[Discuss] New Blog Post Up!

J. Simmons jrs at mach30.org
Thu May 22 18:06:44 UTC 2014

So, I want to respect Alicia's request that we keep this thread focused on
the CC license suite and where it does and does not fit in with the OSHW
(and OSS) definition.  So, let me offer a slightly different way of looking
at the last couple of comments.

One of the most powerful things about the CC license suite is it is a
suite.  New (and existing) users have a one stop shopping experience for
their licensing needs when it comes to creative works.  And, this one stop
covers almost the entire range of license you would want.  Are you more a
of a GPL kind of creator, great, choose CC-SA.  Oh, you prefer a more
Apache/BSD approach, CC-By is your license of choice.  And for those who
are more focused on distribution than open sharing, the NC option further
extends the license choices to cover you, too.  About the only obvious
parallel to software licenses that I can think of that CC does not cover
(and please let me know if I just missed it) is the LGPL.

Almost since I first started researching OSHW for our work at Mach 30, I
have wanted to see a similar experience for OSHW licenses (I even went so
far as to meet a few times with John from TAPR and discuss how that could
be done).  At the time, TAPR was the only choice out there.  Now that we
have CERN and SolderPad licenses (plus the acceptable CC licenses), we
might be getting close to having a pretty complete set of licenses to
document for new users.

I wonder if an approach like the following would minimize license
proliferation, give new users a place to get started, and help rally the
community around a consistent approach to OSHW licensing.

1) OSHWA investigates the possibility of an official license review and
approval process to give license developers a place to get feedback and
certify new (as needed) and existing licenses (and continue to make it
clear that the NC clause in CC licenses are not compatible with the OSHW
2) OSHWA sets up a web process similar to CC's where OSHW developers can
walk through a wizard to find licenses that meet their needs, but unlike
CC, this wizard would return any certified OSHW licenses which meet the
conditions from the wizard (so if a user select share alike, they get
CC-SA, TAPR, CERN; if they select attribution only they get CC-By and
SolderPad, etc).
3) For license styles which are not covered but the community shows
interest in (for example, something similar to the LGPL), OSWHA could work
with the community to develop a license to fill that need (either directly
or by helping existing license developers like TAPR and CERN).  As these
new licenses get created, they are added to the wizard in step 2.

Finally, it might be a good idea to include related OSS licenses in the
wizard results so OSHW developers that are new to all of OSHW can easily
license their embedded or desktop companion software in the same style as
their hardware.


On Thu, May 22, 2014 at 1:49 PM, Mike Eber <meber at makertronic.com> wrote:

> Then there needs to be a standard license or a selection of licenses to
> use specified in the OSHW Definition.
> It would make things lots easier for newcomers.
> -MIke
> On Thu, May 22, 2014 at 12:44 PM, Andrew Back <andrew at carrierdetect.com>wrote:
>> On 22 May 2014 18:34, Mike Eber <meber at makertronic.com> wrote:
>> >
>> > I think the OSHWA need's to come up with it's own OSHW appropriate
>> license. It would help a lot of the confusion surrounding OSHW.
>> >
>> > Some people think it is already a license itself.
>> I'm not sure that licence confusion warrants proliferation — in fact
>> quite the opposite.
>> Consider first what you seek to achieve that CERN, TAPR and SolderPad
>> licences do not allow you to do.
>> Cheers,
>> Andrew
>> --
>> Andrew Back
>> http://carrierdetect.com
>> _______________________________________________
>> discuss mailing list
>> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
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> --
> Regards,
> Mike Eber
> @Makertronic <http://www.twitter.com/Makertronic>
> 1221 Flower Mound Road, Suite 320-102
> Flower Mound,  TX  75028
> _______________________________________________
> discuss mailing list
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J. Simmons, President
Mach 30: Foundation for Space Development
<https://www.facebook.com/Mach30>  <http://twitter.com/mach_30>

*~ ad astra per civitatem ~*to the stars through community
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