Cool.MarkDaniels wrote:James, I am not expressing an opinion, I just interjected a plain fact, here: one that I felt was extremely relevant and most important to the discussion. However (and correct me if I am wrong), I was under the impression that the Foundation intended to (eventually) release the full designs in order to move closer to being truly open source.jamesh wrote:I wonder if you think the inability to copy it is a bad thing? The Foundation needs income (and a lot of that income is pushed back in to dev work, and paying third parties for OS software, as well as the educational stuff), and the only real source they have is the royalties on the board. If the design were completely free, anyone could make one, and the income source dries up, and I can guarantee any copy product makers won't be so charitable. They will be in it for the money.MarkDaniels wrote:I know that I am late in joining this discussion, but the copyright notice at the end of the schematics for the Raspberry Pi makes for interesting reading and is reproduced below:
Design (c), 2011, 2012 Raspberry Pi Foundation
All Rights Reserved
Portions of this work copyright 1979-2012 Norcott Technologies Limited. Provided to the Raspberry Pi Foundation under a perpetual royalty free use and modify licence.
This would seem to make it even harder to duplicate the Pi or even portions of it. It would appear that even the basic design of the Pi is impossible to copy at present.
Of course, you are completely free to design your own board using the same SoC. Just not to copy the Raspi one.
I appreciate your input and agree totally with your views on this point.
With regard to the Norcott copyright, the guy who designed the original board is the owner of Norcott, and is a Foundation trustee IIRC.
Whether the board ever becomes open source is down to the Foundation. Although it's unlikely anyone could make a copy and sell it at the same price, it seems to me than making it fully OS (i.e. the gerbers so you can simply make the boards exactly the same) would be tantamount to commercial suicide. Since the schematics are already available, anyone can use those to 'learn' about the design, so there is little benefit, except for making your own exact copy (and thereby reducing Foundation profits), to releasing the gerbers anyway.
My opinion is that once you release the schematics, the 'design' is open source. You have everything you need to make you own PCB's, you just need to do the layout. No electronics design involved.