hippy wrote: Jim Manley wrote:
hippy wrote:There is no absolute reason the Foundation has to limit itself to purely educational use and anything targeted at another sector can still support educational goals.
Actually, yes it does have to limit itself to purely educational use
I don't believe that is true.
It all comes down to how much your budget is for lawyers when, not if, you're challenged. T-shirts, mugs, mouse pads, bears wearing T-shirts drinking from mugs while using mouse pads (oops, this is starting to get recursive pretty quickly!
) are promotional items that help increase awareness and are called out in the relevant laws. Designing and having built products that are not primarily
promotional in nature and that don't further the educational goals of the Foundation (in this case, as stated in their registration documentation) cannot be pursued, exclamation point (I so want to invoke Victor Borge sound effects at this juncture
If the Foundation thought they could sell properly-licensed Windows crates manufactured under a design of someone else's doing to further their stated goals, that would be fine - they wouldn't be designing said crates for sale as they already existed. Could they build Formula One cars (or whatever is the current in-vogue one-design), slap the big red raspberry logo on the sides, and try to sell them to bazillionaires? Probably not a wise investment of tens of millions of dollars (or pounds, it doesn't much matter up in that rarefied air), and the competing car manufacturers could probably make mince-meat of them on the first tracks they encountered, long before any regulators came along to pick through the carcasses to evaluate non-profit compliance.
It wouldn't be the regulators who show up at the alleged-crime scene first, anyway, it would be the commercial companies' lawyers crying foul and gesturing excitedly at their version of reality. It's only the relative paucity of power in the ARM CPU and nearly non-existent pockets of the Foundation that makes it not worth anyone's while to bother waking any of the on-retainer lawyers to do any excited gesturing. However, if the Foundation did produce something for next-to-nothing that the for-profit commercial companies thought might impair their ability to sell their current or in-development wares, they wouldn't hesitate for a nanosecond to raise a red card and demand the offending player leave the pitch. Having that raspberry outline silk-screened onto the board would not make it a primarily promotional item for protection, BTW, even if someone did just use it for a coaster (a highly-intelligent, multimedia and robotics capable, beverage-warming coaster nonetheless!).
This is all about appearances, not absolute technical boundaries. There have been numerous lawsuits about product "dumping" primarily in mainstream Western markets by Asian manufacturers, whether or not the products were actually being sold below cost. It's just not a very good idea to go poking very large entities with deep wallets in the eye, even if the hoi-polloi are egging you on to Just Do It. Nobody cared the first time around because no one was insane enough to try to sell last-year's technology engineered into a product using less-than-slave (i.e., volunteer - they even feed and clothe themselves, well, more or less) labor. With the Foundation having established a bright, shining market and brand of its own, there are going to be a lot more steely eyeballs staring at whatever might come rolling down the pike someday (wouldn't it be just like the Foundation to never produce another new design again for as long as the rest of us may live, just to make all this verbiage moot?)