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Old 07-21-2009, 02:37 AM   #101
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Let me start by saying I have no vested interest in any of these projects, other than as a potential end-user of MegaSquirt or similar products. I probably have more experience than the average person with open-source licenses, and understanding them, but I am not a lawyer.

James, should you read this, it seems apparent that this is a rather emotional issue for you, and I cannot say that's surprising. I would like to say that the "open source" community, regardless of license, is a dynamic place, full of creative and talented people, and that open source projects can benefit from this... along with a number of complications for the author. I believe MegaSquirt is a project that benefits from the community, and can continue to do so, even amongst some unexpected twists.

In my brief review of the MegaSquirt 1 Extra HR code, I see copyright stated, and a requirement that the copyright be preserved. I also see Motorola copyrights, etc. It's with some surprise that I do not see any licenses stated, either for the "base code", nor this derivative. The stipulation that copyright notice must be preserved is reminiscent of a BSD license, but does not share any other correlation.

I suppose it's up to a lawyer to decide if it's a reasonable argument of whether there's an implied license or not, of whether defense of copyright is a consideration, etc. It'd also be up to each copyright holder, of any included code, as to what license they're granting the use of their code.

Again, I'm not asserting an opinion on this particular thread or instance. I just want to speak to the project code.

This code is, as you said, "open source". I'm assuming there's an intention there of community involvement and development. At the end of the day, has the open source model been a benefit? Be it the MS code, or other open-source software, has open-source been a good thing? What can it be tomorrow, continuing to be open-source?

It seems it would be of enormous benefit to the community at large to clear up any question as to what license(s) the code is available under. It would also be of benefit for the copyright holders involved to clearly state their intentions with regards to their ownership of the code, so 'the community' can be involved with no doubts as to their expectations of the results.

I would whole-heartedly encourage an evaluation of the GPL license, by the copyright holders involved in this project. The GPL is extremely well defined, saving an enormous amount of legal expense in drafting a license, and provides a clear statement of intent to the community. Similarly, it encourages the community to be involved, while prohibiting any individual or company from redistributing a modified version of the code, without adhering to the same GPL license, and sharing that code, e.g. selling a closed-source derivative for profit.

Thanks for your time, James, and your contributions. I wish you the best of luck in reaching a conclusion in this matter, and hope it is one that leaves all parties involved feeling satisfied. Myself, as a member of the community, watches with anticipation.
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:36 AM   #102
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This code is, as you said, "open source".
I didn't say that actually.

However, the term open-source appears to have gained new meaning during the lifetime of the Megasquirt code. 5-10 years ago the term was used simply to mean that the source code was open to see. Now the term has been hi-jacked by the likes of www.open-source.org to mean a complete free-for-all.

Anyway, the legal advice that I've had is that I would have a strong case against the copy-cat guys who are making their own boards, claiming it to be a Megasquirt version and using the code without consent.

To take this in a more positive direction though... there is now a new "Microsquirt module" which could form the core of custom ECU while benefiting from all the effort we've put into the MS2/Extra code.

James
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:02 AM   #103
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I stand corrected. You stated that it "is indeed open", in response to Joe's description of it as open-source.

I agree that "open source" does not mean "free-for-all", though this has been a common misinterpretation. The only time "free-for-all" could be considered accurate, is in the case of a work released into the public domain. A license grants rights to something which is copyrighted, and as I said, I cannot see a license distributed with the code, hence I would have to assume that there are no rights for redistribution, other than for those who've been granted a license, presumably in private.

That said, actions like uploading it to SourceForge may convey implied intent, e.g. an intent for it to be distributed. Again, one can go down a lengthy road of considering implications, and ultimately this could be considered as a test of who is willing to spend more money on a legal fight. I have no desire to see that path, and no intent to explore the potential outcome, other than to say that I can only imagine it being damaging to a "community" of users who are still left with the question of what the license and intent is.

My interest is to consider the situation that has arisen, and to identify a root problem that seems to have long laid dormant; what is the license, under which the Megasquirt code is being distributed? (This is independent of any copyright issues with regards to hardware designs.) Is it licensed to be distributed, modified, and redistributed, by end-users, but only in conjunction with boards officially distributed by B&G? Is there no license for modification and/or redistribution? Etc. Understanding the intent helps users like me to understand the parameters and permissions under which I may use this software, and/or contribute to it. I'm sure you can appreciate the necessity of such a thing, to avoid any confusion regarding acceptable uses, and state a clear legal stance.

A new "Microsquirt module" sounds interesting, and I'm sure many here would enjoy hearing more about it. Would you like to create a new thread to share with us more information about this?
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:44 AM   #104
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There's a page in the Megasquirt "Megamanual" about the copyright stance:
MegaSquirt EFI Licenses and Copyrights
In essence, if you buy the hardware you can use the code.
Quote:
A new "Microsquirt module" sounds interesting, and I'm sure many here would enjoy hearing more about it. Would you like to create a new thread to share with us more information about this?
(EDIT) Here's the website for it: http://www.microsquirtmodule.com

hope that may be of interest

James

Last edited by jsmcortina; 07-22-2009 at 07:59 AM. Reason: Found website
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:29 PM   #105
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Despite much looking, that page somehow eluded me. Thank you for pointing it out. Certainly does help to clarify intent.

The MicroSquirt Module looks interesting indeed, I'll have to continue reading about it, thanks for the heads up.
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Old 07-22-2009, 05:37 PM   #106
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macker - thanks for the PM. I'm too much of a newbie on this forum to be allowed to send PMs.

James
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:00 PM   #107
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Oops, might want to fix that
Attached Thumbnails
MS Adapterboard Anyone???-msgpl.jpg  
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:13 PM   #108
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Ha!
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:07 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinHoMi View Post
Oops, might want to fix that
yeah.. in hand.

James
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:29 AM   #110
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(That incorrect Sourceforge page now long removed.)

Did anything come of this Miata adapter and knock sensing etc?

James
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:22 PM   #111
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I ended up making some boards based on the Microsquirt Module for a couple of scca classes with rules where a typical replacement ecu would not be legal.
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:33 PM   #112
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So no further adapter board or knock dev then?

James
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:51 PM   #113
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Well there were a couple adapter boards discussed in this thread. I don't know anything about the one that was primarily discussed in this thread. But the other one that was briefly discussed (the adapter that interfaces with the MS-I v3.0 board) was canceled I believe b/c the developer lost interested (and we were both independently developing the same thing). There are a bunch of people with my board... the STS and STSL national champions had this one.

But after the microsquirt module came out I ended up moving to MS-II, simply because it's a lot easier to build.

Last edited by JustinHoMi; 06-08-2011 at 06:12 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 06-08-2011, 05:02 PM   #114
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Quote:
In essence, if you buy the hardware you can use the code.
Is it kosher to buy the hardware and stick it in a drawer while you run the code on your own hardware?

I ask because my ECU has become a multi-board frankenproject covered in wires, and I kind of want to respin it all onto a single board eventually...
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:08 PM   #115
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I don't think anyone will care as long as you're not distributing your custom hardware.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:13 PM   #116
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I edited my my earlier post (#113) b/c it wasn't very clear as to which board I was talking about.
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