[Discuss] Open Source Sausage?

Alicia Gibb pip at nycresistor.com
Mon Oct 14 15:35:35 UTC 2013

Thanks Michael :) Yes, I was talking about the latter workings of tax break
/ waiver program. I'm glad to year you think it's reasonable.

As for the wiki, we'll probably use a Wordpress wiki plug-in, but we first
need better spam user registration prevention. Any suggestions on what any
of all y'all use?


On Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 1:46 PM, Michael Weinberg <
mweinberg at publicknowledge.org> wrote:

> Thanks for the shout out Alicia.  As for the first question, I'm not quite
> sure what you mean about how it works within regulation.  Are you talking
> about regulation in general or specific regulation?  As a general matter,
> just because something is not patented does not mean that it cannot be
> regulated in some other way.  To pull from the original subject of this
> chain, there isn't a patent on sausage, but there are plenty of regulations
> geared towards making it safe to eat.  But I suspect that isn't what you
> are asking, so let me know and I'll try my best to actually answer your
> question.
> As for the tax break/waiver issue.  I think that you are right on the tax
> break front.  Obviously Congress is in a .... not great position right now,
> and part of the solution to being in a not great situation might be some
> sort of tax reform.  Put that on top of the general challenge of securing a
> specific tax break and I would guess that the odds of that one happening
> anytime soon are pretty slim.
> But the waiver is a bit more interesting.  Depending on  your ambition, I
> think it is a totally reasonable goal to talk to regulators about creating
> some sort of simplified process for OSHW.  We'll need to do a bit of
> spadework first to identify the regulatory processes most relevant to OSHW,
> but getting in and talking to folks shouldn't be too much of a challenge.
> -michael
> On Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 5:09 PM, Alicia Gibb <pip at nycresistor.com> wrote:
>> OSHWA can absolutely offer a platform for resources and discussion on
>> this. We've got forums ready to roll out as well, but we can set up a wiki
>> too. We will have to set a clause on the wiki that if anything looks
>> promotional for a for-profit company we will have to take it down, as the
>> IRS would frown on a non-profit doing that sort of stuff, so please keep
>> that in mind when sharing your case studies.
>> I think something else OSHWA has been doing and intends to do more of is
>> educating law makers and government departments on open hardware (at least
>> in the US). We're currently at the they-may-have-heard-the-words-before
>> phase. We have a long way to go with this type of education as cited by the
>> last time I was in DC, Representative Watt of North Carolina inferred that
>> open source hardware was unconstitutional. (Which is not the case but tells
>> me they don't yet understand what open source is.) But the events Michael
>> Weinberg hosts in DC around educating folks on open hardware have been
>> successful and helps us interface with the people influencing these
>> regulations.
>> Michael, I have a question, as hardware is intrinsically open until
>> someone patents it, how does that work within regulation to your knowledge?
>> How would an unpatented piece of hardware deal with all this? I would
>> assume we would deal with it the same way.
>> Kipp spoke at the 2012 Summit about a government tax break for those
>> doing open source hardware since sharing the innovation benefits society
>> much more than a patent. But we've seen what a wreck congress is when
>> talking about taxes.....  So I don't think they'll listen to anything along
>> those lines for quite some time. But another possibility we could work on
>> would be a waiver for oshw to waive the expense of the regulation process,
>> that doesn't *sound* like something the government would do, but it would
>> give them a chance to help small businesses.
>> As for warranties, I think they are a good as a statement of expectation
>> and transparency to the consumer, especially for things that doesn't
>> require a government regulation. I point to Arduino's warranty often when I
>> people are afraid to open source because of others suing them for the
>> product not working, getting hurt from stuff, x, y, z. And of course people
>> sue regardless of open or closed, warranty or regulation anyway, at least
>> in the US.
>> Matt: Thanks for the correction on the FAQ page, we'll fix that.
>> Thanks,
>> Alicia
>> On Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 11:12 AM, Joel Murphy <joel at joelmurphy.net> wrote:
>>> Great to see the subject of regulations under discussion.
>>> I'm particularly invested in the medical/heath care area
>>> www.pulsesensor.com
>>> www.openbci.com
>>> The Pulse Sensor is small and flying low, with disclaimers and 'for
>>> entertainment purposes only' written all over it.
>>> The OpenBCI project is smacking right up against 60601-1<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_60601> standards,
>>> not to mention the FDA.
>>> I've had to wade through a lot of misinformation to find some best
>>> practice hard numbers to design around (how many kV isolation? creepage
>>> distance? etc.). In the end, any electronic hardware that makes medical
>>> claims has to pass a variety of stress tests and survive or break under
>>> acceptable conditions. Each application is different, so attempting to
>>> provide any advice beyond very general best practice is subject to
>>> liability.... and some rules are not possible to follow when bits of
>>> hardware all over the world.
>>> The easiest thing to do is to avoid the safety issue by not getting
>>> anywhere near to connecting to the mains...
>>> Happy to share all I've learned on the OSHW Regulations Wiki. And help
>>> to uncover some of the mystery.
>>> On Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 12:19 PM, Matt Maier <blueback09 at gmail.com>wrote:
>>>> 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 regulation.
>>>> * 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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