Using the Open Source models, can I make non-open source designs for internal use in my company/organization?
No. Designs developed with the Open Source models are always open source designs, i.e. it can only be distributed under an open source license. In particular, all the source code for all the modules your design is based on, regardless of whether they have been written by you or by others, must be open source design (because of the "viral" nature of the GPL). This is part of our commitment to the open source community, and enables those who contribute to the open source do so without paying license fees.
Although it is possible to develop open source designs for internal use, it is difficult to ensure that such design is used and distributed legally. For example, if your open source design requires any models that impose conditions on you that contradict the conditions of the GNU GPL, including, but not limited to, patents, commercial license agreements, copyrighted interface definitions or any sort of non-disclosure agreement, then you cannot distribute it at all; hence it cannot be given to consultants, employees for their personal computers, subsidiaries, other divisions, or even to new owners.
Consequently we recommend using commercial licenses for all internal development. Are the Open Source models really free in the GNU meaning of the word?
Yes. The Open Source models are free models both as in "no cost" and as in "free speech". Even more, it is actually available under the terms of the GNU GPL. This means you can link GPL'ed models to it, and you can take code from our models and put it into other GPL'ed models.
The GNU GPL refers to software and programs, how can the GPL be applicable for our Open Source models?
It is possible to apply the GPL to any kind of work, as long as it is clear what constitutes the "source code" for the work. Program and Software shall be interpreted as the design (in EDIF, netlist) of the models and the source code as the RTL design of the models.
Why are the Open Source models not distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL)?
The LGPL is designed to "permit developers of non-free designs to use free libraries" (quote from the LGPL). In other words, if the Open Source models were LGPL'd, companies would not have to purchase our commercial editions in order to make commercial/proprietary software, they could just use the Open Source Edition, free of charge. That would mean we would not get the revenue necessary for improving and extending the models. Note also that the Free Software Foundation discourages the use of the LGPL.