There has been an ongoing community discussion around the level of openness to which apertus° will be willing/able to go with the Axiom. This discussion has lasted for several years up to now. On our website (See: “Why Open Source?”), we have detailed the problems that openness can introduce with proprietary interfaces. In most cases, developers are forced to sign binding non-disclosure-agreements (NDA) before any technical documentation may be acquired. With this in mind, our motto has always been: “As open as possible, as closed as necessary”. The apertus° core team (apertus° association board of directors and apertus° company representatives) have recently met up in a virtual boardroom, with the intention of not leaving until a decision had been reached regarding “how closed is actually necessary”. The decision we arrived at is indicative of the transparent rules: a solid constitution - set-in-stone - that the Axiom project adheres by.
A major milestone has now been reached on the path to an open digital cinema camera! How “open” will Axiom be? The answer is simple: 100% entirely! We have banned all proprietary interfaces and parts without open documentation from being utilised in the camera core. Please read on for the full statement.
Our definition of “open” for the apertus° Axiom:
The Axiom base system is defined by the following logical and physical parts: image sensor front-end, processing board, external interface board, power management and enclosure (including lens mount base). These parts are guaranteed to be released as open hardware (all the schematics, plans, BOM, CAD files, gerber files, etc. required to duplicate the hardware) as defined by the CERN OHL (open hardware license 1.2). apertus° ensures that all Axiom interfaces to the outside (as well as the inside) are open, well defined and publicly documented.
All software source code (including FPGA, firmware, drivers, etc.) running on hardware that is developed by apertus° is guaranteed to be released under the GNU GPL V3. There are no explicit non-release agreements between apertus° and the community creating software/hardware. The copyright holder might always license his/her work as appropriate (and even dual license it) but for apertus° to accept the software into the official Axiom repository it needs to be released under an FSF compatible free software license.
This means anyone can 'reproduce' the work done by apertus° for Axiom without hitting any legal boundaries and/or requiring any reverse engineering. It does not mean however, that no manufacturing/assembly/etc. knowledge or special equipment is required to reproduce the physical hardware.
Anyone can carry out the following actions legally: