The iMX6 Rex module design licensing

Today, I have read a very interesting post by OLIMEX Ltd – What licensee to choose for Open Source Hardware?

I completely agree with a lot of things in the article. I especially like this part:

“… there are hundreds of derivative designs based on OLinuXino now made by commercial companies which neither give credits to Olimex (as our licensee require) neither contribute back, not even mention that their design is based on ours.

How do I know this? I know, because some of them are bold enough to send us derivative work made from OLinuXino for quote on manufacturing … :)

Some even do not do any changes than to replace silkscreen with their company name instead Olimex.

And there are some which ask US to replace our name on the OLinuXino boards with theirs :) and promise to order XXX pcs if we do so.

So the bottom line is – if you want to give away just do it and do not search anything in return.”

It was not an easy decision to choose the license for our project. The iMX6 Rex was developed for teaching purposes – this also explains why we used Altium. It’s not our intention to earn money from selling the design nor boards. Therefore anyone with an interesting project, do not hesitate to contact us. There is a pretty high chance that we will agree on a free iMX6 Rex module license for your commercial project. Just ask. For personal use, the design is free. I also need to add, that our development baseboard is fully open source – including commercial use, see Development Baseboard license >>

At the moment, we do not need fully open the module design. I am completely aware of, that many people will ignore the licence and will copy and reuse the design. Not everyone. When we feel the right time comes up, we can always change our decision and fully open the iMX6 Rex module design. However, it would not be possible to do it the other way round (if we opened it now and later we thought that was not the right decision).

We have already agreed to licence the design for free with several people/companies. I was surprised, people will appreciative your work. We offered a free licence, but most of them decided to pay royalties, even they don’t have to. Thank you very much.

  • RoTTe

    Hi there,

    First, Oh man, I love Olimex but I hate that post. Who will spend 6000 EUR for a CAD ? I’ll go a little futher, who will spend 4000 DOLLARS for a 12 layer stackup with blind and buried vias designed with EAGLE ? I bet you Olimex.

    Right tool for the right moment. You CAN’T pretend that eagle solves all problems of electronic design from a CAD perspective. And please, don’t push me about that Windows 3.11 interface without contextuals menus and bla bla bla, the time is gold and I’m poor.

    Secondly, I never ever stop appreciating this work. Not just iMX6REX but all things that you do ( the youtube channel earn a special mention ). The resources you put at our disposal, and the community in general are invaluable.

    It’s a shame that some people ( not people personally, companies ) broke this ecosystem, and tried to absorb the work for his own purposes ( money, just money… ).

    I don’t want to extend this comment more, but I want to say something else. The winner here are one company seen from all sides, Freescale had a hell of support on his community but I only saw big companys ( Congatec, Phytec, Boundary Devices, etc. ) earning a beutiful icon, premium user, platinium user, bla bla bla. Oh Freescale… you can’t imagine the possibilities that designs like these open to you but you just left these users aside

    Ask Boundary Devices ( one day wasted beacause one big flaw on the design ), people working all day on his own kernel branch that only had problems solved by community, normal users and helping a company to make his support easier ( and earn more money ) for the special price of… NOTHING.

    So, Thank you :D

    • Robert Feranec

      Thank you very much RoTTe.

      BTW: I have contacted Freescale and Altium. They are aware of this project, but the truth is … I am not sure if the people even had a look at this website. It’s sad, but I understand that. A standard sales person or a manager doesn’t care. For them, the project doesn’t bring the “direct” money which they can show in the graphs. And it would be very hard to explain it – they would probably never understand that anyway. So I don’t even try. I rather spent my time by doing something more useful e.g. working on this project or making new videos :) Only the right people can see the value and potential in the projects like these. And I am open to speak to them.