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Re: Hardware license

Thomas Uwe Gruettmueller <sloyment@gmx.net> wrote:
> Hi
> On Monday 02 December 2002 21:04, Walter Landry wrote:
> > Rich Walker <rw@shadow.org.uk> wrote:
> > > Terry Hancock <hancock@anansispaceworks.com> writes:
> Hi
> > > Yes; I'm currently looking at that and the OpenIPCore
> > > license.
> > >
> > > http://www.opencores.org/OIPC/OHGPL.shtml.
> > >
> > > Are these both compliant licenses?
> >
> > 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.
> There are some points about it that strike me. Maybe I'm 
> completely wrong about it... 
>  1. This license is only a draft. Is it a good idea to use it
>     already? Future versions could be incompatible with it.
>  2. Is this license GPL compatible? In the future, digital
>     devices will propably use the GPLed F-CPU, so this might be
>     a big problem, then. 

I don't think that it is GPL compatible.

>  3. AFAIK, the copyleft in the GPL is not strong enough to
>     prevent that a chip that has been built from a GPLed design
>     is bought by a non-licensee, and resold, soldered into a
>     non-free circuit. This is like creating a non-free artwork 
>     out of Debian CDs, but far more severe. I am not sure if
>     there is a possible strategy about this at all, and what the
>     OHGPL is doing about this.

It is basically impossible to do what you want.  When you sell a
person a physical thing, they automatically gain certain rights.  They
are free to do modify the thing however they want and then resell it.
This is part of the basic consumer guarantees that you get when you
buy something (at least in 49 states in the US).

>  4. I can't find the phrase that allows distribution of a
>     modified version. 

Oops.  You're right.  You can fix this by changing paragraph 2 from 

  2. You may copy, distribute and/or implement ...


  2. You may copy, modify, distribute and/or implement ...

>  5. Paragraph 3, which forbids selling but allows a fee OTOH,
>     seems to be against the wording of DFSG 1. Is there a
>     license that has been classified DFSG-free which uses a
>     similar wording?

This is fine.  There are other licenses that don't allow selling the
software per se.  The DFSG only requires the ability to sell it as
part of an aggregate software distribution.  It does make it GPL
incompatible, though.

Walter Landry

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