Electronics > Open Source Hardware

Selling someone else tweaked Opensource project?

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johnnyfp:
Hi,

I've been making a derivative of this guys project and have made subtle changes, fixes and added a Case for it and now want to put it to a Crowdfunding service to flog it. See here for details of my project.

Is it kosher to do that? Considering that the project is opensource, and I made changes to it including PCB design changes (Redesigned from the ground up).

There's taking the idea and modifying or improving it, and then there's just using someone else's idea. What is the fine line in taking the biscuit to doing the open source thing? I want to be honest about things but realistic in the sense that Open Source hardware cost money vs Open source software that is free.

Hope I'm making sense.

Your thoughts?

Bored@Work:
Impossible to judge. Your changes should be "significant", and that is a fluffy criteria.

Then there is the basic opinion taken over from open source software, that one should not fork a project, but instead contribute to it, unless the fork is absolutely necessary. "absolutely necessary" e.g. meaning the project was abandoned for years and there was no chance a new maintainer could take over the original project (including infrastructure like the original webpage, repository, etc.). What you do is the equivalent of a project fork, but for hardware. Just that it is a fork will not sit right with many.

The typical way out, as I understand it, is to voluntarily share some of the money with the original project owner.

Jon Chandler:
I'm not certain what the Open Source rules say, but under a Creative Commons SA (share alike) license, any improvements and modifications must be offered under the same terms as the original.

Moving parts around on a circuit board and changing a few values or parts doesn't seem like a significant change to an idea developed from the ground up

johnnyfp:
From my understanding of CCSA is as long as I share alike I can sell the design. If its a CCSANC (share alike non commercial) that's when I can't flog it.

Surely if its open source and has no restrictions on selling it then I could sell it? I have done several weeks worth of work getting the original design right and improving and creating the software. Is that not worth anything?

It's a quandary.

Bored@Work:
Sounds like you already made up your mind to do it, and you are now just looking for some reasoning.

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