The problem with systemd/Red Hat conspiracy theories: Red Hat does not own systemd

Getting really tired of the ‘systemd is Red Hat’s plot to…(anything you like here)’ meme. Look, folks. Here is the canonical location for systemd source, the fount of the project. You will note that it is on – not a location owned by Red Hat. Let’s look at a core systemd file. What does the header say?

“This file is part of systemd. Copyright 2010 Lennart Poettering Copyright 2013 Marc-Antoine Perennou”

Do you see “Red Hat” there? No, you do not. Let’s compare with Upstart. Well, it lives here. is a domain owned by Canonical. Here’s a core upstart file. What does the header say?

Copyright © 2010 Canonical Ltd.
Author: Scott James Remnant

Notice the rather large and significant difference? systemd is copyright Lennart Poettering. It is not copyright Red Hat. Upstart is copyright Canonical.

Lennart works for Red Hat – right now. He is free to leave at any point. If he does, he still owns systemd. Red Hat does not. systemd would still live at and Lennart would still control the project. He could go work for SUSE or Canonical or anyone else he liked, and systemd would still be his project. Not Red Hat’s.

Upstart is Canonical’s project. It lives in Canonical’s domain and is copyrighted by the company. I believe, if Scott leaves Canonical, he does not retain control of upstart.

So no. systemd is not Red Hat’s secret plot to…(anything at all) because Red Hat does not own systemd. Lennart does.

5 Responses

  1. Cyberax
    Cyberax November 28, 2013 at 10:43 am | | Reply

    Are you saying that systemd is _Lennart’s_ secret plot to dominate the world?

  2. Frank Ch. Eigler
    Frank Ch. Eigler November 28, 2013 at 11:09 am | | Reply

    Considering the fork-friendly licensing of the respective projects, being a copyright holder doesn’t mean ownership in any sort of exclusive sense.

  3. vorbote
    vorbote November 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm | | Reply

    To further your argument: Scott James Remnant left Canonical to work at Google several years ago. He didn’t take the project with him and if you examine the commit history of the last 3-4 years you’ll find his contributions are minimal if exitent at all.

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