[Discuss] OSHW Best Practices / Layers of Openness

Pierce Nichols pierce at logos-electro.com
Wed Feb 27 03:55:07 UTC 2013

 My reactions/answers in line...

On Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 9:51 AM, alicia <amgibb at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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 licensing post. 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?

I'd hope the answer is no. If it's OSHW, the files should come with the product.

> - Can I use the oshw logo if my project is only partially open source?

How partial is partial? I think that the released files should contain
everything a person reasonably well-versed in the appropriate skills
needs to duplicate it.

> - 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?

This seems unnecessarily restrictive. It might be entirely reasonable
for a company to use multiple suppliers over time or even at the same
time... and there's no good reason to document that all publicly. This
is a matter of the business relationships of the producer... and is
therefore a sort of naturally proprietary matter. Much like their
financial statements.

> - Can I use the oshw logo on my product if I am using a proprietary
> enclosure from another company, but the insides are mine?

I bet there's at least one proprietary chip on that board, too. I
think as long as the parts in questions are ordinary commercial parts,
then it's not a problem.

> - 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?

I see no obvious problem with running proprietary software on open
hardware platform.


Pierce Nichols
Principal Engineer
Logos Electromechanical, LLC

More information about the discuss mailing list