[Open-graphics] does open graphics board run initialization code
on the host cpu ?
Timothy Normand Miller
theosib at gmail.com
Fri Feb 29 19:51:05 EST 2008
On 2/29/08, PcgScrapAddy <pcgscrap at comcast.net> wrote:
> But does the MIT license allow for a built-in revenue stream?
No, but Traversal isn't selling software. And if we ever did, it
would likely be an end-user app that we'd license under GPL.
> My current
> understanding is someone, once the project is done and making
> boards/chips, could swoop in and grab all your docs/code/etc. and then
> produce their own board at a much lower cost and leave you high and dry.
Possibly, but the GPL won't protect us from that any more than MIT.
> What protections have you factored into the project to handle a
> situation such as that?
Mostly the idea that people should pay a licensing fee for commercial
use of the hardware that doesn't comply with the GPL. So, yes, if
someone cloned OGD1 under the GPL, that would suck for Traversal, but
that would be fine for the Free Software community as a whole.
> Under that scenario you have an instant competitor without them having
> incurred any cost.
We thought about all of this more than three years ago when we were
starting out. RMS suggested that we may want to hold back on
releasing some of the HDL for OGA for a time until we have recouped
our development costs. This is about the best protection we can get.
As for OGD1, it's a test of concept. We've released all design
documents under GPL. Will someone undercut us and put us out of
business? If that did happen, it would be an eye-opener to the Free
Software community that their philosophy isn't perfect, that people
can get screwed for their generosity.
> If the point is to just get open hardware out there
> and damn the ramifications then ok
This is SOME of the point. But do be sure that I and the others at
Traversal will do our best to protect our investment.
> but if you are looking to seal up
> deals where your chipset funds ongoing work then you may have a problem
> since nvidia and ati will both scoop on that in a heartbeat.
Like I say, the only protection for OGA (the 3D engine design) is to
not release all of the HDL right away. I've gotten a lot of flak for
that idea, although I started getting a whole lot less when RMS
suggested it and let me quote him on it.
> Not trying to be a downer here but you can trust business weenies about
> as much as politicians and lawyers so ...
We have the best legal protections that we CAN have given the circumstances.
Timothy Normand Miller
Open Graphics Project
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