The aim is to make the standard open for anyone, in order to be independent of particulars vendors, the easy-phi standard includes :
- The rack
- The common parts of all modules
- The connections between the modules
- The configuration software and firmware
The use of that material is free for anyone even for commercial purposes, the only constraints are to redistribute the material (being modified or not) under the same license, and to keep the attribution for anyone's work.
The common part for all modules is distributed as a template that can be adapted for any module. In principle only modifications of the template are subject to the open hardware license.
Internal parts of the modules, may or may not be licensed through open source licenses.
The licenses used are known as reciprocal or share-alike licenses, they prohibit closing the sources of any derivative of the work that is licensed under these licenses.
The schematic below shows the different parts, only the blue area can be proprietary.
The use of free and open source software and libraries is also recommended for the development of parts of the system, for example the layout of the printed circuit boards are made with the software Kicad which is a free and open software.
The CERN OHL license is used for hardware: CERN Open Hardware Licence
The license covers: the hardware documentation, schematics, layout, Gerber files, mechanics.
As written on CERN-OHL's website:
"anyone should be able to see the source (the design documentation in case of hardware), study it, modify it and share it. In addition, if modifications are made and distributed, it must be under the same licence conditions – this is the ‘persistent’ nature of the licence, which ensures that the whole community will continue benefiting from improvements, in the sense that everyone will in turn be able to make modifications to these improvements."
Software is licensed under GPL:
It covers:The software used to control the modules running in the rack (on an embedded PC)
- The software running on other platform to communicate with the rack or the modules.
- The firmware running on the micro-controller (Atmel SAM3U) that is implemented on the common hardware
The general documentation along with the content of this web site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
The FPGA HDL code that can run on the modules may or may not be licensed under an open source license.
Opencores (www.opencores.org) recommends the licenses unmodified LGPL (Lesser GPL) license or the modified-BSD license (the Berkeley University 'advertising clause' removed).
These licenses are not "share-alike", anyone can redistribute the cores in a closed license.
All the material is provided "as is", no warranty is given.
Modified versions have to be marked as changed, so that their problems will not be attributed erroneously to authors of previous versions. You may charge any price or no price for each copy that you convey, and you may offer support or warranty protection for a fee.