[Discuss] New Blog Post Up!

alicia amgibb at gmail.com
Thu May 22 19:00:45 UTC 2014

Fingers taking over keyboard.. .can't stop... snarky link about universal
standards ..... http://xkcd.com/927/
Ok, sorry I just had to post that comic. I'm back now.

Thanks J, for bringing stuff back to the subject at hand. Yes, I think at
least some sort of walk through / certification process for both hardware
AND documentation would be a beneficial educational tool. And if you want
some sort of NC ability - sorry, that's not open hardware, and not an
option in the tool, could clear up a lot of confusion. We are in the
process of putting together a checklist for ensuring your hardware is
heading in the right direction. I'll be releasing that for all y'alls
review once it is complete enough to make sense. It's a far cry from an
amazing software tool like cc has, but for that type of tool OSHWA's going
to need some more funding (which is tough to get high dollar sponsors when
we don't have our tax status yet). And I know I'm preaching to the choir
here because many of you on this list donate to OSHWA - thank you for
that!! :)

I think sometimes with the CC tool (I know I've done it) people get so
excited at all these open options (By! and Share-Alike!) And go overboard
and click all of them because I want ALL THE OPTIONS!! Options are so fun!
But then I remember that clicking ALL of them doesn't make it more open,
but rather closes it down. So then I have to go back and revise the
license. So I hope my post might remind some people that they may have
gotten carried away and forgotten that NC'ing their documents has a closed
effect on them and then fix that OR stop referring to their project as open

It's an interesting thought process to also notice how NC reflects the
value of patent law and monopolies (please don't delve into the argument
that these are different areas of IP, I know that). But I've been thinking
a lot how NC means you want all the money for yourself, nobody else can
make money from your thing. And that's very monopolistic, and close to one
of the original intention of patents: monetary incentive for the inventor.
(Of course the other intention was to make shareable inventions available
to the public after the monopoly so the public sharing part reflects open

Ben Gray <ben at phenoptix.com> wrote:

> Just on Matt's last point of politeness and social norms. In my experience
> of open hardware these simply offer a way to close an object reported to be
> open.
Matt - I couldn't agree with you more - we are in a very grey area trying
to pound a square peg into a round hole and much of our future constitutes
politeness and social norms. The future of open hardware also constitutes
that we as a community remember the basis of what can be called open
hardware and what can't. Hence my reminder post. I'm sure it won't be the

FWIW, (and this is my personal opinion) on my to-be open source hardware, I
will use the definition as a social contract. Meaning that I stand behind
the definition (and therefore apply the oshw logo) and expect the community
can hold me to it (in court for example) because me and the community have
that agreement which I've endorsed. That's my personal approach instead of
a license based on legal advice that I've received specifically for my
projects. I think for beginners this concept might be easiest to
understand: 1) make your hardware! 2) abide by the definition 3) put the
logo on your hardware 4) consider it a social contract 5) go build more

> Two of the three times I've asked permission to use an open project I've
> been told I'd rather you didn't and just purchased instead. Therefore by my
> politeness I've negated all benefit from said open projects, giving the
> author a further chance to close the project via the back door so to speak.
That's crumby. Sorry that happened to you, and I hope you wrote those
instances off as not actually open hardware then. The stronger front we are
together, standing behind the definition (which ever license you and your
legal team may choose) the definition is always the base to go back to and
check whether your stuff is compatible. That's really our call to action

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.oshwa.org/pipermail/discuss/attachments/20140522/bb219c36/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the discuss mailing list