SDK License Terms


#1

From the Indigo comments page: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/muse-the-brain-sensing-headband#comments
>Bryan Gangl >6 days ago

>hey Interaxon… does your licensing agreement basically say that I,
> a person who paid for the developer muse,
> would not be able to make my code public—even if I were legally
> permitted to write it at all, as it might be construed as reverse engineering?

<a href="https://www.indiegogo.com/individuals/1624137">&gt;Trevor Coleman</a>  &gt;6 days ago

>Hey Bryan,
>Indiegogo comments only allow for 500 character responses,
>and you’ve asked a pretty complicated question.
>If you can, please post it on our developer forums: forum.choosemuse.com and I’ll answer it there.
>-Trevor

So please, Trevor, can you clarify on the cryptic license agreement in the SDK? (Tip: it would have been a friendly move towards your community if you had posted the answer here right away and posted a link in the indigogo site instead of asking Bryan to post here)

Thanks for your time.

-Xavier


#2

Thanks for the feedback, I’ll answer questions that way in the future.

I’m not sure what part of the license agreement would give Bryan that impression that we would consider ordinary development “reverse engineering.” If he could provide the specific language he was concerned about, then I could give a better answer.

Reverse engineering is a pretty specific term referring to the process of trying to understand or duplicate the function of a device, or process. Ordinary development wouldn’t be considered reverse engineering under our agreement.

I would hope that it’s obvious that our Developers Agreement is not intended to prevent anyone from developing on our platform. If there is language that’s confusing, please post it here and I can work with our counsel to address it in a future update.


#3

I cannot speak for Bryan, but I honestly found the SDK terms more intimidating than usual. You definitely need a human readable intro stating your goals for the terms.

For example, I don’'t know the intend of the “Excluded Applications” paragraph, but my understanding of it is that I cannot mix muse or a mobile/wearable device.

Or, I can read your mention to “derivative works” in line 36 as disallowing me to publish my app as open source.

Personally, I’m quite annoyed: I offered trust and cash, and the only tangible things that I have got so far are lack of status updates and hostile legalesse.

-Xavier


#4

Hi Xavier,

When we talk about “derivative works” that means that you won’t take the SDK, modify it and the re-post it. Applications you develop wouldn’t be considered “derivative works” in this case.

I think you’re right that the “excluded applications” clause is a bit broad. I’ll revisit with counsel and see if we can tighten that language up a bit.

-Trevor


#5

I’ve taken another look, and I think you’re right. This agreement has definitely fallen into “legalese” territory. I’m going to make it a priority to get it redrafted. I spent a lot of time redrafting our privacy policy to make it readable and friendly, and on the developer agreement I basically left it to counsel to write. I’ll try to give it a pass this weekend and hopefully have a new version in a week or two. If there are any other concerns you have with it, please let me know so I can take them into account.

I’m sorry that you feel like we haven’t been forthcoming. I agree that we should have been better at communicating with our community of supporters, that’s something we need to work on going forward. All I can say in our defence is that we have all been working in good faith to bring the best possible product to our supporters. I know there have been delays, but in every case we carefully weighed the pros and cons of releasing and in each case we felt it was better to get the thing right than ship a sub-par product.

There have been a number of very specific challenges with this kind of device (for instance the changing electrochemical properties of the skin/sensor boundary) that could not be anticipated, and required original research to design around. We should have been better at sharing those, and I’m hoping we will be better in the future. I am currently working with the marketing team to get a company blog up and running where we can communicate better about the day-to-day operations of the company, and the long term goals we are working towards.

The good news is that we are shipping several hundred units a week now, and the entire backlog of pre-orders should be cleared very shortly. This is also allowing us to spend some time catching up on the areas where we have fallen behind a bit. Our online presence and our communications is an area I’m investing a lot of time in over the coming months and you should see some dramatic improvements there in the short-to-medium term.


#6

I’m happy to hear that you guys will be taking the time to fix both the communication and the legalese issues. Thank you.

-Xavier