[Discuss] Misuse of "Open Hardware" term?

Andrew Back andrew at carrierdetect.com
Thu Feb 12 08:28:14 UTC 2015

On 11 February 2015 at 18:54, Hal F Gottfried <hal at kcohg.org> wrote:
> I believe I am confused, you mention the the Wyolum badgr project uses the OSH logo in correctly then you go on to mention you find the files and source it was just wasn’t easy.  I’m sorry but the storage location, up time, availability and ease of finding the files has absolutely nothing to do with the OSH designation.
> Now there are quite a bit of people who do, either from lack of understanding or lack of scruples, use the logo where it does not belong.
> Let’s take a look at your two sources; the first Raspberry Pi , I don’t believe the Pi has ever claimed to be an open source device, nor do any of the devices pictured online on the physical board itself, are adorn with the OSH logo.   Where many people get confused here is the PI,  is considered Open Source on the software side and even thought they have posted their design files, they have held back several critical notes.

I don't believe the Raspberry Pi Foundation have ever claimed it is
open source hardware, but there are numerous occasions where others
have mistakenly referred to it as this in articles.

> On to your second statement a misuse of the gear logo on the recent OSH badge by Wyolum, first of all the logo on this badge (if you read the print below it) is to represent OSHWA, secondly I am not sure how you don’t consider this OSH, they have posted the board files, the schematics, Gerbers, the code for the board and even design files.  These are well above what’s need to meet the standard.
> As for including the files for KiCad, they include the Gerbers files which is the industry standard.

Object code != program source.
FPGA bitstream != RTL source.
Gerbers != hardware sources.

> I’m aplogize but none of the statements made in your thread are factual, they simple are ides … incorrect ideas but you are welcome rot have them of course.

And I'm afraid that, while I'm not familiar with the particular
project in question, I must emphatically disagree with you. Like Ben,
I all too often see the marketing machine get spun up and start dining
out on open source, well before actually delivering the goods. We've
seen this for many years with open source software, and continue to do
so. We're now also seeing this with hardware.

In the case of GPL violations, those who lobby — and sometimes
litigate — for compliance are quick to point out that the sources
existed before the object code did, and so promises of publishing the
sources soon and doing better next time are not well received.

> Co Founder KC Open Hardware Group (KC OSHWA Branch)
> Founding Member (via support) OSHWA
> Open Hardware Contributor - Redhat - opensource.com

I note that one of your co-contributors labours under the
misapprehension that Raspberry Pi is open hardware:


Perhaps you could have a word.



Andrew Back

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