[Discuss] Favorite OSHW Linux computers?
nathan at sparkfun.com
Thu Feb 5 17:28:35 UTC 2015
tldr: Read Alicia's book "Building Open Source Hardware". All of this is
At the risk of poking the hornet's nest: you cannot license something you
do not own. In the US, ownership of hardware requires a patent. I don't
have any patents so I technically can't license any of the SparkFun
products. That said, we still stick a 'license' on most of our schematics
and board layouts simply to encourage folks to take, make, modify, and sell
An absence of a license does not make something closed; it simply makes it
confusing and scary to the end user: "Can I really base my product on this
design? Will the original designer come after me?". By putting a disclaimer
(make believe license) on our products we clarify that confusion as much as
possible. If a hardware company is saying it's open and they are posting
editable files I can actually find (yay Hummingbird and Inversepath!) then
I think the community should support them. We should encourage them to
include a license on the files for clarity's sake, not because it's a
requirement to claim OSHW.
@Mario - Binary blob firmware has been an IP protection tool for a long
time. I have not seen an increase in the past year - rather, I've been
impressed with the number of companies coming around to open source
thoughts. I'd rather have more open source hardware in the world even if it
means part of the firmware is a binary blob. We at SparkFun regularly
hammer on larger companies what it means to be truly open but we still
regularly come up against NDAs and cagey IP lawyers. They are getting it,
CEO, SparkFun Electronics Inc
On Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 10:08 AM, Hal Gottfried <hal at kcohg.org> wrote:
> There is also a great book about it ...
> Apologies if this message is brief as it's sent from my phone.
> On Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 9:07 AM -0800, "alicia" <amgibb at gmail.com> wrote:
> This type of stuff is actually all laid out in the Best Practices
>> <http://www.oshwa.org/sharing-best-practices/> of Open Source Hardware:
>> Ideally, your open-source hardware project would be designed using a free
>> and open-source software application, to maximize the ability of others to
>> view and edit it. For better or worse however, hardware design files are
>> often created in proprietary programs and stored in proprietary formats. It
>> is still essential to share these original design files; they constitute
>> the original “source code” for the hardware. They are the very files that
>> someone will need in order to contribute changes to a given design.
>> On Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 10:03 AM, Pablo Kulbaba <pablokulbaba at gmail.com>
>>> Mario: can you list some of the "many pseudo-"Open-Source" boards." ?
>>> On 05/02/2015 01:48 p.m., Mario Gómez wrote:
>>> Hi Michael!
>>> Yes it can be called Open because you could easily reaplicate it in
>>> another CAD software or convert it to another CAD format to comply with the
>>> EAGLE License terms. Even it's possible to share the diagrams as
>>> non-editable formats (JPG, PDF, others) if a CAD design file it's not
>>> available. As I understand, the latter is accepted but not recommended for
>>> obvious reasons.
>>> However if for example your PCB layout requires a really precise
>>> differential-signalling considerations and you dont provide the details or
>>> the specs for the only reason to difficult making copies. I wouldn't think
>>> that design could be considered OpenSource-Hardware beause you are hiding
>>> or making difficult to access critical details of the design needed for the
>>> proyect to work.
>>> And that's the "trap" of many pseudo-"Open-Source" boards.
>>> On Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 10:35 AM, Michael McCormack <
>>> mike at themccormacks.com> wrote:
>>>> To Hal's list of requirements - if I release Eagle files, which can't
>>>> be used commercially without a commercial Eagle license can it be called
>>>> "open" ?
>>>> discuss mailing list
>>>> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
>>> discuss mailing listdiscuss at lists.oshwa.orghttp://lists.oshwa.org/listinfo/discuss
>>> discuss mailing list
>>> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
> discuss mailing list
> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
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