Subject: Re: EROS license
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 26 Jun 1999 12:31:51 -0400

   Date: Sat, 26 Jun 1999 12:08:37 -0400

   >I think the issue is not so much that, as that the work which people
   >do for EROS as a community contribution may be taken proprietary by

   I do not see how.  Once distributed, the contribution is public, and it is not
   possible to take the contribution proprietary.  Also, there is nothing to stop
   the contributor from continuing to give it away.

   I'm not trying to be difficult; I'm clearly missing something that must seem
   obvious to you.

Let's say I want to contribute to EROS.  I add some new feature.  I
send you a patch.  I haven't been paid, of course, nor would I expect
to be; I've just made a contribution to the community.

Then you make a proprietary release of the code.  Now the new feature
I wrote is making you money, but you aren't paying me anything.

If you were using the MIT license, then I would have no legitimate
beef, because I could make my own proprietary release.

But under the EROS license, you have special privileges to use code
that I wrote in ways which are prohibited to me.

That's the basic problem with a dual-use license: you get special
privileges to use my work without any form of compensation.

Now, there are certainly people who are not bothered by such a
license.  But it bothers me.  And I assume that this problem is why DJ
brought this issue up in the first place.

   > Cygnus always provides both the sources and the binaries to the
   > customer, and the customer is always free to do whatever they like
   > with them under the GPL.

   Legally, the act of giving the code to a customer constitutes a distribution,
   and is therefore subject to the requirements of the GPL.  Cygnus is a
   subcontractor, not an employee, and there is a difference in the eyes of the

In my reasonably extensive experience Cygnus was always careful to
follow the GPL, and never attempted to take refuge in this legal