briefly about copyright laws
It's a common (but absolutely wrong) belief that if something is available at a public place, copyright does not protect it.
However, there is absolutely no connection between being
- public (available at a public place, such as a library, or internet)
- and shareware (common term for "license granted to use for any purpose". Shareware is a rather stupid license in most cases, GNU GPL or LGPL is much better for manking, see http://www.gnu.org
So what applies? It depends...
- no license: even if the design is public, copyright laws automatically protect it to the maximum extent (like the group's hardware). As you see, the most strict case is when there is no license. Usage not allowed, distribution not allowed, copying not allowed (the automatically cached files don't raise a problem though).
- GPL-like license: 90% of the group's firmware is protected by the GenboardPublicLicense? (see the GenboardPublicLicense?.txt in the firmware directory). This allows usage, distribution (in unchanged form) and copying, but it resricts changes: changes must be contributed back to the authors.
- the wbo2.c license for WBO2 controller software (firmware) allows copying and distribution with the rest of the firmware, but does not allow usage. License for usage is granted individually (eg. for GenBoard/VerThree bought from WebShop)
- other license: whatever the license says. Read the license for the exact terms (don't rely on the short license description, read the license for the above cases too).