says "Assign
everything RIGHT NOW or we'll do a REALLY BAD THING". This is not what's
going to happen, not least because it would be wrong. Your fears in that
respect are unjustified. But it's about time we did something to move
beyond repeated unanswered attempts to engage in a dialogue. At the same
time, it would clarify the position to users.

Jifl
-- 
--["No sense being pessimistic, it wouldn't work anyway"]-- Opinions==mine


  reply	other threads:[~2005-01-02 16:10 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 7+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2004-12-28 19:07 FWD: " Andrew Lunn
2004-12-29  0:35 ` Alex Schuilenburg
2004-12-31  1:18   ` Jonathan Larmour
2004-12-31 22:43     ` Alex Schuilenburg
2005-01-02 16:10       ` Jonathan Larmour [this message]
2005-01-02 16:43       ` Andrew Lunn
2005-01-03 16:49         ` Alex Schuilenburg

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