[cc-community] Open Hardware Licence
email at greglondon.com
Sun May 10 11:33:38 EDT 2009
> Date: Sat, 9 May 2009 10:43:13 +0100
> From: Alan Cox <alan at lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
> Subject: Re: [cc-community] Open Hardware Licence
> To: cc-community at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID: <20090509104313.0bb8b368 at lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
> All points you've noticably ignored while inventing
> bizarre paranoid interpretations of my posts as part
> of the Great Conspiracy.
You didn't jump in to answer any question about hardware
licensing. You jumped in because I didn't worship FSF
in total idolation like you do.
FSF gave a "no it won't work" reply to my actual question
and then went on some long rambling tangent about how I
should call it "Free" instead of "Open". I said they
missed the point,
You had to point out that it was *just my opinion* that
FSF missed the point. Apparently, FSF didn't miss any
point in your mind. You then went on your own pointless
libertarian ramble about how FSF has been around for many
years and how we should all bow down before their
pronouncements and sermons and everything they say is
right. Apparently the pope and Richard Stallman are both
infallible. No possibility that either one could ever
miss the point. No, that would just be my opinion.
You don't want to take responsibility for your own little
religion you brought into the discussion, that's fine.
But when I call your idol worship what it is, don't turn
around and tell me I'm invoking paranoid interpretations
of some Great Conspiracy. I'm not buying it.
I said FSF was *wrong* and you had to defend the
infallibility of your idols. That's the only reason
you're in this conversation.
> If you are working in VHDL may I suggest you go and
> ask a qualified IP lawyer
> "The VHDL I produce is copyrightable so
> - Is the layout produced from the VHDL a derivative work of the VHDL ?
> - What is the Silicon Chip Protection Act of 1984 ?
> - What does this mean for someone who produces and ships chips based on a
> variant of my VHDL ?"
Gee, Wally, I've only been dealing with the issues around
an open hardware license for several years, and I'm
so glad to have someone like you tell me what I already know
while telling me I'm having paranoid interpretations and
conspiracy theories. Thanks a bunch.
> Chips are special because some time ago governments
> enacted laws to make the chip layouts have protection
> somewhat analogous to object code.
Again, thank you for telling me what I already know.
Mask layouts have nothing to do with shipping an ASIC.
Nobody ships a mask. People ship silicon. It still
isn't a *copyright derivative distribution*, so it still
isn't protected by something like the GNU-GPL which
requires a copyright derivative to be distributed
before copyleft will kick in.
Chip mask/layout laws don't declare mask/layouts to
be copyright derivatives of the source code.
Vendors have to file the mask with the copyright
office to get mask protection, but it isn't considered
a copyright derivative fo the original source code.
And GNU-GPL needs a copyright derivative to activate
Your point is completely irrelevant to the problem.
The only way an Open Hardware group is going to get
copyleft protection is to (1) change the law to declare
physical implementations of source code to be derivatives
(which would be a horrendously bad idea) so that
they can use GNU-GPL because then the physical chip would
be a derivative of the source code, and shipping the
chip would be shipping a derivative and copyleft will
trigger, OR, (2) use or craft a license like APSL which
doesn't trigger off of a copyright derivative being
distributed to trigger the copyleft protection, which means
either (2a) no private derivatives at all (which will
get all you libertarian, FSF-worshipping, political/religious
nutjobs in a foaming-at-the-mouth lather or (2b) craft
some language that triggers off of any sort of
"external deployment" of the copyrighted source code,
which is what the APSL attempts to do.
But the mask laws don't help Open Hardware in any way.
> Another point to remind people is that the APSL
> isn't of direct use as is even if it provides a
> possible model. It even begins:
> "This License applies to any program or other
> work which Apple Inc. ("Apple") makes publicly available..."
I just love how you dismiss everything I say as
"just my opinion" and tell everyone to talk to an
intellectual property lawyer, and yet, here you
are handing out your own opinion about the legal
interpretation of some license.
That's just rich.
At the moment, probably the biggest hurdle to getting
open hardware folks to adopt APSL is probably inertia.
Sites like opencores.org have already adopted the
GNU-GPL, and changing licenses on any project is always
a major hassle, even if the current license has gaping
holes in it.
Then there's teh question of whether contributers *want*
their hardware designs protected by a strong copyleft
license or not.
Some people don't care about strong copyleft.
To them, GNU-GPL is fine if it doesn't provide strong
copyleft because they don't really care about it.
And then there are folks who picked GNU-GPL because it's
a fairly famous license, but they don't realize that
it doesn't provide the same protection to hardware as
it does software, at which point, someone like me tries
to explain it to them. And someone like you will jump
in and tell me it's "just my opinion" when I say something
you don't want to hear.
The reason I ended up contacting FSF a year or two ago
was because I was helping a hardware group that wanted
strong-copyleft protection of their design. I knew GNU-GPL
wouldn't do it. I wrote FSF to ask if they had a license
that would. At which point they completely missed the
point and rambled on about "Free" instead of "Open".
The closest existing license that might give them the
strong copyleft protection of their hardware design
is the APSL. And nothing has changed in the list of
existing licenses since then.
More information about the cc-community