[Discuss] Misuse of "Open Hardware" term?

Roy Nielsen amrset at gmail.com
Wed Feb 11 01:29:41 UTC 2015

Please see inline.

On 2/10/2015 5:59 PM, Josh Datko wrote:
> 1. Whether or not you like GNU, this is one of the reasons RMS is
> pedantic about terminology. AFAIK, "open hardware" has no agreed upon
> definition[1]. "Open Source Hardware" is defined here:
> http://www.oshwa.org/definition/

Fine.  If there is only "one" definition, I don't see anyone being 
willing to play by those rules.

> 2. This is the cathedral vs. bazaar thing[2]. The cathedral style is
> to have a certification program, much like the FSF's Respect Your
> Freedom certification. The Bazaar style is the OSI model where
> individuals pick an OSI approved license w/o asking anybody's
> permission.

I understand.  I've been using linux since the mid 90's, and have 
written reports that have referenced that original definition.

> I do think companies *would* pay to receive a certification b/c they
> believe in OSHW. But this leaves the individual maker on Tindie, who
> might be following all the rules better than some
> companies/organizations in a pickle. Maintaining the database of
> registered OSHW takes effort as well and that effort requires funding.

I don't necessarily think they would be willing to pay for 
certification, but has anyone asked any hardware vendor?

Yes, it requires funding.  Large companies are often looking for excuses 
to give non-profits money.  My guess is they may be willing or even 
excited to give money to OSHWA, just 'cause they like the idea.

Make them like the idea.  I don't see a narrow minded single definition 
cutting it with hardware vendors.  Someone needs to talk to them.

> How to get people to play by the rules? I don't know. The FSF
> continuously tries to get people to say "GNU\Linux" and as a FSF
> paying member, I'll put myself on report in that I'm not consistent
> with the term. I think getting people onboard with saying "Open Source
> Hardware" vs "Open Hardware" will take some education. Which I do
> think OSHWA is very actively doing.

Get their buy in.  That's how you do it.  Talk to them.  Ask their 
opinion.  Maybe they have something valuable to contribute besides just 
money(advice, hardware, resources, etc).


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