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Multiple PCB/panel run--Haible design and IP (?) - what now?
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Author Multiple PCB/panel run--Haible design and IP (?) - what now?
synthcube
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=124339

confused

for a long time since JH's death, the synth community has agreed not to produce Haible designs until his estate has been settled and perhaps his children could benefit from his work.

While legally or technically there is nothing to prevent the individual reproduction of designs from his files, its a slippery slope. First there's a one-off DIY PCB, then a group buy, and then?

The Haible portfolio of modules would be ideal to bring back to life in full runs of PCBs, panels, kits and assembled modules, but if and only if this community respects his hard work and IP and comes together to protect it and to benefit his children?

This is not to criticize well-intentioned people interested in his designs. Only to remind all of us that while we can't legally protect IP, perhaps we can ethically protect it.
sduck
There was a brief discussion about this in the early days of another thread related to the one you linked.

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=93892

Not sure if the answers you want to see are in there.
Randy
I was just reading an older thread on EM mentioning this. It seems German law is a bit f'd up on this sort of thing and so far, nobody has any idea when JH's estate will be able to release the designs. I may be completely wrong of course.

There was also a discussion of setting up a PayPal account for his family, which sort of happened but I'm not sure what became of that.

Although I doubt anyone would get rich from any of this, I would certainly be willing to send some fair percentage of what I paid for a set of Living VCO PCBs to a PayPal account that was administered by JH's wife or children.

Randy
Joe.
He always had his designs online and shared. He was effectively promoting his work in electronics through a 'Creative Commons license'.

To be honest I think he would have supported ideas like OSHpark's PCBs and the shared file system, As well as shared FPE files for panels.

Doing a group buy to lower the cost of a DIY project is fine, if the prices for the BOM and S&H are transparent.
Getting custom panels has to be done in a group by its very nature (minimum quantities), The only way people could profit for this is by charging drafting fees, or distribution fees. Should people who organize group buys be rewarded for their efforts?

I can't remember reading JH say anywhere he hated people who couldn't DIY, but should they miss out? How about people that can't read his schematics (and their irregular/archaic symbols), but can still assemble PCBs?

There's a market for built DIY-only modules. Plenty of people don't want to, or can't, build their own, and would rather pay someone else for a built and tested module. Should this little cottage industry be supported?

What happens if a DIY builder decides he doesn't want 3 anymore, and wants to sell one? What if a Euro distributor, bricks n mortar, or just an eBay/online store decides to sell second hand versions of JH's stuff. Should they get to charge for their service?
synthcube
We could be wrong, but suspect this thread and the related euro diy group buy thread will be quite active with opinions...

Is anyone really sure of JH intention w/r/t the availability of his PCB designs beyond 1) licensing to selected makers for real $ (MOTM et al) and b)making available for one-off SDIY?

Speculate for example if the man were still alive and chose to be active in euro marketplace. He would not have approved anything other than the occasional SDIY one offs, if he had licensed his designs to one or more euro makers. We know he produced and sold real PCBs for a profit. And likely would have sold hundreds if not thousands had he chosen to serve euro format more directly.

So, every one who wants a JH Living VCO in euro and is able to source it as a DIY group buy with no residual to JH is one less buyer of a licensed PCB, Kit or assembled module should his estate be settled to benefit his children.

How about: We'll volunteer to set up a trust, fully transparent. Production of JH PcBs, panels kits and modules to be voluntarily priced by anyone making them at 2x actual cost, again transparently. The actual cost reimbursed to the maker, the other amount submitted to the trust on behalf of the JH children. Everyone who wants to buy a JH item will pay 2x it's cost.. Still affordable in DIY terms and ethically correct w/r/t his hard work and IP. The trust will be overseen by handful of important synth makers who actually knew and worked with JH. Trust financial S&O be published here and in E-M. It will be a gigantic group buy free for all. Good for everybody. JH kids get $ benefit from fathers work, synth enthusiasts get access to great designs and the community gets a level playing field for investing their own time in group buys, panel designs etc.

If you want to make and sell a handful of JH modules, figure out the total cost including fair rate for your labor. Charge people 2x that fair cost and submit the delta to the trust.

The fact that JH is dead should not mean his designs are now free and public domain. Otherwise every single PCB maker might as well throw in the towel.
Joe.
synthcube wrote:
The fact that JH is dead should not mean his designs are now free and public domain. Otherwise every single PCB maker might as well throw in the towel.


What do you mean 'now free'? his designs were always free to DIY enthusiasts, those wanting to learn from him.

No his designs shouldn't be suddenly 'free' to produce commercially by anyone and everyone, if that's what you're trying to say.

The only "Unethical" decision I've seen so far, in the entire tragedy, is that his family removed his freely distributed designs from public domain, where he put them, not in the final moments of his life but throughout his life.
The family should have simply left things how they were, and occasionally sue any distributors that have no permission to sell his design.

EDIT: I see no reason why the family can't profit from JH's designs btw, get Roland or MN to build some modules, whatever.
Whoever builds JH modules commercially though shouldn't be able to stop the DIY community from continuing to build his designs, as he wished.
elmegil
LoFi Junglist wrote:
The only "Unethical" decision I've seen so far, in the entire tragedy, is that his family removed his freely distributed designs from public domain, where he put them, not in the final moments of his life but throughout his life.
The family should have simply left things how they were, and occasionally sue any distributors that have no permission to sell his design.


I didn't get the impression that the family/estate/friends helping out had the wherewithall to continue to pay for hosting, and so I was hardly surprised when the site went down after his death. These things are all hosted elsewhere now, the family's representative who occasionally speaks up on E-M is (I believe) aware of this and has offered no objection that I'm aware of.

I don't think that's a matter of ethics nor any active attempt to deny the community access.


This is all a terribly screwed up situation, and I think I can see both sides. I don't get the impression that the current Living (Memory) VCO project is in any way trying to detract from Juergen's legacy, financially or otherwise, but I think Synthcube has a good point -- where do we draw the line? When it's been discussed previously, folks suggesting we should go ahead and try to come up with some creative way to compensate his heirs were pretty soundly shot down. Now this is moving forward, again, I'm sure without any malice at all, but what does this leave us to do if some of the less ethical producers of modules decide that Juergen's designs are now fair game? Is that going to end up just being a political game of "if you're someone the community likes, you can do it if it doesn't appear you're making money off it"? Can't say that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.
aladan
Scott Rider spoke to Jurgen regularly and was one of his friends so most likely has a more accurate opinion than most of the rest of us. He wrote on one of those threads linked above:

oldcrow wrote:
Jurgen and I discussed this about 15 years ago. Generally, his take was if he offered schematics and construction tips on a public web site or mailing list, forum, etc. They were "open source hardware" and free to build for non-commercial purposes. He did not mind if PC boards were made to enable others to make his designs as long as it was in the spirit of DIY, that is, intended for hobbyists and musicians to explore some nifty hardware, not for a company to start selling finished products.

I do indeed have a little bit of JH design in the crOwBX, and I make no secret of it. His design core is an inverse-parallel 2-quadrant multiplier, inspired by Doug Curtis' CEM3310 and some suggestions by Joachim Verghese. The CEM3310, from which JH took his design goals, is at the core a 2-quadrant multiplier. The OBX voice cards used CEM3310s, so building a discrete equivalent circuit to act like a CEM3310 is invariably going to use the same approach. JH did his in mostly all transistors, and he had a hold function like Korg MS EGs. I used more traditional elements like a 555 and a 4052, but if you strip away all the front end stuff you are left with a very basic expo converter that just happens to have another expo pair tacked on. The ingenuity is in understanding one pair is reverse-biased while the other is active, which is why it works in the first place.

My point here is it is like putting a steering wheel on a car or a multi-touch screen on a smart phone: it is the functional path of choice in the design.

I also use Tom Wiltshire's PIC code for the noise generator, which again I make no secret of. Tom knows.!

If logicgate is making boards for himself and a parcel of DIYers, JH would have approved. He wanted his stuff out there in just this sort of way. For himself, he tended to make one of something and move on, because to him design and verifying the design was the allure. It is why his legacy site is filled with all sorts of awesome stuff.
thetwlo
synthcube wrote:

How about: We'll volunteer to set up a trust, fully transparent. Production of JH PcBs, panels kits and modules to be voluntarily priced by anyone making them at 2x actual cost, again transparently. The actual cost reimbursed to the maker, the other amount submitted to the trust on behalf of the JH children. Everyone who wants to buy a JH item will pay 2x it's cost.. Still affordable in DIY terms and ethically correct w/r/t his hard work and IP. The trust will be overseen by handful of important synth makers who actually knew and worked with JH. Trust financial S&O be published here and in E-M. It will be a gigantic group buy free for all. Good for everybody. JH kids get $ benefit from fathers work, synth enthusiasts get access to great designs and the community gets a level playing field for investing their own time in group buys, panel designs etc.

thumbs up yup! seems proper, as long as it's doable and his family is on board. The LEAST we can do. Legally of course it doesn't matter, ethically it does. Even if it's "inspired" by JH help them out yes? I know he was happy to share but wasn't expecting to die so soon. So I'm pretty sure he'd be ok with helping his family.
Joe.
This thread is confusing two separate topics.

JH left a legacy of projects and documentation, that he provided free to the DIY community. Now that he has passed there is no reason for people in the DIY community to stop building his projects or feel they should now compensate a third party for them.

The topic of freely distributed projects, and resale by third parties is something we should as a community should monitor and police: People are less inclined to share projects if they think they will be taken advantage of, so it is in the communities best interests to support contributors.

The second topic which I think has been mashed by the OP is JH's trust receiving compensation for projects.

If somebody wants to commercially produce a project, with IP that belongs to JH, then they should be talking to JH's Trust, creating contracts and legally binding agreements.

Guess who has no say in that process?... Forum users.

A forum user cant propose a 'DIY trust payment scheme' like the OP has, and just put it into effect. A legal contract needs both parties to agree to it, and MW discussions aren't exactly the best way to get in contact with JH's family.
You also can't dictate what royalties third parties are going to pay, Your rates are part of your contract, anyone else producing needs their own contract. On top of this everything needs to be properly invoiced, because the taxman is real.

At the end of the day the topic of commercial contracts is between JH's family, and commercial producers. If you think someone is selling JH IP, contact the Family, and let them deal with it.
thetwlo
LoFi Junglist wrote:
This thread is confusing two separate topics.
.....

exactly... and still, if by accountable means, it would be great to send 2x to JH's family. Not mandatory, but the least we can do. As a "thank you" he didn't ask for it but he/his family deserves at least that.
This is regarding the DIY boards only, commercial products, whole other thing, his family should approve that fully.
oldcrow
I would have to find the offline email archive from 1998 or 1999 to quote the exact exchange JH and I had, but as I stated below in that quote JH's core opinion was that he wanted his stuff to be built by the DIY community. This is as true today with him gone as it was then as it is quite literally his legacy to the DIY community.

The issue of commercial production of his designs is a grey area. In DIY we are largely left to an honor system to respect the wishes of the designers, but these good intentions do not always work out. I have seen some of the older among us retire from the DIY community as they have been abused in this sense, which is the true loss. Not the revenue, but the talent.

That being said, it is really up to JH's estate to determine whether they should bother with protecting IP as there is a diminishing return component to assessing the fitness of a given design to private ownership. As an example, the (sadly) late Kevin Lightner and I once discussed the "living VCOs" as not being very proprietary as they were circuits as used in other hardware gathered together in a specific manner to demonstrate the usefuless of linear detuning. For my own part, my CS VCO driver is a circuit that came out of JH and I talking about "creatively flawing" control voltages in 2002 and he uses the same circuit elements in the living VCOs front end--and we both would readily tip our hats to the EMS and Korg circuits that inspired them.

The easiest way to not infringe on something if it feels like a grey area is simply to not use JH's name in relation to it if you are try to sell the device commercially. This happens in the Arduino space a lot. There are plenty of Arduino clones out there that do not use the word "Arduino," and nor should they unless granted permission by the guys in Italy. Call it a "20-stage phaser" instead of "JH's Tau Pipe" and so on.

As another friend of mine would sum up: "don't be a dick." SlayerBadger!

--Crow
/**/

aladan wrote:
Scott Rider spoke to Jurgen regularly and was one of his friends so most likely has a more accurate opinion than most of the rest of us.
elmegil
LoFi Junglist wrote:
The second topic which I think has been mashed by the OP is JH's trust receiving compensation for projects.

If somebody wants to commercially produce a project, with IP that belongs to JH, then they should be talking to JH's Trust, creating contracts and legally binding agreements.


Unfortunately, there is no legal entity which will take on this role. Go read the information about the situation at electro-music.com, and you'll understand what I mean. This is simply not possible at this time, and there is no projected timeline for when it would be.

No harm in forum users discussing it either, armchair lawyering is a finely developed sport.... smile


Edit: I also think that the issue has been muddied by JH's own activities at the time of his death. He was creating PCBs that he sold to the DIY community; there are reportedly hundreds of such PCBs still remaining as part of his legacy, which presumably have some significant value. That's the point where these two issues get mashed up -- DIY projects that proceed on with new PCBs of the old circuits conceivably will compete with the original PCBs assuming they should ever become available for purchase again. In that sense, they will (indirectly) detract from the future of the financial legacy Juergen left to his children. And that's the point where many have suggested that it's important, even for a DIY project, to have some way to offset that impact.
Luka
I think initially everyone was holding off since that guy Harry appeared and said he was trying to source the stock from the family and it looked like there was a way they could be purchased that would benefit the family. At that time is seemed a bit sly to create runs of JH pcbs.

So much time has passed and nothing eventuated so why not. His designs are the best and they were always published and DIY-able from his website. You only had to pay for a pcb not access to the design.
Jarno
It's unfortunate for his kids, but I do not think the family feels the need to benefit from his legacy, or it would have been arranged already. I cannot imagine that German law is so hopelessly inept that this couldn't have been arranged if the family felt the need.
Really is a shame though, it could have given his kids a good start (even more so if they decided to study engineering because of their dad's legacy).
sonicwarrior
Here are some facts:

  1. There as been a Memorial fund which has been closed because it cost more than what money came in:
    http://electro-music.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=54379
    As no one is getting rich with this stuff there will not be much money that will result in any of this stuff.
  2. There a literally tons of JH PCBs sitting around somewhere waiting for a law decision on how to process with them and the money that would come from selling them. It's difficult because Jürgen was in the process of divorcing from his wife.
    Remember: Jürgen died almost three years ago.
  3. The whole DIY legacy is of a pretty low priority for his wife and children as stated by Harry_W (a friend of the family taking over communication with the DIY community).
  4. There is a thread Does anyone plan to release Haible PCB's in the future? on EM with quite a similar topic.


Now to my personal opinions:


  1. synthcube wrote:
    making them at 2x actual cost, again transparently.

    I think this is a strange suggestion coming from someone with an online shop to sell PCBs and I doubt you'll do that without making some money out of it. Has a smack of bitter I have to say.
  2. I think many people are overvalueing the amount of money coming from such things to benefit the children. Also: Remember again that Jürgen died 3 years ago. This is coming a bit late. The family would have needed the money for the funeral, etc. back then and certainly had to arrange a way to life in the mean time without our support.
  3. In Germany there is a social support system so the children will not have to starve like it might happen in the USA. Also studying is much easier and doesn't need as much money.
  4. Why this focus on JH's children? There are hundreds of millions of children who would need your help more urgently than them.
    What did they do other than being the children of a well respected DIY member to earn this or be treated better?
notmiserlouagain
I have read another discussions of this topic and can only say that
- no "benefits for the children" as well as
- no pcbs for diy´ers
is kind of a bizarre worst case scenario. Stasis is not a good solution.

I feel kind of anxiety for people to come out of hiding and be (maybe) pointed at as the politically incorrect asshole.

My opinion, which I´m aware of as not very important, is any unlicensed commercial venue is a ripoff, any cost-covering diy (group-)stuff is totally alright and time is overly due for it now.

If anyone is inclined to be so good to give some money for JH´s family (do they want it anyway? a question worth asking), (s)he is free to do so, even without an audience witnessing the high-hearted gesture. Scepticism is appropriate.
euromorcego
this is obviously a subtle topic and some of the issues should be discussed with great care. Nonetheless, a few of the remarks in the initial post bother me, i hope no one takes this wrong:

1. 'Theft' is a pretty strong word. Even with a question mark behind it. If I build some of these designs, i don't think I am a thief. Also not one with a question mark behind. There are other, better, ways to phrase any concerns one may have.

2. I have to agree with sonicwarrior: It would have been better to raise these concerns using a personal account, not under the label of a commercial for-profit (i assume) re-seller of pcbs. If these circuits ever become available in a licenced form, synthcube would be an obvious place to sell them. In which case the children may benefit financially, but so would the re-seller. So, please don't take it the wrong way, it feels wrong to hear such strong words (THEFT!) by someone who is likely to profit from any other arrangement than a small-scale self-sourced group buy that is clearly in the spirit of DIY.

3. As mentioned above, the suggestion to generate income for the children as donation, while beautiful in theory, has many practical and legal difficulties.

I think there is sometimes a fine line between the spirit and DIY and the need to compensate people for their effort, between personal use and exploiting other peoples ideas. But as was said about pornography: Difficult to define, but I know it when I see it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_know_it_when_I_see_it).

I think the community is capable and sufficiently ethical to prevent any use that crosses this line (which I think the thread linked in the initial post does not). And I think the post of oldcrow summarized the issue better than i can (except maybe the Arduino example, just because this happens a lot doesn't mean it is good).
Starspawn
I think this touches upon a few aspects Id like to say something about.

The people I admire, designers especially, put their designs up to explain them, so you can try to make them, and state non commercial DIY is perfectly fine.

I get much enjoyment from making stripboard designs for myself of such things.
Sometimes when theyve had the time the designers make stripboards as well (5pulser for instance).

Also sometimes the designers have licensed/said yes to people doing PCBs for their circuits.

Common courtesy for me would be to link to the project when you talk about/show what youve made, but the attitude Im seeing here is whats keeping me from sharing stripboard designs at the same time.

To me its just an extension of the shared design/schematic, helping others make it as well.
But it seems to me that for some that would be infringing on the sale of PCBs, of the IP, and to me that seems like some have a far more proprietary attitude to the circuits than the designers ever had.
To the point of limiting the non commercial use, sharing and discussion.

This may be due to the perspective some get from selling PCBs and other things for a living offcourse.
Also not all schematics are shared with stated non commercial use allowed, which should be respected (ie ask first then).

I wonder if the (large) amount of producers using the DIY forum to advertise their projects (good in general, Id never find them otherwise, though 2 subforums instead of one might be an idea ... ) has shifted opinion somewhat here in DIY?
synthcube
Post title has been edited.
No question he did support DIY
The question is how many pCBs/panels constitute something beyond DIY?
Let's ask any active PCB designer today... 'Would you be willing to allow DIYers to produce runs of multiple PCB/panel sets, as group buys?' Knowing that in quantity, every DIY-produced PCB or panel takes away a possible commercial sale of said module.
We are synth hobbyists first, commercial webstore second, and much of what we do is not the least bit profitable.
Yes, we would voluntarily limit what we charge for Haible stuff we hypothetically could produce.
No, we don't need a contract with the Haible estate to set up a trust to benefit his children. We could always do so as a community, send the resulting proceeds and they could then decide to keep, return, or donate said proceeds.
In small quantities its a non issue. But do the hypothetical exercise... Someone invests to produce full runs of Haible PCBs, panels in multiple formats, kits and assembled modules. Designs adapted to SMT production. That's a legitimate commercial scenario, prevented only by the spirit of this community . We take no issue with DIYers accessing the designs as JH intended, the question we are asking is what quantity in a group buy crosses the line between DIY use vs starting to siphon a potential commercial opportunity.
We especially respect and value the old crows views as someone better qualified to judge what JH might have supported or not supported and in that spirit may just buy one of the sets for our personal rig smile
daverj
I never knew Jurgen, so can't speak about his opinions and desires, but here are some personal observations about this issue:

It was suggested that the family "occasionally sue any distributors that have no permission to sell his design". I don't believe this is possible, and from the sounds of it, may not be something they would care to do anyways.

Legally what we are calling JH's "IP" is something only the DIY community recognizes as his property. It would not hold up in court. Courts recognize patents, trademarks, and copyrights. They do recognize some "intellectual property" but only in specific forms. "Trade secrets" are widely recognized, though not universally. Software IP is covered by copyright as a form of written work. Schematic and panel drawings are copyrightable as drawings and art. But not the concepts or physical circuitry behind them, unless covered by a patent. And once a design is publicly published, it becomes unpatentable and the designer loses all legal rights to it beyond the copyright of his drawings.

Because he put his designs out in public, there are no "trade secrets". Other than his writings and his name there is nothing that he published that would be recognized by a court as defensible and protectable.

So it comes down to the DIY community respecting him and his wishes and creating it's own self-enforcement on moral grounds to protect what we perceive as his rights.

I've never seen anybody claim that Jurgen had a personal philosophy against commercialism. My guess is that any notice of "non-commercial use" was because his primary concern was to get these designs out in the hands of DIYers for their personal use. If a business had approached him about creating a commercial product from his design, perhaps he would have given permission, perhaps not. If they wanted to associate his name with it, perhaps he would have agreed, perhaps not. We don't know. One thing that does seem obvious is that he wouldn't have agreed to anything that restricted the DIY community from continuing to build them for their own use.

I think it's a very noble gesture for the DIY community to want to do something to benefit his kids. The reality is that any royalties accumulated from DIY production and even commercial production of his designs would be fairly small. The concept of there being tens of thousands of dollars a year in royalties is a fantasy. Maybe hundreds per year. And that is small enough that it could probably be given as a tax free gift. (I don't know about Germany, but in the US you are allowed to receive up to $10K per year in gifts tax free).

My personal opinion is that the best way the DIY community can show respect to Jurgen for his contributions to the community is to keep his designs and his name alive. He's gone, but the memory of him, and his legacy can live on by building his designs and crediting him with those designs. If somebody wants to do that for free, great. If nobody will do it for free, but somebody will do it if they get paid for their time, so what? At least his designs can get out into the DIY community, and even into the non-DIY community. If that could result in a small gift each year to the kids, that would be great.

But I feel that to prevent his designs from getting out there because nobody can agree on how to do it in a way that only his family benefits from it, is doing his years of work, his memory, and his legacy a disservice.
khakifridge
I came to Muffs relatively recently (and e-m too), but in a short space of time I've come to know about Juergen's work in some small way. From the lengthy threads at e-m, and the opinions here, I think that Dave sums it up very well.

I would love the opportunity to build some of his designs. And if someone makes a few bob (for their time) from selling me a PCB, that would be OK by me. If his kids benefit too, that's even better. But more than anything, it keeps a small part of Juergen alive, which is something each of us might aspire to.
ThecureForSin
There are definitely some moral concerns here and everyone has a different opinion on what is moral, so there is no best solution.

If Jürgen was a commercial entity that went out of business and there were no legal repercussions for reproducing the designs, you bet your ass someone would jump on that in a split second.

The above scenario really does apply here and the family doesn't have any legal rights to compensation if someone decides to offer pcbs, panels, kits, etc.

Since it's going to happen regardless of the family's involvement, I think the moral thing to do is to collect a percentage on sales and contact them and say "we have X amount of money to give you." If they don't want it, donate it.

Commercial vs DIY usage is a tough one though because DIY can be commercialized. So this could put synthcube and/or thonk in tough positions. I think that's a call that would ultimately be up to you. If you think it's wrong, don't get involved or try and find a way to make it feel right.

But ultimately, his designs are great and it would be a shame to see them sit dormant any longer.

And Dave said it better!
e-grad
daverj wrote:
I've never seen anybody claim that Jurgen had a personal philosophy against commercialism. My guess is that any notice of "non-commercial use" was because his primary concern was to get these designs out in the hands of DIYers for their personal use. If a business had approached him about creating a commercial product from his design, perhaps he would have given permission, perhaps not.


Jürgen has commissioned some of his designs to MAM (for example VF11 and RS3).
Part of the story:
http://search.retrosynth.com/ah/search/lookit.cgi?-v9707.1424

Jürgen on the commercial use of his designs:

J.H. wrote:
when you as a private person are using my, or other contributers' circuits,
this
is perfectly right, and in fact that's the reason why we're putting the
circuits
there in the first place. Free exchange of ideas. "Free for personal use".
Of course there is a danger in that. A former EMS employee once told me
that he left the mailing lists because he can do without educating a bunch
of
potential competitors. I have a different approach. I'm in the glad position
that I have a non-music-related full time job to pay my bills. So I enjoy
this
as a hobby, and do not spend money in patents or the like. I take the risk
that someone else can make money with my intellectual property, and
I don't take the risk blindly.

I am glad that there are honest companies that *do* ask for permission
when they put things of mine into production. And I cannot sue anybody
who does not ask, but I can be pissed off, and I will say so. It would
be laughable when I tried to stop D*pfer from bringing certain modules
to the market that *resemble* (and who can claim that it is more?) some
of my work, when the resemblance is so obvious that others adressed me
about it. No way. But what I can do, and what I will do, is telling
potential
buyers that I was not asked, and that I do not get money from it. And I'll
let
the people draw their own conclusions.

JH.

http://search.retrosynth.com/synth-diy/search/lookit.cgi?-v9910.671
ThecureForSin
e-grad wrote:
daverj wrote:
I've never seen anybody claim that Jurgen had a personal philosophy against commercialism. My guess is that any notice of "non-commercial use" was because his primary concern was to get these designs out in the hands of DIYers for their personal use. If a business had approached him about creating a commercial product from his design, perhaps he would have given permission, perhaps not.


Jürgen has commissioned some of his designs to MAM (for example VF11 and RS3).
Part of the story:
http://search.retrosynth.com/ah/search/lookit.cgi?-v9707.1424

Jürgen on the commercial use of his designs:

J.H. wrote:
when you as a private person are using my, or other contributers' circuits,
this
is perfectly right, and in fact that's the reason why we're putting the
circuits
there in the first place. Free exchange of ideas. "Free for personal use".
Of course there is a danger in that. A former EMS employee once told me
that he left the mailing lists because he can do without educating a bunch
of
potential competitors. I have a different approach. I'm in the glad position
that I have a non-music-related full time job to pay my bills. So I enjoy
this
as a hobby, and do not spend money in patents or the like. I take the risk
that someone else can make money with my intellectual property, and
I don't take the risk blindly.

I am glad that there are honest companies that *do* ask for permission
when they put things of mine into production. And I cannot sue anybody
who does not ask, but I can be pissed off, and I will say so. It would
be laughable when I tried to stop D*pfer from bringing certain modules
to the market that *resemble* (and who can claim that it is more?) some
of my work, when the resemblance is so obvious that others adressed me
about it. No way. But what I can do, and what I will do, is telling
potential
buyers that I was not asked, and that I do not get money from it. And I'll
let
the people draw their own conclusions.

JH.

http://search.retrosynth.com/synth-diy/search/lookit.cgi?-v9910.671


I'm interpreting this as stealing his designs, which I would frown upon any company releasing assembled modules of his stuff claiming to be their own, or even assembled modules in general. I think everyone has been in agreement with this type of thing.

Unfortunately we cannot get his permission, so everyone assumes his family would be able to speak for him. Let me ask this, how many people here would trust their spouse (or ex-wife) with anything related to music equipment and money? I'm cringing just thinking about it.

I would consider his work a gift to the community and that the community has more of a right to say what happens now. So put up a damn poll asking yes or no and be done with it.
J3RK
I'm not pushing for one side or the other here, if there are even truly sides to this. I'd like to present a couple of facts though. Jurgen's wave folder is modeled after the Serge. Jurgen's Tau Pipe phaser was his version of an existing phaser. SSM2040 filter changed to discrete implementation. Jurgen based a few designs as Old Crow mentioned after existing CEM designs. These were all his versions of existing ways of doing things.

Most of my designs are the same sort of thing. My take or attempt at doing, adding, improving, or changing in some way, something that already basically exists. I've been lucky in that I'm able to request permission for some of these. Others I feel have been so ubiquitous that they're just "the way you do it". I use a triangle core that was initially invented by Bernie Hutchins (by everything I've gathered,) modified and improved by others including Thomas Henry who I've discussed this with when I wanted to determine which parts I should use, and which parts I should come up with myself.

It seems that Jurgen did a fair bit of the same sort of thing. Improving, adapting, adding features to, etc. etc. along with obviously things that were completely all him.

In this sense, as mentioned by Dave, I don't think most of his designs are something that would hold up in courts due to prior art. His versions are arguably better than anything that came before them, but they are things that still existed.

Make of this what you will. I am truly all for something going to his family should they be willing to accept the gifts. I am all for putting his name on an PCBs and documentation, and keeping his name alive. I just think there's a lot less to debate here than people are making. If I died tomorrow, anything that I've published I would expect the same. Use it. I put it out there. I adapted a fair chunk of it from existing best practices. Even for the things I've come up with on my own, if I put it out there, and didn't keep it to myself, I would want people to use it. That's me of course, but I think it especially applies for things that I've adapted using existing practices. Even commercially. I would hope that my name would be somewhere on it, and I would be honored if someone then used a percentage to help my family, but I wouldn't be angry either way.

My cent and a half.
ThecureForSin
J3RK wrote:
I'm not pushing for one side or the other here, if there are even truly sides to this. I'd like to present a couple of facts though. Jurgen's wave folder is modeled after the Serge. Jurgen's Tau Pipe phaser was his version of an existing phaser. SSM2040 filter changed to discrete implementation. Jurgen based a few designs as Old Crow mentioned after existing CEM designs. These were all his versions of existing ways of doing things.

Most of my designs are the same sort of thing. My take or attempt at doing, adding, improving, or changing in some way, something that already basically exists. I've been lucky in that I'm able to request permission for some of these. Others I feel have been so ubiquitous that they're just "the way you do it". I use a triangle core that was initially invented by Bernie Hutchins (by everything I've gathered,) modified and improved by others including Thomas Henry who I've discussed this with when I wanted to determine which parts I should use, and which parts I should come up with myself.

It seems that Jurgen did a fair bit of the same sort of thing. Improving, adapting, adding features to, etc. etc. along with obviously things that were completely all him.

In this sense, as mentioned by Dave, I don't think most of his designs are something that would hold up in courts due to prior art. His versions are arguably better than anything that came before them, but they are things that still existed.

Make of this what you will. I am truly all for something going to his family should they be willing to accept the gifts. I am all for putting his name on an PCBs and documentation, and keeping his name alive. I just think there's a lot less to debate here than people are making. If I died tomorrow, anything that I've published I would expect the same. Use it. I put it out there. I adapted a fair chunk of it from existing best practices. Even for the things I've come up with on my own, if I put it out there, and didn't keep it to myself, I would want people to use it. That's me of course, but I think it especially applies for things that I've adapted using existing practices.

My cent and a half.


applause

I think the opinions of the community's creative minds are what we need here.
seanpark
I am incredibly thankful for Haible's continued generosity and spirit.

Some designers understandably withdraw material from the public when they get burned. Jurgen clearly wanted this stuff out there being built.

There is a line of course. I don't think we have crossed it here. The best way to stay on the good side is to have these discussions and assess concerns.
elmegil
seanpark wrote:

There is a line of course. I don't think we have crossed it here. The best way to stay on the good side is to have these discussions and assess concerns.



Absolutely agree! applause
Funky40
a) LOFI Junglist has made some good posts here ! ( i´ve not read the entire Thread yet )

b)
Luka wrote:

So much time has passed and nothing eventuated so why not.

My thinking too. ...and the PCBs won´t get fresher......it´s probably a factor

sonicwarrior wrote:
Now to my personal opinions:
synthcube wrote:
making them at 2x actual cost, again transparently.

I think this is a strange suggestion coming from someone with an online shop to sell PCBs and I doubt you'll do that without making some money out of it. Has a smack of bitter I have to say.

My feel too. absolutely.


I think there are some "darker Boys" in the synthbusiness, watch out on those i´d say, otherwise , don´t be dicks, as stated.
The "renaming" thing should be handled with some fingertipfeel:
give JH credits where its doe to !


All my respect for Jürgens work !
roglok
i don't want to chime in on the discussion, but it's great to see it happening. i appreciate the ethical sensitivities and concerns of this community.
Guinness ftw!
kvitekp
daverj wrote:
My personal opinion is that the best way the DIY community can show respect to Jurgen for his contributions to the community is to keep his designs and his name alive. He's gone, but the memory of him, and his legacy can live on by building his designs and crediting him with those designs. If somebody wants to do that for free, great. If nobody will do it for free, but somebody will do it if they get paid for their time, so what? At least his designs can get out into the DIY community, and even into the non-DIY community. If that could result in a small gift each year to the kids, that would be great.

But I feel that to prevent his designs from getting out there because nobody can agree on how to do it in a way that only his family benefits from it, is doing his years of work, his memory, and his legacy a disservice.


Very well said, Dave! Thank you, I'm totally with you on this.
LektroiD
I personally don't see any problem with a couple of DIY'ers adaptng old JH circuits for Eurorack to keep his spirit alive within the DIY community. I believe a lot of his circuits are based on other designs anyway. Just seems someone has taken the extra step to make these work with Eurorack. Again, simply adding to a core design that's already out there, and paying homage to the last significant designer with full credits, all for a handful of sales. Not to mention the profit margin of zero - true DIY spirit!

Looks to me like sour grapes from a businessman trying to shut down anything that may marginally hinder their sales by a better, cheaper product being available elsewhere. Not a good business move in my opinion. This may in fact hinder sales, not because a handful of people bought the adapted JH VCO, but because potential customers will steer clear of the aggressive business approach and thus will become a self fulfilling prophecy. Not a wise move!
Randy
LektroiD, if you're referring to Synthcube, I very much doubt this was business-driven. My dealings with them have been great, and I have found them to be very helpful, going way beyond what I would consider good customer service. They are very supportive of DIY, even when done by idiots like me.

This topic comes up from time to time on various forums when JH's stuff becomes available in some way.

Randy
synthcube
LektroiD wrote:
I personally don't see any problem with a couple of DIY'ers adaptng old JH circuits for Eurorack to keep his spirit alive within the DIY community. I believe a lot of his circuits are based on other designs anyway. Just seems someone has taken the extra step to make these work with Eurorack. Again, simply adding to a core design that's already out there, and paying homage to the last significant designer with full credits, all for a handful of sales. Not to mention the profit margin of zero - true DIY spirit!

Looks to me like sour grapes from a businessman trying to shut down anything that may marginally hinder their sales by a better, cheaper product being available elsewhere. Not a good business move in my opinion. This may in fact hinder sales, not because a handful of people bought the adapted JH VCO, but because potential customers will steer clear of the aggressive business approach and thus will become a self fulfilling prophecy. Not a wise move!


We've thought a lot about this, sought advice from people who actually worked with JH to understand the issues better, and ultimately decided to support the current VCO group buy in question by ordering two sets-- as the best means available today to honor the JH legacy. We'll never consider participation in dialogue like this as anything but in the spirit of this community, ultimately all of whom we hope to serve well with what we do. This ain't apple and I ain't steve jobs; 'aggressive business approach' hardly fits.
Starspawn
No trouble with synthcube people, they pick up the slack where needed (Klee, Open Music Labs), and keep stuff available at fair prices.


But I suppose that with licencing being more common these days, we may feel that the providers take on the role of the designers, however much that may be or not be correct.
And however much that may be in good faith protecting the designer if correct.
We are scared they will not be as generous as the designers.

Darker boys to me doesnt say synthcube at all, but certainly the ones that have stolen Henry and Haible designs in the past (or the serial liars that never get stuff done).
J3RK
synthcube wrote:
We'll never consider participation in dialogue like this as anything but in the spirit of this community, ultimately all of whom we hope to serve well with what we do. This ain't apple and I ain't steve jobs; 'aggressive business approach' hardly fits.


Having worked closely with Synthcube on several projects, this is very accurate. All I've seen is a group of people dedicated to helping people get their projects moving, and really, in my case, handling the gritty stuff that I can't seem to organize as well.

JH Legacy is always a touchy subject for people. My recommendation is just to do what feels right with each individual project that comes out of his work, consult the community, and have meaningful discussions over it. So far it has done nothing but benefit the community, his name, and every system something like this goes into.

It's peanut butter jelly time! Rockin' Banana! This is fun! w00t
elmegil
I'll chime in with those countering the suggestion that this had any business related motivation.

1) I've worked with Synthcube for a while now doing builds and troubleshooting, so perhaps I'm not the most objective, but if I'd seen anything that made me think he was the sort of cold businessperson to do something like this cynically, I wouldn't have been doing that work any longer.

2) Go back and read a discussion from 6 months/year ago (maybe it was on E-M) where someone was proposing a similar "let's just do a DIY project, and try to give something back to the family" and they were SOUNDLY shot down over issues of ethics -- it had more or less the opposite outcome of what the consensus is here today. I'm sure there are still people who would feel that way, there are just fewer as the reality of this being tied up in German courts for years to come brings people around to a more pragmatic position.
wavydave
Well folks, sorry for being a Realistic Rudy, but do either of three things:
make some PCBs,
don't make some PCBs,
or better yet - lock this thread...

...because I am tired of reading rhetoric regarding pretzel-logic-ethics, legacies, divorces, and German courts. Dead Banana
Randy
wavydave wrote:
Well folks, sorry for being a Realistic Rudy, but do either of three things:
make some PCBs,
don't make some PCBs,
or better yet - lock this thread...

...because I am tired of reading rhetoric regarding pretzel-logic-ethics, legacies, divorces, and German courts. Dead Banana


You are free to not read the thread.

Randy
sduck
Randy wrote:
wavydave wrote:
Well folks, sorry for being a Realistic Rudy, but do either of three things:
make some PCBs,
don't make some PCBs,
or better yet - lock this thread...

...because I am tired of reading rhetoric regarding pretzel-logic-ethics, legacies, divorces, and German courts. Dead Banana


You are free to not read the thread.



QFT - just don't read it if it bores you. Definitely am not going to lock it.

As a mod, the original thread about all this got my attention, but after some review of the proposed original concept I suggested that they stick to the original schematic as closely as possible, including the driver portion which wasn't a part of the original concept, and that JH's name and the name of the actual circuit being copied be included. All this was done. It's not an ideal solution, but I'm not really in a position to play cop in all this - once the idea's out there, it's going to happen whether or not it's allowed for discussion here.

I was going to type more on this, but daverj and j3rk pretty much covered what I'm thinking, and I've got to go solder anyway.
roglok
wavydave wrote:
Well folks, sorry for being a Realistic Rudy, but do either of three things:
make some PCBs,
don't make some PCBs,
or better yet - lock this thread...

...because I am tired of reading rhetoric regarding pretzel-logic-ethics, legacies, divorces, and German courts. Dead Banana


d'oh!
wavydave
sduck wrote:
I was going to type more on this, but daverj and j3rk pretty much covered what I'm thinking, and I've got to go solder anyway.


I also concur with daverj and j3rk. I was just hoping to encourage someone to act.

I didn't mean to come off in a bad way. As a matter of fact, my cat disapproved of my post. seriously, i just don't get it

tojpeters
I have built a set of the euro design/Barcode edition.
I find them incredible,moving,inspiring.
Any designer would be happy to know how much their design has moved me.
The remaining stock of PCBs may not ever be available for reasons like not being lead free.
Worrying about the kids is more of a reflection of Americans knowing they have no social safety net,and if dad dies the kids/widow are going to really suffer. Civilized societies protect the disadvantaged. We don't. So we shouldn't project our societal norms into this.
The family has had adequate time to chime in if they wanted any involvement.
For all we know this court case has wrapped up long ago but the survivors have no desire to be in the PCB selling game,with all the filling orders,shipping,and providing tech support.
sonicwarrior
tojpeters wrote:
The remaining stock of PCBs may not ever be available for reasons like not being lead free.

No, it's definitely for inheritance reasons as stated by Harry_W.

If it would be for not being lead free or something like that they would never be legally available aka de facto garbage.
LED-man
I have tried in january to contact Jürgens ex-wife.
She got my telephonnumber but refused any contact about Jürgens Ex business.
I wrote few times with harry_w from e-m, there are tons of pcbs in packages.
I dont know whats happen with this yet.

From my pov. its okay to have a good international seller like synthcube for haible branded pcbs and panels, but i wish big pcbs from ecofriendly pcb suppliers and not only cheap small eurorack pcbs from china for best provit.


By the way: its okay to copy a Arp2600 - (TTSH) but not copy a other diy project ?
aladan
In private messages with Harry_W in July 2012, he told me the big issue was Jurgen's tax returns from the time when he was married to his ex-wife, that had not been completed at the time of his death. Because they were married at the time, she was responsible for completing those tax returns, but was struggling to do so due to difficulties properly accounting for Jurgen's income and expenditures. I can only guess some possible reasons for that: poor record-keeping (and who isn't guilty of that), the sheer volume of receipts/invoices, the use of online records (bank accounts, paypal accounts, ebay accounts, email accounts) that she might no longer have access to due to their separation, or difficulties assessing Jurgen's assets that she no longer has access to due to their separation. Harry_W also indicated Jurgen's ex-wife was not wealthy and would struggle to pay any tax debts that could quite likely result from sorting things out.

So the PCBs (>2,000 of them, according to Harry_W), gear, equipment and parts are now (most likely) in the ownership of some authority (German government? Tax office? Executor of his estate?) until these difficult tax issues are sorted. One day the PCBs might surface again, but it's equally possible that bureaucratic stupidity will rein supreme and they'll get dumped (or most likely recycled for copper) by someone who has no idea of their value.

(I wrote more here - a bunch of personal opinion - but I don't want to stir the fire further so I deleted it.)

I hope this helps explain things a bit, and I hope Harry_W doesn't mind me sharing the information he told me in private. I've not shared it previously, but I think at this juncture people need more information to help get a better understanding of the difficulties of the situation and why it's been so long without any (apparent) progress.
LektroiD
Just wanted to chime in again; reading back on my previous post, I may have been a bit heavy with my criticism. I don't know the motive behind Synthcube starting this thread, but initially from my standpoint it did look a little suspect. I'm glad people have stepped forward and put everything into perspective now. So, I hope Synthcube can accept my sincerest apologies for my brash message. I guess I just didn't want to see this, or any future JH projects come to a halt, as I feel it's important to keep JH designs alive within the community.

I too had a few chats with Harry W. Pretty much the same was said about the estate, and I'm pretty certain JH would be happy to see his designs continuing life in the DIY community that he was so fond of, rather than ending up in the hands of some government machine that will probably destroy or auction every last piece to some capitalist wanting to make a fast buck on evilBay.

I really hope more of JH's projects can be bought back to life in Eurorack format. Provided it's done in the same spirit as this one.
seanpark
Something I would like to note here is the sheer effectiveness and clarity of The Man's schematics. I did a press n peel layout of the LVCO a while ago which was one of my first layouts. Works well. Probably stray capacitance, ground loops and other stuff I don't fully understand but it oscillates and it beats against itself -- which is the point of this design right?

Really I want to know if the beating which is very noticeable at low frequencies happens with other LVCOs?? Either way it sounds beautiful to me.

I've only built the one home-etched LVCO so far. Lucky to have an original PCB from an awesome wiggler and now another set from the Logicgate / Barcode board run.
kvitekp
@seanpark -- i'm not sure what you mean by "vco beating against itself"... i've built JH LVCO using OSHpark pcbs (one LVCO per board + driver board) with THAT300 instead of CA3046 and it's very stable and tracks well across 5+ octaves, so if i tune them in unison they stay in unison with no beating.
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