Future Copyleft devices

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at sharism.cc
Thu May 27 20:44:44 EDT 2010


Chris,

> If Ron is correct, then I feel
> the Nanonote has been strongly misrepresented by Sharism.
> http://sharism.cc/ : "Copyleft hardware"

Sure Ron is correct. Where do you feel things are misrepresented? If 
there is any place on the wiki or elsewhere please let me know or just
change it yourself. Everything is editable, including the homepage.
If we did mislead you, I apologize - this was never our intention. One of
my endless TODO items is to create a copyleft matrix in our wiki, where
we list a number of products and what we have learnt about their free/copyleft
status (documentation, production process, API, software, etc).

I think on every occasion, we have been clear about the Ingenic SoC. The
openness of the Ingenic SoC compares well with other mobile SoCs, Samsung's
for example. I am very happy that we can work with Ingenic, hopefully we
can intensify the collaboration with them. Here's some painful truth:
At my last meeting at Ingenic, I advised them to file for patents, and I
actually think they will do it...
On the other hand we are putting every bit of resource we have into
Milkymist One, a GPL licensed SoC project running (for now) on a very
proprietary Xilinx FPGA.

We will need a lot of time and money to make and sell true copyleft hardware.
And in the process we even need to define, in clear language, what
copyleft hardware exactly is.
Hopefully you wish us luck as we progress, if you have a problem with
the Ingenic SoC you can check back in a few years, at the earliest.
We are dealing with tons of proprietary stuff everywhere, and since we have
no secret government funding, we need to find business opportunities in
the additional freedoms we are creating for our customers, step by step.

To make it clear again: All Ingenic SoCs are normal proprietary SoCs like
all others on the market. I would never advise Ingenic to change that
because they have a business to run and 130 people to feed every month.

Copyleft hardware needs to proove that it is a sustainable model, the
proprietary guys (Samsung, Apple, everybody else) have already proven that
their model works very well and can generate tens of billions USD capital
to finance further (proprietary) innovations.

Wolfgang




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