[Discuss] New Blog Post Up!

Matt Maier blueback09 at gmail.com
Wed May 21 23:16:38 UTC 2014

I think that part of what's confusing people is that the community
constantly uses phrases like "the project."

In software that's fine, because "the project" only refers to one relevant
type of thing. But in hardware, "the project" refers to two things that are
distinctly different: the digital plans and the physical item.

In a practical sense, the digital plans are the only thing which has any
legal protection. So when we talk about the license applied to "the
project" we are ONLY talking about the digital files, but that distinction
seems to be lost on a lot of people. The license only extends to the
physical item in the sense that it's polite to respect the wishes of the
original creator.

Using a better qualified phrase like "the project files" would be a good
habit to adopt. That way it's clear that the license, whether it's CC or
something else, is only attached to the digital stuff.

That might also encourage more people to actually pick a license since so
often nobody builds the physical thing for themselves anyway. Usually they
just buy it from the creator or, if it gets popular, a clone.

On Wed, May 21, 2014 at 4:46 PM, Dr. Peter Troxler <trox at fabfolk.com> wrote:

> Taking the usual precautions (ianal, tinla), I think there are at least
> two issues at hand. One is the incompatibility of open and cc-options (as
> you point out), the second is the incompatibility of hardware with
> copyright.
> (1) I guess you’ve summarized it to the point: anything else than cc-by,
> cc-by-sa and CC0 is not in the spirit of
> whatever-we-call-it-(but-preferrably-not-open-source)
> (2) hardware (oversimplified: “useful things”) is not automatically
> “protected” by “IP” legislation (much different to “beautiful things” that
> are automatically “protected” by copyright on publication) ... so a license
> is non-sensical (as “license” means: you are allowed to do what normally
> would be prohibited), and there is debate if “open hardware licenses” are
> legally meaningful or void (that’s what I understand from the legal
> discussion).
> Nonetheless, even if a hardware license is (legally) nonsense, it is a
> communication device to signal “that’s who I mean my stuff to be handled”.
>  But on that level, ie. when the legal meaning is void anyway, the NC and
> ND clauses become different animals. And that’s worth looking into. Still
> we need to acknowledge that legally (and aiming for what you call open
> source) they are utter rubbish. And maybe even on communication-face-level
> they are rubbish too (e.g. NC meaning that “if somebody is making money off
> it I want my fair share” -- vs. “If you are not able to extract money from
> your brilliant thing you’re maybe just not as brilliant as you think, at
> least commercially”)
> On 21 May 2014, at 23:33, alicia <amgibb at gmail.com> wrote:
> New Blog Post on OSHWA to clarify which  Creative Commons licenses are
> compatible with open source:
> http://www.oshwa.org/2014/05/21/cc-oshw/
> Cheers,
> Alicia
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