Electronics > Eagle

Eagle Free or is it ?

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Bloch:

--- Quote from: OhmEye on February 07, 2011, 01:15:35 am ---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?

--- End quote ---

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

Hypernova:

--- Quote from: Bloch on February 07, 2011, 07:30:58 am ---
--- Quote from: OhmEye on February 07, 2011, 01:15:35 am ---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?

--- End quote ---

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

--- End quote ---

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.

Jon Chandler:
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

alm:
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.

OhmEye:
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.

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