I had a stimulating talk with Jim Mason of All Power Labs/Gasifier Project on Thursday about what shape an open source hardware license (OSH) could take, and how the application of open source hardware best serves the Gasifier project.
These are the relevant notes from our conversation:
+ The analogy between open source software and open source hardware is easy to make; however in software, a license is a necessity. In hardware, a license is a novelty.
+ OSH should be a protection of manufacturing methods (“how you are going to realize the physical thing”), not the specific incarnation of the object
+ Delimited “fair use” to give rise to innovation
+ Gen. principle is materials agnostic. It doesn’t matter what you make the thing out of.
+ OSH needs to be designed to be “makeable”
+ OSH strives for the greatest propagation of a [good] thing.
+ OSH strives to best facilitate someone’s ability to make said object.
+ Are hardware areas similar under HW umbrella? e.g. can OSH accomodate & apply to gasification, biology, electronics, etc.
+ OSH wants to give a sense of how ideas are propagated and how they are used
+ OSH should create a healthy commons involving collaboration & building on each other’s work
+ It’s only OSH when the ideas in use are documented/defined
+ Solution to issue of profit-maker/free riders who do not contribute back to community? (this issue already exists in OSS/the gasifier community)