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Re: Hardware license

> Envelope-to: rw@localhost
> Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2002 12:04:34 -0800 (PST)
> Cc: debian-legal@lists.debian.org
> From: Walter Landry <wlandry@ucsd.edu>
> X-UIDL: 1038859920.21444.elm.eurobell.net
> X-RCPT: shadowrp
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> Rich Walker <rw@shadow.org.uk> wrote:
> > Walter Landry <wlandry@ucsd.edu> writes:
> > 
> > [snip]
> > 
> > > > Umm; the .sch and .pcb files are not really source code; they are more
> > > > like .pdf files. Also, I'm using a GPL rather than BSD license for the
> > > > traditional philosophical reasons: this is an addition to the commons,
> > > > rather than a gift to the public domain.
> > > 
> > > If the .sch and .pcb files are not the preferred form for making
> > > modifications, then what is?  
> > 
> > The .sch file is only the preferred form for making modifications when
> > loaded into an application, which presents a rendering of it. You would
> > *not* edit the .sch file; you would use gschem to work on it. So it's
> > equivalent to, say, a gimp save-file. The .pcb file is similar.
> Well, whatever it is that you use to make modifications is what you
> should distribute.  That is what most people will want anyway.

And, hardware being hardware, you certainly need the .sch, and you
probably need the .pcb and the bill of materials and the PIC firmware
and ... 

Which is what we were planning to put in the package anyway; it's just a
question of getting the license right.

> It sounds like you need additional programs in order to make the final
> device.  If you like, you can add a special exemption that says that
> distributing those programs is not required in order to distribute the
> final device (non-source derived work).  This is analogous to the
> operating system exception already in the GPL.  You would need it
> because most systems don't come with all of the tools needed to make
> hardware.

Okay; I see what you're saying. Since (almost) all the tools necessary
are available in debian/testing or as free-Beer downloads from hardware
vendors I don't see their distribution as being much of an issue, and
I'm trying to use an off-the-shelf license rather than a modified
one... Thanks, though.

cheers, Rich.
rich walker | technical person | Shadow Robot Company | rw@shadow.org.uk
front-of-tshirt space to let     251 Liverpool Road   |
                                 London  N1 1LX       | +UK 20 7700 2487

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