[Arm-netbook] Heads up, RISC-V doing a world tour

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Thu Feb 21 01:33:52 GMT 2019

On Thu, Feb 21, 2019 at 12:49 AM David Niklas <doark at mail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 20 Feb 2019 23:59:36 +0000
> Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton <lkcl at lkcl.net> wrote:
> > ---
> > crowd-funded eco-conscious hardware: https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68
> >
> > On Wed, Feb 20, 2019 at 7:54 PM David Niklas <doark at mail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > Hash: SHA256
> > >
> > > Or at least it looks like that:
> > > https://sifivetechsymposium.com/
> > >
> > > Might be interesting to attend (I can't).
> > > Especially to ask what to do about the companies that are already
> > > breaking the license of RISC-V.
> >
> >  that's easy to answer: whilst companies *should* obtain an "official"
> > JEDEC designation which should go into the mvendor id field of the
> > hardware, as long as they do not claim it is "RISC-V" they are ok
> > (Trademark Law).
> >
> >  in addition, if they make *modifications* to the instruction set,
> > that's ok too, as long as, again, they do not claim it is "RISC-V".
> >
> But, but, it is RISC-V HW... If I don't call the Linux kernel a "Linux
> kernel" does that mean I don't have to offer the sources plus my
> proprietary extensions to anyone who buys it?

 the majority of libre hardware is BSD / MIT licensed because the GPL
is completely inappropriate when it comes to hardware.

 Trademark Law is a branch of Copyright Law.  the RISC-V Foundation
has been issued with an exclusive license to sub-license "RISC-V" by
the Copyright Holder (krste asanovic).

 nobody may claim "compliance" with RISC-V without the RISC-V
Foundation's expressed approval.

 *non*-compliance is perfectly fine... as long as "RISC-V" is not
mentioned in association with any such products.

 we're basically back to the exact same fuckwittery that brought us
etnaviv, "arcfour compatibility" and so on.

> > there *is* no room for Libre *COMMERCIAL* products to interact with
> > RISC-V Foundation members because all RISC-V Foundation members are
> > forced to sign an agreement (for cross-licensing and patent protection
> > purposes).
> >
> > this is clearly violating FRAND terms of Trademark Law, by being
> > "Discriminatory" against Libre Commercial products.
> >
> > it is quite clear that the RISC-V Founders never envisaged a scenario
> > where Libre *COMMERCIAL* products would ever be successful.
> What? Why no interaction?

 because whilst most libre hardware engineers have entirely given up
hope of being a welcome part of the RISC-V Community, i've been
persistently reminding them that ITU-style secretive closed-doors
development practices are effectively a cartel.

 this pissed them off, despite the fact that people have been talking
*privately* about the exact things which i made public, for many
years, long before i started.

> Does that mean you're currently developing the
> GPU in the RSIC-V core without any contact with the RISC-V Foundation?

 that's correct.  or, more to the point: the majority of
communications meet with stone cold silence.

 the reason why i continue to make announcements is to provide an
audit trail in case they try "Trademark violation" (Trademark Law
*requires* that the licensor engage in FRAND communication with its
licensees), to provide evidence of "prior art" such that patents on
the same material may be invalidated, and to invite those people who
haven't completely given up hope to get in touch.

> That's double talk, "We'll open source the core but no one can talk to the
> OSS community about it."

 oh they can talk all right... just as long as it's about "official"
(approved) RISC-V standards.  they just can't talk about any
innovations or anything that has not been ratified or released without
prior approval of the RISC-V Foundation.

 so, for example, development of standards which require constructive
feedback and input from the u-boot and linux kernel developers as well
as Debian developers and Fedora developers is completely useless,
because the Libre developers are hardly going to sign the RISC-V
Membership Agreement, are they??

 and without that agreement, the members are prevented and prohibited
from engaging fully with the Libre engineers, because they could be in
violation of their RISC-V Membership Agreement to do so, for
discussing material that has not yet been approved and ratified as a
"Standard" by the RISC-V Foundation.

> I sincerely hope I'm misreading this,

 you're not.

 it's basically the same game that google played with project ara.

 "we're open as long as you join our secret club, and once you're part
of our secret club you get to enjoy the privilege of forcing our joint
democratically-approved will onto the rest of the word and to call
that an 'Open Standard' ".


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