[riot-devel] Switch to BSD?

Emmanuel Baccelli Emmanuel.Baccelli at inria.fr
Sun Mar 22 14:02:06 CET 2015


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
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.riot-os.org/pipermail/devel/attachments/20150322/b03709a4/attachment.html>


More information about the devel mailing list