[Discuss] Does CC SA actually 'work' for real hardware?

Mike Hord mike.hord at sparkfun.com
Wed Apr 16 15:32:42 UTC 2014

There's a big difference between CC and trademark. SparkFun (for example)
concerns ourselves only with trademark issues: we don't want someone
selling sub-par knockoffs and dragging our name through the mud. We don't
have someone scrubbing the internet for unattributed derivative works (our
designs are SA by attribution); if we find one we'll usually send a nice
note asking for attribution, and the person(s) in question usually comply.

Also note that Gerber files are not generally considered source files for
the purposes of being open source.

Finally, you're kidding yourself if you think that Chinese manufacturers
are going to fail to make knockoffs of your product (assuming it's worth
anything). Not releasing source will slow them down by a couple of days;
that's it. The only people you hurt are yourself (by reputation) and your
customers (by not giving them the information they need to make best use of
your product).


On Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 9:25 AM, Michael McCormack
<mike at themccormacks.com>wrote:

> How can I meet the requirements of the share alike license and yet build a
> commercial board?  Scenario:
>    1. I take a public CC-SA licensed board and add a new feature - big
>    honking FETs to drive lots of current on an Arduino for example.
>    2. I take my Gerbers to a board house that adds their UL markings to
>    my board.
>    3. The board with the UL marking smells like a derived work to me yet
>    no one other than my board house can blindly copy it.
> Same thing would happen if I add my own trademarked logo or other
> protected marking so I can tell my boards from clones.  I personally am
> more than willing to say publish Gerbers without my logo, but it looks like
> I really need to avoid anything that is CC licensed if I ever care to try
> to sell something.
> Cheers
> Mike
> _______________________________________________
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> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
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