Cloning and ethics
Ethics within this community do not have to be as murky as they are sometime made out to be –
Roman spent a great deal of time, effort, and a not insubstantial amount of money acquiring and reverse engineering long out of production parts from an, at that time, defunct / dormant company.
He bought these designs to builders through his hard work, and, ultimately, with Shawn Cleary’s money.
Regardless of what anyone might say, reverse engineering a long out of production and highly valuable vintage circuit board is hugely more difficult and expensive than mail ordering a pcb from EMS and copying it.
Making a clone of a part that has been out of production for 40 years is not taking food from anyone’s plate. Copying a pcb that someone is selling reproducing it for a quick buck, sometimes errors and all directly impacts those who have actually put the work in to bringing these old vintage designs back to the table.
None of these designs can be copyrighted now, so it comes down to respect and ethics.
For example, when Henrick wanted to fix some errors in Roman’s work, he spoke with Shawn first. Shawn was communicated with long before I ever took delivery of the pcbs, and the situation was made right.
Another example is the 257 boards that I sell. A direct copy of Roman’s work, with nothing more than bug fixes. I was given the board files by the person who made the fixes and it was clear that I would not retail the boards without first sending the corrected files to Shawn so as EMS boards could be fixed also. I have no intention of just copying someone else’s hard work to make a buck.
As I make panels for people, i often get to know about builds that consumers / customers may not. I know of finished builds that developers would like to release, but hold off doing so as they know they will just get ripped off for gain by other people, after they have put in all the work.
Because of the nature of these builds, they can not be copyrighted, and, even the parts that can be copyrighted (for example the code running on the 277) – well, its hardly worth an international legal case, is it?
So the end result is that developers hold back their achievements from you because, rightly or wrongly, they feel empty at the idea of releasing their work, just for it to be turned around for personal gain by a third party.
Of course, open source is an option. Daniel at Dunnington Audio does exactly that. His builds are unusual in that he uses his skill to reproduce the vintage function with modern SMD components. Rebuilding the vintage feel to modern, cheap to build units. And then he gives this to the community without charge.
It won’t be clear from my “shop” but, when you purchase a Dunnington Audio pcb from here at “thebeast”, the money for that pcb goes back to Daniel. In full (less the paypal charges). So, whilst you are welcome to order his boards direct from JLC (etc), if you buy them here you are actually supporting the developer of the work.
The same goes for the other developers. If you buy a Blowmann pcb, the funds go back to Henrik. If you buy a Dunington Audio pcb, the money goes back, in full, to Daniel to support the cool stuff he does (and remember, all his work is open sourced also – you can get the board made yourself, but, if you want to actually support a developer working on stuff, ultimately, for you, then buy the pcb here, and Daniel will see your money)
If you buy the aforementioned 257 that i, personally, get made, then, sure, i send money back to EMS, even though Shawn has never asked me to. Why? I make my money from actually making metal things, not from just pirating other peoples pcb designs.