[time-nuts] TAPR Open HArdware License -- Public Comment Period
cfmd at bredband.net
Mon Feb 12 14:26:00 EST 2007
From: John Ackermann N8UR <jra at febo.com>
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] TAPR Open HArdware License -- Public Comment Period
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2007 13:51:34 -0500
Message-ID: <45D0B736.50703 at febo.com>
> One big difference between hardware and software is that copyright
> licensing, which is what the BSD and other software licenses do, isn't
> very useful since copyright extends only to the expression of an idea,
> and not the idea itself.
> As a result, simply copyrighting a schematic doesn't allow you to
> control someone making a product based on that schematic.
Indeed. Also, I can make a schematic for the same design for which I have the
copyright (if artistically sufficiently different, which does not say anything
about the change in values or electrical difference) but that does not makes me
free to produce the product as such. I do have a greater control over the
spreading of the schematic. This naturally, unless there where some form of
NDA style deals around it. If I reverse engineer something, I can naturally
make a schematic and spread.
> It requires a very different approach, which is what the OHL tries to do (OHL
> includes a mutual patent immunity provision that provides a legal
> underpinning for the rest of the agreement).
As far as I understand the Patents part of the document, the patent part
provide IPR license to any patents covered, but it does not cover the
publication aspect that I mentioned. The point of doing this is naturally to
make those using the material clear that what they have received manifests a
publication and thus can be considered public knowledge and this prohibits them
from applying a patent for it. This would be necessary to make sure that the
licensors and users will be protected from a unscropolous receiver of the
The one thing which needs to be clarified in the Making Products part relates
to the issue of how something covered by this License is to be handled when
being a part of a larger product. Say that someone makes a nice little GPS
board under this license. Say that some manufacteur includes this board (with
maybe some adaptations to fit into the end product), how do you deal with it?
What if the basic schematic and board becomes just a section of a larger design
on a board, where the rest of the design can be considered strictly commercial.
What does the Licence require? Will the rest of the design _need_ to be covered
by the design? This is similar to the linking issues of GPL/LGPL.
More information about the time-nuts