Problem with open-sourcing the designs is people will bootleg the games. Krikzz has a very big problem with counterfeit Chinese Everdrives on eBay. He releases a firmware update then fans cry foul when they attempt to flash the bootleg copies and it bricks the device. Fortunately for all intents the Atari never existed in the far East so stuff like the Harmony/Melody boards have fallen under the radar. Same with AtariMax and others. Guys devolping these hardware devices did so at great expense and from their own pockets, so it is reasonable they expect to profit a little bit from them, and unreasonable that Dan wants to create his own supply. Dan Oliver will have to reinvent the wheel to some extent if he intends to develop a competing product, or agree to license terms if he uses Melody.
Outright cloning the Harmony design would be a dick move IMO but nothing stopping him or anyone else. There is no data encryption in the design. A cloned duplicate could easily be fabricated by cracking open a game, determining the bill of materials, and using a multimeter to trace the PCB, then using a software to reconstruct the layout. Then it's a matter of dumping and flashing the game + BIOS.
@Dan, if I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to produce a working game prototype (just a ROM developed using Harmony/Stella would be acceptible, or upload a gameplay video if you don't want it stolen) to prove yourself as a developer, then hardware people like Albert, CPUWIZ, Batari, et al might be more receptive to work with you. Do not attempt to "bootleg" the Melody. AtariAge is 90% of your market so you cannot risk a community boycott on your games.
Wow, I'm a bootlegger now. I guess it doesn't matter that I said ripping off Melody isn't a viable option, that a large part of the community would likely boycott (pretty sure I used the same words as you...but I 'm a bootlegger. More fun to read just the parts.
To prove myself as a developer...an interesting idea. I should consider that. Yes, and then the owners of Melody might consider working with me. Great advice if I were a veal calf.
Please excuse me from this discussion.