I admit I confused these two not long time ago, and because I guess many others may be also confused and mix these things I will try to explain what I learned about it.
I still do remember August 2011, there were few months since we launched our Open Source Hardware design Pinguino and I got e-mail from customer of ours in Australia who pointed me to some Australian blogger who also does some online electronics talk show on his web site.
So this guy IIRC his name was Dave was commenting our Pinguino design, well actually it was hard to tell he was commenting, as he was yelling around 10 minutes and as English is not my native language I was able to catch just some words like: “shame” , “olimex”, “open source”, “copyright?!?”.
What Dave was very annoyed was the fact that we put COPYRIGHT(C) text on our board silkscreen next to OSHW logo and according to him this is mutually exclusively i.e. Open Source Hardware Design can’t have COPYRIGHT message at all.
Well I will admit I was not open source nor licensee expert so I was confused for a while too.
SO I told our developers to put “DESIGNED BY” instead of “COPYRIGHT” to our new projects which we release under Open Source Hardware Licensee. There were not so many Open Source Hardware designs to take as reference anyway and on Arduino Board (which is still most popular Open Source Hardware design) was written “Designed in Italy” so I assumed this is the correct way to do it.
Recently we finish STM32-H407 board and I got in touch with Garry Bulmer, we start discussing these issues and he explained to me what is the connection with Copyright and Open Source, which I accept as it have quite logic in it.
Garry said: When you design or develop something as an AUTHOR you have the COPYRIGHT on this, PERIOD.
Then you as COPYRIGHT owner can LICENSEE this product of yours under whatever LICENSEE you want i.e. GPL, BSD, CC-BY etc.
You CAN’T LICENSEE something under any terms IF you are not the author who have the COPYRIGHT.
Thinking logically this is perfectly true.
That you create something which you release under Open Source Licensee do not waive your COPYRIGHT as AUTHOR of the project. So it’s perfectly OK you as Author and Copyright holder to put on your products the COPYRIGHT text even if you licensee it under Open Source Licensee.
If you want your product to be closed source you can write “COPYRIGHT(C) 2012 by YOURNAME Ltd, All rights reserved” this means you have the rights for this product and one want to licensee it have to contact you and to negotiate the licensee terms under which you will licensee the product to him.
If you want to create Open source project and licensee it under Creative Commons Share-Alike Licensee you can put on your board: “COPYRIGHT(C) 2012 by YOURNAME Ltd, released under CC-SA-3.0 Open source licensee” and this will be enough.
In both cases the COPYRIGHT text identify you as the AUTHOR and COPYRIGHT holder of this design, but this is not in conflict with the fact that in second case you Licensee your work under open source licensee terms.
NOTICE: I’m not lawer and this is just my point of view, your comments are welcome!