Hi everyone,

GPL with linking exception seems relevant in this discussion -- especially
since eCOS, which is also a well-known embedded OS, uses this license.

As a side note, but highly related: at Embedded World yesterday, we met
with the Eclipse Foundation [1] guys.
RIOT is now officially invited to become an Eclipse project.

There are a number of advantages to be under the Eclipse umbrella: they
provide legal services, and the IoT part of this umbrella [2] is actively
helping communities such as RIOT to grow organically: in particular they
promise promotion, and matchmaking with other FOSS communities and relevant
industrial partners.

There are however strings attached: Eclipse has good reputation as far as I
can tell, but nevertheless some of our independence is lost if we join, and
we have to use the Eclipse Public License [3].

In any case, the Eclipse Foundation guys were stressing that CLAs [4] are
crucial, whatever we do, whether we join Eclipse Foundation or not.



[1] https://eclipse.org/org/foundation/
[2] http://iot.eclipse.org
[3] https://eclipse.org/legal/eplfaq.php#CPLEPL
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contributor_License_Agreement

On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 2:28 AM, Adam Hunt <voxa...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I'd be willing to bet that GNU Classpath is one of the oldest projects
> licensed under the GPL with a linking exception.
> Classpath is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License
>> with the following clarification and special exception.
> Linking this library statically or dynamically with other modules is
>> making a combined work based on this library. Thus, the terms and
>> conditions of the GNU General Public License cover the whole combination.
>> ​​
> As a special exception, the copyright holders of this library give you
>> permission to link this library with independent modules to produce an
>> executable, regardless of the license terms of these independent modules,
>> and to copy and distribute the resulting executable under terms of your
>> choice, provided that you also meet, for each linked independent module,
>> the terms and conditions of the license of that module. An independent
>> module is a module which is not derived from or based on this library. If
>> you modify this library, you may extend this exception to your version of
>> the library, but you are not obliged to do so. If you do not wish to do so,
>> delete this exception statement from your version.
>> ​[1 <https://www.gnu.org/software/classpath/license.html>]​
> ​--adam​
> ​[1] https://www.gnu.org/software/classpath/license.html​
> On Tue Feb 24 2015 at 5:08:12 PM Oleg Hahm <oliver.h...@inria.fr> wrote:
>> Hi Matthias!
>> >   but the name (or license branding). We had this discussion before.
>> > Rather unknown licenses need to be explained. Using eCos license is
>> > similar to use a RIOT license.
>> Yes, I agree, but at least it's listed (approved?) by FSF. Another option
>> (see
>> citation from the OSI list from my previous mail) we could just state GPL
>> as a
>> license and point to the exception for commercial users. I think the text
>> on
>> the eCos page is pretty comprehensible.
>> The Wikipedia is even claiming that the perception "that without applying
>> the
>> linking exception, code linked with GPL code may only be done using a
>> GPL-compatible license" is "unsupported by any legal precedent or
>> citation".
>> >   I'm just wondering if eCos is the first license with the introduced
>> > exception -- I will not research on this ;).
>> I don't think so, but it's the only listed license from FSF that
>> specifies the
>> linking exception.
>> >   I never said it's impossible. In this type of discussion you will
>> > always find counterexamples. I just wanted to point out that I see it as
>> > an advantage to use an OSI approved license.
>> I agree, but if the choice is between a FSF approved license (as I
>> understand
>> eCos License is) that matches our needs and a less matching OSI approved
>> license, I'm willing to bite this bullet.
>> > > At least eCos, ERIKA and ChibiOS are very similar to RIOT from a
>> > > software architecture point of view (OS for embedded hardware).
>> > >
>> >   No comment ;).
>> For clarification: I was referring to the fact that these systems have a
>> similar use case as RIOT, not that there concept or feature set is
>> similar to
>> RIOT.
>> > > Long story short: I see your concerns, but for me GPL + Linking
>> > > Exception is a common license model that works well for many
>> > > well-known and mature projects. Personally, I would think that GPL +
>> > > Linking Exception matches our needs far better than LGPL.
>> > >
>> >   Can you explain in one our two sentences why? Because it's more
>> > inclusive?
>> Again taken from the Wikipedia article: "the LGPL formulates more
>> requirements
>> to the linking exception: you must allow modification of the portions of
>> the
>> library you use and reverse engineering (of your program and the library)
>> for
>> debugging such modifications."
>> > > As I see it now, we won't come to any conclusion for or against
>> > > switching to a non-copyleft license that satisfies everyone, because
>> > > the goals and visions where to go with RIOT are too different.
>> > >
>> >   At least we don't get new basic insights with this thread.
>> Which is too bad.
>> Cheers,
>> Oleg
>> --
>> The problem with TCPIP jokes is that when I tell them, all I want is an
>> ACK but
>> usually get FINs and RSTs
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