[NTLK] NewtonSales usb

Andrei Chichak newton at chichak.ca
Fri Aug 29 20:15:15 EDT 2014

On 2014-August-29, at 15:16, Peter Fraser <pjfraser at mac.com> wrote:

> Part of the problem was that he (name is "Ferdy"?) counterfeited the design from the kind soul who had actually conceived, created and built/sold it. The original module was called SER-1, iirc, and came from a guy in England. 
> The piracy was pretty outrageous, and the story is probably still available in the archives for the industriously curious. 

Wait, wait, settle down. Slagging Ferdi is a popular sport, but here are the real facts as I remember them;

Yes, a serial port board was produced by the original guy.
Yes, Ferdi copied the board and sold it.
Yes, the original guy got pissed off and left.

There is no copyright protection on circuit boards. The writing on the boards, yes, but the trace patterns, no. There is copyright protection on chip designs but it does not extend to circuit boards. Sorry, I’m not sticking up for anybody, it’s just the law.

Is that what is moral to do in open hardware development? No, this is frowned upon since the copy does not progress the design. Was this even open hardware? No. Did Ferdi do anything wrong in copying the serial board, not legally.

The USB board may have actually been initiated by me. I thought of the idea as the next generation of serial boards since I was working with FTDI RL232 chips at work at the time, layed a board out, got some boards etched as a favour by a buddy, bought 300 connectors for the internal connector, built a couple up, figured out that all of the connectors were on the wrong side of the board, got really busy, lost interest. 

Ferdi called wanting to sell my non-existent board, I didn’t pursue the design any further and Ferdi made his own board and sold it.

This is my recollection and probably is wrong.

Now, all at once, BYGONES!


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