[Discuss] Open Source Sausage?

Matt Maier blueback09 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 7 16:19:45 UTC 2013

Under the question "*what license should I use*" the last sentence
says "*Licenses
that prevent non-commercial use are not compatible with open-source" *should
that say "...*licenses that prevent commercial use*..." or maybe "...*licenses
that include a non-commercial clause*...?"

Some other topics the "*How does open-source hardware interact with
hardware regulations*" answer could mention would be:
* FCC - there are a lot of circuit boards out there that really should meet
some kind of standard, but it's easy to fly under the radar when a project
is small-ish and the technology moves fast.
* Drones - at the moment there just aren't many regulations covering this
technology, but that means the OSHW community has a chance to help
influence regulations when they're created
* warranties - open hardware projects tend not to prioritize safety and/or
warranty-ability. The general assumption is that the builder takes their
life in their own hands. But, as the FAQ section on non-commercial
explains, it's hard to really make open hardware work without commercial
activity, which creates a buyer-seller relationship, which brings at least
some of the vast scope of contract law into play.
* food - stuff that we eat is hardware, and the open source approach is
growing in that domain. There are a lot of regulations controlling the
creation and distribution of food.
* children - there are a lot of regulations to protect children, which is
important because the STEM/learning/teaching/creating nature of open
hardware naturally leads a lot of people to want to share it with kids.
Additionally, there are (currently) limits to the practical utility and
or payback period of open hardware projects, which means many of them focus
on toy or entertainment type goals.  At the end of the day kids are often
users, or potential users, of open hardware.
* health care - another area that the open source approach is inflitrating
is the medical domain. Health care is pretty much synonymous with
* export control - the FAQ already touches on this, but it's worth
explaining that open source directly contradicts export control, so the
non-discrimination requirements of open source can't be met on certain
subjects. Granted, those subjects are kind of far out there (rockets,
satellites, guns, etc) but it's easy to find examples of open source
projects in those areas, and activity will only increase in the future.

On Sun, Oct 6, 2013 at 12:19 PM, David A. Mellis <dam at mellis.org> wrote:

> I added a simple question and answer to the end of the OSHW FAQ:
> http://www.oshwa.org/faq/. But there's a lot more to say, I know, so
> suggestions welcome.
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