[Discuss] New Blog Post Up!

Matt Maier blueback09 at gmail.com
Thu May 22 18:05:01 UTC 2014

Maybe I wasn't clear. What I meant was that the only area of law, other
than contracts, which can regulate the practical physical artifact is
patent law. Anything tangible which is useful, rather than just pretty,
which is the area open source hardware is primarily interested in, is
covered by patents or contracts.

Contracts aren't attractive because they only apply between the two parties
which entered into them.

That leaves patents, which aren't relevant because they are so expensive
and so specific.

Open source hardware needs an area of law which allows for the same kind of
cheap and broad coverage of copyright. But there's nothing we can "hack" to
get that coverage (like copyleft) and there's nothing on the horizon.

So I don't think legal discussions are going to find any traction on the
hardware side of open source hardware. The software side is already well
served by FLOSS licenses and the plans/instructions side is already covered
by CC (apparently it has three sides).

That only leaves the nebulous idea of politeness and cultural norms to
enforce any kind of restraint on how to handle the hardware. At least,
that's how I frame the situation.
On Thu, May 22, 2014 at 11:56 AM, Jeffrey Warren <jeff at publiclab.org> wrote:

>  >  the hardware itself can only be covered by patents
> I think i have to disagree -- i think many people think a bit too narrowly
> about what "hardware" is -- lots of things aren't patentable, or the
> patents have expired, and we may still be interested in a share-alike
> provision (where possible) and/or in the collaborative, open source
> development model. We can't ignore patents where they are applicable, but
> hardware is not exactly the same thing as patentability.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.oshwa.org/pipermail/discuss/attachments/20140522/9f100552/attachment.html>

More information about the discuss mailing list