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Topic: Is Arduino Due coming? (Read 29 times) previous topic - next topic

pico

More seriously, I hear what you say about the issue of buying clone boards, but the issue is a tricky one, with a lot of apparent contradictions lurking beneath the surface.

On one hand, I think it's a good thing to vote with your $$$, and put money towards the companies and inividuals who you would like to see rewarded for their work in the open hardware and open source arena. It's not really different from donating to a worthy charity that you think is doing good work.

OTOH, surely the whole point of open hardware and open source is not about a financial reward, but rather non-monetary rewards. I'm thinking about the Stallman manifesto on "free" software from way back when.

The other thing is that if you are open, you must _expect_ to be copied by people whose sole motivation is to make a buck. That's just axiomatic. I don't see how you could ever imagine it's not going to happen.

So the question is: Why are you going down the "open" route in the first place? Can your business (or non-business) model stand being potentially undercut by cloners?

There are certainly some open-source companies that have built very profitable businesses around the open source/open hardware concept. But they are usually doing something clever in terms of value adding (e.g. consulting, support) to get a revenue stream that is not for the licensing of the software or hardware design per se. Tricky stuff. I think it's a helluva neat trick if you can pull it off.

I'm not sure where the value add comes in terms of say, an Uno. If I am supposed to feel bad for buying an Uno clone, what if instead I buy a 328p chip, add a half dozen component to end up with a home-brewed Uno class dev board, and then program it with the Arduino IDE?

You might reasonably say "but what about all the effort that went into developing the Arduino IDE? You can't ignore that, you freeloader."

Fair enough. But when you consider the IDE is really essentially wrapping paper for the Gnu compiler that actually does all the heavy lifting, how does it make sense to financially reward only the makers of the wrapping paper but leave the makers of the Gnu compiler financially unrewarded?

It strikes me as akin to taking a taxi to hospital where a brilliant surgeon saves your life, and then tipping the taxi driver handsomely in your gratitude!

You might (also) reasonably say "but what about the 'wiring' libs? Surely that's value-added over and above the Gnu compiler?"

Fair enough. But then there are also all the third party libs that (personally) I actually find are far more valuable than the wiring stuff, but once again, how does it make sense to financially reward only the makers of the 'wiring' libs but leave the authors of the (much more valuable, imho) third part libraries financially unrewarded?

And finally, there is the question of scale. The total development effort of the entire Arduino development team to date just disappears into insignificance when compared against the sheer number of man-hours of development effort of something like the Gnu compiler. Or the AVR chips, for that matter.

When I buy a clone board, Atmel still get their financial reward. When I buy an "official" board. the developers of the Gnu compiler and the authors of the third party libs still get nothing.

Lots of contradictions. If it really is a moral issue (and I'm not sure even that's true), then it certainly isn't a straightforward one.


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retrolefty

Quote
Lots of contradictions. If it really is a moral issue (and I'm not sure even that's true), then it certainly isn't a straightforward one.


Well put. I love the Arduino concept and the way they have executed both their platform and their own hardware offerings. But make no mistake, their platform rests on top of many other independent open source projects, the compiler/linker and Wiring libraries you mentions, AVRDUDE for uploading, Processing for the IDE which in turn uses Java, etc. So the Arduino company added on additional open source contrubution like bootloaders and libraries, designed a very basic hardware platform and released all their contrubutions as open source. I think they in no way expected any 'moral' obligation for users to contribute to their financial income stream other then buying their products if they wished, nor expected clones to not be avaible nor purchased by users. I think the only thing they have tried to protect is their brand name, Arduino, and have asked cloners to respect it when it comes to naming of their products and marketing language.


So I own Arduino build boards, 3rd party value added boards, and simple knock off clone boards and I don't feel I've violated any obligations owed to the Arduino company nor the open source community at large.

Lefty

Jantje

Pico
I agree with most of what you say but not all of it.
I would advice to listen to the video (the open source thread is in the Q&A part).
I would formulate the statement like "We do not feel hurt by people making variations of arduino ( because they bring added value); we do not feel hurt by people making and selling arduino clones; we do feel hurt by people why make and sell a clone that looks like an arduino and sell it like an arduino. This because Arduino sponsor money is not send to arduino."
I see this as: Someone goes around with a collection box for Arduino and does not give the collected money to arduino. This is called fraud. This has nothing to do with the open source nature of Arduino.
However the open source nature of arduino makes it easier for people to fraud.

The other thing is that if you are open, you must _expect_ to be copied by people whose sole motivation is to make a buck. That's just axiomatic. I don't see how you could ever imagine it's not going to happen.
So the question is: Why are you going down the "open" route in the first place? Can your business (or non-business) model stand being potentially undercut by cloners?

Eventhough I agree with the first part of the statement, I find that the second part is extremely dangerously wrong minded. The sentence may be interpreted like "As you do open source don't complain people copying your work". This interpretation is completely wrong.
As a human I would say it sounds like "If you go out with money; don't complain when you get robbed."
A more legal comparison is with patents: If you request a patent in the USA you have to disclose all details. As soon as that is done, china can copy your work 100% legal and 100% informed just as if it is open source. But no country in the world with a mutual patent agreement with the USA is legally allowed to import those goods. So it is law which is protecting the patent owners and it is law which protects the arduino trademark.


OTOH, surely the whole point of open hardware and open source is not about a financial reward, but rather non-monetary rewards. I'm thinking about the Stallman manifesto on "free" software from way back when.

It is very noble to give stuff away for free. However everybody needs to eat. The question is: Do you go for "enough to survive" the "whole plate", the "whole dish",......the"whole world". From all donations for my plugin I'm not able to feed myself during the time I developed it. I'm not sad about it, it was my choice to develop it, my choice to shape it, and it will be my choice on how to take it further. My point is, if you want to survive in a donation world you need to push people to donate. Arduino has this push with their branding.


Fair enough. But when you consider the IDE is really essentially wrapping paper for the Gnu compiler that actually does all the heavy lifting, how does it make sense to financially reward only the makers of the wrapping paper but leave the makers of the Gnu compiler financially unrewarded?

i advice you to rethink the value of good wrapper software. I have been in software development for decades and I can really appreciate a good wrapper like the IDE. The fact most people do not know that the ide is mostly a wrapper means it is a really good wrapper.


It strikes me as akin to taking a taxi to hospital where a brilliant surgeon saves your life, and then tipping the taxi driver handsomely in your gratitude!

This happens all the time. Think about what managers and sales people urn compared to technical people. ]:D
It is impossible to say who or what did it; so finding out who really urns the tip is nearly impossible.

I really like this analogy because giving tips is essential to any eco system. And tip's do not have to be financial. I know for instance that some people have made an arduino library as contribution because they felt they already got so much from the eco system. Other people give away their code because they see no commercial benefit so they feel they can just as well make it open source.

My conclusion: Indeed it is a complex eco system. The only way that the eco system will stay healthy is by a huge amount of members doing a contribution. Contribution is in most cases not money.
But in the end we all need to eat and feed our children. So -in our society- money will come lurking around. And I feel the Arduino core team is really mature about it. I would translate it as "When you start learning Arduino; buy a UNO and then we'll see." and "Don't fraud."

Sorry for the rant

Best regards
Jantje
Do not PM me a question unless you are prepared to pay for consultancy.
Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -

bperrybap

#33
Oct 02, 2012, 08:02 pm Last Edit: Oct 02, 2012, 08:03 pm by bperrybap Reason: 1
kind of drifting way off topic...


...
A more legal comparison is with patents: If you request a patent in the USA you have to disclose all details. As soon as that is done, china can copy your work 100% legal and 100% informed just as if it is open source. But no country in the world with a mutual patent agreement with the USA is legally allowed to import those goods. So it is law which is protecting the patent owners and it is law which protects the arduino trademark.


patents vs open source are not even close to the same thing.
A patent is a disclosure of IP in an attempt to protect it.
Open Source is a disclosure of IP in an attempt to give it away.

These two are very different.

And I agree with Pico, in that given our capitalistic greed driven societies,
that if you give something away for free, you have
to be naive to think that there won't be somebody out there that will attempt to take
that free resource and attempt to monetize it.

With respect to trademarks,
if you closely looked at the "Arduino" trademark, it was only recently
assigned, and IMHO, I think they were lucky to have obtained the US "Arduino" mark - given their delay.
The Arduino guys were complaining about use of their "trademark"
a few years before they bothered to follow through with the proper legal paper work
to make it an official legal trademark.
i.e. if you want to play in the real world of business, you need to understand certain
rules of the game, especially if you want to have legal protection for things like IP
or trademarks.

--- bill

Jantje

bperrybap
I agree it is off-topic but still interesting  8)


...
A more legal comparison is with patents: If you request a patent in the USA you have to disclose all details. As soon as that is done, china can copy your work 100% legal and 100% informed just as if it is open source. But no country in the world with a mutual patent agreement with the USA is legally allowed to import those goods. So it is law which is protecting the patent owners and it is law which protects the arduino trademark.


patents vs open source are not even close to the same thing.
A patent is a disclosure of IP in an attempt to protect it.
Open Source is a disclosure of IP in an attempt to give it away.

These two are very different.

I never stated that patents and open source are not very different. But if you are in china and the patent is in USA it is 100% legal to copy and you have 100% information on how to do it. Even if you are a researcher or doing non commercial things for yourself there is little distinction between the 2.
This because patents are there to share the work without losing the copy right. With the same idea as with open source that when you share it will grow.
Don't be fooled about open source. It is not because you can freely "read" the code there are no patents in there and there is no copy right. If you can be bothered read the gpl, cpl and epl licences.  or read this wiki page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclipse_Public_License
Best regards
Jantje
Do not PM me a question unless you are prepared to pay for consultancy.
Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -

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