What happens to the GPL in FPGA & VLSI implementations?
zotz at 100jamz.com
Sat Mar 19 12:03:26 EST 2005
On Saturday 19 March 2005 10:51 am, Rob Myers wrote:
> On 19 Mar 2005, at 14:18, drew Roberts wrote:
> > I think I know all of this, even though I am in many ways ignorant. The
> > question that I was trying to have answered (I hope this is it, even I
> > am
> > getting confused now) is what is the difference between a high level
> > design
> > translated into ROM and one translated into an asic. The postulation
> > that was
> > after all was said and done, both were pieces of non-changeable
> > silicon. Why
> > should one be considered a copyrighted derivative of the original
> > "source"
> > that was used to produce it and one a non-copyrighted functional
> > devicer
> > "cake" baked from the original "source" "the recipe" that was used to
> > produce
> > it?
> I'm still not a lawyer. :-)
> Traditionally there's been a line drawn between copyrightable work and
> functional industrial design. This is another of those things in
> copyright that is just how it's done for historical reasons.
Sure, and yet binaries are copyrightable. Or are at least derivatives of
> If I had
> to try to explain it, I'd say that copyrightable works have to be
> understandably symbolic or encoded in some way. They have to have a
> message, not do something. Information, not functionality.
> Now, I'd argue that the chip is a photographic reproduction of a design
> derived from the original textual description.
> But certainly US law doesn't seem to be on my side, as the functional
> nature of the chip design seems to trump its copyrightability. Which is
> weird. So Greg's cookies look like the more appropriate model. Mea
> On the copyrightability of circuits (but are chips circuits?):
> Possibly someone could page RMS on this, he's tackled it before on
> various lists but I can't find a definitively useful article for
> ASICs/FPGAs anywhere.
> Here he is on "free hardware" in 1999:
> He clarifies that article on this list:
> - Rob.
all the best,
More information about the cc-licenses