experchange > comp.arch.embedded

Guy Macon (03-04-07, 04:36 AM)
(Sorry about posting this question with a boring
subject line before. This one should get a bit
more attention...) ;)

I am getting ready to release a hardware/software design
to the public. Schematics, board layouts, source code,
binaries -- everything the user might need for making one.
This is 100% non-commercial; I just want to let the world
have a fairly cool little design I made.

I want to pick a copyright/licensing scheme that maximizes
the benefit to the user. Exactly how to do that is an
interesting question that involved conflicting desires.

I would like someone to be able to make a commercial product
based on the design with zero restrictions; no credit given,
no source code, etc. -- but in a way that minimizes the chance
of him screwing over other users of the design through the
legal system.

I would like to minimize the chance that a user would end
up basing his design on a re-branded non-credited version
that doesn't have the latest bugfixes and enhancements,
but I am reluctant to require a link to the project site.
Encouraging but not requiring the link may do the trick.

I would like to encourage the users to submit improvements
but again I don't want to exclude those who want to keep
their added work proprietary for business reasons.

What licensing scheme is best for my users?

Guy Macon
<http://www.guymacon.com/>
Jim Granville (03-04-07, 05:49 AM)
Guy Macon wrote:
[..]
> no source code, etc. -- but in a way that minimizes the chance
> of him screwing over other users of the design through the
> legal system.


If you have published, and that is clearly traceable to their
work, then they would find that hard to justify.
Of course, using the legal sytem to one's benefit has nothing
to do with who is right : it's often more a questions of politics
and deep pockets.

> I would like to minimize the chance that a user would end
> up basing his design on a re-branded non-credited version
> that doesn't have the latest bugfixes and enhancements,
> but I am reluctant to require a link to the project site.
> Encouraging but not requiring the link may do the trick.


If there bugfixes and enhancements, then that would be a natural
thing for any user to want to do. Where it gets trickier, is
if what you release is only partially tested/field trialed,
and requires more work by someone else.
It's the restrictions you attempt to place on that work,
that is more important.

> I would like to encourage the users to submit improvements
> but again I don't want to exclude those who want to keep
> their added work proprietary for business reasons.
> What licensing scheme is best for my users?


Why not just put what you have above, in the license, with a
couple of examples ?

-jg
msg (03-04-07, 05:15 PM)
Jim Granville wrote:

> Guy Macon wrote:
>> (Sorry about posting this question with a boring subject line before.
>> This one should get a bit more attention...) ;)


I am daily flooded with spam in which the subject line is a random
collection of words; got this one today which I offer up as a
potential title for a sci-fi story or perhaps the name of a
band:

"The deuteron in Debbie"

Regards,

Michael
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