[Discuss] discuss Digest, Vol 9, Issue 29

Tom Igoe tom.igoe at gmail.com
Thu Feb 28 23:28:52 UTC 2013

Can you clarify this a bit Matt?

On Feb 28, 2013, at 5:39 PM, Matt Maier wrote:

> For one standard to catch on it would have to be valuable to an awful lot of different entities with different goals and different contexts. I suspect that's not going to happen. Why? Because...
> It's clear that the needs of businesses are different than the needs of individuals, and I think most of the resultant thread(s) are on their way to establishing what businesses can do.
> Cameron
> ...of this question. We've already identified two groups with obviously different needs. Businesses have to pull in at least enough money to cover their costs and risks; individuals don't.

What *do* individuals need?  The minute you  start selling something, you face the same risks and liabilities and opportunities as any other business,  Even if you put something out there publicly for someone else to use, you face the liabilities, unless you state the conditions under which you approve use of your design, and the limit of your responsibilities for that use. 

Ideally, I'd like to see a definition *and* legal instruments that support individuals who choose to do either of these things (publish and sell, or publish and not sell), so that they have access to the same privileges and protections as any size business.

> The need to generate a certain level of profit has to override other priorities. If it doesn't the business will simply disappear. If being "totally open" conflicts with "minimally profitable" then profit will have to win. Individuals can try to coerce and encourage businesses to be as open as possible, but at the end of the day their priorities are fundamentally different.

So what are individuals' priorities and needs in an OSHW definition? What will an individual use it for, other than debate?


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