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Nov 29, 2012, 12:58 AM
Registered User
slebetman's Avatar
Sorry, but nobody is ripping off anybody here.

You've published your code under LGPL license. Therefore nobody, not me, not HobbyKing, not a third party manufacturer need to ask permission from you to do anything with your code. That's because you've already given the world permission to use your code! That's what GPL and LGPL means.

And GPL and LGPL specifically permits people to:
- use the code
- modify the code
- sell the code
- resell the code
- give the code away

As an open source developer I'm offended everytime an open-source wannabe complains about being ripped off. If you don't want to be ripped off then don't publish your code open source! Do you think Nokia (Meego) or Google (Android) or Github or Netgear or Linksys or Dlink ever asked Linus's permission before using his code?

If you feel ripped off and want permission before people can sell your code then you've severely misunderstood what open source is.

Open source is not people-cannot-sell-my-code. That's closed source. Closed source is not people-cannot-see-my-code. That's trade secret. In fact the famous flame war between Linus Torvalds and Andrew Tanenbaum is the perfect example of open vs closed source. Andrew's Minix OS is available in source form and can be freely downloaded. But Andrew has put significant restrictions on selling or redistributing modified or compiled versions of Minix. On the other hand Linus's Linux is freely distributable with the only restriction that you cannot prevent other from redistributing it or modifying it or seeing its source code.

Heck, even Microsoft allows you to see the source code of Windows - as long as you sign an NDA with them. What you cannot do is to compile and sell your own version of Windows.

Having said that, there is one potential ground that you can complain about (they haven't started selling it yet so I can't say for sure). By selling an open source product Hobbyking MUST provide source code for said product if a user of said product asks for it*. The minimum they need to do is to provide a link to your Google Code page on their website. If they don't do this then you have grounds to complain.

Also, if they host their own copy of the source code and allow people to download that instead of the version on your site they MUST NOT remove your copyright notice from the source files.

That's all they need to do. This is legit. This is fully within the **spirit** of the GNU movement. GPL isn't against commercialism, it's against secrecy.

Sorry for the mini-rant. This issue just annoys the heck out of me.
____

*note: Strictly speaking, GPL legal language is very narrow. Hobbyking is not required, for example, to provide the source code to OpenLRS if you haven't bought the system form them.

PS: As the owner of the copyrighted material, you have the right to remove your code from GPL whenever you want. This has happened several times before when companies realize that GPL didn't mean what they thought it meant when their competitors started building products using their code.
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Nov 29, 2012, 01:20 AM
Registered User
squishy654's Avatar
Quote:
PS: As the owner of the copyrighted material, you have the right to remove your code from GPL whenever you want. This has happened several times before when companies realize that GPL didn't mean what they thought it meant when their competitors started building products using their code.
Now that sounds like a plan...
Nov 29, 2012, 01:34 AM
Crashomatic
CrashMeUp's Avatar
Note that GPL does not "permit" to redistribute code.. it requires you to redistribute the code, to whoever you distributed the compiled code/resulting product to (with all the necessary tools to build the code too) at no additional cost to them (only the cost of the media used to copy it for you, such as a cd rom)

also, the open source license texts are generally very short, simple and explicit, reading them goes a long way

note also that when you remove the GPL license, you're not closing the source. anything distributed before the license was removed by the owner (copyright holder) is still GPL.
The only times the GPL license has been retroactively removed has been when an employee leaked the source, declared it GPL, but the actual copyright owner (the company, in general) wasn't aware/didn't allow it. (and anyone can dispute that in court obviously, because the company can very well be lying or responsible for the employee's doings, depending on the circunstances - IANAL tho)
Nov 29, 2012, 01:53 AM
MelihK's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCrazy
He's not the first, nor will he be the last to get ripped off from Chinese manufacturers. For just a moment, I almost thought this might be an original... Then I came to my senses... Mind you, while the Chinese get blamed for this stuff, seldom are they the root of it. Usually it lies in someone taking it to the Chinese to manufacture it cheaper.

The truth is that copying harms business and innovation. Flytron is one of the few companies that actually open source which is the foundation of how this hobby got started. Due to the dishonest copying, many innovators are disappearing.

If Open LRS was available when I bought my UHF system, it would be attached to the back of my radio.

-Alex
Alex, I'm completely agree with you. My company born in these pages 6 years before and my codes was closed. I'm already making %95 of the money from closed ones but I want to pay back to the community. This is why i have opensource products and projects. Last year i paid 2 times more money to OpenLRS design from it's benefits. I'm ok, this is not kill me and i'm spending %30 of my profit to these kind of projects. But now it's taste is not good for me.




Quote:
Originally Posted by slebetman
Sorry, but nobody is ripping off anybody here.

You've published your code under LGPL license. Therefore nobody, not me, not HobbyKing, not a third party manufacturer need to ask permission from you to do anything with your code. That's because you've already given the world permission to use your code! That's what GPL and LGPL means.

And GPL and LGPL specifically permits people to:
- use the code
- modify the code
- sell the code
- resell the code
- give the code away

As an open source developer I'm offended everytime an open-source wannabe complains about being ripped off. If you don't want to be ripped off then don't publish your code open source! Do you think Nokia (Meego) or Google (Android) or Github or Netgear or Linksys or Dlink ever asked Linus's permission before using his code?

If you feel ripped off and want permission before people can sell your code then you've severely misunderstood what open source is.

Open source is not people-cannot-sell-my-code. That's closed source. Closed source is not people-cannot-see-my-code. That's trade secret. In fact the famous flame war between Linus Torvalds and Andrew Tanenbaum is the perfect example of open vs closed source. Andrew's Minix OS is available in source form and can be freely downloaded. But Andrew has put significant restrictions on selling or redistributing modified or compiled versions of Minix. On the other hand Linus's Linux is freely distributable with the only restriction that you cannot prevent other from redistributing it or modifying it or seeing its source code.

Heck, even Microsoft allows you to see the source code of Windows - as long as you sign an NDA with them. What you cannot do is to compile and sell your own version of Windows.

Having said that, there is one potential ground that you can complain about (they haven't started selling it yet so I can't say for sure). By selling an open source product Hobbyking MUST provide source code for said product if a user of said product asks for it*. The minimum they need to do is to provide a link to your Google Code page on their website. If they don't do this then you have grounds to complain.

Also, if they host their own copy of the source code and allow people to download that instead of the version on your site they MUST NOT remove your copyright notice from the source files.

That's all they need to do. This is legit. This is fully within the **spirit** of the GNU movement. GPL isn't against commercialism, it's against secrecy.

Sorry for the mini-rant. This issue just annoys the heck out of me.
____

*note: Strictly speaking, GPL legal language is very narrow. Hobbyking is not required, for example, to provide the source code to OpenLRS if you haven't bought the system form them.

PS: As the owner of the copyrighted material, you have the right to remove your code from GPL whenever you want. This has happened several times before when companies realize that GPL didn't mean what they thought it meant when their competitors started building products using their code.

All of these words looking like a big BlaBla for me, because i'm not a lawyer or something like that. If someone makes something, I will ask to him before copying it. This is the point.
By the way, I know i can close it when i want. They can copy our other distributions. I can change the pinouts.But what is the benefit of the community?

Anyway, I hope they dont change the pinouts and compatibility. Maybe it helps to keeping it open and finds new developers to the project (currently we are 4)
Nov 29, 2012, 05:27 AM
Happy FPV flyer
Kilrah's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MelihK
It is unauthorized copy of the OpenLRS from Flytron !
All of these words looking like a big BlaBla for me, because i'm not a lawyer or something like that. If someone makes something, I will ask to him before copying it.
Again, by releasing the source under GPL license, you already gave anyone permission to use it even commercially. Yes it would have been "nice" of them to ask, but it's kind of pointless because they wouldn't have had to listen to your reply, had you said no or requested a fee they could have just ignored it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MelihK
Wow, i just see the sticker on their module.
"OpenLRS" there without my permission?
Actually they're doing exactly what they need, i.e saying what project it's based on so it's clear to everyone, and the project is credited. Had they taken your code and design without mentioning the source and trying to hide them into "something they had made", then they would have clearly done sdmething wrong.
Now if they also release the design files and source when it goes on sale, they're all good.

IF you want to do open source but want to restrict some uses, then don't use GPL. There are other licenses around for that kind of uses. Or nothing prevents you from simply writing your own license, that can be just a simple line such as "You're free to reuse the code for personal use, but any commercial application must be discussed with the author"!
A somewhat more complete example is the license used by the MikroKopter project:
http://svn.mikrokopter.de/filedetail...%2FLICENSE.TXT

They clearly state that the code must be used only for private uses, and on hardware sold by them. Any exception must be authorised specifically.
If someone copies the hardware and loads the software, they can be attacked. Some tried to sell the hardware with a blank CPU, but then the users could be sued if they used the code. Most kind of understood the problem though, and they managed to get rid of several Chinese copies thanks to that. They also implemented a very simple "protection" by flashing a (closed) bootloader to their boards without distributing it, and the firmware requires this bootloader to be used. As the Chinese don't have the bootloader, then users can't directly flash the compiled application. Yes they could modify the source and recompile it, but that's enough to discourage the vast majority of potential cheaters and leave the Chinese with a product that can't be easily used by anyone, and thus loses all its commercial interest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MelihK
Maybe it helps to keeping it open and finds new developers to the project (currently we are 4)
It will be interesting to see, but this might just happen. I for example have been interested in OpenLRS, mainly with the goal of using it and potentially integrating it with the 9X radio and its open firmwares, to finally have a tightly integrated radio and bidirectional data link solution (I think I've mentioned it a couple of times, even suggested making a JR-shaped module with the serial pins on the locations that are used in 9x mods, but barely got a reply). Maybe now someone finally makes a JR module the idea will progress and draw more people in?
Nov 29, 2012, 06:00 AM
USA: LakeGeorge, New York
MelihK
We definitely are on your side,.....make a Plug and Play OpenLRS that will fit into our Futaba 9c/Turnigy 9x Module bays....
I'd buy yours before I see other "ORANGE" brand thats for sure:-)


p.s.
your not going to win against a big world wide company like HK, but you will win customer support for us RC enthusiasts.
So keep making products thats appealing and SIMPLE for everyone and we will buy (because we trust you).
Last edited by rclab1; Nov 29, 2012 at 07:54 AM.
Nov 29, 2012, 06:23 AM
DJO
DJO
"Yo, that's a thermal"
DJO's Avatar
Huh? $100? Is it up on the site yet or something? didn't they say a week or two?



Dan
Nov 29, 2012, 06:57 AM
kha
kha
openLRSng haxor
So, if this really is a 1:1 copy of openLRS it means that it will work with the new code I created. (some rewiring is needed)

https://github.com/kh4/openLRSng

It builds on the openLRS thUndeadMod but I spent some time to work on some fundamentals
- cleaned the code (still more cleaning to do)
- enabled usage of hardware timers for PPM sampling and generation (this makes PPM completely jitterfree)
- extended resolution to 10bits (from 8bit)
- added a UHF beacon mode, this turns the RX into beacon when link is lost for long time

As the firmware is in early development there may be issues with it even thou I've done quite bit of testing on it. Also more features are to come like real binding procedure (no more hardcoded id/channel list) etc.

I have also been thinkking of making a hw variant of my own to fixup the pinusage so that the PPM would be wired to correct timer pin and also making use of the SPI of the atmega instead of bitbanging.

I too see it a bit rude to steal the design especially if they did not offer any compensation for that. But as long as they credit the source there hardly is any 'legal' issue.
Nov 29, 2012, 07:59 AM
MelihK's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kha
So, if this really is a 1:1 copy of openLRS it means that it will work with the new code I created. (some rewiring is needed)

https://github.com/kh4/openLRSng

It builds on the openLRS thUndeadMod but I spent some time to work on some fundamentals
- cleaned the code (still more cleaning to do)
- enabled usage of hardware timers for PPM sampling and generation (this makes PPM completely jitterfree)
- extended resolution to 10bits (from 8bit)
- added a UHF beacon mode, this turns the RX into beacon when link is lost for long time

As the firmware is in early development there may be issues with it even thou I've done quite bit of testing on it. Also more features are to come like real binding procedure (no more hardcoded id/channel list) etc.

I have also been thinkking of making a hw variant of my own to fixup the pinusage so that the PPM would be wired to correct timer pin and also making use of the SPI of the atmega instead of bitbanging.

I too see it a bit rude to steal the design especially if they did not offer any compensation for that. But as long as they credit the source there hardly is any 'legal' issue.
Yes I read your code and like it specially beacon code. I was try to doing it but with different method and my sounds was noisy. Your code is very simple and rocksolid to audible beeps.

Only i didnt understand the 8 bit problem. Thundead using 8 bit PPM? Because the original code is 11 bit. (0.5us resolution)
Nov 29, 2012, 08:36 AM
kha
kha
openLRSng haxor
Quote:
Originally Posted by MelihK
Yes I read your code and like it specially beacon code. I was try to doing it but with different method and my sounds was noisy. Your code is very simple and rocksolid to audible beeps.

Only i didnt understand the 8 bit problem. Thundead using 8 bit PPM? Because the original code is 11 bit. (0.5us resolution)
Thanks for the nice words =)

Yeah I stand corrected for the resolution, it was long time since I looked the original code. Seemingly thUndead made the resolution lower to minimize the packet size as he uses really low bitrate of 4800bps.

The reason I got involved again was because my friend started to use openLRS for his crafts (with thUndedMod) and asked me to help with the settings on the code. After looking it a moment I was like this is horrible, and so I begun to rewrite it, Also the PPM stream was not working at all.

I had the code for timer based PPM generation and sampling at hand (due to previous work with AeroQuad project) so this gave a fast start for the new code.

Resolution wise I saw that 8bits was too little so I raised to 10 which seemed enough (and matches what AeroQuad internally uses). The timer code would easily allow 11 or 12bits but that would make the transmitted packet bigger. and especially on lower bitrates this starts to pose a problem.

So this drove me into making the bitrate selectable, as I want to reintroduce the telemetry.

The beacon code started from the fact that I purchased a UHF beacon (from fmkit or something and it actually uses the same rfm22 module). I did some research on the PMR446 (mainly frequency and modulation) and checking the RFM22 datasheet it was actually quite trivial to use the asynchronous FSK mode for clean tone(s) at pretty much correct modulation.

Hardware wise the 1W module is really interesting the only thing with it is that hopeRF hasn't told what the lower (6) power levels really are.

In fact it would be really cool if the future versions of the TX module would have the PPM routed to the correct (ICP1) pin (maybe in addition to the current).
Nov 29, 2012, 08:46 AM
Engineer for Christ
IBCrazy's Avatar
Perhaps somebody can elighten me on this: How does one give something away to the community so hobbyists can benefit, but keep it safe from competing commercial interests?

-Alex
Nov 29, 2012, 08:54 AM
Registered User
slebetman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrashMeUp
Note that GPL does not "permit" to redistribute code.. it requires you to redistribute the code, to whoever you distributed the compiled code/resulting product to (with all the necessary tools to build the code too) at no additional cost to them (only the cost of the media used to copy it for you, such as a cd rom)
This is again a bit of a misunderstanding of GPL. It doesn't **require** the redistribution of the code.

If you read the license carefully you'll find it only requires that the distributor provide the code if and when requested by the user. Most products generally provide the source by default because it makes sense that if you're required to provide it anyway might as well provide it from the start. But that is not always the case. Manufacturers of industrial equipment often don't provide the source to customers unless they ask for it.
Nov 29, 2012, 09:18 AM
Registered User
slebetman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCrazy
Perhaps somebody can elighten me on this: How does one give something away to the community so hobbyists can benefit, but keep it safe from competing commercial interests?

-Alex
Create a license.

The GPL is just a license. But you're free to create one yourself.

For example, Apple's OS is open source but covered by the Apple Public Source License which allows them to withhold some parts of the OS (like the UI and device drivers) so that competitors cannot simply sell a compatible copy of OSX.

Another example is Andrew Tanenbaum's Minix license. It allows you to modify the source code as much as you want but prevents you from redistributing your changes - basically any changes to the code needs to be forwarded back to Tanenbaum for him to incorporate into the official release.

But you would obviously recognize that Apple's OS is considered proprietary by many even though OSF recognizes APSL as a valid open source license. Tanenbaum's license on the other hand does not seem too bad but is considered a closed source license by OSF (because of the redistribution restriction).

Ultimately, "keeping it safe from competing commercial interests" is a closed source concept and is incompatible with open source. If that is what you really want then you can always choose one of the Creative Commons license: creativecommons.org
Nov 29, 2012, 09:53 AM
kha
kha
openLRSng haxor
Quote:
Originally Posted by slebetman
Create a license.

The GPL is just a license. But you're free to create one yourself.
You don't really need a licence to protect yourself, there is copyright that will protect you regardless of the licence and in this openLRS case this applies to both hardware and software.

The thing is that enforcing copyright or licence against a big company is next to impossible task to do.
Nov 29, 2012, 10:55 AM
FPV Enthusiast
martinic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rclab1
MelihK
We definitely are on your side,.....make a Plug and Play OpenLRS that will fit into our Futaba 9c/Turnigy 9x Module bays....
I'd buy yours before I see other "ORANGE" brand thats for sure:-)


p.s.
your not going to win against a big world wide company like HK, but you will win customer support for us RC enthusiasts.
So keep making products thats appealing and SIMPLE for everyone and we will buy (because we trust you).
Bang on! When faced with this sort of situation, it is better to take the high ground and just keep doing your thing. Continue making things and working within the community. We will support you.


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