[Discuss] quick blog post on possible misconceptions re: Certification proposal

Antoine C smallwindturbineproj.contactor at gmail.com
Fri Oct 2 07:37:27 UTC 2015

Le 01/10/2015 03:53, Matt Maier
> .../... Maybe just stick the OSHWA
> logo on it if it complies with OSHWA's certification.
Yes, that IS THE ONLY THING this certification does.

The licence is queen for anything else.
The OSHWA certification only drives the terms and conditions of the use
of the OSHWA logo ... in USA maybe ..., but elsewhere ??? it is a mystery.

Antoine C.

Le 01/10/2015 03:53, Matt Maier a écrit :
> So, in your mind, what are the core issues that certification is trying
> to solve?
> Here's my take on it:
> The only way the goals make sense to me is to interpret them narrowly,
> even though they're stated broadly. I don't think "the public" refers to
> everyone in the world because the vast majority of the world still
> doesn't know what OSS is, so they'll never care about OSHW. It can only
> refer to the people who are close enough to it that they might someday
> know what OSHW is supposed to be. I think "the open source hardware
> community" can only refer to the subset that adheres to OSHWA-certified
> OSHW. Since there are no barriers to entry to the broad "OSHW community"
> it has to mean the smaller group that wants more explicit criteria.
> Basically I think OSHWA is trying to say that they want to settle the
> arguments over what is/is-not open source hardware and provide some way
> of attempting to punish people who abuse whatever good will the term
> might have. It's not clearly stated, but they're trying to do that by
> clearly defining the dividing line between "truly open" and "everything
> else" and unfortunately they're using the language of the general
> community to refer to a subset of the community. 
> Of course, that can be interpreted as splitting the existing formless
> community into two groups: one that is still formless and one that has
> an explicit form.
> For some, the formlessness was, and still is, part of the appeal. So
> those formless OSHW types are reacting to the implication that if
> OSHWA's rules catch on they will not be able to use the phrase "open
> source hardware" because OSHWA will convince everyone it refers to only
> the people who like their rules. 
> Personally, I think we should have clarity on what OSHW should be, but
> I'm against fines. I'm also against co-opting terms that describe the
> broad community to refer to what is, by definition, a subset of the
> community. The general point of open source hardware is to just share
> your work with others, so anyone who does that is part of the community.
> The more effort they put into it, and the more they give away, the
> better. It's silly that most of the "open source" software on Github
> doesn't actually have a license, and is therefore not open source at
> all, but it doesn't mean the people who intend for their work to be
> shared are not part of the open source software community in spirit.
> Same for hardware.
> I don't see any reason why we can't just call it "OSHW," "licensed OSHW"
> and "certified OSHW" or something like that. Maybe just stick the OSHWA
> logo on it if it complies with OSHWA's certification. That clarifies
> what subset of generic OSHW something is.
> On Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 5:47 PM, abram connelly
> <abram.connelly at gmail.com <mailto:abram.connelly at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     This post is really great, thanks for making it.
>     I think a lot of people get turned off when there's standards
>     committees, organizations and other bureaucratic infrastructure
>     mentioned, especially with a hacker friendly type of crowd.  Though
>     there still is a lot of FUD w.r.t. free and open source, it used to
>     be a lot worse.  I think the same type of thing is happening with
>     open hardware (and certification) now and that it can get better in
>     the future.
>     I think explaining in terms of what it is, why it was created and
>     what the implications are goes a long way towards this. At the risk
>     of kicking the hornets nest, I think posts like Boldport's "The
>     license is the license"
>     (http://www.boldport.com/blog/2015/9/22/the-license-is-the-license)
>     are really misguided and confused about what the certification is
>     proposing to solve.  I also think it's important to reach out to the
>     members of the open hardware community that don't typically get a
>     lot of attention and make sure their voices are heard and concerns
>     addressed.  Maybe a FAQ could be written up addressing some of these
>     issues?  One that lists some of the common concerns that have been
>     coming up, in Boldport's post, the HaD comments and elsewhere? 
>     Maybe it could even be put up on a GitHub page so that anyone could
>     suggest additions by making pull requests (there's always a Wiki as
>     an alternative as well)?
>     Hardware is a different beast than software. I think we need to make
>     sure people understand why we have these mechanisms in place for
>     open hardware and why it needs to be different from the software
>     license model.  For me, addressing the core issues of what the
>     certification is trying to solve and the motivation behind it is
>     crucial for understanding.  I think your article is a great and
>     hopefully it's a start of a larger trend of pushing back against a
>     lot of misunderstanding!
>     -Abram
>     On Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 3:21 PM, Jeffrey Warren <jeff at publiclab.org
>     <mailto:jeff at publiclab.org>> wrote:
>         Hi, all -- I dumped some of my thoughts on the certification
>         into a post on my blog:
>         http://unterbahn.com/2015/09/misconceptions-about-oshwas-open-source-hardware-certification-v1/
>         IMO, there's plenty to worry about (or to work hard to do
>         properly) without having to worry about some of these red
>         herrings. Interested to hear folks thoughts.
>         In particular I've been very interested in making it clear that
>         not certifying does not mean your project is not open source
>         hardware. It seemed very clear to me, but from comments "out
>         there" I gather that that's not 100% understood.
>         +1 clarity!
>         Jeff
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