[riot-devel] Switch to BSD?

Thomas C. Schmidt t.schmidt at haw-hamburg.de
Thu Apr 9 18:27:18 CEST 2015

Hi Emmanuel, all,

forgot to reply on this: We at HAW are fine with keeping LGPL license. 
So no conflict from our side.


On 22.03.2015 14:02, Emmanuel Baccelli wrote:
> Dear all,
> thanks for the input from everyone on this topic. It is a tough case to
> decide, based on our long and detailed exchanges on this subject.
> But it is probably time to conclude. At INRIA, we came up with the
> following observations:
> - there is no enthusiastic majority for a license change to BSD/MIT,
> - as solutions competing with RIOT are quasi-exclusively BSD/MIT, (L)GPL
> is a way to stand out positively.
> Concerning this last point, we observed that staying on the (L)GPL side
> strengthens our position comparing ourselves to Linux -- which has been
> one of our key non-technical arguments so far.
> Furthermore, studies such as [1] show that small companies and start-ups
> are going to determine IoT. More than bigger companies, such small
> structures need to spread development and maintenance costs for the
> kernel and all the software that is not their core business. Our
> analysis is that this is more compatible with (L)GPL than with BSD/MIT.
> We are of the opinion that, compared to BSD/MIT, (L)GPL will improve
> final user experience, security and privacy, by hindering device
> lock-down, favoring up-to-date, and field-updgradable code. We think
> this a more solid base to provide a consistent, compatible,
> secure-by-default standard system which developers can build upon to
> create trustworthy IoT applications.
> Last but not least, we think that (L)GPL is a better base than BSD/MIT
> to keep the community united in the mid and long run.
> For these reasons, even though we still believe a switch to BSD/MIT
> would facilitate RIOT's penetration rate initially, we want to continue
> releasing under LGPLv2.1.
> I also want to point out that even though this is basically "status
> quo", we think this discussion was far from useless, because it helped
> clarify where we stand, and for what.
>  From our point of view, the next steps are now to set up a non-profit
> legal entity for RIOT, and to put CLAs in place, allowing non-exclusive
> rights for the code to this legal structure.
> Best,
> Emmanuel
> [1] http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2869521


Prof. Dr. Thomas C. Schmidt
° Hamburg University of Applied Sciences                   Berliner Tor 7 °
° Dept. Informatik, Internet Technologies Group    20099 Hamburg, Germany °
° http://www.haw-hamburg.de/inet                   Fon: +49-40-42875-8452 °
° http://www.informatik.haw-hamburg.de/~schmidt    Fax: +49-40-42875-8409 °

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