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Changes to existing projects (e.g. Berkeley's Rocket RISC-V design) is released under the upstream project's license. We're interested in using an Apache-derived license for new hardware codebases due to the additional patent clauses.

We have received backing from a private individual which has got us going, and some additional donations from some of our project partners.

Companies paying into Foundations which own the IP under an Apache license is becoming a relatively well-tested pattern these days.

The Linux Foundation provides "Foundation as a Service" to several of these. I work for Pivotal, so I'm most familiar with the Cloud Foundry Foundation, which is administered by the Linux Foundation on behalf of members.

From what I can see, it's a smooth way to offload the administrative stuff to specialists while retaining the core openness.

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