A question about rtems license

Christian Mauderer oss at c-mauderer.de
Sat Jul 18 15:19:52 UTC 2020


note that I'm not a lawyer. I can only provide my personal opinion
regarding that topic. Depending of the legal system of your country a
lawyer might has a different point of view. I'm also only a small part
of the project and can't speak for all persons involved.

As far as I understand your situation you basically forked RTEMS. The
fork would consist of "rtems src" and "rtems src2". These parts would be
covered by the RTEMS license. So if you provide a binary to someone, you
would have to make the "rtems src" and "rtems src2" available to this
person too if they ask.

But your application is still a separate part and would be covered by
the linking exception. That means: you can keep it private.

Please note that there is an ongoing effort to change the RTEMS license
to a BSD style license. A lot of sources are already BSD licensed. You
can see that if you have a look at the file headers.

As another note: RTEMS is always open to patches. So you might want to
think about polishing the "rtems src2" parts a bit and sending them to
the mailing list for integration into the official sources.

Best regards


On 18/07/2020 11:45, smallphd at aliyun.com wrote:
> Hi,
> There is a project using rtems as a real time os in an arm cortex R5
> bsp.  Primary RTEMS License says
> that RTEMS is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under terms of the
> GPL.
> As a special exception, including RTEMS header files in a file, instantiating RTEMS generics or templates, or linking other files with RTEMS objects to produce an executable application, does not by itself cause the resulting executable application to be covered by the GPL.
> I draw a picture to describe this special exception:
> There are "rtems src", "rtems header" and our "application".  The "rtems
> src" will be compiled to a lib called "rtems lib".  If our "application"
> includes "rtems header" and linkes with "rtems lib", then our
> "application" does not follow GPL.
> OK, here is my question: we modify some code in "rtems src" and build it
> to "rtems lib2".  If our "application" includes "rtems header" and
> linkes with "rtems lib2", whether or not our "application" should follow
> GPL? 
> (of course, rtems src2 should follow GPL)
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> smallphd at aliyun.com
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