[oshug] "The audio genius who vanished"

Andrew Back arback at computer.org
Fri Jan 15 09:40:19 UTC 2016

On 15 January 2016 at 00:07, Andy Bennett <andyjpb at ashurst.eu.org> wrote:
> A bit tabloid but an interesting article about open hardware licensing
> issues none-the-less:
> http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/profiles/nwavguy-the-audio-genius-who-vanished

Great story, but two things:

"But the particular open-source license he applied—Creative Commons CC BY-ND"

ND clause means the licence fails the Open Source Definition, so his
designs are not technically open source.

"But in July 2012, NwAvGuy went silent. E-mails weren’t returned, and
blog posting ceased. “He had gone quiet before—for a month or so,”
says Boudreau. But no one has heard a peep from NwAvGuy in more than a
year and a half.

It was always NwAvGuy’s prerogative to stop blogging or giving advice.
But his mysterious disappearance created a predicament when the power
jack used in the O2 amplifier went out of production. Equivalent
replacements remain easy to source, but they don’t fit the holes in
NwAvGuy’s original printed circuit board.

“He made it so you could see it, but not touch it,” says Seaber. That
is, while Seaber and others had the files they needed to have
printed-circuit boards made, no one but NwAvGuy had the original
layout file, which would allow easy changes."

Given it seems there is reasonable motivation — HiFi companies are
selling his designs — it would relatively trivial to re-enter those
designs in your EDA tool of choice, before modifying and issuing the
files output under whatever licence you please (or not doing).



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