Linux Foundation

Felix Fietkau nbd at
Wed Mar 1 04:41:26 EST 2017

On 2017-03-01 09:19, David Woodhouse wrote:
> On Tue, 2017-02-28 at 15:22 -0800, Florian Fainelli wrote:
>> During ELC 2017 in Portland, I was approached by Mike Wosner from the
>> Linux Foundation, here is roughly what we talked about.
>> OpenWrt/LEDE are highly visible projects for the Linux Foundation
>> because they make use of Linux on millions of devices, and that alone is
>> something interesting for the foundation in itself because it goes well
>> with the idea of making Linux ubiquitous.
> I have slight reservations about the Linux Foundation. There is a
> perception that the LF are *against* enforcement of the GPL in fairly
> much any form, and that they work to undermine such efforts when they
> happen elsewhere. Even Broadcom — one of the most persistent violators
> of the GPL — is a member of this industry consortium.
> And yes, I *know* that last sentence makes me sound a bit like a
> conspiracy theorist. Of course the LF does a lot of good work and the
> world is a better place for its existence. But GPL enforcement seems to
> be one place where corporate politics *does* slightly get in the way of
> it doing the "Right Thing" (by my definition, at least).
> Yet that type of enforcement is the *only* reason our projects got
> started in the first place, and it remains a constant concern for
> anyone working on "freeing" up embedded devices of any kind.
> If the LF can help out, that's great. And my concerns don't actually
> *have* to be relevant at all. But I think we should bear it in mind to
> make sure it doesn't become an actual problem.
> So if we become a LF project, for example¹, then I'd like to ensure
> that we retain autonomy regarding any copyright actions, for example —
> I *definitely* wouldn't want to start assigning copyright to LF instead
> of OpenWRT, and them being able to veto any hypothetical enforcement
> action.
> I'd also like to make sure we don't do anything which even *implicitly*
> appears to legitimise the distribution of binary-only modules when they
> are shipped as part of a router firmware and not "as separate works".
There's another reason why I would not want OpenWrt/LEDE under the LF
umbrella: It's a 501(c)6, not a 501(c)3.

If I understand the difference correctly, a 501(c)3 serves the public,
and a 501(c)6 serves the common business interest of its members.

- Felix

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