It all falls down …

So, a little digging and I am appalled.

The response from some members of the Raspberry Pi Foundation forums to ODROID-W was caustic.  They felt that Hardkernel had “jumped on back the good work of the Foundation” in a bad way – “stealing” from the Foundation.

What galls me is that the Creative-Commons License Raspberry Pi calls out is actually about allowing people to use the IP.

So, this is really becoming and interesting ethical issue.

If you take Creative-Commons, or any open source licence really, it is akin to contract with everyone on the planet.  Not just to people who use the material but also to people who don’t.

We, the undersigned, allow anyone to come along and use our IP up to the limits of the style of open source licence. 


So, what don’t some of the punters on Raspberry Pi Forum get then about the whole purpose of Raspberry Pi and Creative-Commons etc.?

Now, of course it would have been select few people who have no idea right?

But where was the moderator intervention and especially the Foundation taking a stand on the commentary?

Silence is not Golden!

To wit, what is the point of opensource hardware anyway?

I was thinking about it.  I can’t download a piece of hardware.  It still needs to be constructed somehow.

If I download a pdf schematic of Raspberry Pi then I still have to scratch it into a PCB CAD tool.  My time is money so it might be a learning exercise in multi-layered board design right?  I might get really good at using Eagle by the end of scratching a Raspberry Pi into Eagle, yes?

I can dig that but then the cost to get the board made would be in excess of buying a Raspberry Pi.  I might have to spend on two boards to fix the errors I put into the first board.  Then maybe a third.  I could have bought a gaming PC by the time I sorted the issues out.  But I would be really good at layered board design right?

If I can download an eagle pcb board design, good.  But it will still cost me more to have made than a Raspberry Pi.  And then the debugging again.  Did they supply an Eagle file?

Didn’t find one.


If I was good at board design I might redesign the board.

Nope that was done.

Can’t buy the SOC.

So why do I need a Creative-Common design of something I can’t buy the SOC?

Is that a promise that can’t be kept?

A contract broken?

Am I content with being able to design and make my own bare Raspberry Pi board?  I could solder the surface mount components etc. onto the board.

Except for the SOC.

I would not claim to be really good at soldering surface mount components, after only soldering surface mount components onto one board, but it would be a start.

Still wouldn’t have the SOC.

I guess I could get really good a de-soldering surface mount components?

AH!  I could buy a Raspberry Pi, de-solder the SOC and re-solder it onto the board I designed and luvingly debugged to the tune of one not bad gaming PC.


If Open Source is about getting away from Vendor Lock-In, or so one of the arguments goes, then is a Creative-Commons design that you can’t copy, or at least can’t get the parts to copy, and can only get from one source, Vendor Lock-In or not?

Feels like it.

Me, I think there should be an ethics check in Open Source there somewhere.


Beagle boards are, curiously, also Creative Commons, so why the difference?


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