[Discuss] Free Hardware

Drew Fustini pdp7pdp7 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 19 22:27:40 UTC 2015

On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 12:12 PM, Matt Maier <blueback09 at gmail.com> wrote:
> It seems unlikely that he'd reach out to the open source hardware community
> because he doesn't think open source hardware is really relevant to what
> he's doing (free software).

Yes, I believe rms will never support a definition with the term "Open
Source", be it in the Software or Hardware context.  I think he
refuses to support anything that does not promote freedom as a matter
of morality.  Open Source takes a more pragmatic approach.

I do like most of his points after reading his first two essays on
"Free Hardware".  I especially liked how he describes the concept of
Free Hardware Designs.  I sometimes get confused about exactly what we
are talking about when we talk about hardware licensing.  It was a
good reminder that the discussion is about hardware design files, not
the hardware itself.

I think the term Open Source Hardware Design better describes what
this community (OSHWA) is about, but I don't think it really makes
practical sense to change it.  In regards, to "Free Hardware", I think
the term Libre Hardware Design is a better description.  Just as in
software, I think Libre/Free and Open Source are different concepts,
but they both tend to lead to positive outcomes: better technology
because people are encouraged to build on the work of others.


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