[Discuss] OSHW Best Practices / Layers of Openness

Alicia Gibb pip at nycresistor.com
Thu Feb 28 23:56:05 UTC 2013

We have to remember also that enclosures are just an example of mechanical
types of open hardwre. There are also large scale things like open source
hardware farm equipment: http://opensourceecology.org/ And many other
mechanical projects include electronics as the secondary piece of its
functionality or are not present at all.


On Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 1:51 PM, Windell H. Oskay <windell at oskay.net> wrote:

> On Feb 28, 2013, at 11:21 AM, Chris Church <thisdroneeatspeople at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Hi Windell,
> >
> > This appears to leave my earlier question un-addressed: physical parts
> of our enclosures are part of our trade dress, must I give the full right
> to reproduce our trade dress (which I would be doing if I shared the
> machining files under CC for our enclosures) to claim my electronics are
> open-source?
> Hi Chris,
>   You are explicitly not required to share your trade dress.  OSHW
> community standards are quite clear about this.
> From the introduction to the OSHW definition (
> http://freedomdefined.org/OSHW ):
> "[...]persons or companies producing items ("products") under an OSHW
> license have an obligation to make it clear that such products are not
> manufactured, sold, warrantied, or otherwise sanctioned by the original
> designer and also not to make use of any trademarks owned by the original
> designer."
> Usually, with printed logos and so forth, this is pretty straightforward:
> Just leave those decorative trademark elements out of the design files when
> preparing files for OSHW documentation.
> However, if you are also claiming your functional front panel layout--
> where the holes for components are located, for example --as part of the
> trade dress, that's your choice.  But it is a choice that is incompatible
> with labeling that portion of your product as Open Source Hardware.
> Does putting OSHW inside a proprietary box of your own design make the
> stuff inside non-OSHW?  No, I don't think so.  But I do think that you that
> it prevents you putting an overall label of "OSHW" on the product.
> Cheers,
> -Windell
> Windell H. Oskay, Ph.D.
> Co-Founder and Chief Scientist
> Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
> 175 San Lazaro Ave, STE 150
> Sunnyvale CA 94086
> http://www.evilmadscientist.com/
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