[Discuss] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Sun Sep 30 13:16:00 UTC 2012

From: Rob Myers <rob at robmyers.org>
Date: Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 7:35 AM
Subject: Re: [tt] [Open Manufacturing] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW
To: tt at postbiota.org, openmanufacturing at googlegroups.com

On 09/29/2012 03:43 PM, Chris Church wrote:
> We are not all motivated by the same political or social goals, and some

We all use the same definitions, though. And if a device and its
software doesn't meet them, it isn't "Open Source".

> of us produce open-source technologies (hardware and software) for less
> lofty reasons:
>   - We expect that our customers should be able to service their own
> equipment
>   - We expect that our customers should be able to make changes to their
> equipment to better suit their needs, should they have the skills to do so

These are political opinions. They argue that people should be free to
use the hardware that they own. Many hardware manufacturers would
disagree and claim that they are simply acting in everyone's best
economic interests.

> We (and some others) make business decisions which are driven by these
> decisions, to the best of our abilities.  We have to consider the
> well-being of our employees, our investors, our creditors, and our
> community.

And some consumers will make purchasing decisions that are driven by
their own political decisions. It would be economically irrational of
them to privilege a company's interests above their own.

If people want to call their cool VC-funded proprietary hardware and
software "Open Source" then the problem is not the people telling them
that they are wrong.

I suggest appealing to the economic advantages of democratising access
to hardware rather than fighting a losing battle to redefine "Open Source".

- Rob.

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- Bryan
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