[etherlab-users] Licencing EtherCAT Master

stephane ancelot sancelot at free.fr
Tue Oct 21 14:36:09 CEST 2008

Le Tue, 21 Oct 2008 08:09:54 +0200, Andy Rohr <andy.rohr at mindclue.ch> a  

> Hello Etherlab Users
> I just had some conversation with Carsten Emde (executive of Open Source  
> Automation Development Lab,
> http://www.osadl.org) about the EtherCAT Master stack for Linux that was  
> developed by FMTC (https://www.fmtc.be/). This
> stack was supposed to get published as OpenSource by OSADL, but they  
> cannot now, because of a "licence deadlock":
> Apparently the conditions of Beckhoff for using EtherCAT technology is  
> incompatible with the GPLv2 (under which kernel
> modules have to be licenced). According to Carsten this problem is  
> basically the same for the EtherCAT master of IgH.
> Notably the Licence agreement here  
> http://www.etherlab.org/download/EtherCAT_Master_License_Agreement.pdf  
> is not
> compatible with publishing a Software under the GLPv2. According to the  
> construction of their lawer (osadl) the
> GPL-Licence is not valid then.

I do not know exactly WHERE was the problem with FMTC stack, since most of  
the work (the api lib) is in the userspace and can be released in LGPL in  
this case .

That should be released in the same way as eg the canfestival opensource  
canopen stack (canopen CIA 402 , ... are patented too !).

This is to Beckhoff solving quickly the problem, since opensource is a  
PROFITABLE argument for ethercat

> What do you think about this? Are you aware of that fact? Do we have to  
> expect that IgH cannot publish their EtherCAT
> master anymore?
> Andy

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