markiiii
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Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:56 pm

ok... so we have finalised a product based on a custom Wheezy OS on the Raspberry PI B+. We've also changed some of the motherboard to include some peripherals directly rather than through the USB ports, and, all-in-all everything is working perfectly. The next stage in our business plan is to look at logistics for supply.
My question is simple. If we stick with the raspberry PI B+ (exactly as it is now), can we mport it directly form China? The prices they are talking for 10000-20000 units per purchase are extremely good, but I am unsure of the copyright details involved.
We need to be sure that these devices to not violate any Raspberry or ARM patents or copyright. - the USB devices we've wired onto the board are third party devices that we are negotiating with currently and they are under patent.
your comments would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:01 am

markiiii wrote:ok... so we have finalised a product based on a custom Wheezy OS on the Raspberry PI B+. We've also changed some of the motherboard to include some peripherals directly rather than through the USB ports, and, all-in-all everything is working perfectly. The next stage in our business plan is to look at logistics for supply.
My question is simple. If we stick with the raspberry PI B+ (exactly as it is now), can we mport it directly form China? The prices they are talking for 10000-20000 units per purchase are extremely good, but I am unsure of the copyright details involved.
We need to be sure that these devices to not violate any Raspberry or ARM patents or copyright. - the USB devices we've wired onto the board are third party devices that we are negotiating with currently and they are under patent.
your comments would be greatly appreciated.
Unless your Chinese Supplier can negotiate with Broadcom a supply of BCM2835 SoC's, I do not see how they can manufacture Raspberry Pi's..

Element14 do offer a Customisitation Service which will require no legal somersaults:

http://www.element14.com/community/docs ... on-service
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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:05 am

if they are PI's then you can probably buy them cheaper from E14 / RS in bulk [you will not have to pay additional import duties]
if they are modified pI's then E14 can build them to your spec
if you are just after broadcom chips then deal with broadcom
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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:35 am

Hi OP - you'll need to work directly with RS (who manufacture exclusively in the UK) or Farnell (who own a Chinese manufacturing plant as well as manufacturing in the UK), who should be able to arrange bulk discounts for you. You can't go straight to the factory.
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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:56 pm

markiiii wrote:ok... so we have finalised a product based on a custom Wheezy OS on the Raspberry PI B+.
The time to upgrade to Jessie is NOW. Raspbian Wheezy is no longer the current version, it's not being developed further. All that's left with Wheezy is fixes for security exposures.
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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:56 pm

If you have designed your own SBC board, then it isn't a Raspberry Pi, so that shouldn't an issue so long as you don't make any claims that it is a Pi. That said, you are going to have problems obtaining 10K to 20K BCM2835 SoCs. As I understand it, Broadcom generally wants to sell in lot of 100K...or more...per quarter. At the kind of quantities you are looking at, you'll run into the same problems Hardkernel did with the Odroid-W board.

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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:07 pm

DougieLawson wrote:
markiiii wrote:ok... so we have finalised a product based on a custom Wheezy OS on the Raspberry PI B+.
The time to upgrade to Jessie is NOW. Raspbian Wheezy is no longer the current version, it's not being developed further. All that's left with Wheezy is fixes for security exposures.
The wonderful thing with open software is that you do not have to upgrade - ever.

I am still shipping systems based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS release. And will continue applying security patches to that one whenever new vulnerabilities is found.

After running the race with Windows (NT -> XP -> Vista -> whatever) every 2 years it is so cool to finally find an OS that will be upgraded when I have the desire to do so.

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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:16 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:you are going to have problems obtaining 10K to 20K BCM2835 SoCs. As I understand it, Broadcom generally wants to sell in lot of 100K...or more...per quarter.
I imagine there are ways to get 10K-20K from those buying in 100K or larger quantities. Perhaps the manufacturer of red boards or elsewhere. Whether legitimately obtained or otherwise would be a different matter.

If someone were buying SoC in bulk from Broadcom, and selling in smaller quantities to others, I can't see that Broadcom would have a problem with that. I would have thought some sort of 'unfair practices' issues would kick in if they tried to prevent that.

Added: One problem though would be using Broadcom software which is only licensed for use on an actual Raspberry PI and is needed to start up the SoC.
Last edited by hippy on Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:24 pm

karrika wrote: I am still shipping systems based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS release.
But how is this relevant to the OP who is using an old, now mostly unsupported version of Raspbian ?
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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:38 pm

PeterO wrote:
karrika wrote: I am still shipping systems based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS release.
But how is this relevant to the OP who is using an old, now mostly unsupported version of Raspbian ?
PeterO
I think the piece Karrika has missed is that DebIan/Raspbian is always a "long term support (LTS)" version (that's where it fundamentally differs from Ubuntu). The problem came in April 2015 was when the old LTS release (Wheezy) was discontinued. Even after that Raspbian Jessie took six months to catch up with DebIan. Hence my suggestion, nine months on from DebIan Jessie coming out, that the OP should now move forward.
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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:44 pm

Ok. So I missed the point. Sorry about that.

What is a bit alarming is this:
markiiii wrote:ok... so we have finalised a product based on a custom Wheezy OS on the Raspberry PI B+.
Finalised a product may mean a lot of things. R&D. Testing. Verification. Validation. Documenting. Type approval.

A "custom" Wheezy OS may be the result of a lot of work. Who knows how much time and money is already spent?

------------

Besides. It does not matter what OS your toaster runs as long as the toast is tasty with your morning coffee.

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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:57 pm

karrika wrote:Besides. It does not matter what OS your toaster runs as long as the toast is tasty with your morning coffee.
Until my toaster is an Internet of Things device with a security flaw or a bug in the OS that causes it to burn the house to the foundations.

The problem we've got is that OP hasn't given any clues what his Raspberry Pi based device that he's looking to make in the 1000s is going to do. We don't even know if it's network connected or completely stand-alone.

With my Software Auditor's hat on, supported but out of date & out of support software are big bad RED marks on an audit report.
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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:02 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:If you have designed your own SBC board, then it isn't a Raspberry Pi, so that shouldn't an issue so long as you don't make any claims that it is a Pi. That said, you are going to have problems obtaining 10K to 20K BCM2835 SoCs. As I understand it, Broadcom generally wants to sell in lot of 100K...or more...per quarter. At the kind of quantities you are looking at, you'll run into the same problems Hardkernel did with the Odroid-W board.
The OP stated ""Wheezy OS on the Raspberry PI B+" :?
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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:08 pm

DougieLawson wrote: With my Software Auditor's hat on, supported but out of date & out of support software are big bad RED marks on an audit report.
With my DiscoHAT on, it depends on how the system is implemented. After all the question boils down to frequency estimate of incidents that can happen and the hazards that they may cause.

In case of an IoT toaster I agree with the update requirement. In the case of a stand alone non-networked toaster there may be other hazards that are more relevant and the software update requirement may be non-existent if no hazards can be imagined because of missing updates.

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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:12 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:The OP stated ""Wheezy OS on the Raspberry PI B+" :?
But also "We've also changed some of the motherboard to include some peripherals directly rather than through the USB ports" which seems to suggest their own SBC design based on the Pi B+. But it's not entirely clear what they have or are wanting.

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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:14 pm

[mod edit removed inflammatory sentence]

1) The Pi SoC is not available from Broadcom.

2) Any Pi board may or may not be available next week.

Well, OK, many people have profited from the Pi. Offering add on boards and cases etc. Good for them.

It does not sound like a basis for a long term product plan.

You have to be flexible. Jumping from Wheezy to Jessie might be a start.

Hacking the hardware on a particular board sounds like a disaster.
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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:30 pm

Heater wrote: Hacking the hardware on a particular board sounds like a disaster.
Unless he's planning on using the Element 14 "Build a custom Pi from parts" service.
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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:20 am

I'm a bit puzzled by the contrast between these two parts of the OM -
markiiii wrote:We've also changed some of the motherboard to include some peripherals directly rather than through the USB ports,
and
markiiii wrote: If we stick with the raspberry PI B+ (exactly as it is now)
Err, how can one have changed the motherboard but stick with the B+ exactly as it is now?
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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:00 am

timrowledge wrote:I'm a bit puzzled by the contrast between these two parts of the OM -
markiiii wrote:We've also changed some of the motherboard to include some peripherals directly rather than through the USB ports,
and
markiiii wrote: If we stick with the raspberry PI B+ (exactly as it is now)
Err, how can one have changed the motherboard but stick with the B+ exactly as it is now?
Perhaps the "motherboard" isn't referring to the Pi, but another board that the Pi will be connected to. Maybe that board was originally interfaced to the Pi via USB and is now connected via GPIO or perhaps soldered to the PP test points.

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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:01 pm

rpdom wrote:
timrowledge wrote:I'm a bit puzzled by the contrast between these two parts of the OM -
markiiii wrote:We've also changed some of the motherboard to include some peripherals directly rather than through the USB ports,
and
markiiii wrote: If we stick with the raspberry PI B+ (exactly as it is now)
Err, how can one have changed the motherboard but stick with the B+ exactly as it is now?
Perhaps the "motherboard" isn't referring to the Pi, but another board that the Pi will be connected to. Maybe that board was originally interfaced to the Pi via USB and is now connected via GPIO or perhaps soldered to the PP test points.
Or perhaps to OP isn't a hardware engineer and is going by what he has been told and didn't quite catch all of it. We certainly get a more than sufficient quantity of vague or internally inconsistent questions on the Fourms to be surprised when we have to tease out what exactly was meant.

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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:44 pm

Well, exactly. If someone can't ask a question that is internally consistent it can be very hard to offer any sort of meaningful reply.

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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:40 pm

karrika wrote:In case of an IoT toaster I agree with the update requirement. In the case of a stand alone non-networked toaster there may be other hazards that are more relevant and the software update requirement may be non-existent if no hazards can be imagined because of missing updates.
I think that toasters should not be capable of being turned on to toast via the internet. If a toaster was subverted with such capability, how would you know that someone hadn't left a piece of paper near enough to ignite after an extended period of leaving the toaster on toast? So even if you design your toaster with a 100% duty cycle, it could still end in tears. And I doubt that toasters are really intended for unlimited toasting so problems could happen even if you keep your counter policed of flammables.

The only feature that would be added by having an ip toaster with the capability of being turned on to toast by the internet is Timed To Toast which is a feature that no one actually needs. For this reason, you can be assured that we will get toasters with this feature, probably made by the same people who are building the hoverboards using someone else's IP.

This doesn't mean that an IoTs toaster would be useless. There are features such as energy usage, time of usages, capacity to cut off power to the toasting mechanism remotely (but not force it on, some sort of series connection) that people might find useful.

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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:06 pm

The ultimate IoT toaster has a built-in alarm clock, fridge, coffee maker and toaster.
In Japan they already sell toast with tiny butter balls in the bread for busy businessmen who don't have time to spread the butter on their toasts.

In the morning the toaster starts brewing coffee, the toast drops from the fridge section to the toaster. If you don't wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and buttered toast it sounds an alarm. Still no need for internet. So it is perfectly safe to base it on Wheezy.

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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:14 pm

stderr wrote:
karrika wrote:In case of an IoT toaster I agree with the update requirement. In the case of a stand alone non-networked toaster there may be other hazards that are more relevant and the software update requirement may be non-existent if no hazards can be imagined because of missing updates.
I think that toasters should not be capable of being turned on to toast via the internet. If a toaster was subverted with such capability, how would you know that someone hadn't left a piece of paper near enough to ignite after an extended period of leaving the toaster on toast? So even if you design your toaster with a 100% duty cycle, it could still end in tears. And I doubt that toasters are really intended for unlimited toasting so problems could happen even if you keep your counter policed of flammables.
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Re: Importing bulk PIs from China vs. copyright / patent

Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:02 pm

What a wonderful clip. Is the future of IoT endless disputes with an intelligent toaster? ;)

They never showed Red Dwarf in Finland. I tried to find episodes many years ago on the net without much success.

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