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Re: Board production WHOOAAA!

To: riscy@pyramid.com (R3000 Mailing List)
Subject: Re: Board production WHOOAAA!
From: paul@suite.sw.oz.au (Paul Antoine)
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1993 08:24:16 +1000 (EST)
In-reply-to: <199307061419.AA00197@teal.csn.org> from "Dan Fishman" at Jul 6, 93 08:19:04 am
Organization: Softway Pty Ltd
Reply-to: riscy@pyramid.com
Sender: riscy-request@pyramid.com
> How did we suddenly get a commercial exploitation of this voluntary effort
> in the picture!  If we are opening the floor for commercial bidders, I 
> suggest we do just that!!! OPEN THE FLOOR!

But we have... see the circuit design is/was always going to be GPL'd,
and this does not change.  ANYONE can do a PCB design from the cicuit,
to which they would then hold copyright.

Were we to do a PCB layout as a co-operative effort, then that too
would presumably be GPL'd, and anyone could produce boards from that
artwork.  This would STILL not prevent someone from selling machines
based on that board, except that the buyer would then presumably
acquire the right to have access to all design information.

> Don't get me wrong, I am all for commercial exploitation... if those exploited
> earn something for their labors (its called a job)!  Volunteers should have a 
> clear picture of who is gaining from their altruism.

Were we to want to do an SMT design, then the appropriate CAD software
would have to be sought (which in Australia sells for $5K), and us
volunteers would have to bear that cost.  Those of us experienced in
PCB layout (Neil, myself, others?) would then need to spend our
precious 'spare' time doing the layout.

What we really gain from Waldorf is access to their CAD expertise and
tools (i.e.  less time needed to design with cool CAD tools, and
experience in using them), and the increased economies of scale
because they would presumably add significantly to the number we were
going to make.

> If we are entertaining bids for commercial partners who earn profit by
> moving this board and Linux port into commercial areas, then perhaps we
> should set some guidlines for such bids and accept open public (net email)
> bids.  I for example may be interested in such a venture if there is
> potential for profit!  I work as a contract SW jock and have in the past
> collaberated with HW jocks and FAB shops for PCB production.

There's absolutely nothing stopping this occuring, and in fact
companies would be free to use the GPL'd circuit design for their own
purposes WITHOUT talking to us volunteers at all, which is what
Waldorf could have done.  They have, however, chosen to let us know so
that we have the OPTION of buying boards from them.

Anyway, I think the idea has merit, and from what I can tell from
telephone discussions with Neil, Waldorf appear to be genuine in their
desire to give us access to their boards at cost price.


Paul Antoine, Softway Pty Ltd                              Net: paul@sw.oz.au
PO Box 305, Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012, Australia          Tel: +61 2 698 2322
Level 2, 79 Myrtle St, Chippendale, NSW 2008, Australia    Fax: +61 2 699 9174

"Proper management technique must include checking that all staff have
 play-lunch and that there are no unfair swapsies."


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