[Discuss] Legal Meetup Nov. 11th in NYC

Marketply contact at marketply.org
Thu Oct 24 19:37:57 UTC 2013


There's no court enforcing here or chasing people for payments. That's the
beauty of it.

Solving the existing problems in open source begins with doing something. Take a
step. Never back down to impossible.

As for potential problems, I'll jump in feet first and will see if the problems
you perceived materialize. And if they do, get to solving them. I'd rather
encounter walls/obstacles and to figure a way around them, instead of putting up
the walls from fear of potential this or that.

Please take the time to carefully re-read what I've written in the emails
mentioning this, you'll find there is no push for a mob-like mentality, quite
the opposite. And you'll find no  top-down control of open source, just
protection of our trademark.

People can do what they want with open source. As they already do. They just
can't use our trademark on their goods.

Makerbot can do anything they want except use our trademark. Which by the way
will be handy for people who use apps and Google Glass to find genuine goods
with the trademark.

We'll also steer away from arbitrary standards. If the open definition
<http://opendefinition.org> can create a definition that's not controversial to
many people, then so can open hardware.


Marino Hernandez
(just a founder of Marketply <http://www.marketply.org> )

> On October 24, 2013 at 2:29 PM Matt Maier <blueback09 at gmail.com> wrote:
>  On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 10:17 AM, Marketply <contact at marketply.org
> <mailto:contact at marketply.org> > wrote:
>    > >    Alicia,
> > 
> >    Think about charging from a different angle.
> > 
> >    If we don't, then it's free for certain people to muddy the image of open
> > source hardware. Free to weaken the movement. Free to make businesses
> > uncertain about participating.
> >  > 
>  The image of open source is already muddy, let alone the image of open source
> hardware in particular, which barely qualifies as having enough awareness to
> have an image.
>  As for "weakening the movement," open source is inherently anarchistic.
> Applying top-town control contradicts the principles of open source.
>  And businesses are always going to be uncertain about participating in
> anything. That's just what happens when your own money is on the line.
>    > > 
> >    Forget patents, a license for trademark to certify goods is much easier,
> > especially if certifying is a simple matter of people in the OSHWA community
> > sponsoring you.
> > 
> >    This system creates three kinds of incentives for genuine open hardware.
> > Both sponsors and the people applying stand to lose credibility for a wrong
> > certification. There is a penalty and loss of certification for the
> > hardware. And the process is 100% transparent. You're motivated to uphold
> > best practices in the scrutiny of fellow open hardware enthusiasts who have
> > a strong ethos.
> >  > 
>  I think you're presupposing that enough open hardware enthusiasts actually do
> have a strong (shared) ethos. That would make sense with regards to free
> software, which is unambiguously based on a moral position (lowest cost is
> good), or capitalism, which is also unambiguously based on a moral position
> (highest cost is good). But open source specifically emerged as a compromise
> between libre and business. In open source the moral position takes a second
> place to the pragmatic goal of maximum utility. I think the majority of open
> source developers participate because it's an approach that is more useful to
> them.
>  Open source is focused on finding the best solution to any given problem, not
> on finding the most moral solution (it's easy to confuse "best" with
> "righteous"). So if you involve some kind of mob-like "vouching" mechanic it's
> just going to be treated like any other problem to solve.
>    > > 
> >    I'm already going that route. We trademark ' freedware
> > <https://twitter.com/freedware> ' and will allow people to use it on truly
> > open source and freed goods.
> >  > 
>  Thus making the "no true scotsman" argument a central function of the
> community and distracting from the original purpose of solving problems. Do we
> really need everyone constantly measuring each other against some arbitrary
> standards of "truly" open?
>  Open source already has a big enough problem with project fragmentation.
> People disagree about impersonal things like what language to program in or
> whether to use metric. Do we really want to encourage them to disagree about
> personal things like who is "true" to some standard?
>    > >    The fee is perpetually waived except it kicks in for misuse of
>    > > trademark on any goods that are found closed, at which point the
>    > > license terminates after applying the fee.
> > 
> >  > 
>  Why would anyone pay to have their license removed? If they thought it was
> valuable enough to obtain in the first place then removing it would be a cost,
> so they have to pay a fee to incure a new cost? And all of this would only be
> enforceable in court anyway, so the organization that is supposed to be
> encouraging more participation in open source would be suing people/businesses
> associated with open source.
>  And all it would take to get around the problem would be to introduce a few
> new open source certifications, or for each company to just make the claim
> with their own stupid little logo. And since fragmentation is already an
> inherent part of open source, the natural method of "organizing" open source
> would lead to the dilution and irrelevance of any attempt to certify what is
> "truly" open source.
>    > >    The community decides if the goods violated the spirit of open
>    > > source. Simple as that. And we don't chase after anyone to pay the fee,
>    > > the incentives are strong enough that most people who stray will pay up
>    > > and clean up their act.
> > 
> >  > 
>  What incentives? The two most powerful incentives for individuals to
> participate in open source are self-respect and community-respect. And
> businesses only do it because it makes them money.
>  If you want an example of how little relevance community outrage has just
> look at Makerbot. When Makerbot went closed-source that was one of the most
> vocal uprisings I've seen in this young community and it had precisely zero
> effect on Makerbot. Thingivierse is busier than ever and the company is
> introducing new products and expanding their size and number of locations.
>  Again, open source is about solving problems; it's utilitarian. Indivduals do
> it because the challenge is rewarding and sometimes because they want respect
> for solving hard problems. Businesses do it because it gives them some kind of
> competitive advantage (same reason they do everything). Why would the
> community as a whole spend their time policing businesses when that doesn't
> advance their goals? Why do you think people still show up to open source
> conferences and give their briefing using a Macbook and Microsoft Powerpoint?
> I assert it's because they're concerned about what works, not about making a
> principled stand.
>    > >    You can wait to see how it works out for us before trying it out, of
>    > > course. It'll be an honor to have you as 'competition'. Which in any
>    > > case is good for everyone!
> >  > 
>  For what it's worth, I personally think that any open source organization
> would provide the most benefit by enabling more participation, no matter what
> form that participation takes. Allowing other people to do what they will is
> the most important enabling principle of open source.
>  An OSHW organization shouldn't become a gatekeeper standing between those who
> "belong" and who "don't belong." It shouldn't become a cudgle for one business
> to beat on another business.
>  Instead it should build expertise in the areas that all open hardware
> developers have in common, but that are better performed by an organization
> than an individual. Legal research is a great example of something that all
> OSHW developers are affected by, but that they don't each individually have
> the resources to do on their own. Providing OSHW-specific information on
> complex topics is valuable to all developers everywhere and lowers barriers to
> entry instead of raising them.
>    > > 
> > 
> >    Matt,
> > 
> >    The fee is accompanied by a loss of certification. We don't charge a fee
> > for them to be falsely certified as open.
> > 
> >    Rest assured, friend, that a lot of thought has been put into this! We
> > welcome input, however. Open door policy.
> > 
> >    😃,
> > 
> >    Marino Hernandez
> >    (just a founder of Marketply <http://www.marketply.org/> )
> >    203-429-4205 <tel:203-429-4205>
> > 
> >  >
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