sam system-d

Ethical question.
« on: September 15, 2014, 11:43:31 AM »
Hi there,
It's been a long time since my last post, but right now, I need some lights.
We all agree here to say copying stuff that you can buy is not the point of DIY. Some do, some don't.
Few guys from the DIY community sell PCBs of their own work, based sometimes on schematics well known, some from just ideas that they developped themselves.

What happens when you can't buy anymore the project from a DIYer ?

I'm actually working on a project, seems to be on the good way. As usual, I'm not going to sell anything, I'm just looking for opinions on this. Should I share my redesign or should I just keep it to respect others' work ?
I will need answers from longtime members on that one, or admins.
Je mets les pieds où je veux, et c'est souvent dans la gueule...


JohnRoberts

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2014, 12:29:01 PM »
If you are making something for your own personal use and not for commercial gain, you can even use patented technology.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

gyraf

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2014, 01:33:44 AM »
There are many aspects to it. You may need to specify your question.

Just because you can't buy the finished PCB doesn't mean that the project is abandoned and ready to be re-cloned. If schematics/pcb's/microcode is still publicly available, there is no good reason to re-clone the project (other than obvious commercial interests, but we won't go there).

On the other hand, if a somehow obsolete diy/clone project does not have complete information publicly available, I think it may be the right thing to re-clone. In this case, the ethical thing would be to make sure to clearly credit the original and/or the original cloned project. Think along the lines of "The GNU General Public License"

Again, it's hard to advice without knowing specifics..

Jakob E.
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

sam system-d

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2014, 03:10:51 AM »
Ok, I'm talking about the Mixbuzz1.
I'm doing a self-etch version of this one after being lucky enough to find one on the black market.
I know that Igor has left the scene for personnal reasons (I should try to find a way to get in touch with him, but how ?), closed all his shops, all the infos you can find are from members or Ramshack for few 500 series projects.
I know that with the GSSL, all the mods, the SB4000 there are plenty of 1RU comp project, but the mixbuzz1 seems to be a very special one. All the ratios, the signal path, the meter... Igor has done an impressive work on this one for a newbie like me. WHen I was researching the doc2.5, a member asked me if I would sell boards after redoing this project. I don't want to, because I'm just a DIYer. But I would give away my redrawing (you know, you get so much from this place,  you need to give back at some point imho)

I don't feel that I could handle a support thread, I don't think that I could help people to fix their problems if they have some, I don't want to have kits at home and ship them worldwide, but I really think that this project should live.
Je mets les pieds où je veux, et c'est souvent dans la gueule...

ramshackles

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2014, 05:02:34 AM »
I don't particularly see anything morally wrong with this.

If you are going to create a PCB design for the mixbuzz1 and sell it, it will probably:

- Be created from the mixbuzz1 schematics, which is ok because they are public domain
- The PCB boards would be your own work, as the PCB design is your own work (necessarily as I don't think there are any publicly available PCB design files for mb1)

There may be some disgruntled sellers of competitor products, but that is their problem

But, I would hesitate in selling it commercially as you can never underestimate the amount of effort that requires. If you are going to sell for profit, you need:

- To stand behind your product. It should be verified, tested, packaged with documentation etc. This is extra work and extra money for prototyping and so on.
- Sort out postage. And deal with stuff like boards that get 'lost in the mail'. Are you going to be able to deal with this and either send out a new board (out of your own pocket), deny any liability and risk your reputation, or insist on higher postage prices to send the boards insured?
- You need to spend a considerable initially outlay on getting the stock in. Money that you may not see back for some time. You also need to balance the amount of stock you will buy (more boards is more expensive, but also reduces individual cost), versus your intended sale price and the number of units you think will sell of x period of time.

And so on...But you mentioned you don't want this so  better option would be to organize a group buy. See who is interested and split the price for getting that number of boards made.

Or, if you just want to self etch your own and don't care what happens with the design, just put it out there for people to do what they will :)

Igor has been unreachable via his public addresses (email, facebook, skype) for over a year. I wouldn't be too concerned about not receiving a response from him.
I wouldn't be too concerned about getting his 'blessing' or anything either. You would essentially be making your own design.


To be ethical, I would credit Igor with the work (as in gyrafs comments on GPL).

Even if the mixbuzz1 was still being sold, there wouldn't really be anything to stop you from making your own PCB design and making it publicly available. That would probably be a bit more ethically unsound though....

I think making the project live on in some format would be the 'right' thing to do.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 05:16:09 AM by ramshackles »

sam system-d

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2014, 08:21:29 AM »
I'm glad I've got an answer from you, because you're selling some IJ Research pcbs.
On the "all the thing selling boards implies" thing, you are absolutly right, and I really don't want that. Same with a groupbuy. I'm not working here with professional tools, and I've heard than the gerbers files generated from my software are not that good. I'm more into the self etch thing. And to be honnest, I barely have some time for myself and my projects, I don't even know if I could simply be good at selling something...
I have to say that I used Igor's design (pcbs) for all the components placement, I've changed few things to be more friendly with the home etch jfile, but it's basically a copy. This is were I'm not sure if what I do is good or not.

But let's be clear, my goal is to put the home etch file on my mediafire spot, and put a link at some point here, when it's gonna be working. I don't want any money involved in this.
Je mets les pieds où je veux, et c'est souvent dans la gueule...

gyraf

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2014, 10:35:09 AM »
I can't see anything bad in that- and it would probably help some diy'ers.

Just remember to credit the original project,  and point/link to all the relevant info you can find on the subject.

Jakob E.
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

rob_gould

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2014, 12:26:30 PM »
I'm not anywhere near as qualified as others here to comment on this thread, but it sounds to me like you're contributing to the diy community, not taking advantage of it or profiting from it.

ramshackles

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2014, 05:10:19 PM »
reviving a dead project and making your additional work available for free is only good news x2

sam system-d

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2015, 11:29:21 AM »
So it's been 4 mounth, I've seen that the mixbuzz (500 series) is sold out.
Just a small update :


Still have to :
- Do PSU
- Do Ratio/Attack/Release boards
- Do the dbx board
-  Verify everthing from schematics

But I hope soon, this project will be available for everyone for free.
Je mets les pieds où je veux, et c'est souvent dans la gueule...


kambo

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2015, 02:57:58 PM »
If you are making something for your own personal use and not for commercial gain, you can even use patented technology.

JR

thats not 100% correct... 


Whoops

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2016, 10:43:05 PM »
Hello Sam System,
did you ever developed your project?

I would like to ask you whats the different between the Mixbuzz and the SB4000 project?

Sorry for my ignorance maybe I came late to this SSL bus compressors thing,
and has the SB4000 is an active project and you still seem to prefer the Mixbuzz I would like to ask what are the differences/benefits of the Mixbuzz over the SB4000.

thanks

JohnRoberts

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2016, 11:38:28 AM »
If you are making something for your own personal use and not for commercial gain, you can even use patented technology.

JR

thats not 100% correct...
99% ?  I'm not a lawyer, but have several patents.

My understanding of the deal or quid pro quo for getting exclusive rights to a technology is publishing the preferred embodiment (best way), so others can repeat and learn from your invention, to expand the world's knowledge base and grow it. 
 
The legal actions I've seen related to patent infringement are based on the inventor being denied profits from a copier using his IP without compensation. An individual building a one-off for personal use is denying the inventor exactly one sale, while a researcher building one to learn from is allowed use. The cost to mount a lawsuit against individual hobbyists is huge versus the damages involved. Only a class action might lump together enough individual damages, but prosecution still seems hugely  impractical.  A kit seller OTOH, is more likely to be targeted for IP infringement than individuals IMO.   

I have only been involved in one lawsuit (regarding a patent I assigned to my former employer that a competitor copied ). We were not successful. OTOH I have seen patents used (improperly IMO) to bully a small business from competing in a product category. But that case was difficult because if the small entity mounted a weak attack (all he could afford) on the dubious patent, it would probably just make it stronger. This may be too much inside baseball.

I am always willing to learn more, so please tell me where I am incorrect.

JR 
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

kambo

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2016, 12:37:21 PM »
i would go with 99%  no problem  :)

i pretty much agree with everything you are saying, and practice aint changed. (you are an older generation then i am)

one note on personal use which is the tricky part : (not against what u r saying, just to make it more clear)
i have a private studio, 100% closed to public. i use it for my own sound design business. i still cant build and use patented technology equipment in my studio for my professional projects.
but i can for my hobby music or hobby sound design projects !
as long as i dont sell or license that music in audio format, i am good;

kind a using crack plugins vs licensed... steinberg aint gonna sue you if you are a hobby musician, using cubase once in a while to learn/record some songs.... if you have only one crack program in your computer u wont even get class action for it. its not practical and doesnt worth it...
but they will, if you are running a commercial studio. but that wont be lawsuit etc etc it would be most likely class action as u stated again.


edit :
while a researcher building one to learn from is allowed use.
very tricky ! but in practice, that how things are running.


« Last Edit: March 12, 2016, 12:55:41 PM by kambo »

PRR

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2016, 07:46:44 PM »
One justification for granting a patent monopoly is SO others may study the invention and improve on it.

Aron patents the iron plow.

Bob tries it, develops a better curve on the blade.

Carol tries Aron/Bob's plow and thinks it would be better in steel.

Obviously for this to happen, Bob and Carol have to start from Aron's invention. This is allowed for experimentation. Yes, there may not be a laser-line in the sand where experimentation turns into distribution.

The result may be a 3-patent plow, needing rights from 3 inventors. But if it cuts fields better, it may be worth the added cost. (And in practice, the older patents tend to expire before a lot more improvement happens.)

Andy Peters

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2016, 07:16:57 PM »
kind a using crack plugins vs licensed... steinberg aint gonna sue you if you are a hobby musician, using cubase once in a while to learn/record some songs.... if you have only one crack program in your computer u wont even get class action for it. its not practical and doesnt worth it...
but they will, if you are running a commercial studio. but that wont be lawsuit etc etc it would be most likely class action as u stated again.

I have a good friend of many years who used to be in the plug-in business. He is also a fine musician and recording engineer, so he is in a lot of studios. And back when he was still in the plug-in business, he would always check the ProTools rigs of whatever studio he was in, and without fail, those rigs had copies of his products installed. And since he knew who had actually paid for the plug-ins, because of the licensing, he soon realized that basically nobody was paying for his work. What was more astonishing was that producers who were making records that sold millions of copies were using cracks of $199 plug-ins.

So he and his partner said "f**k it" and sold the business and walked away.

-a
"On the Internet, nobody can hear you mix a band"

JohnRoberts

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2016, 08:12:40 PM »
kind a using crack plugins vs licensed... steinberg aint gonna sue you if you are a hobby musician, using cubase once in a while to learn/record some songs.... if you have only one crack program in your computer u wont even get class action for it. its not practical and doesnt worth it...
but they will, if you are running a commercial studio. but that wont be lawsuit etc etc it would be most likely class action as u stated again.

I have a good friend of many years who used to be in the plug-in business. He is also a fine musician and recording engineer, so he is in a lot of studios. And back when he was still in the plug-in business, he would always check the ProTools rigs of whatever studio he was in, and without fail, those rigs had copies of his products installed. And since he knew who had actually paid for the plug-ins, because of the licensing, he soon realized that basically nobody was paying for his work. What was more astonishing was that producers who were making records that sold millions of copies were using cracks of $199 plug-ins.

So he and his partner said "f**k it" and sold the business and walked away.

-a

+1+
years ago I promised myself to never make a product that could be so easily copied and ripped off (because it would be, as is human nature).

For years I have chomped at the bit to make a software version of the old TS-1, but too easy to copy... (yawn)

I've been asked to make a software plug-in for my popular Loft delay-line flanger... (yawn)

It's not completely an accident that my drum tuner can not be executed as an iphone plug-in... but not so much a cold calculation as good fortune (I need the real speakers and specific geometry).  ;D

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

kambo

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2016, 09:48:38 PM »

It's not completely an accident that my drum tuner can not be executed as an iphone plug-in... but not so much a cold calculation as good fortune (I need the real speakers and specific geometry).  ;D

JR

if you were selling your drum tuner like bread and butter everyday, it would be copied loooong time ago...
may be better of keep lo profile, sometimes...
on the other hand, i wish you sell 100s of them every single day.... as long as u dont miss your duties here in
groupDIY  ;)


kambo

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2016, 09:50:22 PM »


So he and his partner said "f**k it" and sold the business and walked away.

-a

that really sucks  >:(


edit: btw i have recorded in some very respectable studios in east coast, they all had number of  crack plugins;
only reson they were using crack version, was due  crack ones somewhat were more stable and they didnt have enough ports for security dongles... they had license for every single plugin they were using tho.

« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 10:46:53 PM by kambo »

kambo

Re: Ethical question.
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2016, 09:53:48 PM »
One justification for granting a patent monopoly is SO others may study the invention and improve on it.

Aron patents the iron plow.

Bob tries it, develops a better curve on the blade.

Carol tries Aron/Bob's plow and thinks it would be better in steel.

Obviously for this to happen, Bob and Carol have to start from Aron's invention. This is allowed for experimentation. Yes, there may not be a laser-line in the sand where experimentation turns into distribution.

The result may be a 3-patent plow, needing rights from 3 inventors. But if it cuts fields better, it may be worth the added cost. (And in practice, the older patents tend to expire before a lot more improvement happens.)

1+
but,
better watch where you are heading to... some products have strict restrictions... if they catch you messing with their product, they will go after you ( they have allllll the lawyers and $$$ etc)