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Re: Free radical standard no longer freely available?

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  • akatemik
    ... I did email the longtailtech@ address last month, but haven t got a reply. I ll try the support@ address too, but at least update the right address to the
    Message 1 of 15 , Jan 8, 2012
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      > If you send us an email to support@..., we can respond to it directly and supply you the password. Cheers.

      I did email the longtailtech@ address last month, but haven't got a reply. I'll try the support@ address too, but at least update the right address to the wiki.

      And what comes to the protection, if I wanted to copy freeradical without ever contacting the Xtracycle just by walking to the local bike shop, asking for a test ride and measuring everything behind the first corner. So I fail to see how this is supposed to prevent any commercial piratism from happening.

      Frankly, I consider it just the same as copy protection on CDs: stops absolutely nobody who makes it his business to make copies, but annoys the hell out of customers who find out their CDs don't work in their media PCs.

      I guess from now on I have to keep the schematics on dropbox or something in case the password keeps changing (which it must for it to have any kind of effect).
    • Troy
      I emailed the longtailtech address and got a quick response and a nice little bit of conversation to boot. I just saved the files to my computer so i can
      Message 2 of 15 , Jan 8, 2012
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        I emailed the longtailtech address and got a quick response and a nice little bit of conversation to boot. I just saved the files to my computer so i can access them whenever i want.

        I agree, a password seems to be awfully weak protection, but perhaps it meets some kind of legal requirement that would make defending their intellectual property much easier in court, should the need arise? Maybe not, just a wild guess.

        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "akatemik" <akatemik@...> wrote:
        >
        > > If you send us an email to support@, we can respond to it directly and supply you the password. Cheers.
        >
        > I did email the longtailtech@ address last month, but haven't got a reply. I'll try the support@ address too, but at least update the right address to the wiki.
        >
        > And what comes to the protection, if I wanted to copy freeradical without ever contacting the Xtracycle just by walking to the local bike shop, asking for a test ride and measuring everything behind the first corner. So I fail to see how this is supposed to prevent any commercial piratism from happening.
        >
        > Frankly, I consider it just the same as copy protection on CDs: stops absolutely nobody who makes it his business to make copies, but annoys the hell out of customers who find out their CDs don't work in their media PCs.
        >
        > I guess from now on I have to keep the schematics on dropbox or something in case the password keeps changing (which it must for it to have any kind of effect).
        >
      • Andrew Kreps
        ... I can pose a potential answer the reasoning of both of those concerns with one phrase: Made in China.
        Message 3 of 15 , Jan 24, 2012
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          On Sun, Jan 8, 2012 at 09:08, Troy <troysmith80@...> wrote:
          I agree, a password seems to be awfully weak protection, but perhaps it meets some kind of legal requirement that would make defending their intellectual property much easier in court, should the need arise? Maybe not, just a wild guess.

          --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "akatemik" <akatemik@...> wrote:
          >
          > And what comes to the protection, if I wanted to copy freeradical without ever contacting the Xtracycle just by walking to the local bike shop, asking for a test ride and measuring everything behind the first corner. So I fail to see how this is supposed to prevent any commercial piratism from happening.

          I can pose a potential answer the reasoning of both of those concerns with one phrase: "Made in China."

        • steve@stevelange.net
          ... You see, though, there s a problem with that: Xtracycle originally released these specs as open source , though they failed to elaborate on what, if any
          Message 4 of 15 , Jan 24, 2012
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            Quoting Andrew Kreps <andrew.kreps@...>:

            > I can pose a potential answer the reasoning of both of those concerns with
            > one phrase: "Made in China."

            You see, though, there's a problem with that: Xtracycle originally
            released these specs as "open source", though they failed to elaborate
            on what, if any license these specs were released under. (Pne might
            argue the default would be that these specs were as such released to
            the public domain, but I am not an IP attorney)

            In any event, what "open source" means is that anyone, even someone in
            China, is free to download and create products using this information.
            That is, in fact, the entire point of the exercise of releasing
            something as open source - sharing knowledge and encouraging creative
            repurposing / extension of something. Today the popular buzzword is
            "crowdsourcing".

            Subsequently, it seems something has happened such that Xtracycle now
            wants to regain some sort of control over to whom these standards are
            sent. This, for me, is truly a shame and shows that they never really
            understood what "open source" meant, and worse, they had no commitment
            whatsoever to its spirit.

            I am still a fan of Xtracycle and its products, but for me, this is a
            black mark on their record. I was tremendously excited and impressed
            by their move to open source their standard, but this quiet
            backtracking - which is possibly not even legal, though I doubt anyone
            would bother challenging it - is very disappointing.

            I certainly don't begrudge them their desire to make a living and to
            protect their IP, but if you're going to go open source, you need to
            understand what that means, and embrace and celebrate when someone -
            even someone in China or India or wherever - goes to the trouble of
            making products supporting that standard.

            Steve Lange
            Santa Barbara, CA
          • Steve
            FWIW, back when I was still working, I d downloaded the specs and was fiddling with them in a 3D CAD solid modeling software package. Not for anything
            Message 5 of 15 , Jan 24, 2012
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              FWIW, back when I was still working, I'd downloaded the specs and was fiddling with them in a 3D CAD solid modeling software package. Not for anything specific; I was just modeling the frame. Once I retired, I deleted all the files.

              Once I found here on the list a few weeks ago that the files were now password protected, I wished I hadn't, so I submitted a request for a password to gain access to the files. I got a quick polite response asking what projects I was thinking about doing. I explained my history, said I wash;t planning anything, but I'd like a copy in case I did at some time. I was then sent the password and downloaded the files.

              Just in case something happens that I can't access them later, I printed them out and then scanned them back into a PDF file without a password for my records. Not quite as simple as the first time I downloaded them, but not much of a hassle, either.

              Steve
              Avon, Ohio
            • David Chase
              I would not be so quick to sling black marks. There s open source, and open source. I am paid to work on an open source software project, and the tradeoff
              Message 6 of 15 , Jan 24, 2012
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                I would not be so quick to sling black marks. There's open source, and open source.
                I am paid to work on an "open source" software project, and the tradeoff between promotion and profit is damn tricky.
                Mosey on over to creative commons, look at the SIX different "open" source licenses.

                Another knob not listed there is the issue of copyright assignment for contributors to a shared project (i.e., external contributors end up signing their copyright over to a company, or at minimum sharing copyright, so the company has the option of creating a private fork of the project.)

                Someone at xtracycle probably decided that they had made some sort of a strategic mistake in choice of "open", and they are trying to fix it. It's a rough economy right now, they deserve to make money, survive, and growing, and we aren't entitled to free stuff just because it would neat.

                Just for example, in the software world, there's a tension between GPL (CC BY-SA) and BSD (CC BY); GPL, combined with copyright assignment, is regarded as not-really-free-for-commercial use except by the copyright owners, because outside enhancements are still available to the owners to roll back into their product (but without the assignment of ownership, which complicates things a little). They own the bulk of the source code, the trademarks, and can incorporate outside enhancements -- it's very hard to compete with them.

                But GPL has much more appeal to "the little guy". The weird little bike light projects I do are CC BY-SA, because I am ticked off at the high cost of bicycle lights -- the last thing I want to see is my circuit in some company's light being sold for a bezillion dollars (unless, of course, I get a cut of that bezillion dollars :-). The flip side of this is that circuits are actually easy -- it's packaging that is the rat-bastard hard problem. (Which is the other reason I am pissed off at the lighting companies -- if circuits are easy, why aren't they better?)

                David

                On 2012-01-24, at 7:15 PM, steve@... wrote:
                >
                > Subsequently, it seems something has happened such that Xtracycle now
                > wants to regain some sort of control over to whom these standards are
                > sent. This, for me, is truly a shame and shows that they never really
                > understood what "open source" meant, and worse, they had no commitment
                > whatsoever to its spirit.
                >
                > I am still a fan of Xtracycle and its products, but for me, this is a
                > black mark on their record. I was tremendously excited and impressed
                > by their move to open source their standard, but this quiet
                > backtracking - which is possibly not even legal, though I doubt anyone
                > would bother challenging it - is very disappointing.
              • David Forbes
                ... I m not a lawyer, but I have been reading a lot of legal cases involving intellectual property (IP). There are three types of IP, of which IP is not one.
                Message 7 of 15 , Jan 24, 2012
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                  On 1/24/12 5:15 PM, steve@... wrote:
                  >
                  > You see, though, there's a problem with that: Xtracycle originally
                  > released these specs as "open source", though they failed to elaborate
                  > on what, if any license these specs were released under. (Pne might
                  > argue the default would be that these specs were as such released to
                  > the public domain, but I am not an IP attorney)

                  I'm not a lawyer, but I have been reading a lot of legal cases involving
                  intellectual property (IP).

                  There are three types of IP, of which "IP" is not one. They're patent,
                  copyright, and trademark. The rules for each are quite different.

                  There is no legal thing called "open source". There are various types of
                  licenses that can be applied to copyrights and patents, however.
                  Creative Commons provides several permissive copyright licenses, as does
                  the GPL and similar licenses.

                  If they once offered a license to permit others to copy a design, then
                  that license typically can't be revoked. The cat's out of the bag, so to
                  speak. The only option Xtracycle has is to not release new designs in a
                  copying-friendly license.

                  That said, many Chinese companies don't worry about the copyright laws,
                  since they're effectively unreachable from the USA legal system. It's
                  unfortunate, but it's the way life is in a global economy.
                  --
                  David Forbes, Tucson AZ
                • Steve Lange
                  ... I m familiar with these; I have two modestly popular physical designs that have been released under CC BY SA licenses, in the combined hope that they can
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jan 24, 2012
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                    On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 5:05 PM, David Chase <dr2chase@...> wrote:
                     
                    Mosey on over to creative commons, look at the SIX different "open" source licenses.

                    I'm familiar with these; I have two modestly popular physical designs that have been released under CC BY SA licenses, in the combined hope that they can spread as widely as possible and simultaneously spur refinements and improvements which anyone - myself or others - can roll back into the originals to make them better (or make them completely different).  Different companies have used and repurposed the design to offer their own take on it, scratching different itches (similar to Linux distros) and serving different customers.

                    Anyways, "cool story bro" and all that, and the point is not that open source is always the right solution (as you correctly point out), it's rather that offering as design as open source,  and then deciding to restrict access, is not really such a cool thing in my view. Better to keep it inhouse or stick to your OS guns, but hey, that's just me.

                    Regardless, I love what Xtracycle does and I want to see them succeed. I've built two conversions and proudly ride a Big Dummy as my primary machine. I just wish they got this part more right, but honestly, it's not a big deal. Tuesday night forum fodder :-)

                    Regards,

                    Steve


                  • Neil Schneider
                    ... these specs as open source , though they failed to elaborate on what, if any license these specs were released under. (Pne might argue the default would
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jan 24, 2012
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                      David Forbes wrote:
                      > On 1/24/12 5:15 PM, steve@... wrote:
                      >>
                      >> You see, though, there's a problem with that: Xtracycle originally released
                      these specs as "open source", though they failed to elaborate on what, if
                      any license these specs were released under. (Pne might argue the default
                      would be that these specs were as such released to the public domain, but I
                      am not an IP attorney)
                      >
                      > I'm not a lawyer, but I have been reading a lot of legal cases involving
                      intellectual property (IP).
                      >
                      > There are three types of IP, of which "IP" is not one. They're patent,
                      copyright, and trademark. The rules for each are quite different.
                      >
                      > There is no legal thing called "open source". There are various types of
                      licenses that can be applied to copyrights and patents, however. Creative
                      Commons provides several permissive copyright licenses, as does the GPL and
                      similar licenses.
                      >
                      > If they once offered a license to permit others to copy a design, then that
                      license typically can't be revoked. The cat's out of the bag, so to speak.
                      The only option Xtracycle has is to not release new designs in a
                      copying-friendly license.
                      >
                      > That said, many Chinese companies don't worry about the copyright laws,
                      since they're effectively unreachable from the USA legal system. It's
                      unfortunate, but it's the way life is in a global economy.

                      My understanding is there is no concept of intellectual property in much of Asia.

                      Under SOPA you could get 5 years for downloading Michael Jackson's album,
                      while killing Michael Jackson only got a sentence of 4 years.


                      --
                      Neil Schneider velorambler@...
                      http://www.velorambler.com

                      __o
                      _'\<,_
                      (*)/ (*)

                      "Work to eat, eat to live, live to bike, bike to work." -- Naomi Bloom
                    • laughter medicine
                      Interesting discussion. @ Neil, your Michael Jackson line is priceless. May i quote you? I [?] Xtracycle. Laughter
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jan 27, 2012
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                        Interesting discussion.  @ Neil, your Michael Jackson line is priceless.  May i quote you?
                        I Xtracycle.
                        Laughter
                        On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 10:01 PM, Neil Schneider <pacneil@...> wrote:
                         

                        David Forbes wrote:
                        > On 1/24/12 5:15 PM, steve@... wrote:
                        >>
                        >> You see, though, there's a problem with that: Xtracycle originally released
                        these specs as "open source", though they failed to elaborate on what, if
                        any license these specs were released under. (Pne might argue the default
                        would be that these specs were as such released to the public domain, but I
                        am not an IP attorney)
                        >
                        > I'm not a lawyer, but I have been reading a lot of legal cases involving
                        intellectual property (IP).
                        >
                        > There are three types of IP, of which "IP" is not one. They're patent,
                        copyright, and trademark. The rules for each are quite different.
                        >
                        > There is no legal thing called "open source". There are various types of
                        licenses that can be applied to copyrights and patents, however. Creative
                        Commons provides several permissive copyright licenses, as does the GPL and
                        similar licenses.
                        >
                        > If they once offered a license to permit others to copy a design, then that
                        license typically can't be revoked. The cat's out of the bag, so to speak.
                        The only option Xtracycle has is to not release new designs in a
                        copying-friendly license.
                        >
                        > That said, many Chinese companies don't worry about the copyright laws,
                        since they're effectively unreachable from the USA legal system. It's
                        unfortunate, but it's the way life is in a global economy.

                        My understanding is there is no concept of intellectual property in much of Asia.

                        Under SOPA you could get 5 years for downloading Michael Jackson's album,
                        while killing Michael Jackson only got a sentence of 4 years.

                        --
                        Neil Schneider velorambler@...
                        http://www.velorambler.com

                        __o
                        _'\<,_
                        (*)/ (*)

                        "Work to eat, eat to live, live to bike, bike to work." -- Naomi Bloom


                      • Neil Schneider
                        I took it from a poster that s been going around Facebook.
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jan 27, 2012
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                          I took it from a poster that's been going around Facebook.

                          laughter medicine wrote:
                          > Interesting discussion. @ Neil, your Michael Jackson line is priceless.
                          > May i quote you?
                          > I [?] Xtracycle.
                          > Laughter
                          > On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 10:01 PM, Neil Schneider <pacneil@...>wrote:
                          >
                          >> **
                          >>
                          >>
                          >> David Forbes wrote:
                          >> > On 1/24/12 5:15 PM, steve@... wrote:
                          >> >>
                          >> >> You see, though, there's a problem with that: Xtracycle originally
                          >> released
                          >> these specs as "open source", though they failed to elaborate on what, if
                          >> any license these specs were released under. (Pne might argue the default
                          >> would be that these specs were as such released to the public domain, but I
                          >> am not an IP attorney)
                          >> >
                          >> > I'm not a lawyer, but I have been reading a lot of legal cases involving
                          >> intellectual property (IP).
                          >> >
                          >> > There are three types of IP, of which "IP" is not one. They're patent,
                          >> copyright, and trademark. The rules for each are quite different.
                          >> >
                          >> > There is no legal thing called "open source". There are various types of
                          >> licenses that can be applied to copyrights and patents, however. Creative
                          >> Commons provides several permissive copyright licenses, as does the GPL and
                          >> similar licenses.
                          >> >
                          >> > If they once offered a license to permit others to copy a design, then
                          >> that
                          >> license typically can't be revoked. The cat's out of the bag, so to speak.
                          >> The only option Xtracycle has is to not release new designs in a
                          >> copying-friendly license.
                          >> >
                          >> > That said, many Chinese companies don't worry about the copyright laws,
                          >> since they're effectively unreachable from the USA legal system. It's
                          >> unfortunate, but it's the way life is in a global economy.
                          >>
                          >> My understanding is there is no concept of intellectual property in much
                          >> of Asia.
                          >>
                          >> Under SOPA you could get 5 years for downloading Michael Jackson's album,
                          >> while killing Michael Jackson only got a sentence of 4 years.
                          >>
                          >> --
                          >> Neil Schneider velorambler@...
                          >> http://www.velorambler.com
                          >>
                          >> __o
                          >> _'\<,_
                          >> (*)/ (*)
                          >>
                          >> "Work to eat, eat to live, live to bike, bike to work." -- Naomi Bloom
                          >>
                          >>
                          >>
                          >
                        • rootsradicals-owner@yahoogroups.com
                          Hey all, Nate here, from Xtracycle. Sorry longtailtech is down - we did a server migration two weeks ago that went pretty well. Obviously - still have some
                          Message 12 of 15 , Feb 1, 2012
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                            Hey all,

                            Nate here, from Xtracycle.

                            Sorry longtailtech is down - we did a server migration two weeks ago that went pretty well. Obviously - still have some work to do. It will be back up soon under a Developers tab on our site.

                            We added password protection just to learn more about who is using our ideas and what they're doing. Really just as a way of increasing communication.

                            Originally we designed this page as a wiki page that would be editable by anyone - but no one added content. We were feeling a little bit like we gave a lot, and didn't see the ideas and community growing (our main intent behind releasing our ideas as open source). That's not to say it wasn't growing - it was just hidden from us by virtue of the anonymity of the internet.

                            Adding a password to the files allowed us to interact with the visitors to that site in a positive way, and understand more about how our ideas were trickling out into the world.

                            We were amazed at the number of requests - literally 6 - 12 people a week were writing in. We had no idea you all were out there in such force!

                            Anyone who has written in for a password might attest to our friendly emails and quick turnaround on getting what you need.

                            If you visited /longtailtech before our site changed servers - you would have noticed some more nuanced language around who owns the source and what it's release is intended for. We didn't have any lawyers involved, just poked around the internet looking at how software developers both protect their code, and involve others in it's improvement.

                            Essentially, we welcome your engagement with our ideas, and we hope, maybe even expect, feedback, ideas, improvements, and a community driven motivation towards growing the impact that our inventions might have on the world.

                            If you need the drawings - please just send us a note (email@...), we'll forward them along with a password, and we'll be looking forward to seeing what you create!

                            -Nate Byerley
                            COO || Xtracycle Inc.

                            --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Troy" <troysmith80@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > I emailed the longtailtech address and got a quick response and a nice little bit of conversation to boot. I just saved the files to my computer so i can access them whenever i want.
                            >
                            > I agree, a password seems to be awfully weak protection, but perhaps it meets some kind of legal requirement that would make defending their intellectual property much easier in court, should the need arise? Maybe not, just a wild guess.
                            >
                            > --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "akatemik" <akatemik@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > > If you send us an email to support@, we can respond to it directly and supply you the password. Cheers.
                            > >
                            > > I did email the longtailtech@ address last month, but haven't got a reply. I'll try the support@ address too, but at least update the right address to the wiki.
                            > >
                            > > And what comes to the protection, if I wanted to copy freeradical without ever contacting the Xtracycle just by walking to the local bike shop, asking for a test ride and measuring everything behind the first corner. So I fail to see how this is supposed to prevent any commercial piratism from happening.
                            > >
                            > > Frankly, I consider it just the same as copy protection on CDs: stops absolutely nobody who makes it his business to make copies, but annoys the hell out of customers who find out their CDs don't work in their media PCs.
                            > >
                            > > I guess from now on I have to keep the schematics on dropbox or something in case the password keeps changing (which it must for it to have any kind of effect).
                            > >
                            >
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