Author Topic: Eagle Free or is it ?  (Read 23934 times)

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Offline Bloch

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Eagle Free or is it ?
« on: February 07, 2011, 01:12:07 am »
Hi All

Pls move this if it is the wrong place.

I did listen to theamphour and the did lead me to the  makezine.com/live ep01 [youtube][/youtube]

Collin Cunningham did explain abut how the MidiVox was made with Cadsoft EAGLE.

Is it just me that get the impression that it was made by the free version ?

If that the case is that ok ?
Quote
If you earn (or save) money by using the Freeware version of EAGLE Light, you have to register it.
and you can buy the MidiVox here http://www.makershed.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MKNB1

What is your opinion about it ?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 11:30:08 am by EEVblog »
 

Online Zero999

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2011, 01:16:52 am »
There's a free version which has restrictions: maximum board size of 100mm by 80mm, two layers and schematics are limited to one sheet.

There's a warez crack available but I've heard problems with opening files using a pirate copy so do so at your own risk.

I use KiCad which is completely free of restrictions ans is open source.
 

Offline Bloch

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2011, 01:35:25 am »
I was thinking in the lines off "some one" is earning money. From a version that it is not allowed to.   
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2011, 07:50:00 am »
Technically/legally this is a very valid point, and I'm sure I mentioned it on some episode of the Amp Hour.

From my point of view I see the free version of Eagle as actually being unsuitable for open source hardware as it is being predominately used and promoted for.
Why?, because ANYONE who manufacturers a product using the free version of eagle, even if the original designer "gave away" that design by making it open source is technically violating the terms and conditions and using the software illegally. I presume that also includes the Gerbers generated using the free version also.
And of course the entire open source hardware industry is built around companies who sell the kits which includes the PCB.

But it seems no one wants to discuss it or clarify it, so they just ignore it.

Dave.
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2011, 08:02:21 am »
I think that someone (TheAmpHour) had mentioned that CadSoft may have also to give away a completely free version of Eagle, because some other company released it;s similar software.

Am I right? I can;t recall the name of the software or the company;s. Any hints?
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Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2011, 08:28:52 am »
But it seems no one wants to discuss it or clarify it, so they just ignore it.

That would be the job of CadSoft, aka, Element 14, aka Newark, aka Farnell. If they turn a blind eye to it, well, it can come back later and hurt them.

But independent of what CadSoft / Element 14 / Newark / Farnell does or doesn't do now, it is a good idea to study the license before using Eagle, instead of relying on hearsay and "but everyone does it". Especially because CadSoft / Element 14 / Newark / Farnell can stop looking away any time and then come after people.
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Offline OhmEye

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2011, 09:02:54 am »
From my point of view I see the free version of Eagle as actually being unsuitable for open source hardware as it is being predominately used and promoted for.
Why?, because ANYONE who manufacturers a product using the free version of eagle, even if the original designer "gave away" that design by making it open source is technically violating the terms and conditions and using the software illegally. I presume that also includes the Gerbers generated using the free version also.

I disagree with that, I don't see anything in the non-profit Eagle license that disallows giving away for free works produced with Eagle. The non-profit license simply doesn't allow commercial use, defined as making money. They even make a commercial exception for producing and using Gerber files for PCB production using the free version. http://www.cadsoftusa.com/freeware.htm

If somebody manufactures a product using the free version of Eagle for profit (other than simply generating gerber files) then they would be in violation of the license. If it's not for profit, then no problem.

Basically, regardless of who creates the Eagle files or what license they have, each person who uses Eagle has to be appropriately licensed for their own use. If you make any money with work done in Eagle, you need to buy a registration. Am I missing something here?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 09:06:39 am by OhmEye »
 

Offline Zad

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2011, 09:37:09 am »
On the subject of the Make: videos...

A few months ago, I wrote an item on my blog, on the subject of the media portrayal of engineers as geeks and nerds, and how Element-14 weren't helping things by employing stereotype nerd Ben Heck as their pin-up model (I even got mentioned in TheAmpHour!).  Now, I guess this bit won't mean much to people who grew up outside the UK, but through the 1960s, 70s and 80s, a UK organisation called the Open University broadcast hundreds of academic TV programmes on various subjects, including maths and physics. They were all made on a tiny budget, using real university lecturers, in their own choice of clothing. Sadly, there aren't any programmes on YouTube that I can link to, but this spoof programme by Fry and Laurie is scarily similar:



All the male lecturers had long hair, even the bald ones (with comb-overs) and frequently had spectacular facial hair, such as big sideburn whiskers. Almost without exception they had National Health Service thick plastic spectacle frames. Even in 1980 their style was stuck sometime around 1963. I had believed this rare species to be long extinct, but the Make video proves otherwise!



I just don't get it. What is the point of making yourself look 20 years older than you are? I can understand that it is useful if you are 17, but when you are 33 it is a different matter. I mean, goodness knows the depth of irony in me giving style assistance to anyone, but ... shave, haircut and contact lenses or frames styled in the current century? Still, like Ben, Collin is distinctive and that may well be his future in media, but there goes yet another reason that engineering is mired in the pit of nerdy geekdom, with kids afraid of what they will look like as adults if they choose the Dark Path, and that is where my gripe is. We are supposed to be bringing kids towards engineering, not scaring them away.

P.S. I'm sure Becky had a waaay less severe hairdo before. It seems to be the 13 year old nerdy boy look now, rather than the slightly elfin attractive female one. Is someone abducting these people hypnotising them and removing their style and taste neurons?

P.P.S Steve Hoefer nearly balances out the nerdity. Steve, if you hear a strange noise outside, DO NOT GO TOWARDS THE LIGHT. We can't afford to lose any more!


Online Zero999

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2011, 10:14:16 am »
I disagree with that, I don't see anything in the non-profit Eagle license that disallows giving away for free works produced with Eagle. The non-profit license simply doesn't allow commercial use, defined as making money. They even make a commercial exception for producing and using Gerber files for PCB production using the free version. http://www.cadsoftusa.com/freeware.htm

If somebody manufactures a product using the free version of Eagle for profit (other than simply generating gerber files) then they would be in violation of the license. If it's not for profit, then no problem.
No.

The GPL states that the creator gives permission for their work to be used commercially i.e. for profit which is incomparable with the terms of the free Eagle license which forbids commercial use.
 

Offline glossywhite

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2011, 10:17:30 am »
I think you'll find they're just trying too hard to appear "retro" and "edgy", which apparently makes them think they appear intelligent, whereas they just look stupid.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2011, 10:59:26 am »
I disagree with that, I don't see anything in the non-profit Eagle license that disallows giving away for free works produced with Eagle. The non-profit license simply doesn't allow commercial use, defined as making money. They even make a commercial exception for producing and using Gerber files for PCB production using the free version. http://www.cadsoftusa.com/freeware.htm

If somebody manufactures a product using the free version of Eagle for profit (other than simply generating gerber files) then they would be in violation of the license. If it's not for profit, then no problem.
No.

The GPL states that the creator gives permission for their work to be used commercially i.e. for profit which is incomparable with the terms of the free Eagle license which forbids commercial use.
Not sure I agree - the Eagle License  only covers what you do with it. Allowing others to use commercially is not your problem - it's the people doing the commercialising. If the people profiting are just using the Gerbers, then I can't see how Cadsoft can do anything about it - the licensee is not using it for commercial purposes and the people commerciallising are not using Eagle. In fact even if the people selling it take the Eagle file and just export a Gerber, that is actually explicitly allowed :
Quote
What does "non-profit" mean?

The definition of non-profit is fairly simple and straightforward:

    * If you earn (or save) money by using the Freeware version of EAGLE Light, you have to register it.

This allows anybody who wishes to use EAGLE Light for their private hobby projects to do so. Also students can use this version for any educational projects. It is even ok to use this version in a commercial environment, as long as you just want to evaluate the program. As soon as you start using it for commercial projects, you will have to register it. As an exception to this, board manufacturers may use the Freeware Light Edition to generate production data (e.g. Gerber files) from board files they have received from EAGLE users.
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2011, 11:07:57 am »
From my point of view I see the free version of Eagle as actually being unsuitable for open source hardware as it is being predominately used and promoted for.
Why?, because ANYONE who manufacturers a product using the free version of eagle, even if the original designer "gave away" that design by making it open source is technically violating the terms and conditions and using the software illegally. I presume that also includes the Gerbers generated using the free version also.

I disagree with that, I don't see anything in the non-profit Eagle license that disallows giving away for free works produced with Eagle. The non-profit license simply doesn't allow commercial use, defined as making money. They even make a commercial exception for producing and using Gerber files for PCB production using the free version. http://www.cadsoftusa.com/freeware.htm

If somebody manufactures a product using the free version of Eagle for profit (other than simply generating gerber files) then they would be in violation of the license. If it's not for profit, then no problem.

Basically, regardless of who creates the Eagle files or what license they have, each person who uses Eagle has to be appropriately licensed for their own use. If you make any money with work done in Eagle, you need to buy a registration. Am I missing something here?

I didn't know about the gerber clause, but that is only for board houses, bu kits producers etc.

Consider this scenario:
A hobbyist uses the free version of Eagle to produce and Open Hardware product and they publish the details and gerbers. No problems.
Someone is then free to take those gerber files and sell a zillion units and make a zillion dollars, because THEY have not used Eagle, so have not violated anything.
The original author on the other hand, can they go and do the same thing? i.e. take those gerber files and make a zillion dollars? I don't think they can, because then it can be deemed that Eagle was used by them for "commercial purposes".

The whole is stupid.

Dave.
 

Offline OhmEye

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2011, 11:40:08 am »
I disagree with that, I don't see anything in the non-profit Eagle license that disallows giving away for free works produced with Eagle. The non-profit license simply doesn't allow commercial use, defined as making money. They even make a commercial exception for producing and using Gerber files for PCB production using the free version. http://www.cadsoftusa.com/freeware.htm

If somebody manufactures a product using the free version of Eagle for profit (other than simply generating gerber files) then they would be in violation of the license. If it's not for profit, then no problem.
No.

The GPL states that the creator gives permission for their work to be used commercially i.e. for profit which is incomparable with the terms of the free Eagle license which forbids commercial use.

I'm certainly no lawyer, just a guy who uses this stuff like the rest of you! :)

I'm not sure where the GPL came into this. I think you are confusing the license of the tool with the license of the work. The GPL does not require you to use free tools to create GPL-licensed works. The license of the tool and the license of the produced work are completely different things. You can use proprietary tools to create open source code or hardware, or open tools to create proprietary work. As for the GPL specifically, you can use whatever tools you want, including non-free, to create work licensed under the GPL. http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0-faq.html#NonFreeTools Your use of work you create with your freeware version of Eagle is required to be non-commercial by the Eagle license, the work itself can be under any license you wish, including the GPL. If somebody takes a copy of your work and wants to use it for a commercial purpose with Eagle, their use of your work in Eagle requires them to license Eagle appropriately. They can choose to not use Eagle and use something else, it has nothing to do with the license of your work, it has to do with their use of Eagle. If you grant them license to make money with your work they are completely free to do so regardless of what tools they choose to use. They simply, as always, need to comply with the licensing of those tools whether they be free or not.

If you create work with Eagle and license it under the GPL, you are granting rights to your work only, your licensing isn't requiring anybody to use Eagle or any particular tool. If somebody wants to use your GPL-licensed work, it's entirely up to them if they want to use it in a commercial manner and to use any tools they choose and comply with the licensing of those tools as appropriate.

Examples of similar issues:

You can use GPL toolchains to produce proprietary code. (Use a GNU compiler to compile a commercial proprietary library or other binary.)
You can use proprietary tools to produce open work. (Use Microsoft Word to create and distribute an open document.)
The Linux kernel code itself was maintained in a non-open source management system. (Bitkeeper 2002-2005. And yes, it was controversial.)

If I'm wrong and there is any conflict between the GPL and Eagle licensing, I see it being on Eagle's side, not the GPL. However, Eagle's description of their freeware limitations is pretty straightforward to me, it doesn't intend at all to restrict licensing or distribution of work created with Eagle. Rather, it just requires that if you are going to work with Eagle for commercial use (even with some exceptions!) you need to buy a registration. I don't see that as conflicting at all with open source or open hardware, since it doesn't place any restrictions on how you license your work, it only requires your use to be non-commercial. It doesn't restrict any anybody else's use of your work to be non-commercial, they can buy a registration for Eagle or choose to use another tool.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2011, 12:13:25 pm »

From
I didn't know about the gerber clause, but that is only for board houses, bu kits producers etc.
That may have been the intention but without a more specific definition it is open to pretty wide interpretation. If I design a board, get it made by a subcontractor and sell you one, maybe after I snap it out of a panel, I could entirely reasonably say I'm the board manufacturer, in the same way that a board house  may outsource parts of their process (and many do for artwork preparation). They don't make the FR4, but they would be regarded as a board manufacturer.   
It doesn't even restrict the definition to bare PCBs, so if you assemble the board, then you would certainly be a 'board manufacturer' where 'board' is an assembled PCB.
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Offline OhmEye

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2011, 12:15:35 pm »
There's nothing stopping the original author from making a zillion dollars with their own work, they just have to register Eagle. If they didn't want to work under the licensing restrictions of the tool, they should have chosen something else. Personally, I think the US$49 registration fee doesn't cut much into that zillion dollars. :) If they originally used the freeware license then changed their mind and wanted to profit, they just have to register, then get filthy rich!

The freeware license specifically only covers the use of Eagle. Their words (emphasis mine):
Quote
If you earn (or save) money by using the Freeware version of EAGLE Light, you have to register it.

You can give away for free whatever you create, you only need to register Eagle if you make money. The Gerber exception is to allow anybody to use Eagle without registering to output files needed to use work created by somebody else.

I do agree that there's something wonky with the apparent loophole that a third party can take an open design produced with a freeware version of Eagle, then produce it commercially without any commercial Eagle license ever used for that work. It that the crux of the issue as you see it?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 01:40:59 pm by OhmEye »
 

Offline Bloch

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2011, 06:30:58 pm »
I do agree that there's something wonky with the apparent loophole that a third party can take an open design produced with a freeware version of Eagle, then produce it commercially without any commercial Eagle license ever used for that work. It that the crux of the issue as you see it?

Not only that.

That about a really cool SCH and or PCB on a web page.

That must be ok.

But that if there are ads on the web page ?

Lars
 

Offline Hypernova

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Re: Eagel Free or is it ?
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2011, 07:39:54 pm »
I do agree that there's something wonky with the apparent loophole that a third party can take an open design produced with a freeware version of Eagle, then produce it commercially without any commercial Eagle license ever used for that work. It that the crux of the issue as you see it?

Not only that.

That about a really cool SCH and or PCB on a web page.

That must be ok.

But that if there are ads on the web page ?

Lars

Say the ad money cancels out site upkeep? Unless they go to the trouble of suing you to provide the actual number what else can they do?

IMO if you really do manage to make money surely you can cough up 50$. SparkFun is huge and they use Eagle, you can even ask them for the eagle project files for their boards for free as I've done it before.
 

Offline Jon Chandler

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Re: Eagle Free or is it ?
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2011, 04:07:15 am »
I can see arguments on both sides of the issue.

On the one hand, it's kind of like saying that you can't read my document created using Microsoft Word unless you own a copy.  That's kind of silly, and obviously, you don't need a copy of Word to use the output of Word.  You need Word to create a document but not to use a document.

Thinking along the same lines fails when thinking about Gerber files produced by Eagle.  You need a licensed copy or freeware copy to use Eagle to create a board.  The output of the program is a Gerber file.  On the one hand, it's similar to the document produced in Word.  Even you you print copies of your creation and sell them, people who read the document don't need a copy of Word.  If you're using a Gerber file generated from Eagle, you never have to touch Eagle to use it, but still, it's different than a Word document.

I just looked at a Gerber file for a board I've created using a licensed copy of Eagle.  There's nothing recognizable in the file identifying what program created it.  The freeware version may be different.  As a good citizen, I'd have no way of telling if a Gerber file I downloaded from the web was created by Eagle, let alone if the tool used to create it was licensed.


Jon
 

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Re: Eagle Free or is it ?
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2011, 06:25:20 am »
Without consulting a lawyer, I would choose the safe interpretation of the licensing terms. I'd assume merely granting permission for commercial use (eg. publishing under GPL or CC without -NC) would be a violation, otherwise it would be a loophole in the license.

I don't think it's likely that they hold the person receiving the Gerber files responsible, that person didn't buy Eagle, so is not bound by its license. Suing someone for violation of contract without having a contract is fairly hard ;). That leaves just the person generating the Gerbers, since they do/did use Eagle.
 

Offline OhmEye

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Re: Eagle Free or is it ?
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2011, 07:23:44 am »
The Eagle freeware license doesn't explicitly disallow commercial use of work created with it or impose any limits on how you choose to license your work, it applies only to your use of Eagle. From everything they say on that license page the way I infer their intent is simply that if you make money using Eagle, you need to pay for their product. If that is not actually their intent, then I think they have poorly chosen license language. (Since we are discussing what we think they really mean, they probably do anyway. ;) )

Enforcing that license is pretty difficult even so. And there's also that ambiguous bit that if you "earn (or save) money" that's particularly nebulous. Defining "earn money" can be unclear enough, like that scenario Bloch mentioned about web ad revenue. But how to estimate cost savings? One could argue that it would save money compared to using another product, or that it doesn't save money since free products are available. Or one could argue that work was completed faster compared to other choices and therefore saved money. It's impossible to compare the cost for every bit of work done in Eagle to the costs of all alternatives to estimate savings, so to me that bit of language just goes to help define their intent of the spirit of the license.

I still think it boils down to: To use Eagle for commercial gain (other than manufacturing PCBs) you need to pay for it.
 

Online Zero999

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Re: Eagle Free or is it ?
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2011, 08:35:50 am »
Without consulting a lawyer, I would choose the safe interpretation of the licensing terms. I'd assume merely granting permission for commercial use (eg. publishing under GPL or CC without -NC) would be a violation, otherwise it would be a loophole in the license.
Yes, otherwise I could create a project using Eagle, give it to my brother who would exploit it commercially and buy me some presents to say thank you. ;)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Eagle Free or is it ?
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2011, 08:41:44 am »
The Eagle freeware license doesn't explicitly disallow commercial use of work created with it or impose any limits on how you choose to license your work, it applies only to your use of Eagle. From everything they say on that license page the way I infer their intent is simply that if you make money using Eagle, you need to pay for their product.

And there-in lies the rub.
Other people can profit from your generous work producing and selling open source products without fear of litigation, but YOU do not have the same rights, YOU have to fork over $50 to get that same privilege.
Yes, I know it's "only $50" but that is beside the point.

Element 14 know their product is the ducks guts in the open source hardware industry, but they continue to cripple it with a stupid poorly thought out license.
And don't get me started on the size limitations...

Dave.
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: Eagle Free or is it ?
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2011, 09:48:06 am »
I use KiCad which is completely free of restrictions ans is open source.
i'm downloading anything i could and learning right now. but it seems it doesnt have simulate/probe function?
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
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Online Zero999

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Re: Eagle Free or is it ?
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2011, 05:20:36 am »
I use KiCad which is completely free of restrictions ans is open source.
i'm downloading anything i could and learning right now. but it seems it doesnt have simulate/probe function?
That's because it's a PCB drafting program not a simulator.
 


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