jamesh
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Re: Raspberrypi is open hardware??

Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:46 pm

MarkDaniels wrote:
jamesh wrote:
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.
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.

Of course, you are completely free to design your own board using the same SoC. Just not to copy the Raspi one.
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.

I appreciate your input and agree totally with your views on this point.
Cool.

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.
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Re: Raspberrypi is open hardware??

Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:41 pm

jamesh wrote: 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.
It's not just exact copies but modified copies. For example a variant with POE or wifi instead of ethernet or pin headers instead of sideways facing connectors.
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.
As speeds increase the layout becomes an important part of the design process. Very often for the critical parts you find people just follow the manufacturers suggested layout unless they have a very good reason to change it. The Pi is probablly less sensitive to this than some designs though because it uses PoP but still I suspect the layout of the power feeds into the SoC is pretty critical.

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Re: Raspberrypi is open hardware??

Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:12 pm

jamesh wrote: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.
It seems you are saying it is the charitable Foundation which pays for OS software and other development work rather than the commercial Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd entity which has responsible for engineering. Is that correct ?

I am trying to get my head round who does what and how the money flows and am finding that quite difficult to work out so any clarification would be appreciated.

jamesh
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Re: Raspberrypi is open hardware??

Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:25 pm

hippy wrote:
jamesh wrote: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.
It seems you are saying it is the charitable Foundation which pays for OS software and other development work rather than the commercial Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd entity which has responsible for engineering. Is that correct ?

I am trying to get my head round who does what and how the money flows and am finding that quite difficult to work out so any clarification would be appreciated.
I cannot clarify because I don't know the exact details! I just get information from Eben who just says 'we are doing this'. (and 2014 is going to be fun). Whether we is the Foundation or Raspi Trading I never ask!
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Re: Raspberrypi is open hardware??

Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:17 pm

hippy wrote:
jamesh wrote: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.
It seems you are saying it is the charitable Foundation which pays for OS software and other development work rather than the commercial Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd entity which has responsible for engineering. Is that correct ?

I am trying to get my head round who does what and how the money flows and am finding that quite difficult to work out so any clarification would be appreciated.
Raspberry Pi (trading) Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Foundation. It is difficult in the UK for charities to engage in some business practices - they are limited in what they can do (it has to be substantially relevant to furthering the goals of the charity, and not incur "business risk").

https://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/p ... /cc35.aspx

For this reason, the trading company exists. It can conduct business much in the same way as many other companies (currently, licencing and selling the IP for the Pi and camera module, plus contracting open-source development for the Pi) but has somewhat special status - pretty much all the profits have to go to the Foundation.
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Re: Raspberrypi is open hardware??

Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:35 pm

jdb wrote:Raspberry Pi (trading) Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Foundation. It is difficult in the UK for charities to engage in some business practices - they are limited in what they can do (it has to be substantially relevant to furthering the goals of the charity, and not incur "business risk").

https://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/p ... /cc35.aspx

For this reason, the trading company exists. It can conduct business much in the same way as many other companies (currently, licencing and selling the IP for the Pi and camera module, plus contracting open-source development for the Pi) but has somewhat special status - pretty much all the profits have to go to the Foundation.
That would reflect my expectations; one could alternatively view it as a commercial company which has a charitable arm, though here it evolved from the other direction.

I think most of the cloudiness comes from conflating the charitable and commercial parts of the organisation, compounded since Eben ceased being a trustee of the Foundation to become managing director of the commercial company but still very much the public face of the Foundation and running it on a day-to-day basis so it's hard to tell at times which entity he is speaking on behalf of, plus ambiguity as to whether the Pi is a commercial or primarily for education product. That last seems to get played both ways.

I guess it doesn't matter much in the great scheme of things but I sometimes find the big picture presentation to not quite reflect how I imagine it would or should be.

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Re: Raspberrypi is open hardware??

Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:21 pm

hippy wrote: That would reflect my expectations; one could alternatively view it as a commercial company which has a charitable arm, though here it evolved from the other direction.

I think most of the cloudiness comes from conflating the charitable and commercial parts of the organisation, compounded since Eben ceased being a trustee of the Foundation to become managing director of the commercial company but still very much the public face of the Foundation and running it on a day-to-day basis so it's hard to tell at times which entity he is speaking on behalf of, plus ambiguity as to whether the Pi is a commercial or primarily for education product. That last seems to get played both ways.

I guess it doesn't matter much in the great scheme of things but I sometimes find the big picture presentation to not quite reflect how I imagine it would or should be.
The distinction is irrelevant. The trading company exists solely to generate income for the Foundation. As stated before, the trading company has more latitude when it comes to making business decisions about the mechanics "behind" the Pi.

The Pi is obviously a commercial product, with emergent applications far exceeding the original intent of being a small, cheap "bicycle" for a child/young adult to learn the basics of computing on. Given that the unit volume has rocketed to several orders of magnitude greater than would otherwise be achieved selling to the limited market of schools/educational institutions, it makes continuing sense to promote it as a commercial product.

An obvious side effect of literally millions of people buying Raspberry Pis is that some of them will be bought for children. If only 10% are bought for children (probably an underestimate given the recent large influx of posts this Christmas) then with 2.x million in the wild, 200k+ have in theory made it to small hands.

Cross reference that number with the original estimate of 10k units total when the project kicked off and you can see why it makes sense.
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Re: Raspberrypi is open hardware??

Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:48 pm

I guess it doesn't matter much in the great scheme of things but I sometimes find the big picture presentation to not quite reflect how I imagine it would or should be.
Its not our game and its not our ball. And as someone who has been [figuratively speaking :) ] wacked hard across the head with the bat, I can personally recommend not having discussions like this here :)

Happy New Year :)

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Re: Raspberrypi is open hardware??

Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:54 pm

Deleted.

jamesh
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Re: Raspberrypi is open hardware??

Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:34 am

simplesi wrote:
I guess it doesn't matter much in the great scheme of things but I sometimes find the big picture presentation to not quite reflect how I imagine it would or should be.
Its not our game and its not our ball. And as someone who has been [figuratively speaking :) ] wacked hard across the head with the bat, I can personally recommend not having discussions like this here :)

Happy New Year :)

Simon
Discussion is fine. As long as it's sane, and isn't of the 'why the hell are you doing it like this, you morons, you'll not get anything done like that' type, which we had quite a bit of in the early days. Turns out those concern trolls were wrong with a capital F, although they still troll around some other forums, still bitter, still sociopathic, still wrong.
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Re: Raspberrypi is open hardware??

Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:03 am

If you want something that students might find interesting, and really want to get down to the transistor level, then why not try the idea of this http://www.visual6502.org/JSSim/index.html There is no reason why teachers should not inspire the occasional chip designer ;) as well as robotic's engineers.

No doubt many of you are well aware the 6502 is grand-daddy of the Acorn CPU line and (along with other processors) provided much inspiration for the ARM designers (pipe-lining & single cycle instructions I think was one of them). The students could attempt to write in hand coded assembler where all real programmers must visit sometime in their lives. Just joking... but I did start there in 1974. Ground breaking at the time, but really, not that much fun, more like hard slog.

If that experience is a success, then tackling more complex chips might be worthwhile.

Personally leaving the deeper innards of the Pi alone, with only reference to general internal ARM architecture when needed to emphasise a development/design decision would be sufficient.

Often words like "open-source" can become weasel words where the effect is more important, than a fully realistic offer, however in the case of the RPi people they have been very fortunate to get as far as they have with this design, and been quite clear about legally how far they can go. After all how much of Broadcom's total output is RPi's? Let's not bite the hand the feeds us.

Cheers, good discussion,

Rob

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Re: Raspberrypi is open hardware??

Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:37 am

No. https://www.oshwa.org/definition/

It would not get open source hardware certification.

Simply because of the following:

Raspberry Pi community discriminated against ODROID and ODROID-W in particular.

ODROID-W could count as a "derived work" so therefore the Raspberry Pi communty's diatribe over the ODROID ODROID-W was denouncing a derived work. ODROID had attributed their work to the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi community, in fact, set about to interpret the Common Criteria licence to the effect one could have the design but could not use it in the production of hardware.

The ODROID work was a "field of endeavour" that suffered at the hands of monopolising, through Raspberry Pi community and as likely Broadcom, much like that perpetrated by Microsoft and Apple (both of which who have been fined for same).

ODROID would have had the NDA with Broadcom to be able to buy chips. There might be an argument for an exemption on the matter of details on the SOC manual since there would have been good faith - and because another requirement was sufficient software. No one can argue there is not sufficient software to use a Raspberry Pi.

So, it is very useful going away from opinions, that have no theoretic basis, and simply going for conformity with a normative model.

God bless the internet.

Shame on the Raspberry Pi community.

Cheers,
A

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Re: Raspberrypi is open hardware??

Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:16 am

Wow... A 4+ year necro....
Asterion wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:37 am
No. https://www.oshwa.org/definition/

It would not get open source hardware certification.

Simply because of the following:

Raspberry Pi community discriminated against ODROID and ODROID-W in particular.
The main impediment to the Pi being classed as "open source" is--oddly enough--because the binary blob *isn't* located in silicon (even re-writable silicon) on the board, but on the SD card (or MSD) where it can be updated far more easily.

On the main point...I have yet to see *anything* that suggests that the Odroid-W was harmed in any way by the RPF or RPT. So far as I can tell, that was purely a failure to realize that Broadcom doesn't care to deal in small quantities. Or, was said at the time, anyone could buy BCM2835 chips. Just tell Broadcom how many hundred thousand per quarter you want to buy. Hardkernel was not then, and I seriously doubt now, in a position to deal in those kind of quantities.

So take your sour grapes and go bark up some other tree.

(And one further note...I was considering buying an Odroid-W, just to have one. But they were withdrawn from the market before I got around to it. I certainly never saw any "discrimination against Odroid" here. Mild amusement, yes. Discrimination, no. )

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Re: Raspberrypi is open hardware??

Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:38 am

W. H. Heydt,
Wow... A 4+ year necro....
For once I agree. An amazing and pointless revival of a thread.

A mostly silly, meaningless thread responded to with a silly and mostly incorrect response years after the thread was long forgotten.
The main impediment to the Pi being classed as "open source" is--oddly enough--because the binary blob *isn't* located in silicon (even re-writable silicon) on the board, but on the SD card (or MSD) where it can be updated far more easily.
Let's not confuse the Open Source Software (OSS) licensing of the software supplied on a Raspbian (or other) download image with Open Source Hardware (OSH) licensing (Which this thread was about).

I agree, if I remember it correctly the Free Software Foundation would not bless the software as "Free Software" because of the closed source binary blob that is required to boot Linux and subsequently "owns" the whole machine at run time.

And yes, it seems odd that if that same binary blob were blown into PROM on the SoC the Free Software Foundation would classify that as hardware and then bless the remaining software as Free Software.

Aside: By that criteria there is no Free Software on any Linux running PC, given the rings of security of modern Intel processors that Linux cannot access, running code supplied by the closed source BIOS. Not to mention the secret stuff that goes on in Intel Microcode. Not to mention the secret processors on Intel chips that Linux cannot even see and run Minix. All of which closed source stuff "own" the PC all the time.

As for Open Source Hardware licensing and the Pi, there has never been any indication or pretense at such a thing.
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jamesh
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Re: Raspberrypi is open hardware??

Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:45 am

Was going to weigh in, but the previous post has done that for me.

The only thing I would add, why do people posting this sort of rubbish think it's a good idea? Do they not do any investigation first?
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