[Discuss] discuss Digest, Vol 10, Issue 13

Tom Igoe tom.igoe at gmail.com
Sun Mar 3 19:12:29 UTC 2013

There are a number of good questions here, Matt.  At this point it's best for me not to comment on this further, and let folks who are actively on the OSHWA board answer some of these questions. I can see potential responses to this argument, but I'm not sure if they're relevant. I'd like to hear what others think, and you're probably tired of hearing what I think.

Also, it's time for me to pay the rent with some writing that's not on this listserve, interesting though it is. :)


On Mar 3, 2013, at 11:12 AM, Matt Maier wrote:

> I don't see the conflict. Why would it matter who thought of it and/or published it first? Openness depends on people publishing early and often. The point isn't to encourage people to keep secrets until they're positioned to extract maximum profit from exploiting the idea, the point is to encourage people to publish ideas that are good enough for now so that everyone else can build them into something better.
> However, now that I phrase it that way, I can see how the professional open source world might think of "openness" differently than the amateurs (for lack of better terms). It would make sense for commercial entities to treat openness more like a way to outsource/crowdsource technical support rather than a way to grow their own competition.
> Okay, so, I think I'm running into the my limits having never run a commercial open source project. I'm probably not doing a good job of adopting that perspective. 
> Another question, why would a panel of industry experts have to leave their day job? Why not just make the panel big enough that individuals can be temporarily excused? You know, in your example, you could just go get some coffee for 10 minutes while the people who don't have a conflict of interest arrive at a decision. I assume any kind of decision making body like that would have to be pretty flexible. If it's successful (which is kind of the point) then it will have to churn through submissions quickly, especially if nobody's getting paid for their time. They would have to be able to get stuff done even if some people couldn't make it.
> How about this as an exchange of value. Lets assume the people who have a vote on whether or not a project gets the OSHWA stamp of openness approval are not being monetarily compensated for their time. That seems like a safe assumption. But, they DO get to be the only people in the world who see all of the brand spanking new technical details of open projects before anyone else, and they get to meet all of the people pushing things forwards. In a community where it's nearly impossible to steal an idea (because it's being released open) getting to see things first would have a certain tangible value that would compensate them for their time. That value would encourage everyone to plan nice cuz if they don't they get kicked off the panel.
> On Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 8:33 AM, Tom Igoe <tom.igoe at gmail.com> wrote:
> Let's say someone starts a kickstarter campaign to make a new Arduino derivative.  They want to claim it'll be open in their kickstarter campaign, so they submit it to OSHWA for review approval, whatever. Let's say I'm on the curatorial panel for OSHWA. Now imagine Arduino (my company) is working on a new model very similar to the kickstarter derivative.  Even though we may have thought of it independently (which happens with some frequency), who are you going to believe when one party complains? Even if one party produces docs with a timestamp that's earlier than the other, we all know that's easy enough to be modified.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.oshwa.org/pipermail/discuss/attachments/20130303/9581ba60/attachment.html>

More information about the discuss mailing list