Free and Open Source

All the designs for the aquaponics system are available for anyone to read, copy, modify and redistribute. That includes the electronic circuits we designed (find them here) and the software running on them (here) as well as documentation such as this.

So if you want to copy our system then go right ahead, we’d be flattered! You can even copy our diagrams and documentation if you like, the whole thing, lock stock and barrel (although you have to credit us with the work).

This project is ‘open source’ – a term originally used to describe computer programs distributed with the original ‘source’ code used to write the program. Now it has been extended to describe other things (such as architecture and electronics) when the designs are freely published.

Many people find that by sharing their designs with others across the world, the end result is much better engineering. Improvements and new features are shared rather than being kept to just one person or company. It’s much more productive to build freely on other people’s work because patents, monopolies and license restrictions act as a damper on innovation.

This project is also ‘free’ in the sense of ‘free software’. Curiously, free software doesn’t have to cost nothing (although ours does). That’s because the free in ‘free software’ means freedom rather than free to buy. The freedom that free software and free hardware gives you is the right to see, modify and re-use our designs, including selling things you make with them.

However, with this freedom comes an obligation. You cannot use our work or the work of others without also passing on the freedom in turn. In legal jargon our works are not licensed ‘permissively’.

You can use the work of us and others, including selling it as part of your work.
You can’t turn the work of others into yours to control.

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, this documentation is made available under a creative commons license (CC BY-SA 3.0), software is made available under the GNU General Public License v3 and hardware is shared with a TAPR Open Hardware License.

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