[Discuss] OSHW Best Practices / Layers of Openness

alicia amgibb at gmail.com
Tue Feb 26 17:51:09 UTC 2013

Via a conversation started offlist, we're discussing best practices to
clarify the oshw definition. The conversation was started by Catarina Mota
and Tom Igoe, first about a layering graphic similar to creative commons
and Phil Torrone's Layers of
Please view Tom's post below asking for how you currently use the
logo and whether your usage has changed in the past 2 years?

I also raised some questions that we get through OSHWA:

- I plan to release the files in 3/6/12 months, can still use the open
source hw logo?
- Can I use the oshw logo if my project is only partially open source?
- How do I or will OSHWA approach a company who has the open source hw logo
on their boards but no files?
- Must supplier details be given to use the oshw logo?
- Can I use the oshw logo on my product if I am using
a proprietary enclosure from another company, but the insides are mine?
- This movement feels like you're leaving out mechanical designs /
architecture / nanotech, how can I interpret your definition to include my
projects? (This comes to us a lot, which perhaps prompted Catarina to start
exploring a space that would better include them.)
- Can I release some of the software for a license, like a pro version, or
does that go against Free Redistribution, or is it okay because of clause
12 in the definition?
- What are the best practices for releasing a piece of open source hardware
and its documentation under the definition?
- Can I directly copy open source hardware (sans trademark), the oshw
definition says 'yes', but articles on oshw have a resounding 'no'.
- Is a different economic model (selling hw for cheaper or more expensive)
enough to call copied hardware a derivative?


On Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 6:32 AM, Tom Igoe <ti8 at nyu.edu> wrote:

> To me, the original topic, layering the definition in order to describe
> OSHW products in detail was about best practices for applying the
> definition.  So I'm not sure you're hijacking the topic at all. If the
> general consensus is that layering is a bad way to put the definition into
> practice, then I think it makes sense to switch gears and talk about ways
>  that it's currently being put into practice.
> We've talked about the definition as a social norm rather than a legal
> document, and that seems to be the general consensus.  So let's talk about
> how the definition is currently put into practice.  From there, maybe we
> can get to what best practices are.  Perhaps best to throw it out to
> everyone:
> The definition's been in place since February 2011. What are the best
> examples of how it's been put in practice since then, and how has it
> changed what you do?
> Once we have a few of those on the table, we'll have a better sense of
> what everyone's practice is, and can discuss the best of that.
> t.
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