[okfn-discuss] Open Hardware
jo at frot.org
jo at frot.org
Thu May 8 21:49:55 BST 2008
On Thu, May 08, 2008 at 12:46:08PM -0700, Jonathan Gray wrote:
I added a couple of links to work coming from Free Networks
communities in this area. Most of it's covered by the wikipedia
resources you have there. The RONJA project is a classic reference
point, its creator talked on the WSFII.London "Open Hardware" track.
http://publication.nodel.org/node/116/print in partic. reads as
"notes towards an open hardware definition"
Another reference point would be the "maker" scene as hyped by
O'Reilly, but that seems more focused on adapting and combining
"proprietary" hardware projects.
> Do people think that the OKF could have a role to play in this area?
> E.g. in supporting an 'open hardware definition' - or similar?
> I'm going to start contacting relevant groups and mailing lists
I think that if there's work on, or movement towards, such an effort
in the communities you have contact with, OKF could usefully promote
that, host or link to drafts from opendefinition.org, etc.
HOWEVER. I want to ask what these things are useful for, and probably
caution against asking for too much definition, especially in a
"legal" context. Is an Open Hardware Definition envisaged to be
defensive, in the sense of "keeping open libre"? Defensive against
people who may be "passing off" restricted or encumbered projects
as "open" for marketing reasons with no intention of engaging in an
Proprietary projects are kept that way by force of law. By invoking
law to defend "open" work we can tie ourselves in incredible knots.
It has been refreshing to hear Jordan's softpedal stance on invoking
law. Meanwhile the user confusion and ill-will generated by
complex licensing discussions can be incredible to behold.
I wonder about "definition" efforts that tend to be meta-licenses.
The Open Service Definition looks questionable to me at the moment.
http://opendefinition.org/osd - in short it says,
"open service = open source + open data". So why is it needed?
What can it be used to maintain or to protect? I look back at
and the original impetus was a lot more comprehensive, extending into
privacy, ethics etc etc. The kind of thing that http://dataportability.org/
was setting out to create the vocabulary for.
On the one hand, it seems too soon to tell; on the other hand, you
don't want to sit back and wait to be told. (re Open Hardware, too)
I have more of this rambling, but it belongs on another thread...
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