Q. What is the Eclipse Foundation?
Established in 2004, the Eclipse Foundation is a Delaware incorporated independent non-profit corporation with operations in Europe, the United States, and Canada. The Foundation provides a global community of individuals and organizations with a mature, scalable, and business-friendly environment for open source software collaboration and innovation. The Foundation is home to the Eclipse IDE, Jakarta EE, and over 375 and growing list of open source projects, including runtimes, tools, and frameworks for many technology areas, including:
The Eclipse Foundation is supported by over 300 members, including industry leaders who have embraced open source as a key enabler for their business strategies.
Q. What are its main goals?
The Eclipse Foundation exists to advance open source projects and to cultivate communities and business ecosystems around the globe. The Foundation provides four key services to the Eclipse community:
Open source innovation will drive the technological solutions expected to transform the global economy. The Eclipse Foundation strives to enable these solutions by being the leading community for individuals and organizations to collaborate on commercially-friendly open source, for the benefit of industries and developer communities worldwide.
Q. Why is the Eclipse Foundation moving to Europe?
This move will provide global stakeholders more choice for their strategic open source initiatives. We believe that more choice and greater diversity will be of benefit to both the global open source communities, and for the industries that rely upon and collaborate with them. The Eclipse Foundation aspires to be a truly global institution, now with a new European home.
To an extent, this move is merely confirmation of the Foundation’s current reality and global growth trajectory. The Eclipse Foundation is already the largest open source organization in Europe as measured in staff, projects, developers, and members. One hundred seventy members and over nine hundred committers are based in Europe and we have operated our subsidiary Eclipse Foundation Europe GmbH for seven years.
By moving our legal residence from the United States to Europe, our goal is to create a global institution that builds on our existing membership base, active developer community, and strong institutional relationships, and leverages a competitive level playing field to enable the free flow of open software innovation throughout the entire world.
Q. What does the Eclipse Foundation hope to achieve with its move to Europe?
By moving to Europe, we aim to advance open source projects that can transform the global economy, for the benefit of industries and developer communities worldwide. The free flow of software innovation is critical to economic activity in all countries, in all industry sectors. From our new base in Europe, we will accelerate the growth of a global, sustainable ecosystem with a competitive and level playing field that delivers broad benefits to developers and industry.
Q. How does open source contribute to the global economy?
Open source innovation is crucial for the advancement of new technologies across multiple industries, thus a key factor in the continued growth of the global economy. The open source model — how it is developed, shared, and used — is central to technological innovation and digitalization in many industry sectors including transportation, logistics, healthcare, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, energy, manufacturing, and more. These industries rely upon a global supply chain of open source software which fuels their growth, innovation, and digitalization strategies. Enterprises and industrials around the world are fueling the next wave of open source adoption and, in turn, contributing to economic activity and business growth. To sustain open source and thus economies across the world, open source foundations are necessary to provide core capabilities like legal and intellectual property assurance, vendor-neutral governance, trademark stewardship for projects, and more.
Q. What does the Eclipse Foundation offer its members?
Membership in the Eclipse Foundation allows businesses and developers the opportunity to participate in a global, community-driven open ecosystem. Organizations and individuals join the Eclipse Foundation because they want to take an active role in supporting sustainable, commercializable open source technologies. In doing so, they protect their strategic investments by participating in defining priorities for advancing the technologies they care about, while sharing costs and driving industry adoption.
Our members value our unique governance model and processes. In particular, Eclipse Foundation Working Groups provide an open and vendor-neutral governance framework for individuals and organizations to engage in collaborative development to deliver high quality, scalable, and sustainable code that enterprises can use to build commercial products, grow revenues and drive market adoption. Through our Eclipse Development Process we offer members a set of best practices that guide developers during the process of starting and advancing open source projects. Members also benefit from our legal and intellectual property management processes, which enable them to fully comply with antitrust laws, and provide legal assurance that they can successfully embed open source technology into their commercial products.
Q. What does this move mean for members of the Foundation?
As part of the move, we will create a new membership-based, open source, nonprofit foundation legally domiciled in Europe with policies and procedures allowing seamless international collaboration. Specifically, we will be creating a Belgian international non-profit association domiciled in Brussels. In parallel, we will establish a modern open source project development forge based on GitLab and physically hosted in Europe. Both the Belgian non-profit association and the GitLab forge are expected to be in place and operating this summer.
The Eclipse and Eclipse Foundation names, trademarks, and brands will be controlled by the new European entity, as will the core policies such as antitrust and intellectual property. Going forward our membership dues will be stated in Euros.
The Eclipse Foundation, while currently a USA incorporated not-for-profit organization, manages its operations split between Canada and Europe, so there will be minimal to no impact to our operations.
Q. What does this move mean for project committers and contributors?
The short version is: keep doing what you’re doing. In the near-term, it will be “business as usual” for committers and contributors of Eclipse projects. In the medium term, the Foundation has plans to develop a new GitLab-based forge physically hosted in Europe and offering it as a choice for any projects that would like to use it. Both the Belgian non-profit association and the GitLab forge are expected to be in place and operating this summer. We remain committed to communicating with our project committers and contributors before implementing any changes to our operations.
As we expand our presence in Europe, we anticipate new opportunities for our global community members to participate in innovative new open source projects.
Q. What does this move mean for European stakeholders?
European policy makers and industry leaders alike recognize the need to pool their strengths to achieve collectively what they could not individually, and have identified open source as a key mechanism to support this via collaboration, innovation and interoperability.
Open technologies are at the center of digitalization and will play an important role in driving the digital and industrial transformations called for by the European Commission in its recent strategies.
To realize these ambitions and ensure the long term prosperity, Europe requires its own open source foundation with an international reach and reputation. By moving our legal residence to Europe, the Eclipse Foundation seeks contributions from a broad cross-section of European companies and governmental organizations to open source projects.
Q. What does this move mean for global stakeholders?
This move will provide global stakeholders more choice for their strategic open source initiatives. We believe that more choice and greater diversity will be of benefit to the global open source communities, and for the industries that rely upon and collaborate with them. The Eclipse Foundation aspires to be a truly global institution, now with a new European home. As one of the world’s largest open source foundations, the Eclipse Foundation is proud to host a global community of dedicated contributors, committers, and leading companies across industry sectors.
Our goal is to accelerate the growth of an already broad and expanding open ecosystem of developers, organizations, and public sector entities collaborating to advance technologies that are expected to have a major impact on global economies, including the cloud, edge computing, artificial intelligence, connected vehicles, telecommunications, and the Internet of Things.
We expect that this move will foster the growth of a global, sustainable ecosystem with a competitive and level playing field that delivers broad benefits to developers and industry. In this way, we see the move offering increased global collaboration opportunities for organizations from all around the world.
Q. Does this mean you are shutting down Eclipse Foundation-USA?
No, there is no current intention to shut down our USA incorporated not-for-profit organization.
Q. Does this mean you are shutting down Eclipse Foundation Europe GmbH?
No, there is no current intention to shut down our German incorporated for-profit organization.
Q. Does the Eclipse Foundation have a patent policy?
Yes. Under the Eclipse Public License (EPL), each Contributor grants rights to create derivative works and for worldwide, royalty-free software redistribution in accordance with the EPL terms, including a royalty-free license to use Contributor’s patents as embodied in its contributions. Under the Eclipse Foundation Specification Process (EFSP) used for creating open industry specifications such as Jakarta EE, royalty-free patent licenses are granted to all implementations of the specifications published.
You can find more information about Eclipse Foundation’s patent policy here. Further information about our intellectual property policy is also available here. Additional details about the EFSP can be found here.
Q. How can I support this move to Europe?
We need the support and engagement of European developers, community leaders, companies and funding agencies in order to ensure a successful transition. For more information, email email@example.com
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