Even before releasing the schematics. During the campaign, Purism claimed they intended to hold onto the schematics until they make back their initial outlays on the project, once it’s healthily turning a profit, they will release the design documentation. As part of the crowdfunding campaign, that’s not a meaningless platitude, it’s actually legally enforceable, as it is for mutual consideration. Part of what the backers get for their initial investment is libre design documents. Failing to deliver that would be failing to complete the project. This means even if google buys out the project, they would either need to refund the backers for cancelling the project, or they would need to finish the project, which includes releasing the schematics under suitable conditions. And if the product line were sold for multiple billion dollars, I don’t think you could argue that the design hadn’t recouped the development cost.
Ah, gotcha. I read “previously made available be Stack Exchange” more literally than you, it seems, and therein lies a semantics rabbit hole I don’t care to dive into. It all does look rather shady.
Au contraire, the GPL is a vehicle designed to spread peace and happiness.
Take Mark Shuttleworth selling off Thawte and doing sth nice with it (Ubuntu). I’d say take the money, run with it and build an even better laptop and phone. The platform is open anyway.
Purism’s CEO, Todd Weaver, said in an interview that the schematics files will be released immediately, but Purism needs to recover its development costs before releasing the Gerber files, which are needed for manufacturing. Weaver is “thinking about releasing in a time capsule” of “3 years, 5 years, something like that.” As Weaver explains in the interview, releasing the schematics will allow people to compare what is on the board with the schematics and verify that nothing has been added (like a Chinese listening device).
More important than what Weaver has said in public interviews, Purism’s Social Purpose Corporation charter states “The Corporation will release all hardware schematics authored by The Corporation under a free hardware license.”
So far, Purism has followed its SPC charter by releasing the KiCAD schematics files for the Librem 5 Dev Kit under the GPL 3.0+, and everything was designed with free software tools . (N.B. Purism couldn’t release the schematics to the Librem 13/15, because they are modified Intel reference designs and Intel holds the copyright.)
Not releasing the Gerber files isn’t that big of a problem, since those can be recreated with a little work, but copiers probably won’t be able to create them with the exact dimensions as the Librem 5, so it should be possible to detect it, if someone starts making copies of Librem 5.
Weaver isn’t the only share holder in Purism. One of the reasons why Purism created the SPC charter was to be able to ask for money from outside investors without the fear that they would be able to take over the company and subvert the mission. The Purism FAQ states:
Can I invest in Purism?
Yes, please reach out to ir(at)puri.sm (Investor Relations), and you will get a reply within 24 hours to discuss the opportunity.
This LWN article also mentions that the company has angel investors.
If a company like Google tried to buy Purism and subvert its SPC charter, it would have to convince all the stockholders. If you are worried about this happening, then you should invest now in Purism and hold the stock, so you have the right in the future to sue the company if it doesn’t follow its SPC charter.
This is right for a two-layer-board but not for a broad with more layers (like 6 for the devboard to 8) since you would have to look into the board (x-ray, delaminate?) which is not that easy.
The way circuit boards are designed, you start by completing a schematic in a cad program. If Purism released the Kicad schematic file, then you could create the gerbers yourself by re-laying out the board and using the program to generate the Gerber file afterward, based on your layout after you completed it. This is a lot of work. But could be done. If all that you have to start with is a printed schematic, then you have to re-enter the schematic in to your cad program by hand before laying out the board. Laying out a six to eight layer board is no small task. For the Librem 5, based on the dev kit schematics that I saw, the layout should take weeks to months of fulltime work by a skilled person. Also, you wouldn’t have the exact same phone afterwards. The placement of components and traces on the board will be different because layout work is both an art form and a science. If you route a sensitive analog trace across a digital signal on a close layer, you’ll get noise on the analog line. If you don’t place a ground plane where one is needed, you will get noise. There are many of these kinds of things to consider with each placement of a component and the routing of traces that make the electrical connections. One fatal mistake like this or a combination of many mistakes like this and you get a crap product, even though you started with the same schematic as a well functioning product. Even for a skilled layout person, the task is not quick nor easy. For the right skilled person and with a little luck also, and a lot of work, you might be able to reproduce L5 gerbers from schematics and do it right the first time. If you have never laid-out a six to eight layer board yourself before, it’ll almost assuredly take several revisions (attempts) to get it right. Each attempt will take several weeks or more and you won’t know that you need to try again until you have a fully assembled phone that doesn’t work right.
That would change the calculation though lowering the “Sell-Out” value.
It reminds me of the old joke about a ribald proposition. I won’t repeat the whole thing (in case it gets scrubbed) but the punchline goes: “I’ve already established what you are, I’m just negotiating the price!”
Perhaps it is OK to link to it. https://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/03/07/haggling/
people, i just want to use the internet, connecting with people and bussiness, like walking the street down town. as in: just be myself and be free. no cams, no recorders. just like we decided to, some centuries ago: be all free and enjoy the privacy. democracy was invented then.
i want state driven public internet where nobody. except maybe the state, cares about what nor where i am doing.
the name of a company doesn.t matter to me. the fact that apple and google are worth a trillion each says it all. the internet services have to mature and pureism is a step in this.
from my point of view the value of a provider is irrelevant. Like i need oxigen and water to live; i need independent public communication whith no big brother minding my bussiness.
i have the money to support the drive of purism, so i do. If purism would be bought i.ll go to the next in line that goes after my wishes. Good luck purism
the government is not the secret-state police or the inteligence services ! they have different functions and more often then not they mingle where they shouldn’t …
Am I misreading something above, or are you implying that these two things aren’t totally contradictory?
Of course, that’s what they want you to think.
Unless Big Brother is a customer for your business. Then you want to charge him a premium. Like 600 dollar toilet seats or hammers.
M$ home products on one hand and pro/enterprise on the other … and the happy middle ground is piracy … and snoople/faceshit “services” to keep them all nicely connected and locked … i do like my one-piece
Given the provisions in Purism’s Social Purpose Corporation charter, it is unlikely that Purism will be bought. There aren’t that many companies in the world that want to be forced to release all the code that they write as free software and be forced to release the schematics with a free license for the hardware that they design. Purism is a poison pill for most tech companies.
PS: If you have the misfortune of meeting u/jaylittle on Reddit, he will tell you that Purism’s SPC charter is the reason why everyone who pre-ordered a Librem 5 will lose their money when Purism goes bankrupt any day now, because no company will want to buy Purism. I see that as a feature.
Hi Amos, thanks so much for that. i am not really looking in all the details of purism; i just have a good feeling about it and thats why i got the the laptop and signed up for the phone. for years since the software on the internet changed from tool to data-collection i am looking for something ‘purism’
I want tools to use, for my own liking when where and how to use them is just up to me, like doing my things at home behind my front door.
thats why i talked about ‘state driven’ as in line whith the constitution and def. non profit, non data collection for commercial companies.
i still can not understand why all covernments in the western world are letting this evolve in a apple google ‘one man shop’ except for the reason that they dont have a clue themselves. still its up to them to protect me and any citizin in their country. (we don’t want to live in an economy, i say)
more worrying really is that all those millions of users don’t seem to care…
thanks again for your comment. may purism grow big!
im okay with the state being a big brother because in our democratic world they are bound by the constitution and the ‘trias politica’ they have to look after us.
big brother in hands of commerical companies is a totally different thing. the trend is that they will own all data and intelligence in the world. that is a big no to me.
hope this will answer your question