[Discuss] discuss Digest, Vol 10, Issue 13

Windell H. Oskay windell at oskay.net
Mon Mar 4 20:38:16 UTC 2013

On Mar 2, 2013, at 8:49 PM, malcolm stanley <a.malcolm.stanley at gmail.com> wrote:

> So I have never heard that anyone at OSHWA is there for files to be submitted to, or that OSHWA would be formally accepting or determining that a project is open. Rather, the assumption seems to be that the certification is 'self', and the enforcement is 'community'. In that context, an escrow would need to be community provided and community run, with the ability to signal that source had been loaded and that as a result use of the logo and marks was ok.

While I do not believe that an an escrow system is necessary for community enforcement, nor something that OSHWA could perform, it might be helpful as part of a third party OSHW certification program.

Also, the own are *my own personal thoughts* (not OSHWA's; and IANAL) on the topic of OSHWA's role in community enforcement:

So long as the OSHW mark has a clearly defined, widely-known meaning (at least to the target audience), then displaying the OSHW mark on a product advertised for sale carries a legal significance.   If a shipping product so advertised is not actually compliant with the OSHW Definition, then that is a simple case of false advertising.

In the USA at least, false advertising can be dealt with by complaints to the BBB, state laws, federal law (via the FTC), and private lawsuits.  I imagine that similar protections exist in many other nations as well.

OSHWA has a goal of publicizing best practices for the use of OSHW, of the OSHW Mark, and of the OSHW Definition. And in doing so, I believe that it will help to ensure that false advertising claims against noncompliant use of the OSHW mark will be upheld.


Windell H. Oskay, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Chief Scientist
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
175 San Lazaro Ave, STE 150 
Sunnyvale CA 94086

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