[maemo-community] Council Meeting

From: Graham Cobb g+770 at cobb.uk.net
Date: Sun Apr 15 21:26:04 EEST 2012
On Sunday 15 April 2012 17:53:15 quim.gil at nokia.com wrote:
> > 3) Get a permanent licence grant for maemo.org to ship Nokia binaries
> > (e.g. flasher, firmware) and use them in the build process (SDKs in
> > autobuilder and COBS). This would have practical advantage and
> > requires formalising something permanently which is already happening.
> The current setup works in this sense, right? What are the actual concerns
> or risks?

My concern (at least, it is a risk) is that Nokia may choose to discontinue 
the maemo.org domain and the systems which support it (and related sites).  
Particularly the systems which distribute the software which (i) makes the 
devices work, and (ii) the software (packages) which allow for development.

A week ago I would have thought the probability of this occuring before the 
end of 2012 was very small, although it was a risk for next year.  After the 
profit warning last week (and the collapse of the share price) I think it has 
become a serious risk even for this year (despite budgets being in place).  I 
can imagine Nokia doing something major like just closing the Linux-based 
business altogether, or selling it to another company.

> A legal entity can only make a formal agreement with another legal entity.
> That was/is the case of the KDE Free Qt Foundation, which seems to be a
> source of inspiration of this proposal -
> http://www.kde.org/community/whatiskde/kdefreeqtfoundation.php

IANAL but I don't agree.  An agreement with a legal entity *might* be the 
right answer, but Nokia could also just publish a licence available to anyone 
who follows certain rules (e.g. no derived works, proper acreditation, non-
commercial, or whatever rules Nokia wants -- not necessarily a CC licence but 
along similar lines).

> "maemo.org" is just an Internet domain (owned by Nokia). The Maemo
> community is not a legal entity.

But a legal entity could be set up if necessary.  Personally, I prefer the 
"licence anyone, under certain conditions" approach (not least because it 
could be perpetual, instead of requiring the entity to continue to exist).

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