SparkFun KiCad Part Libraries


#1

A few months ago, SparkFun quietly released a set of libraries for KiCad, which is a port of their EAGLE part libraries. They can be found on GitHub: https://github.com/sparkfun/SparkFun-KiCad-Libraries

Credit goes to SparkFun engineer marshalltaylorSFE for porting the parts.

Please note that the repository is still in beta form. Most of the parts are untested, as they are simply ports from EAGLE. Also, I’ve had some issues with part names being artwork rather than text, which can bog down KiCad when you try to move the parts. That being said, I’ve created a few boards using the libraries with no problems.

If you find any issues, please file them in GitHub!


#2

Goodness me, how nice.
Sparkfun, Digikey… I welcome this.
It means those companies are taking KiCAD and its users serious. They are willing to invest in them.
Let’s all appreciate the effort, fellow developers. Bravo.

m


#3

@ShawnHymel
thanks for the info…
I looked at the libs, but I noticed that the License is different from what we have in KiCad…
If I’m understanding well, there is no exception for using the library elements inside a project, without the option to avoid to share the SF credits

This library is released under the Creative Commons ShareAlike 4.0 International license. You are welcome to use this library for commercial purposes. For attribution, we ask that when you begin to sell your device using our footprint, you email us with a link to the product being sold. We want bragging rights that we helped (in a very small part) to create your 8th world wonder. We would like the opportunity to feature your device on our homepage.

This is a stopper IMO for many commercial users …
For that reason KiCad stated this option:

KiCad libraries are licensed in such a way to ensure free use of library data for commercial, closed, and non-commercial projects without restriction. KiCad does not wish to exert any control over designs produced using the library data, or force users to reveal proprietary information contained in their designs. Neither do we wish to force users to attribute the KiCad libraries within their design.

Use of the library data in a project does not (by itself) require that the design or any files generated from the design are licensed under the CC-BY-SA 4.0 License. You are free to use the library data in your own projects without the obligation to share your project files under this or any other license agreement.


#4

Thanks for catching this.

Now, I’ll have to go back and see what is specifically different in the Digikey license.


#5

When the Sparkfun licence says “we ask that when you begin to sell your device using our footprint, you email us with a link to the product being sold” this isn’t a condition of using the library but a preference. Ie if it said “you must” it would be a requirement?

I don’t know as I’m not a lawyer.


#6

I’m not a lawyer. However, in beginning bargaining of negotiations for product and payment, an initial asking price is often advertised.

The really sticky part of this License is that things like “Footprints” can be considered “artwork”. A commercial entity then agrees to identify that SF has their artwork in that commercial entities design.

What will the final asking price be? That will probably be up to Lawyers.

I know enough about legal matters that I won’t ever use the SF libraries in any design.


#7

Depends.
Their normal download links are by ultra libraian
https://www.digikey.com/en/news/press-releases/2017/aug/digi-key-adds-kicad-pcb-model-download

But they also seem to be building up their own library that is under the same license as the kicad library

I noticed they have a longer warranty disclaimer. We might want to take a look at this and see if we forgot something in the license for the official libs.


#8

Your point is well taken: SparkFun does want people to use their footprints in commercial applications but would like some kind of attribution if they are used. As a result, we’ve changed the license to CC BY 4.0 (removing the Share-Alike requirement). I am not super well versed in open source legal matters, so please let me know if this will meet your needs for being able to use the libraries for commercial purposes.


#9

Hi @ShawnHymel
to fully clarify this, I think you should add/state an exception similar to the one KiCad as added:

The KiCad libraries are licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0 License, with the following exception:

To the extent that the creation of electronic designs that use ‘Licensed Material’ can be considered to be ‘Adapted Material’, then the copyright holder waives article 3 of the license with respect to these designs and any generated files which use data provided as part of the ‘Licensed Material’.

Thank you for your contribution to KiCad… it is really appreciated by this community IMO :smiley: