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Forum 2005-2010 (read only) => General => News => Topic started by: abib on Jul 10, 2007, 11:27 pm

Title: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: abib on Jul 10, 2007, 11:27 pm
Hello, My Friends.

It's my first time discussing about a open source project/hardware and I'd like understand how it works, it means, if I create a tool, machine, device using Arduino, what do I have to do related with commercial or legal aspects?

I've been working with open source software and tools, but never with a hardware component.

My e-mail address is daniel.abib@itelefonica.com.br

Thanks for any help.  ;)
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: mrmeval on Jul 13, 2007, 02:46 am
The hardware is under a creative commons license but I'm unclear how the IDE is licensed nor how that effects the resulting binaries. I'm also unsure of the boot loaders license.

The Creative Commons license  seems allow selling it as long as you give the buyer the same rights you had to the hardware.

I am unclear if this means you must share source code or only have to give the binary program.

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/

This is a good question.  

Quote
Hello, My Friends.

It's my first time discussing about a open source project/hardware and I'd like understand how it works, it means, if I create a tool, machine, device using Arduino, what do I have to do related with commercial or legal aspects?

I've been working with open source software and tools, but never with a hardware component.

My e-mail address is daniel.abib@itelefonica.com.br

Thanks for any help.  ;)

Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: abib on Jul 13, 2007, 05:07 pm
Hey,

Thanks for your help.

As I told before, it's clear how it works with software, but not with hardware.

But after some research in Arduino hardware, and also in others studyboards, I realize that I don't need use the same structure (project) used by Arduino because it's more complex then my requirements.

Anyway, thanks for your help.  :D

Regards,
Daniel.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: mellis on Jul 13, 2007, 09:31 pm
To provide a bit more information in case anyone is curious: the IDE itself is licensed under the GPL, while the Arduino libraries that your sketch is linked against are licensed under the LGPL.  This means that if you make and distribute changes to the IDE or the libraries, you need to also share the source code to those changes.  You do not, however, have to share the source code of your programs.  
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Jul 13, 2007, 09:51 pm
hi Mellis,

what about the hardware? it is an interesting kind of grey zone as only the designs for Arduino are released under the CC license.
For example, is the current NG board and its production files, as produced by PCB Europe,  proprietary or open? I was always curious about this question. It would be good to clarify it as people are sometimes asking for the files ( as in another recent post on the forum), but there is rarely a response on this.

D

edit: I ask this because i have noticed that the current PCB production files for things like the Arduino NG, the mini, the Arduino BT are never released or available while the boards are shipping. If you check the hardware page, the provided files are always the older, out-of-distribution designs. This may be OK, but it would be good to clarify it, as the Arduino project is generically publicized as an "open-source" project where one is sometimes encouraged to "build your own", however this is impossible under the current design unless you design the PCB yourself, or reverse-engineer what has been already done. So I guess the simple question is why are the production files for currently shipping boards  never made available? And I ask that as a great Arduino supporter, not to be a pain in the ass :)
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: westfw on Aug 08, 2007, 06:51 am
I've also been wondering if the "open source hardware" idea has been modified.  Now "Diecimila" is out (with no cad files), and the NG cad files aren't yet released either.  I mean, clearly not all hardware implementations have to be "open source" for the project as a  whole to be open source, but some clarification of where things stand would be nice.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: mellis on Aug 08, 2007, 05:07 pm
I can't speak for the whole team here, but I can say that we think this is a very important question and one that we put a lot of thought into.  I hope that we'll be able to create and publish an "official" general description of what we mean by open-hardware and how we go about creating it.  Sorry I don't have a better answer for you right now, but it's not an easy question.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: ozel on Aug 15, 2007, 11:45 pm
I'm also wondering about the state of an open hardware approach. The well written arduino paper for the chi 07 conference in march (it's in the news archive) gave me the impression, that arduino is still an open project from any perspective. So I thought updated cad files would follow some day...

What's the real problem with showing the electric board designs? I really can't imagine that anyone would try to make cheaper boards from the files. But I guess that many would like to learn, adopt and shurly feed their own board designs back to all. I know by myself, that board layout is hard work, but there's also the arduino software, which is completley released and probably much more work.
Why differentiate and treat them different?

Oli
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 16, 2007, 03:25 am
I think the new blog (http://www.arduino.cc/blog) will be where we'll hear about the answer to this question, perhaps?
:)

Under the (excellent) Arduino team's direction, Arduino has matured so far and so quickly that it is perhaps time to clarify the finer points: the trademark, the hardware production files etc.

While "rules" are hard to find and even harder to write for open source hardware projects, there is this open-source definition published by OSI, the Open Source Initiative. On their site they call themselves the "stewards of the Open Source Definition (OSD) and the community-recognized body for reviewing and approving licenses as OSD-conformant."

In their definition of Open-source (http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd), they say:
Quote
"Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code. The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria:
1. Free Redistribution. The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. "


Further on, they say this about prohibiting commercial uses of the "open-source" design:
Quote
6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

Arduino's design is indeed open, and it has been from the beginning promoted as an "open-source" project. But it's production files, a key part of the project, are closed, and users are prohibited from personal or commercial use of the currently shipping models by virtue of their lack of access to those files.

I'm not saying it wasn't a good strategy to do it this way. It has really served its purpose, by funneling some resources into the concerted and intense work the team has done on the project.

What I am saying is that now that the project has made over 10,000 boards, is it perhaps time to have a community discussion about what's open and what's not. It would be productive on many levels, and it might clarify the current license murkiness. If the current hardware is to remain closed and attached to one manufacturer (and let me say here he's a terrific manufactuer and also a good person :) ),  then I wonder what kind of model that is...

And finally, if trademarks ( the new Diecimila is sporting a "TM" on the Arduino name) are to be used to protect this manufacturing advantage that has propelled to project to this point, what does this mean to the hundreds of people who have contributed to the project?

I'm not proposing any answers in this post, just lots and lots of questions, in the hopes that we can have a community-based discussion about this, rather than one that is just team-based.

Daniel  

edit: fixed the link to the blog, and added link to the OSI open-source definition; added point 8 of OSI definition.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 16, 2007, 05:12 am
I forgot to add this to my very long post!

The Arudino site says two different things about licenses for the Arduino.

All uses OK
The main page (http://www.arduino.cc) says, and has said for a long time (http://web.archive.org/web/20061201005749/http://www.arduino.cc/), that the design is licensed for however you'd like to use it:
"Note: The reference designs for Arduino are distributed under a Creative Commons license Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5"
The hardware versions  (http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Hardware)page also says the same thing.

Commercial use not OK
Another page, for the serial single-sided board, had this added to it in 2006:
"Note: The reference designs for Arduino are distributed under a Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5"

I point this out as an example of how several different messages about the open-source nature of the project are being given: in this case literally!

It's probably a good idea to fix these mixed messages,  to clarify what the licenses are,  how open they are, and the rationale behind any changes.  

D


Edit: bearing in mind that we're just talking about the designs here,  this is what the Creative Commons web site (http://wiki.creativecommons.org/FAQ) says about revoking one license and substituting another:

Quote
What if I change my mind?

Creative Commons licenses are non-revocable. This means that you cannot stop someone, who has obtained your work under a Creative Commons license, from using the work according to that license. You can stop distributing your work under a Creative Commons license at any time you wish; but this will not withdraw any copies of your work that already exist under a Creative Commons license from circulation, be they verbatim copies, copies included in collective works and/or adaptations of your work. So you need to think carefully when choosing a Creative Commons license to make sure that you are happy for people to be using your work consistent with the terms of the license, even if you later stop distributing your work.


This seems to say that the Arduino reference designs continue to be under the CC 2.5 license ( attribution-share alike), since you can't change to a more restrictive license mid-stream.

So, what's the deal? :) Has the license been changed to a "non-commercial one"? If it has, that change would seem irrelevant by the above conditions of the original license. Everything should be open, and indeed it seems  to be open without restriction, at least on paper, just as the original license says.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: mellis on Aug 16, 2007, 03:55 pm
Hi Daniel and everyone,

There is indeed a need to have a good discussion around these issues, and it was definitely one of the reasons for the creation of the new blog.  I used my presentation slot at Sketching in Hardware to talk about these very questions, and we had a rousing conversation that I'm still trying to digest.

I do want to clarify one point about the licenses, however.  The files were originally released under the CC share-alike, non-commercial license.  After some internal discussion, we came around to the FSF and OSI point-of-view and dropped the non-commercial restriction.  Apparently, we forgot to update the page for the single-sided serial board.  That was an oversight that I've just fixed.  

We would certainly like to have a broader public discussion about what we mean by open-hardware, etc.  We just need to get our act together and find some agreement internally about how we'd like to go about it.  Keep an eye on the blog for updates.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 16, 2007, 06:30 pm
HI David:

it's great that you plan a discussion of these important issues.

I think it's very important  to point out here, especially in light of what you say above, that the production files ( eagle, Gerber etc.) of the Arduino NG, Arduino Mini, Arduino mini USB adapter, Arduino Bletooth, and the Arduino Diecimila  have not been released.

These files are being effectively held back as proprietary information, and not released as open-source, share-alike files as the project advertises itself to be.

Under the Creative Commons license share-alike that has been used to release the Arduino design, holding back files from the rest of the community, as is the current policy,  is really not justifiable for any reason.


Daniel
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Mark Holmes on Aug 17, 2007, 07:39 am
Hi Y'all,

Daniel is welcome to his opinions - that's cool.
However, i don't think i am ready to expect all aspects of the Arduino project to be "Open". My goals and ambitions are adequately served by the current policy of keeping the hardware information private. It won't be terribly hard to design and implement a uC using an ATMega168 and the information from this manufacturer. That's the path one would follow if you were making something in great numbers for yourself.
Using the Arduino is super nice right now because the team at Arduino have taken the extra step of making everything super easy for brainless clods like myself. That's the cache i would like to see maintained into the future.
If the fine folks at Arduino want to use hardware sales as the manner in which to support this board, the main web page and future improvements - then i'm okay with that. On the other hand, buying and using something made in a slipshod manner by some fly-by-night wouldn't be where i want to go.
Maybe it's brand loyalty and i'm being old fashioned. But this is certainly a good tool for what i need right now.

Sincerely,
Mark
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: westfw on Aug 17, 2007, 10:34 am
I don't think that ALL implementations of the hardware have to open in order for the project to have "open source hardware."  You just need a "core" of implementations that are fully published (and you can't let the unpublished version drift too far from the core.)  For instance, I have no problem whatsoever with the fact that third party vendors ("Modern Device Company", "Lady Ada") don't publish full CAD files, but they ARE listed and described as third parties.  I'm not sure that it's important that all the "true" arduino hardware be open, but I WOULD like clarification along the lines of "we're going to open the diecimila but we haven't gotten around to it" OR "diecimila is a commercial project based on the arduino reference design and we aren't planning on ever releasing the CAD files for it."
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: wayoda on Aug 17, 2007, 12:13 pm
Hi folks,
here's just my personal view of the whole thing:
For me hardware is considered to be open source, when there is a publicly available schematic, and the whole thing uses only electronic components that are freely available (i.e. no vendor specific GAL's  or EPROM's needed).

If I had to make a living of the project (or at least want to achieve a return of the expenses I have) I would not give out the production files for the pcbs. Assuming the arduino-hardware is just there,on your desktop, I guess nobody will stop you from coping it. It just takes some effort.

Ok, what about this idea:
I write some cute application and sell it for money. I also open-source the code in a BOOK !??. I would consider this  open source software.
But other people might complain : Why isn't the code available as a download, do expect me to type the whole book into the editor myself ???

Now I'll get a bit OffTopic but here is the actual reason why I made this reply:
Quote

Made In Italy
Note [from massimo]:We stress the fact that all the boards are made in italy because in this globalised world, were getting the lowest possible price for products sometimes translates into poor pay and working conditions for the people who make them, at least you know that who made your board was reasonably paid and worked in a safe environment.

I am very happy that I can buy a product from people who care about these things.

Give out the gerberfiles and you have some chinese company selling PCB's for much lower $'s just because they:
don't give a sh*t about environmental issuses;
throw people into jail if they complain about being intoxicated by the PCB-production-site;
pay their workers 40 cent's an hour and let them slave for 72 hours a week;

No thank you! Keep you production files secret !
But thanks for the schematics and the whole arduino-universe !!

Eberhard Fahle
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: ozel on Aug 17, 2007, 01:06 pm
Well, as I said before, I don't see cheap arduino boards flooding the market, as a result of production files beeing released. The arduino boards aren't expensive, I guess anyone knows that by now. Even the bluetooth board's pricing is fair (is there someone who found a single pice Bluegiga WT11 chip vendor selling not exclusively to business people?, I couldn't...).
I'm quite shure the arduino creators don't make much money out of selling the boards, just because there is not much room for profit. The very few people, trying to get some cheaper boards form china would shurly discover high shipping costs and other problems. At least as long as the demand for arduino boards is below typical consumer electronics distribution volumes... ;-)

Also there are so many Arduino-like boards (I'm speaking of the ones with just an ATmega 8 chip), so no one can really speak about intellectual porperty, that has to be hidden for the sake of making profit.
For me it's more a question on principle.
As a community member, I'd just feel better if the hardware is handled like the very same as the software is.
Concerning the ardunio clone/alternative board builders (the ones created for use with the Arduino IDE), I can - at the moment - see reason for not publishing their complete cad files.
Why should they do it, if the core project has no clear opinion and is enventually not releasing all files?

Regards,
Oli
p.s. of cources I'm also a supporter of local production. I just say realeasing the files would most probably not hurt there.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 17, 2007, 06:30 pm
Hi all

I'm so glad to se a discussion of these important issues, and I hope everyone makes a post! Jump in if you're afraid, we won't bite.

FYI, my question is based in principle: hardware should be open for it to proliferate. I'm not trying to go 'against' the Arduino team in asking this, in fact i talk to them often and they are really terrific people who I have enormous respect for: they have done an amazing thing in having the guts, drive and commitment to bring Arduino to where it is.

Ultimately what scares me about keeping the files closed are two things.

The first  is that using the rhetoric of "open source" to build a huge ( 10,000 + and counting) community, but not letting the hardware be really open. I find this deceptive. It's also against the license it was issued under: the gerber files, etc, are derivatives of the schematics,  and derivatives must be licensed and shared in the same way. This is important to follow on principle: what if the Linux and Ubuntu people had said: "hey, don't sell any copies of that software-- we'll do the selling?" Obviously they wouldn't be where they are.

The second is that under the above, we're ending up supporting a sole manufacturer. This makes part of the project a commercial enterprise. The project would have to watch out for the commercial interests of it's manufacturer, and I think, at this point, the those are conflicting interests. (That said, Gianluca is really a fantastic guy and a terrific manufacturer!  He had a lot of guts to support this project from the inception with risky, expensive production runs.)

Finally, I don't think anyone should worry about low-quality Arduinos being the result of open files. This Arduino copy looks like pretty good quality, don't you think? http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcuartielles/956504607/in/set-72157601110215953/

Re: offshore manufacturing, a very large percentage of the Arudino's components are manufactured in China: almost all electronic components are made there now. So are most of the consumer electronic goods you buy. that Ipod? Made in taiwan from Chinese parts. Conditions are not as described in a previous post (you might check with some of our China-based Arduino contributors and forum readers to confirm this). For one thing, you can't make .006 tolerance PCB's  or Atmega processors in poor conditions.

I do think there has to be a hardware standard, there have to be quality controls, there has to be consistency, as previous posters note.

Trademarks licensing seems like the way to go, what do you guys think of that? Allowing others to make boards, but under license and subject to the standard design that the team has produced. This would promote price competition. ( production costs for an Arduino are around $10 USD by my estimate-- the other $22 is manufacturer and distributor profit) The license could stipulate a maximum price, since accessibility is a key component of the project. The license could stipulate manufacturing and functionality standards. Manufacturers would pay a royalty per board ($3?), and this would go back to the Arduino foundation to pay for future designs and prototypes, the web site, forum etc.

Just a few thoughts, I hope people won't be afraid to chime in here with their point of view. It's an important discussion.

D

edit: fixed my usual typos.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: mellis on Aug 17, 2007, 07:30 pm
There are a lot of more important issues to work out here, but I did want to clarify one small point.  The creators of a work are not bound by the terms under which they license it to others.  That is, just because someone releases something under a share-alike license (e.g. the GPL) does not mean that they are required to release all derivatives that they create under the same license.  MySQL, for example, takes advantage of this by releasing their code under the GPL but also selling commercial licenses to those who wish to keep their derivative works proprietary.  You may not agree with the spirit of this approach, but it is permitted by copyright and the licenses.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 17, 2007, 07:56 pm
David:

even if that is indeed the case, the original license that allows production files to be released by others is still out there. The original license means  there are no restrictions, commercial or otherwise (just  attribution,  share-alike, and non-use of the Arudino trademark and look)  on someone drawing up the Diecimila design themselves and reproducing it...

But you know, what you're saying in your post is that there are indeed two licenses: one for the community and one for the creators. This should be made clear on the site.

I don't think we should be so worried about this manufacturing advantage: Sparkfun are the only people who've tried it, and by their good graces they recognized that the project's success is dependent on trust and collaboration. I'm thinking other poeple should be let into that ring of trust :)

I also have to ask, if, as you say, the Arudino team is "not bound by the terms under which they license to others", then what is it they're actually offering to release as the basis of this open-source project? Just the schematics?


D
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: mellis on Aug 17, 2007, 09:07 pm
It doesn't mean that there's no license for the community and one for the creators.  It means that there's one license for the community and no license for the creators - they don't need, it's their work.

Anyway, that's not the point.  There are many good arguments to be made for opening up more of the project than we already have, and we need to consider them seriously.  I'd just rather we didn't get distracted by a technical argument that's not even valid.  We're better off discussing the overall goals and principles of the project and how it can best achieve those goals while following those principles.

Again, we've had many internal discussions about this issue and I'm hoping that we will continue to reconsider our position.  At the moment, however, two members of the team are on vacation, and in any case, deciding this sort of overall strategy will take some time and effort.  Certainly this is a valuable discussion and I hope everyone continues to weigh in with their opinions, but please be patient with us as we figure out the best way to respond.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: ozel on Aug 18, 2007, 12:39 am
One question, that wonders me allways, when talking about open hardware in general, is:

How could people actually participate in the design process of the hardware?

Think of the versioning systems (code managment systems) that exist for software sources (svn, cvs etc.) and imagine using them to keep track of hardware sources (files).
Anyone allready thought about submitting patches for hardware related stuff?

A simple netlist as textfile could at least represent a schematic. OK, I don't know, how we could generate graphical representations of the netlists, but I think such a system would be very cool and usefull. Maybe the open electric cad project http://www.geda.seul.org/ is a good starting point.
I know that automatically generated PCBs offer a whole univeres of problems in their own... But maybe their is demand and use for a middleway between manually doing the finish - component-by-component layout task - and letting users allow to conrtibute to the boards features and its variants in a rough, sketchy way.

I think if a hardware dependant project is also driven by a community, it would require thoughts in this direction - ways to allow some kind of teamwork, not only on the software, but also on the hardware description files.

Would this be something appreciated by the arduino crew and users?

Oli
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: bwevans on Aug 18, 2007, 04:03 am
I have a curious love it / hate it relationship with opensource projects. Take open office which Ive used for a while now. Its great for a free program and means I dont have to support an evil empire but there are many things that bug the crap out of me about it. It suffers from featuritis.... too many chiefs syndrome.

I like how currently there are multiple arduino clones popping up by well motivated individuals seeking to carve out niche applications using alternate main boards. These are however individually driven projects. To me the best part of the openness is the latitude for all these fringe type projects to flourish.... This includes not only the hardware but software and documentation as well. Whether anything from these alt sources ever become incorporated into the main project ultimately depends on how successful the smaller projects become and how motivated the individual.

I respect the foundations need to rein in a little and retain some control over the core concepts of the main Arduino project while leaving the rest of us free to run away with stuff. Keep the lid on the core Arduino if nothing else because they have to support it.

Compare the Arduino to the Basic Stamp... in its first 10 years the BS had 3 million units in circulation. Thats with extremely centralized design, support and distribution teams. It must be intimidating for the foundation, now with 10k out the gate, to even consider 1 million! Anyway, I really support what Massimo, David, Dave, Tom, et al have done up to know and am not sure I see a compelling reason to change it.

Ill stop rambling,
Brian
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 18, 2007, 10:29 pm
hi

I think the issue is really how  the project is advertised.

While I don't agree with it, if the production files are kept "closed", the Arduino team needs to say this explicitly, rather than hiding the fact by omission.  The Arudino project is over two years old, and yet this discussion is the first time that any mention of the  Arduino's "open hardware/closed PCB" policy has appeared anywhere on the web. The fact that the PCB's aren't open has effectively been kept secret by just not saying it.

I say that because it took me about ten months from the point that I discovered Arduino to find out that the PCB files are actually closed. In those ten months I bought Arduinos, I taught Arduino to dozens of students, I lectured on Arduino and I wrote about Arduino in Make Magazine. After I wrote (http://downloads.oreilly.com/make/arduinoMAKE07.pdf) this: "...since the project is open source, all the plans, code, and instructions are available online free for those who prefer to roll their own" in Make,  no one on the Arduino team contacted me to say "well, actually, that's not completely true..."

Anyway. To further support the project, I talked my university into buying $5000 worth of Arduino BT for my classes, and I spread the word on Arduino, all under the assumption that "Arduino is an open-source hardware project" that could be freely reproduced. So when I found out that the PCB files weren't actually open, I was a bit taken aback.  To be frank, I wouldn't have invested that much energy if I had known that you were going to keep things like PCB files closed.

The fact that production of "Arduino" is closed wasn't, and still isn't, disclosed anywhere on the Arduino site: I had to ask one of the team who told me explicitly that they wouldn't allow others to reproduce "little blue Arduinos", and that the files aren't available to produce PCB's for shipping versions. Other team members subsequently confirmed this: production of the Arduino NG, BT etc is not open.

My guess is that Arduino would not have gotten so many collaborators and supporters if you had told them that the production and the PCB files was a "closed" affair. That just doesn't have the same cachet as  "Arduino is an open-source hardware project".  

Then I began to notice that this is an intentional strategy to prevent others from producing "little blue Arduinos". The PCB files for the shipping version aren't on the site anywhere! The schematics that are released are also usually out of date, or a few versions behind. Schematics for shipping versions are provided as PDF files, not Eagle .sch files that would promote reproduction; there's no production information, no gerbers no eagle files for shipping versions. And perhaps most importantly, until now, there has never been never been a mention or an explanation  of the closed nature of the PCB files. Requests for Eagle  PCB files in the forum go unanswered by the team.

That's not a strategy that's good for open-source projects: it's basically the same as the commercial approach to hardware. I tried again to get clarification on this from some Arduino team members, and this time the message got clearer: we will not allow anyone else to make "little blue Arduinos" that look like ours or use our name. Derivatives are OK, but the hardware franchise for "little blue Arduinos" is exclusively ours, and no one else is permitted to make them. That's an extremely commercial approach: protect your brand identity by controlling the way its trademark and look are used. Yes, derivatives are OK, but we reserve the right to tell you not to use the Arduino name on a hardware product, and don't copy our official version of the "open-source hardware" .  
 
This just doesn't jive with the advertising, or the open-source spirit that the project is founded upon and has made it so successful. The Arduino team needs to make the "open-source" terms of the Arduino project explicit. Perhaps when you have the next team meeting you could talk about clarifying this, both on the web site and in the promotional material that gets distributed. Or maybe you will just release the files, that would be much better, for the Arduino community, and for the progress of open hardware.  :)

D

Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: bwevans on Aug 19, 2007, 06:37 pm
Daniel makes a very strong and compelling argument. I hadnt actually thought about the consequences of making something small and blue and calling it Arduino. I suppose because I had always assumed open meant open and didnt think there would be any sort of recourse. Now I can see that if I were to make a small blue variant of the Arduino with a nifty little name and marketed it as such I could get some heat for that. And then again I may not but I dont really know.

Something else that just occurred to me, and maybe this isnt the place to ask, but I am in the process of publishing my Arduino Programming Notebook on Lulu (at cost, non-profit) with a big emblazoned full color photo of the board on its cover. Did I cross a line with the name or the photo I shouldnt have?

I guess then Im in agreement with Daniel that a more clearly spelled out terms of usage might be in order. The way I currently read the CC Attribution Share Alike copyright notice, I can copy, distribute, and adapt the work (including for commercial means) as long as I attribute the creators and redistribute under a similar license. Under the precepts of Open Source this should extend to freely available hardware source files. That and Im not really sure how I could be held liable for making a green version of the decimilia (source files or not) and getting $30 for it instead of 35.

Unless of course the arduino only has open source software and its hardware is in fact not open source then that would make sense. Likewise it might make sense that the hardware is then published under an Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike license instead. That would keep things pretty clear and not have arbitrary decisions made of who can make what chunk of hardware with the Arduino moniker tacked on.

I was just looking at the monome project and they make it very clear on their site (once you find it): Their software is open source and free to manipulation etc. Their hardware is not. They make available the schematic only as a way to encourage personal hacking of a monome box. They do not publish their hardware layout for many reasons you can read about on their site. It makes sense and is spelled out clearly regardless of whether you like it or not. With that said you are more than capable of 'rolling your own' monome for personal use as long as you dont sell it. Its just more work that way.

Maybe the team should consider what is in fact open source, decide on who can use the Arduino name and for what purposes, evaluate how the information and source files are to be released and then make this explicitly clear under some form of a terms of usage. As it is now, things are too vague and it feels like you guys should be making the board source files available but aren't coming through. It says the "reference design" is CC'd but what is a reference design? Is that not the current format of the board?

Some things to toss around,
B
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: mellis on Aug 19, 2007, 08:32 pm
Definitely, things are not very clear at the moment.  We're hoping to clarify a lot of these issues, but it takes a lot of conversation (both internal and external) about what the principles of the project should be.  So far, things have worked okay by having a vague policy and addressing individual questions when they arose.  Clearly we've not reached the point where it's important to have an official statement of our position, and we hope to have that ready as soon as possible (while still involving many people in the process of figuring out what that position is).
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: ladyada on Aug 21, 2007, 07:11 am
Quote
For instance, I have no problem whatsoever with the fact that third party vendors ("Modern Device Company", "Lady Ada") don't publish full CAD files, but they ARE listed and described as third parties.


Hi, can you please clarify what you mean by "don't publish full CAD files"?
I don't think there's a single project right now I have not released full CAD files under OS license, but if this is true I will correct it. Thanks! :)

 limor

ps. also im not sure where i'm listed and described as a third-party vendor. I am a distributor but that's different, no?
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 22, 2007, 08:27 pm
David:

one question for the team to consider is this: If the Arduino designs are CC attribution share-alike, how is someone supposed to attribute without using the Arduino name? For example if someone makes something called, for example,  "FunkyDuino", can they put "based on the Arduino" on the board?  Maybe the solution is to change the license to share-alike without attribution?

Just another of the many questions for your policy discussion.

D

Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: wayoda on Aug 22, 2007, 09:12 pm
Quote

one question for the team to consider is this: If the Arduino designs are CC attribution share-alike, how is someone supposed to attribute without using the Arduino name? For example if someone makes something called, for example,  "FunkyDuino", can they put "based on the Arduino" on the board?  Maybe the solution is to change the license to share-alike without attribution?


This is NOT an answer from the team just another users view:

After the Commodore 64 the next computer I bought was advertised as a "NoName PC-Compatible"...
...I bought an LCD yesterday that is HD47800 compatible....
I guess you will not run into trouble with the "FunkyDuino (Arduino compatible)" but with "Barduino" or "Charduino" you might get to close.

Eberhard

P.S: FunkyDuino ?? does that one have a soundsystem on board? I'll order one right now :-)

Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 22, 2007, 09:21 pm
thanks eberhard

I just meant that if the name is trademarked, then using the word "Arduino" anywhere on the board is protected use that would have to be licensed, even if it's only to say "Arduino compatible" . Form my slim understanding of trademark law, it's ok to put something like "Arduino compatible in the product description, but you need permission first, and it can't usually be within the main title or name of your product. This makes it potentially very hard to attribute in accordance with the CC license. E.g. "Barebones Arduino", "Arduino Prootshield" etc would require trademark licenses/permission. It's an interesting can of worms, isn't it?

D

Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: mellis on Aug 22, 2007, 09:42 pm
It doesn't seem that complicated to me.  The plans for your new board will need to include a link back to the Arduino files that they're based on, as required by the CC license.  That doesn't mean you can call the board itself an Arduino, as that's a separate (trademark) issue.  

Plus, the license we're using also contains the following clause, just in case we needed it (though I don't think we do):

"If You create a Collective Work, upon notice from any Licensor You must, to the extent practicable, remove from the Collective Work any credit as required by clause 4(c), as requested. If You create a Derivative Work, upon notice from any Licensor You must, to the extent practicable, remove from the Derivative Work any credit as required by clause 4(c), as requested."
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 22, 2007, 09:49 pm
Thanks Mellis, I hadn't thought of that.

Maybe the real issue to clarify is how you'll allow the Arduino trademark to be used on physical designs?  

The CC license doesn't cover the boards, only the designs in file/printed page form.

D
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: ladyada on Aug 22, 2007, 10:10 pm
Quote

Plus, the license we're using also contains the following clause, just in case we needed it (though I don't think we do):

"If You create a Collective Work, upon notice from any Licensor You must, to the extent practicable, remove from the Collective Work any credit as required by clause 4(c), as requested. If You create a Derivative Work, upon notice from any Licensor You must, to the extent practicable, remove from the Derivative Work any credit as required by clause 4(c), as requested."


i dont understand what this means, or perhaps i do in which case i dont really understand what sort of situation this would used in.

can you give an example?
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: mellis on Aug 22, 2007, 10:16 pm
It basically means you can explicitly request that someone not credit you in a derivative work, even though the license ordinarily requires it.  I'm not really sure why you'd use it either - maybe if someone created a derivative of your work that you hated so much that you didn't want anyone knowing it was based on something you did.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 22, 2007, 10:25 pm
Switching to my artist hat, that clause is basically a moral rights clause. In most countries you get it by default, even if you have licensed the reproduction right to someone else. It prevents unsavoury uses of whatever your copyright is.... say someone wants to make an Arduino cruise-missile controller, and you're a pacifist, just as an example.

OOPS. Now we're gonna have the NSA tapping your phone lines, talking to a foreigner about cruise missiles. Sorry  

D
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: ladyada on Aug 22, 2007, 10:31 pm
Quote
It basically means you can explicitly request that someone not credit you in a derivative work, even though the license ordinarily requires it.  I'm not really sure why you'd use it either - maybe if someone created a derivative of your work that you hated so much that you didn't want anyone knowing it was based on something you did.


Warning: I'm going to rant a little bit here

Is this something that the Arduino project really needs? I mean can you really force someone to not give attribution? And does this retro-actively modify the share-alike clause of CC? That is, if someone makes a derivative of evil-arduino do they have not give credit? or do they have to credit both or what?

If you ask me (which you didnt :) ) this license-hacking seems like its unnecessary and, well, somewhat creepy. I mean, who cares if someone makes a shitty derivative?  

Why do I feel strongly this? Well because I've seen what can happen when people try to destroy derivatives: Historically, some people on the NetBSD team hate(d) OpenBSD and the OpenBSD project leader  and they would have loved to say "you can't call your project a BSD because we dont like your project, or you!" But (luckily) they couldn't.
Nobody really confuses the two projects, and some people still don't like OpenBSD but you can't really deny that is a BSD derivative, and a very good one that is quite popular with some. The flame war bogged down both groups and was a waste of f'ing time.

(I'm somewhat simplifying the long and tedious netbsd/openbsd flame war here but i think that's probably for the best ;) )

I urge you to reconsider this clause, I see no positive outcomes and only bad ones. However, I will relent if you have a really good example of when this is essential to the survival of the Arduino project.

 limor
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: mellis on Aug 22, 2007, 10:33 pm
Sorry, I wasn't clear.

That's actually part of the Creative Commons licenses and not something I necessarily think needs to or should be there, but that's what the license says, and that same clause is (I believe) in the licenses you're using for your works as well.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: ladyada on Aug 22, 2007, 10:35 pm
Quote
Sorry, I wasn't clear.

That's actually part of the Creative Commons licenses and not something I necessarily think needs to or should be there, but that's what the license says, and that same clause is (I believe) in the licenses you're using for your works as well.


??? jeez that's kinda retarded. well if its in the Default License then there's not reason to take it out. Sorry for the rant, I take it back! I thought this was an addition to the as-yet-unpublished Arduino License.

I read CC many years ago but didn't remember it. Mea culpa :)

 limor

ps. I still think its still a silly clause :)
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 22, 2007, 10:48 pm
you know,

I'm starting to think that the files and the Arduino name should  BOTH be open to anyone who wants to use them :)

Then the team can promote, trademark and enforce a franchise on  Diecimila, BT, NG, etc.

That just seems too darn simple. That way it's entirely equitable to all involved, as everyone has access to the Arduino name and designs to use as they see fit. Some will produce junk, some will produce fine quality things like Diecimila.

I think it's a mistake to think that the team really "owns" the Arduino name anyway... in theory, yes... but

a) it would cost 5 to 10K dollars per instance to prosecute offenders, and
b) the name gained its current value with the contribution of hundred of other people.

We're not talking Linux here :)

Daniel
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: ladyada on Aug 22, 2007, 10:56 pm
Quote
you know,

I'm starting to think that the files and the Arduino name should  BOTH be open to anyone who wants to use them :)


Well, I think it's probably better that they hold on to the name. It's a unique brand and also keeps confusion down. Someone could, otherwise, buy a thing with the word Arduino on it and be confused as to why its not working the way they expect or is incompatible with the software and then blame Arduino when really its that the clone is not compatible.

Just like generic drugs are the same as brand name, they can say "compare ingredients with Advil!" but they cant say "Advil"
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 22, 2007, 11:11 pm
Sure, but don't you find this less confusing:

"Arduino" refers to so many things:
- open software
- open hardware designs
- many many tutorials and documents of unknown copyright,
- a community
- a way of learning and doing electronics.  


Whereas the anmes of the boards are crystal-clear:
Diecimila = Arduino team produced board
Barebones = Paul Badger's board
Arduino Runtime= NKC electronics' board
Carduino= your board

People know the difference.

The "confusion" claim, i.e. that people will mix up who makes what product, doesn't pan out.  Trademarking Arduino would be more about protecting the franchise that extends beyond the boards: community, hardware design control, etc.  I'm saying that maybe that should be totally open, name and all. We can still have high-quality Diecimila boards. It's not like anyone is goign to run out and make copies so that they can shave that extra $4 off the profit margin.... it's not worth their while.  

Anyway it has the same ring as Suse Linux, RedHat Linux, etc, so we need to be at least able to freely use the Arduino name under license, that much is clear.
D
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 22, 2007, 11:14 pm
Quote
Someone could, otherwise, buy a thing with the word Arduino on it and be confused as to why its not working the way they expect or is incompatible with the software and then blame Arduino when really its that the clone is not compatible.



just to argue that point on a purely objective level :) , I think it's FUD, as there aren't any non-compatible Arduino products that I know of. Anyone who buys a Barebones Arduino (which uses the name but doesn't match the specs of the original) knows they are getting a slimmed-down version of the original, and that the product has been engineered to be compatible with Arudino software. Buyers  don't turn around and blame anyone... In fact it seems like Paul's use of the Arduino name and his derivative design works just fine in practice! No collapse of the Arduino empire in sight!

By contrast, the VAST majority of complaints/ compatibility questions in the forum are about the team-produced, officially sanctioned Arduino NG, Arduino BT or Diecimila. Yes they have sold a lot more of those, but still, You would be hard pressed ot find complaint threads about the Barebones.

You could actually make a pretty reasonable argument that Paul should be worried about the Arduino problems turning people off of the Barebones! ;D  OK I meant that just in principle.


D
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: mellis on Aug 22, 2007, 11:28 pm
I think we're definitely going to hold on to the name Arduino in the same way as most every other open-source project (e.g. Linux, Debian, Ubuntu, Firefox).  While Arduino has become a great community and has benefited from the contribution of many people, there's still a need to preserve the identity and that needs to be controlled in some way.  Otherwise, people who aren't part of the community, or who don't agree with the goals of the project, or who just want to sell out the community for a quick buck would have the right to use it as well.  Yes, we want to do what's best for the community, but that doesn't mean letting anyone do anything they want.  
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 22, 2007, 11:31 pm
Quote
Otherwise, people ... who just want to sell out the community for a quick buck would have the right to use it as well.  



that's FUD too :)
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: ladyada on Aug 22, 2007, 11:31 pm
Well, Linux *is* trademarked
http://www.linuxmark.org/
"You need to apply for a sublicense if you are using the term "Linux" as part of your own trademark or brand identifier for Linux-based software goods or services. It doesn't matter if your trademark is unregistered, or if you do not plan to make any money using the mark."

and at http://www.ubuntu.com/
"Ubuntu is a community developed, *linux-based* operating system" (emph mine)
Ubuntu doesn't call itself "Ubuntu Linux" and their registered trademark is for "Ubuntu" only.

If you read the faq linuxmark are pretty chill with the usage, as long as you aren't putting it on software.

I think the Arduino team is pretty chill, they'll probably sublicense the name to anybody who asks nicely :)


 limor
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 23, 2007, 12:06 am
yes but... the reality is that the Arduino foundation could never afford what it costs to oversee world wide trademark compliance. In addition to that, they would have to immediately start sending "Cease and desist" letters to those who have used the trademark on their products, as trademarks have to be defended consistently in order to be valid. Those cost $500 a pop, and you would just pray that the person desists, because if they don't, it'll cost you thousand more. Any smart infringer's lawyer will just bog things down, so that the trademark enforcer can no longer afford to pay the mounting legal costs of enforcement. This is the sad but true fact of it.  If your trademark lawyer spends four hours on defending your trademark one week, the bill will be in excess of $1000.  If it takes forty hours... well then you're screwed. and if it goes to court, you're really, really screwed.  

Take it form Linus Torvalds himself (http://news.com.com/Torvalds+weighs+in+on+Linux+trademark+row/2100-7344_3-5841222.html), who said the following while explaining the licensing fees charged by the Linux Mark Institute:

"Linux founder Linus Torvalds is defending protection of the Linux trademark and insists that sublicensing is a loss-making operation.
Last month, a lawyer acting on behalf of Torvalds, wrote to 90 companies in Australia and asked them to relinquish any legal claim to the name Linux and to purchase a license from the Linux Mark Institute, a nonprofit organization that is the licensee for the Linux trademark.

... Companies will need to pay between $200 and $5,000 to sublicense the Linux trademark, which led some in the open-source community to accuse Torvalds of cashing in on the success of Linux...

"Not only do I not get a cent of the trademark money, but even (the Linux Mark Institute, which actually administers the trademark) has so far historically always lost money on it," Torvalds said in a posting to the Linux Kernel Mailing List. "

If it's not cost-effective for Linux to administer their trademark, it sure isn't going to be for Arduino.    It is a sad fact of international copyright law that trademark and copyright enforcement is for people with money. You do not ofter (ever?) see cases of ordinary people going to court over their trademarks or copyright: it is always a corporation, a publisher or someone with money to burn.
 
Seen in this light the Arduino trademark is unenforceable. I can't imagine that you have 20K sitting around per year for enforcing it. I also can't imagine that you'd want to spend any time doing that! It's counter to what the project is about.  So why not just let it be free :)

Daniel
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: ladyada on Aug 23, 2007, 12:18 am
Quote

And if you can't enforce your trademark, you don't have one, so why not just let it be free :)


Linus thinks its a good idea or he would have released the trademark. Its his trademark so he can do what he wants.
Just like Arduino team owns the copyrights to all the code and PCB layouts which they have licensed under CC.
Whether not they will use a lawyer to enforce those legal rights is, well, none of our business.

Anyways, Arduino team also doesn't have the fiscal capability to take someone to court if they break the CC license, either. Does that mean they should just release it all into the public domain and "get rid" of that responsibility?

  limor
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 23, 2007, 12:21 am
the simple legal fact is that if you can't enforce it through demand letters and legal action etc, you give up your legal claim to the "mark" by the fact of non-enforcement.

You can't keep the mark and not enforce it: trademark law doesn't work that way.

The Arduino foundation can't afford to enforce it. So, at the risk of sounding like a parrot, why not....

D
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: ladyada on Aug 23, 2007, 12:33 am
Quote
the simple legal fact is that if you can't enforce it through demand letters and legal action etc, you give up your legal claim to the "mark" by the fact of non-enforcement.

You can't keep the mark and not enforce it: trademark law doesn't work that way.


They can enforce it by sending boilerplate C&D emails, which cost nothing. Maybe they'll represent themselves in court. Maybe the EFF will volunteer, or they have lawyer friends. Maybe they'll blow all the money they earned selling arduinos on some hotshot lawyer.

Most people who trademark aren't planning to go to court. That doesn't mean they shouldn't register the trademark: most violators stop when they get a C&D.

According to the interwebs, Linus -didnt- register the word originally and then regretted it when it was snapped up by some jackass.  
I'd rather Arduino team trademarks the word than some other person. :)

 limor

ps. I think I've said everything worth saying, and more. Since you don't agree, it's probably not worth wasting your time on this, so I wont post about it anymore.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 23, 2007, 12:40 am
yes no doubt some very limited enforcement action is possible, although I seriously doubt the foundation's resources would go much further than a demand letter. If it goes to court, that takes  a year to resolve or more, and tens of thousands of dollars or volunteer time. For <each> jurisdiction. Do it again for once for the US, ok, but again for China, and again for Singapore, and again for France? And again in the USA if someone else tries it? I guess by that point you have the emails of your volunteer lawyers all set up. Also, for places like China, you need to actually go through the registration process in order to be able to prosecute someone for infringement, so add a few thousand per country like that, or a few dozen hours of volunteer time, and maybe a few thousand for the Chinese-English or Italian translation.  
Volunteer lawyers are also not known for their expertise in interantional trademark litigation! :)

It's a full time job enforcing a trademark internationally.

But really, is that what the whole Arduino thing is about?

If you compare trademark enforcement of the Arduino name with just letting poeple use it, the latter is a lot more consistent with the philosophy of open-source hardware development.  

D
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: westfw on Aug 23, 2007, 08:20 am
Quote

Hi, can you please clarify what you mean by "don't publish full CAD files"?

I was talking about the alternate layouts for "bare bones" functionality that you've been showing the hardware forums.  In retrospect, this wasn't fair at all since they are still in the pre-product stage, and I apologize.

BillW
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: wayoda on Aug 23, 2007, 09:56 am
About that trademark issue...
If you can't enforce the trademark better give up on it anyway?
Sounds like a strange idea to me. Even if legal steps are not affordable, I would never give away the chance to
at least point a finger at "EvilArduino" on the net, in the press. whatever...  

What do I expect as a consumer from the "Arduino" trademark?
I bought 3 of them until now, they all worked fine. I don't have any need for any more of the boards right now, but
when I need a few more of them I expect them to be of the same quality next year.
Ok, now it's next year... I order 10 boards from my local distributor (not PCB-Europe) but he switched to "ElCheapoArduino" in the meantime. Bad news is they do not work as expected. I complain with my distributor but he says :
"you clicked on : buy arduino now, and we delivered arduino! Well, it's not trademarked it is an arduino"
I would argue: If I order an arduino somewhere, I want that same good quality board I have now.

Imagine I release a new Beatles CD and put some fake pictures of John,Paul,George and Ringo (I know there are only two of them left) on the cover. But when you start up the player your only hear me strumming away on the guitar and singing along with a voice that makes my dog change into another room!
I guess you would prefer that I had to call my CD "Eberhard Fahle sings his favourite Beatles tunes". Then you would hear this strange Free Jazz version of "Let it be Arduino" on the college radio and think : Not bad, actually even better than the original, I'll buy it.

Name on derative work
I went through this when I released my first open source software. I was tempted to use a license that actally forbids to mention the original source or promote the deriative work with my name. I skipped that since I wanted a licence that was really easy to understand and since nobody knows me. There are no credits to be lost for Eberhard Fahle.
But the concern is still there: somebody probably  puts out a bad piece of software and it has your name on it. Still make me feel unconfortable.
For the Arduino there is a lot of credibility to loose. If I had to decide for this project I would vote for putting the non-advertising clause into effect.

OT
The thread has reached page 4, probably someone should mention again that ..
1. Open source hardware is a fairly new topic. Try searching the net, read the wikipedia article
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_hardware -> "Look ma, it's that Arduino again!"
There are no standards here, The Arduino Team might be setting one....
2. We all love the arduino and appreciate the work being done
3. Find it very pleasing that mellis is still with the discussion!
4. Don't expect a quick answer to the whole thing, don't we?

Eberhard






Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 23, 2007, 10:30 am
hey

regarding the "poeple will make bad quality clones" argument that gets tossed around: we're not talking about a swiss watch or a particle accelerator here.

The Aruduino is about 10$ worth of very simple components: a few LED's two IC's, a regulator, five or six capacitors, a half-dozen resistors and a bunch of connectors.  Heck, half of us who post regularly in the forum have built our own reliable "homebrewed" versions, so why on earth would there be cause to think that a manufacturer  could not put a reliable one of these together? It's a very simple job for any manufacturer with a basic level of experience.  There is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary in the design. I thought, after all, that its simplicity was part of its "design for proliferation". And if the fear is Chinese/Taiwanese/Korean manufacturers doing shoddy work, well that would actually mean quality,  because they know what they're doing, as they're already manufacturing and assembling more than half of the electronic devices made in the world. An educated guess would say that most of the Arduino's electronic components could also be traced to China. It's where most electronic parts get made these days.

Yeah, so I really don't get the quality issue, can someone explain it to me, perhaps with a concrete example?

D

PS Eberhard: you shouldn't expect much as consumer, as it's not a consumer product. It's an open-source hardware project.  Maybe that's the essence of the problem: people are confusing it for a product, with brand name and all.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: John_Ryan on Aug 23, 2007, 02:02 pm
Except for a handful of shoddy LED's, everything else I've imported from China has been of impeccable quality. Recently I purchased 200 1.6mH 4x4" coils made to specification, at a cost of 40 cents each, the workmanship was incredible. I also imported 2 brand new 125khz RFID readers, with enclosures, for $10 each - they do the same job as the phidget readers, and how much are they? Same with ethernet cams, 50 bucks each and functionally flawless.

So I don't think there's a legitimate argument regarding the quality of electronics components originating in China. Once upon a long time ago, there were many examples of bad workmanship originating in China, but, things there have changed, a lot. So much so, I'd be prepared to wager that the quality of a copy, given the right instructions, would be difficult spotting any considerable differences.

I struggle though, to understand why someone would want to manufacture their own. When you factor in shipping, the time it takes to organize the purchase, possible communications issues resulting in unforeseen misunderstandings, the anticipated savings might not completely transpire.

I've wondered for a while, why there aren't more 3rd party add-on boards specifically designed for the Arduino. Like, relay boards, LED multiplexers, input multiplexers, so that a few of the solutions people seek in the Arduino, are available off-the-shelf, packaged with software and examples.

I mean, how many people buy an Arduino, then try for months trying to get a LED to blink? Perhaps not that extreme, but if you read through the forum, I've noticed quite a number of people looking for ways to control large numbers of LED's - surely that's screaming out for an off-the-shelf solution, so why not get that made in China?

Legally, I also think the good people here would be seriously challenged enforcing the trademark. Recently, an acquaintance and I were discussing a (not very exciting) new technology, he suggested that, unless we had piles of millions of dollars, the best way to protect the technology was to ensure it was available at the lowest possible price and mass distributed before anyone had the chance to think about copying it. He suggested, that was a means of making the millions needed, to then afford to protect the technology. Otherwise, a company with deeper pockets, would simply beat you to death until your funds had run out.

And the other question remains, is the Trademark legally enforceable? It could take 5 years in a court to get a ruling on just that one point. And by then, how many millions has someone else made?

Anyway, if it's a case of opportunities to profit, I think there's plenty of others besides building copies. But, I would be interested in understanding why it is an issue, over the savings of a few dollars?

And as for making copies, I suggest anyone with that kind of determination better have their sights set on making millions in order to defend against any kind litigation - who really knows how deep the pockets are of those defending the trademark.



 
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: bwevans on Aug 23, 2007, 04:53 pm
Why would someone make an arduino clone? Maybe its sick but because its fun?! I cant speak for limor or the others here who have done so but I genuinely enjoy the attempt to 'build a better mousetrap'. Often my 'clones' really are just for specific pieces Im working on. And Im cool with the idea that I can pretty much do as I please for personal use. But with the current state of ambiguity in the licensing, I really dont know what *could* happen if I sold a work that used an arduino setup that I made, since I would then be making commercial gain in a sense. Now yeah its not like Im going to get rich making my little arduino ripoffs but all the same these are the types of issues that need to be addressed as the Arduino grows.

I also agree that chinese manufacturing, as long as youre not Hasbro, is superb. But I guarantee with a market share of 10k I doubt any manufacturer is looking to cash in. The arduino serves a niche segment of a niche market. Even if we, the community, are capable of converting half the bs2 users thats still not a terribly huge market all things considered. My point is there is no reason a chinese manuf, or someone acting on their behalf, would have for mass producing the Arduino. Besides the hardware has been too liquid with an update to the board way to often for hugely mass produced run.

Finally, I agree the whole trademark thing really means you have to have the money to enforce it. CC licenses really imply a certain amount of honesty amongst those making derivative works. Like hell I would really be able to enforce my CC work. Beyond that to have certain things TM means the owner is going to enforce it otherwise it is really worth *nothing*. If you cant enforce it why bother with TM and just leave it open.... take the high road so to speak. Now if the Arduino foundation plans on enforcement, well thats another thing...

BTW, I think this is a good healthy debate... a sign that shows how involved this community is and ultimately how much we care about this. I hope it also illustrates some of the varied concerns that we as users have.

Brian
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: wayoda on Aug 23, 2007, 05:11 pm
Quote

So I don't think there's a legitimate argument regarding the quality of electronics components originating in China...

Did I miss something?
When I mentioned that I support the idea of local production (for me thats europe) of the arduino, I was not questioning the quality of the components, but was concerned about the working conditions.
I far as I know PCB are still made with some agressive chemicals put on copper, which will end up as toxic waste to be handled with gloves at least. The Yangtse-river is already dead and if you want to spoil your day go to http://www.amnesty.org and search for "china working conditions".
I don't want to discuss this any further as it is irrelevant to the topic.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Any american or european would be perfectly able to to produce an Arduino-board which is not working!
I could do it, trust me ;-)
I simply don't understand why these people should be allowed to ride the ArdunioWave by using the trademark?
If you think the board needs some competion in any way, just go ahead and make one. This is not as Daniel said the flux capacitor. Call the whole thing TPFKAA (TheProjectFormerlyKnownAsArduino) and good luck.

I still don't know what the world is missing when the Arduino team is not putting out the production files.
Anybody thought about requesting open sourcing the financial issues of the project?
Where are the calcualtions and the manufacturer contact lists for the components on the board, I thought this was open source???
(Got carried away here I think...)

Quote

Eberhard: you shouldn't expect much as consumer, as it's not a consumer product. It's an open-source hardware project.  Maybe that's the essence of the problem: people are confusing it for a product, with brand name and all.

No, I am a customer when it comes to the Arduino hardware. I paid money for the board, so expect it to be working otherwise, I will return it.
The (open source minded) manufacturer of the board  has also put in his investment and needs to sell the board to me.
This is clearly a producer/customer relationship.
It is totally different from open source software I use. When some part of the software is not up to my requirements I can (hopefully) fix that myself with an editor and a compiler.
This would not be the case if a trace on a Arduino PCB somehow ended up in the wrong place and stopped the whole thing from working.

Eberhard
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 23, 2007, 05:42 pm
HI folks:

I am sure people will be ecstatic to hear this, but I am going to try and keep my mouth shut and not post to this for a while, to let people get their two cents worth in!

I can hear the collective sigh of relief... I hope people will post and say what they're thinking. These issues need a public discussion: open hardware, as Eberhard says, is a very new thing and a free and open discussion is an important thing.

D


Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: ozel on Aug 23, 2007, 06:28 pm
Well, I would like to see and expect a difference in buying parts needed for an open source hardware project and buying commercial customs.
The resulting problem of keeping productions files closed is, that there's only one single source. Which is completly contrary to an open advertisement. Daniel has an interesting point with his estimate, that the production cost is actuallly more like 10$ for Arduino boards. I recently stumbled upon this: http://www.pollin.de/shop/shop.php?cf=detail.php&pg=NQ==&a=MTY5OTgxOTk=.
Ok, it doens't come with an Atmega8 (because you can choose between several ATmegas and ATtinys) and there's no FTDI USB serial converter. BUT, please note, the PCB uses more than twice the area of an an Ardunio Board, has many many more parts on it and is still only 15 Euro. And like it's with nearly any board, whicht features an Atmega8 or 168, you could use it as a replacement for an original arduino board - if, but only if, you are experienced. (I'm speaking in general of ATmega boards from manufacturers that probably even don't know about the existance of the ardunio project, e.g. like pollin.. :-) )

Why should only people with experience in electronics have the opportunity to try out Arduino at lower costs, with lower priced boards? Esp. when its a known fact, that those experienced poeple are not the majority of ardunio users.

Really, I don't want to offend any developer now, but look at what's the ardunio board when it comes down to the schematic.
It's not more than a combination of the Atmel AVR Atmeg8 reference design together with the FTDI232R Serial-USB chip reference design. Even the serial bootloader idea isn't original.
It's the software (the IDE and the libs) that make ardunio great and usefull!

Why should the constantly growing arduino community still rely on a very commercial distribution of the main component?

Oli
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: bwevans on Aug 24, 2007, 02:23 am
Quote
I paid money for the board, so expect it to be working otherwise, I will return it.


Eberhard...

This is all well and good but if you think about the NG rev C that is one screwed up board. By your reckoning, hundreds of us should have promptly returned this product. Look, Im very understanding of this being an open source project. As a result I dont gritch too loudly when I have to unplug a resistor from pin0 to program and then have to plug it back in when its ready to run again. Or that I dont have an LED on pin13. Or that if I want my students to have some hardcopy documentation that flows and is easy to read then I have to write it. Or that in order to get servos to work I have to write my own functions because I cant get the existing one to work. Whatever. I understand that this is not a full time gig for those few who are primarily responsible for the production of my new platform of choice. I get it, I understand, and Ill be patient.

To draw comparisons, which I am apt to do, I come most recently from using the PICAXE platform. They have a license from Microchip to bootstrap certain PICs to which they tack on a $1 to every chip forming the bulk of their business. Their bootstrap and IDE is completely proprietary and closed and their trademark very rigidly defined. Because of their business model, you are damn right if something doesnt work 100% as advertised I am on it. But you know, they have some amazing documentation on their entire line of chips and dedicated tech support. This is all paid for by that closed hardware design.

Anyway, I will gladly gloss over the occasional buggy software or certain hardware glitches when they arise. I really believe in this platform and its cross platform IDE and the romantic notion of an open sourced project. I just think a little clarity with what is open and what is closed, what are the proper terms of usage for the hardware, software, and trademark would be nice. I also think if this is to be an open project then open it up and put some faith in the merits of an open hardware model.

Brian
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: John_Ryan on Aug 24, 2007, 04:32 am
Quote
But with the current state of ambiguity in the licensing, I really dont know what *could* happen if I sold a work that used an arduino setup that I made, since I would then be making commercial gain in a sense.


I see, so perhaps part of the issue is, what can be called an Arduino, when it's not an Arduino anymore?

Well I think that's fair enough.

I don't think making copies of the Arduino is "sick" fun, put like that, it's perfectly harmless. OS projects are meant to be fun, right?


Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 24, 2007, 04:53 am
OK I know I said I would shut up for a bit, but this is very interesting. I somehow missed this on the Linux Mark Institute's site (http://www.linuxmark.org/). they now issue worldwide licenses to basically anyone who wants one, for free, as in beer and software. To quote their home page:

Quote

"LMI has restructured its sublicensing program. Our new sublicense agreement is:

   * Free -- approved sublicense holders pay no fees
   * Perpetual -- sublicense terminates only in breach of the agreement or when your organization ceases to use its mark
   * Worldwide -- one sublicense covers your use of the mark anywhere in the world "


Seems pretty darned reasonable! You can start a global "Linux whatever" business.. for  ;Dfree ;D!
There are not enough smiley features in this forum to show my pleasure about this.

That's linux, used by millions. What will we do for the massive crowd of 12,000 using Arduino? Maybe the same policy times 10-2?

D

edit: here are some example LMI sublicenses issued last year, in perpetuity, globally, and for free:

Total Linux®
Sublicense number: 20061106-0024
Linux Sublicense Version: v2.0
Issuance date: 11/7/06 17:47:54 UTC

Linux Express®
Sublicense number: 20061106-0025
Linux Sublicense Version: v2.0
Issuance date: 11/7/06 17:48:01 UTC

Linux Kernel Internals®
Sublicense number: 20061109-0029
Linux Sublicense Version: v2.0
Issuance date: 11/9/06 23:12:54 UTC

SHIFT LINUX®
Sublicense number: 20061107-0027
Linux Sublicense Version: v2.0
Issuance date: 11/9/06 23:12:23 UTC

Linux Kinetics
Sublicense number: 20061127-0039

Pioneer Linux
Sublicense number: 20070224-0066

Q-Linux
Sublicense number: 20070218-0060


{Warning: humour}
Wow! people must be so confused about what Linux is, with all those different names with tthe word Linux in them!  Quality has totally taken a nosedive: do you think Linux even works anymore? I heard they were using an early version of Linux on the Titanic! And someone just said that Britney Spears is releasing her own Linux: BrittneyLinux®!!! GASP! The capitalists and the cheesy pop musicians are taking over Linux! At this rate Linux will almost certainly be made in factories by small children! Omigod, LINUX Is going down the tubes.....I'm so confused, I don;t know whether to get BrittLinux®, or Linux 2.0 for Seniors®!!  
{end humour}

I don't mean to denigrate the valuable opinions that are being expressed here, I just wanted to put a little humorous spin on things.  It is pretty clear that if Linux, a product that at one point in the 90's caused wild speculation on the stock market for its commercial potential,  is not afraid, we shouldn't be.  
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: wayoda on Aug 24, 2007, 09:09 am
Quote
Quote
I paid money for the board, so expect it to be working otherwise, I will return it.


Eberhard...

This is all well and good but if you think about the NG rev C that is one screwed up board. By your reckoning, hundreds of us should have promptly returned this product. Look, Im very understanding of this being an open source project. As a result I dont gritch too loudly when I have to unplug a resistor from pin0 to program and then have to plug it back in when its ready to run again.

To be honest, I wouldn't return the board for one of the reasons you mentioned. But what makes me really feel like a customer, is that occasionally you see a post on the forum where, as a last resort, someone from the Arduino team offers to send a new board in exchange for a broken one.
There is no :" Oooh, wrong software version! did you apply the latest patches ? You are not supposed to push the reset button on friday mornings! What do you mean by hardware failure???"
This is just a good customer service bussines thing!
Eberhard

P.S. I had NG rev C boards with and without the infamous Pin13 Led delivered in the same mail :-)


Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: John_Ryan on Aug 24, 2007, 02:08 pm
Quote

Wow! people must be so confused about what Linux is, with all those different names with tthe word Linux in them!  Quality has totally taken a nosedive: do you think Linux even works anymore? I heard they were using an early version of Linux on the Titanic! And someone just said that Britney Spears is releasing her own Linux: BrittneyLinux®!!! GASP! The capitalists and the cheesy pop musicians are taking over Linux! At this rate Linux will almost certainly be made in factories by small children! Omigod, LINUX Is going down the tubes.....I'm so confused, I don;t know whether to get BrittLinux®, or Linux 2.0 for Seniors®!!  



That's one of the funniest analogies I've read this week. Given the valid comparisons, it also makes a compelling argument.

Unfortunately, there needs to be the motivation to change, and if "they" decide they don't want to see things in this positive light, then it's back to square one.

But, don't the options include creating a variation of an Arduino, and calling it something else? And then following in Linuxs' footsteps, and possibly enjoying the same success they do?  

Maybe I'd like to manufacture a brand of 3rd party boards called ArduinoPlugins®, but apparently can't?. That doesn't mean I wouldn't consider producing a range of SomethingElsePlugins® - because there's a market for it, and if a demand is met, then what's in a name?  

There's always more than one way to skin a cat, so if you find yourselves hitting a brickwall, it doesn't necessarily mean there aren't other options.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 24, 2007, 08:49 pm
Form what I understand so far, I don't think could currently make something called  Arduinoplugins® without permission, but you could easily do "Plugduino" or something like that. The schematics are open and you can make your own PCB's. The things it seems you can't currently do are: use the name to make microcontroller boards that are similar to the Arudino Diecimila, BT, etc in name, or in trade-dress, i.e. "look".

But the schematics are released CC, so I think you could make something like "Superboard!", and make it blue too, and say it was Arduino compatible, as long as you made the language clear enough that there was no confusion between SuperBoard! and Arduino.

Anyway, I stick with the idea that the name should be licensable for free, as Linux does, and that there should be no commercial or other restrictions on what you can do with the name and reference designs. The Linux industry is worth what, billions? If Arduino has sold 12,000 board in two years, at say $20 average gross per board, that makes $120,000 a year for the manufacturers and distributors to split up. That's not a whole lot of cash for a big company... it's totally a small business/ home business amount. Once you split that between four or five manufacturers and distributors, it will be 20K each a year, meaning it will be very hard for anyone to dominate the supply. Even better, it will mean that there's price competition, as people will want to increase their piece of the pie.

There's no price competition now... the USB board debuted last year at Sparkfun for 29.95, and the Diecimila now sells for $34.95, about a 16% increase. Given that manufacturing costs would be about $10 or so in 1000+ quantities, there's a whole lot of room for the price to go down! So instead of Sparkfun making its $60,000 a year profit, or whatever it's making on the Arduino, that might get split up between several manufacturers, who would compete and drive prices down. Unless they formed a monopoly! LOL.

Lots of interesting issues.



D  
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: John_Ryan on Aug 24, 2007, 09:37 pm
If it's indeed on the scale of a run-from-home business, then perhaps, given the amount of time that's elapsed, they are already contemplating ways of becoming a bit more Linuxy.

But it's not a given, so it might be more in my interests to produce a range of GenericPlugins® that happen to be compatible with the Arduino, or more relevant, anything that might evolve later as a stalk of Arduino.  

I for one, need lots of 8 x input + 8 x relay (595 + 4021) mini-plugin boards, but they don't exist off-the-shelf, so I'm having to cut the boards myself. I could shoot the spec's off to China and get them whipped into production for a couple of bucks each, and then I'd have the problem of needing to purchase a 'beyond my needs' quantity, like 10,000.  

But if I produced that many boards, and made them available for sale to the public, then there quite possibly would be more people wanting to buy Arduino's, because they can purchase that 'off-the-shelf plug-in solution' to their everyday problems.

So the way I see it, changing the terms of the license so I can call them ArduinoPlugins®, could only do more good than harm. And surely it's product reinforcement, the more ArduinoThings® out there, the more attention people are going to pay to the 'Arduino' brand. And that brings them back here, to invent and contribute.



Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 24, 2007, 09:42 pm
Quote
... the more ArduinoThings® out there, the more attention people are going to pay to the 'Arduino' brand. And that brings them back here, to invent and contribute.


I totally agree... I can't think of a good reason not to open the name to competitors.

Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Aug 28, 2007, 09:10 pm
Here's a site I just came across

http://arduino.tw/

Seems like a perfect example of why the name should be open. They're using the Arduino name in their domain name, with a goal of promoting the Arduino in Taiwan and elsewhere.... that seems like a very cool development, not something bad.

D
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: John_Ryan on Aug 29, 2007, 04:13 am
Hey, they got a dual-core Arduino  ;D

Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: nick on Aug 29, 2007, 10:40 am
Their 'where to buy' is a walkthrough of the Sparkfun site for people who may not read english though - they don't appear to be selling boards.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: nkcelectronics on Aug 30, 2007, 03:33 am
Really interesting discussion going on here... my interpretation of "Open hardware" is that you should be able to retrofit in your existing board the new features that are being released.  A clear example is that the new autoreset or autoboot feature of Diecimila is very useful, and the plain old Arduino serial board is very easy to retrofit.  I tested it and I am publishing it in the Arduino Playground.  On the other side, the not-so-old Arduino USB NG boards are very difficult to retrofit, so I built a diecimila compatible USB board using thorough-hole parts (the only SMD part is still the FTDI chip), with all the diecimila features from the schematic published by the Arduino team.  There are a lot of electronics lovers out there that prefer to build the boards themselves, believe me.  It is a more enjoyable Arduino experience.  I love this kind of challenge so I am doing it to fill a gap, until I am told not to do so... If Arduino were "Open", not only publishing the schematics and the PCB files, but opening the evolution of the project to the whole community, we should have a hyper-arduino by now, with 1,000 of new features and not only autoreset and the overload protection (which are nice features, by the way...)... and also a larger user community and testers as well.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: nkcelectronics on Aug 30, 2007, 05:00 am
Hi, AutoReset retrofitting article is ready in http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Learning/AutoResetRetrofit

Enjoy!
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Sep 02, 2007, 12:45 am
One other thing to note in this discussion is that the Arduino.cc site is only advertising "official" Arduino products... there's no mention of the Barebones Arduino or the Runtime Arduino...

If the hardware were really open, wouldn't one also advertise those products as interesting and valid variants of the project? Protecting your market share in that way by only advertising your own products, to the exclusion of other products produced by the community, seems contradictory to the goals of open-source projects. Of course there isn't much history to go on here, but it doesn't seem right.

The more I think about this, it seems that the Arduino project is really an open-source software and information project wrapped around a closed hardware product.  

D
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: westfw on Sep 02, 2007, 09:52 am
Quote
wrapped around a closed hardware product.

Don't get too carried away; while the Arduino hardware info might not be quite as available as you would like, it's still quite FAR from being "closed."
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Sep 02, 2007, 10:03 am
Westfw, would you not agree that it is not truly open-source?

To make an "Arduino"  you need a design, the production information and permission to use the name. Only one of those things is available; the others are not. It is not 'closed' for hobbyists who want to make one or two, but if you wanted to make a hundred commercially, or make a variant called "Arduino Red", you can't, because commercial production is closed, not open. That much is pretty clear.   It's in that sense that I said that the project is currently "wrapped around" a closed piece of hardware...

D
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: westfw on Sep 02, 2007, 11:26 pm
Well, I'm not entirely sure I understand what "open source hardware" means.  "Permission to use the name"? What does that have to do with "hardware" ?  If I want to make a couple hundred Arduino-2.1 board to embed in a commercial product (not bearing the name "arduino", but crediting the project in documentation), there are no problems doing that, right?  Are you trying to duplicate the hardware, or the entire Arduino "Business" ?   I supposed that being FULLY open-source might imply that you could do the latter, but I don't know that I believe that it is in the "spirit" of open source.
The more valid point is that the Arduino team doesn't seem to be following their own "share-alike" provisions with the newer hardware: no CAD files for NG, BT, mini, Diecimila.  This also seems "not in the spirit of open source", although it's probably their rights as the original developer.
Finally, there's the whole issue of what makes for "open source" publication of a HW design.  CAD files for schematic and PCB in my favorite format are certainly nice, but a printed schematic is certainly more "open" than the average consumer device.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Sep 02, 2007, 11:49 pm
Quote
Well, I'm not entirely sure I understand what "open source hardware" means.


Yes well I think you put your finger on it right there... none of us understand what it really is, because it hasn't relaly been done at this scale before. that's why I think this discussion is so interesting...

Re your other point, the hardware object is not covered by CC, and it is not patented, so you could reproduce a million if you like.  But you couldn't use the trademark.

Quote
Are you trying to duplicate the hardware, or the entire Arduino "Business" ?   I supposed that being FULLY open-source might imply that you could do the latter, but I don't know that I believe that it is in the "spirit" of open source.


Read back about thirty(!) posts. The OSI definition (http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd) does not discriminate against field of endeavour: if your project meets their definition of OS, someone could start a business, use them for development, give them away etc. I think the Arudino "business" (i.e. the files, design, name etc) should belong to anyone who wants to participate, and not be controlled by a single entity. This is how the project got so many supporters, by advertising itself implicitly as doing that. Given the fact that the community put so much into the project and made it successful as a result,  I think it's reasonable to say that  community owns "the Arduino business", not the team. Arduino really belongs to the hundreds of poeple who made the name popular with hundreds of blog posts, articles, tutorials and projects. As such the process of making and selling should be more open.  We're not talking about someone's personal product here, we're talking about a design that was released as open-source and gained many many supporters, but  is still produced within a closed model of manufacturing.  

You're right though, there are lot of issues.... but all those issues mean this is a chance for the team to take a stand and set the standard for very open hardware.

D
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Sep 06, 2007, 09:40 am
hey

just to add another note about name confusion: it's already happening. But in this case, it's the user who is calling a Barebones an Arduino. So if the goal in controlling the hardware is to prevent confusion, this article seems to say it's too late....

http://www.uchobby.com/index.php/2007/09/05/arduino-siggen1-boards-arrive/#more-65

He keeps saying "Arduino signal generator" so I'm looking for an Arudino but not finding one in the pictures.   Finally I understood that he meant a BB Arduino.

D


Here's another: http://www.bricogeek.com/index/cat/4/nid/796/
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: westfw on Sep 07, 2007, 07:22 pm
Quote
Name Confusion

In that respect, it seems like a bad idea to have the same name refer to both the software/development environment and the hardware implementations.  Vendors should be able to implement and advertise a piece of hardware as "arduino compatible" or "arduino based" without becoming confused with a particular piece of standardized "official" hardware.  (Perhaps that's where things are going with "Diecimila")
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: mellis on Sep 07, 2007, 07:55 pm
A primary goal of the Arduino project is that all of its parts work well together.  You should feel confident that the Arduino software will be able to program your Arduino board, and that both will be documented on the Arduino website.  To make sure this happens, we work hard to coordinate the development of the various pieces of the project.  For example, enabling the automatic reset on the Diecimila required many careful modifications of the Arduino software and lots of testing; it was only possible because we share common goals for the project and are willing to work together to make them happen.  Arduino's not perfect, but much of its power comes from its shared vision and coordinated effort.  

To maintain this coherence and utility, we believe it's important to maintain control over what gets identified with the project and called an "Arduino".  This lets the community have confidence that when they use an Arduino, they're using something that works well and works together with the other parts of the project.  If anyone could call anything "Arduino", the name wouldn't be useful as a way of identifying anything.  You wouldn't know if it worked with the software, if it could be used with the shields, if it would be documented, etc.  

This doesn't mean that everything Arduino needs to come from us.  In fact, another of our goals is to promote hardware designed by other people: helping to manufacture it, distributing it, supporting it with the Arduino software, and so on.  We've done this with the XBee shield, which was designed by Libelium Communications and now appears in their SquidBee wireless sensors nodes.  We're doing it with Leah Buechley and Sparkfun with a new wearable version of the Arduino.  We hope to do it with a lot more people and products (if you're interested, contact us).  We just want you to talk with us to ensure that your work fits well with the rest of things that go under the name "Arduino".  Of course, we don't want to stop you from describing your work in relation to Arduino; so if your board "can be programmed with the Arduino software" or "is based on the Arduino reference designs", go ahead and say so.  

Of course, we're not trying to imply that everything should be part of Arduino.  If you want to create your own project, go for it.  All we're asking is that you let us keep an eye on what happens to ours.

We're in the process of opening up our hardware designs and production files; I hope to have more to say on that soon.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Sep 07, 2007, 08:05 pm
Quote

Of course, we're not trying to imply that everything should be part of Arduino.  If you want to create your own project, go for it.  All we're asking is that you let us keep an eye on what happens to ours.

We're in the process of opening up our hardware designs and production files; I hope to have more to say on that soon.


Hey

that is great news. Have you also considered the possibility of at least indexing the other variants within the Arduino site?

Also, if I am not mistaken, Libelium paid $$ to the Arduino group to license the Arduino name on their product. Is that the model you're talking about-- i.e. you can work with us to use the name and maintain standards, but you have to pay for the privilege? If so, that sounds exactly like commercial licensing. One could, for example, make Coca-Cola, but you would have to arrange licensing and standards oversight, and you would have to pay for the privilege. What's the difference between that model and the one you're talking about here?

Quote
... another of our goals is to promote hardware designed by other people: helping to manufacture it, distributing it, supporting it with the Arduino software, and so on.


Yes could you elaborate on this... Does "helping" cost money, or is it free?

D

PS: as this thread has been open for two months now, I am wondering where the opinions of the rest of the team are? Why don't you guys post to this thread and participate in an open discussion? This may be one of the core problems here, that the decisions take place in private.  It's an open project... how about an open discussion? Sorry to say this so bluntly, but after two months one would expect that the other team members would weigh in.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: leKuk on Sep 08, 2007, 01:25 am
hi everyone,

i appreciate daniel's approach to make this an open discussion, so i thought i'd write something about my opinion.
i'm not involved in developing arduino though.
i totally agree with mellis, about a core team that keeps an eye on the development. yes its free and its open, but not everything free and open is automatically great. arduino is one project and deserves a unique name which identifies it as such. i think of the core developer group as luxury which many open source projects lack.

if it's fine to write "based on arduino", or "arduino inside"(if there's one original inside), i think that's alright. if you make something <b>for</b> arduino, i see the necessity to clear up on the copyright involved. wouldn't one be allowed to write "made for arduino" as in "made for iPhone"?

another important aspect is production. it's a good thing that someone (we can point our fingers on) is in charge of these decisions. since the code and files are essentially available the name "arduino" is the only thing that's left to keep control over production. of course "made in italy" doesn't make sense in all parts of the world. but that's another problem.

and finally i see no problem in cooperation with chip manufacturers, resalers or whatsoever by members of the group, or the team as a whole. this is not the state i'm living in, it's an open source project by some people. and luckily it let's me realize my own projects on very basic level that i'm not afraid to become dependant on a brand and its development.
help is free and work is not. :P the rest again is production, and that of course involves money.

so long,
kuk
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Sep 08, 2007, 01:31 am
hey kuk

yes of course production involves $ :)

But Libelium did their own production, and I was told that they paid to use the Arduino name.  
Their circuit is only a few connectors and about five other components: it's really, really simple. So basically it looks as if they paid for licensing the name.

We've discovered in this thread that there have been some secrets kept about how the Arduino project works, so I hope people don't mind me asking a LOT of questions this time around. If the plan is going to be that poeple can use the name under license $, then the terms have to be clear.

For a long time the project has led people to believe that they were participating in truly open hardware development.  Now that we have understood that this isn't the case- i.e that some things we have supported with the understanding that they were open aren't really open- the ethical thing to do from now on is to make things explicitly clear.

You know, if you are going to take contributions and hard work form hundreds of people, you owe it to those people to be explicitly clear about how you will use their efforts. So far this has not been the case.


D  
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Oct 04, 2007, 04:06 am
well it is about 10 weeks since first asked this question....

I have heard that behind the scenes all kinds of things are being done: the name is being trademarked, a policy is being drawn up,  and apparently the files will be made public.

It's interesting though that no one from the team other than Mellis has responded to this thread.
It would be great if there were  a public consultation process of some sort... I hear that might be coming soon too. Anyone from the team care to provide an update?


Daniel
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: mellis on Oct 04, 2007, 04:21 pm
We're working on it.  I'm also not happy that it's taking so long, but unfortunately, it difficult to coordinate five people around the world who are very busy with other things.  It will be soon, I hope.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: Daniel on Oct 06, 2007, 04:55 am
Cool, thanks Mellis. It is great to see that the team is moving towards a more open model in terms of the files and production rights for the files.

In the meantime if anyone is looking for open-source, unrestricted Diecimila-equivalent files, have a look at the Freeduino PCB project over at Freeduino.org (http://www.freeduino.org).

We ( i.e. the Freeduino team, which is not associated with the Arduino team-- although we like and respect them :) )
have released the Schematic and PCB files for a Diecimila-equivalent board called Freeduino. Working prototypes exist for 0603, 0805 and 1206 SMT versions, as well as a through-hole version. These files carry no restrictions other than maintaining the attribution on the design files, as Creative Commons licenses apply only to designs, and  not to the objects produced from the files.

This means you can use the Freeduino design files almost any way you want-- you could even pirate them and make another design: Funkyduino? GrooveDuino? You choose. Open and freeeee....duino :)  

A small pic is here, more to follow.
http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1191638084


hey-- I think that pretty much closes the substantive aspects of this thread, since the files for a working Diecimila-compatible board are now available for use without restriction, and so is the name Freeduino!  

Viva open-source :)


D
 
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: mellis on Oct 22, 2007, 09:04 pm
The eagle files for the Arduino Diecimila and BT are now available under a CC BY SA license, see the blog post for more information: http://www.arduino.cc/blog/?p=17.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: evilpaul on Oct 24, 2007, 04:34 am
I've been following this fascinating thread from the beginning and I'm really happy that it has concluded in such a great way.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: seratechi on Aug 22, 2008, 04:14 am
Took me a whole morning to read this thread through... Great to see things going an open way, what keeps the enthusiasm.
Title: Re: Open source Project / Hardware
Post by: admin on Aug 22, 2008, 08:27 pm
Things have been always open since day one... most of this thread is one year old :)

m