[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Hardware license

On Monday 02 December 2002 12:04 pm, Walter Landry wrote:
> Rich Walker <rw@shadow.org.uk> wrote:
> > Terry Hancock <hancock@anansispaceworks.com> writes:
> > > The LART license is probably required reading on this subject ;-)
> > > http://www.lart.tudelft.nl/LICENSE
> This is pretty much the same as the BSD license.  You suggested that
> you wanted to copyleft your work, so it may not work for you.  It is
> certainly DFSG-free.

It is BSD-like, and you might want to modify this clause:

FHL> Modifications to this HARDWARE INFORMATION may be copyrighted by their
FHL> authors and need not follow the licensing terms described here, provided
FHL> that the new terms are clearly indicated on the first page of each file
FHL> where they apply.

to reflect GPL-like terms -- i.e. that modifications of the "HARDWARE 
INFORMATION" must retain the same license, which seems like a simple change 
to the license. I like the distinctions made between modifications to the 
source files, and manufacturing and use. I think anything that places 
restrictions on the product after manufacturing it is sure to kill it, since, 
unlike a binary software, significant investment of resources is required for 
this step -- it seems like you would want to assure the user that they can 
re-coup this cost and profit from it.

On the other hand, you might want to specify, much as the GPL does, that the 
"HARDWARE INFORMATION" be included, or "made available" to anyone who 
receives the "DEVICES".  I figure you could:

1) Require HARDWARE INFORMATION to be included with the DEVICES.

2) Require a free offer on request, or free download location for the 
HARDWARE INFORMATION to be included with the DEVICES.


3) Require merely a reference or URL to where the HARDWARE INFORMATION can be 

I like #2 myself -- easy on the distributors, but makes them bear the costs.

> > Yes; I'm currently looking at that and the OpenIPCore license.
> > http://www.opencores.org/OIPC/OHGPL.shtml. 

I hadn't seen this one before, and I'm very interested in it myself.

> The OpenIPCore license is a more of a copyleft, so you'll probably be
> happier with it.  Looking through the license, it looks mostly ok.
> The only thing that caught my eye is section 5
>   5. Any modification of this hardware design or any derivative work
>      from it should be documented by providing list of changes,
>      reasons behind the changes and the date of change.
> Requiring people to list the _reasons_ for a change is somewhere
> closer to the edge of DFSG-free than I'd like.  It might be fine with
> it, but it'd be better to just change it to
>   5. Any modification of this hardware design or any derivative work
>      from it should be documented by providing a list and the date of
>      the change.

This seems like an incidental change to me, but I'm not really sure how it 
threatens DFSG free-ness. Indeed, reviewing the DFSG again, I can't find any 
points that this challenges.  It seems to me to be a fairly simple 
requirement that can be easily discharged.  From an end-users' point-of-view, 
BTW, I really like the original wording. It's harder to run a diff against a 
drawing, and hardware requires an expensive manufacture and test cycle 
compared to compiling software, so it's very useful to have a note 
identifying where changes occured and why.


Terry Hancock ( hancock at anansispaceworks.com )
Anansi Spaceworks  http://www.anansispaceworks.com

"Python takes the pain out of programming ...
            ... and Zope puts it back again."

Reply to: