Summit co-chairs Ayah Bdeir (left) and Alicia Gibb (right) are hoping to galvanize a community around open source hardware, from NASA to Arduino. And that could have an impact on music and audio – if creators of gear for musicians get onboard, that is.

Open source software has proven itself in technological, economic, and cultural terms – it’s simply a matter of reality. This site runs atop free software nginx, WordPress, MySQL, and (Red Hat Enterprise) Linux; in music, we have Csound, SuperCollider, Pd, Ardour, JACK, Processing, and so on. Csound has even appeared on karaoke machines. These tools run alongside and interoperate with commercial, closed-source solutions. They’re a part of our technological ecosystem, both in general-purpose computing and in music and visuals.

But what about hardware? Facing scarcity and fabrication, hardware combines all of the challenges of software with new problems. And unlike software, open source hardware lacks clear licenses and definitions.

There’s clearly a role open source hardware could play in music. There are already components, like USB chipsets, that are available in open source form that can benefit music projects. And while true open source hardware has been rare or available only in limited runs, there have been hardware projects with open source components. Most notably, the fully open source software that powers the monome has been instrumental in facilitating the passionate community around that device. Here’s what the monome project proclaims on its official site:

we believe that open source is commercially viable and mutually beneficial for our collective and the consumer. in opening our software we eliminate wasteful, redundant coding for ourselves by incorporating proven libraries and frameworks. we in turn provide these same benefits to others who wish to incorporate our development efforts into their projects. we believe distributed development leads to more stable software and more creative application design. we believe open applications provide more flexibility for users to adapt tools to their specific needs, encourage creative use of software and hardware, and produce a greater diversity output from users.

But even given the monome manifesto above, music gear embracing open source hardware has been relatively scarce – even more so if you apply the definition adopted by many advocates. (The monome, for its part, would not meet a number of the criteria of open source hardware drafted for the summit.)

This Thursday in New York, on the eve of Maker Faire, the Open Hardware Summit promises to break new ground. It features a packed schedule of thinkers from NASA to Texas Instruments to the Arduino project, and the introduction of a first working definition of open source hardware.

I spoke to project co-chairs Alicia Gibb and Ayah Bdeir about the origins and goals of the event, and some of the unique challenges of doing open source hardware.

At the same time, I couldn’t help but notice the absence of music and audio figures on the program. That to me suggests that this discussion is not less relevant, but more so – if there is a disconnect between musical creators working with these ideas and the rest of the community, it’s worth exploring why that is, given that musical expression is such a fundamental part of our culture. More on that at the end, as we don’t yet have a good catalog of active, available projects for open source music.

A sound project made of small, interconnected, open source components called LittleBits – the brainchild of Ayah Bdeir, co-chair of the upcoming Open Hardware Summit. LittleBits is not yet available for purchase, nor are specifications and source yet available, but the project promises those will be available once manufacturing is complete. Photo courtesy LittleBits.

CDM: Can you tell us how this project, and the Summit, came about?

Alicia: About 7 months ago, in January Peter [Semmelhack, of BUG Labs] said to me, “Hey, I’ve been getting a lot of people from hardware companies calling me and asking for advice. We have learned a lot of lessons in producing hardware and others shouldn’t have to make those same mistakes. Is there a way we could get all kinds of people who work with open source hardware together and all share information, a conference or summit – like an Open Hardware Summit or something.” And I replied to him – “Peter, this is going to be epic, consider it done.” I began working and thinking of key players to involve on this Open Hardware Summit.

Separately, in March, Ayah brought many excellent minds together at the Opening Hardware Workshop sponsored by Eyebeam and CC, it was such an impressive collection, to begin forming a definition of what open source hardware entails. (In the first video on the Eyebeam project site, Ayah explains a bit about how that event was brought together.) The definition that you have come across is the definition that was spurred from that workshop. It was there that I began talking to a couple people about the conference and Chris Anderson [Wired] said “Have you thought about doing it around … Maker Faire?”

Sherry Huss, Dale Dougherty and Becky Stern [all of Make] all sat down to chat with me and loved the idea of having it the day before Maker Faire, they invited me along to scope out the space and treated me as family. They got NYSCI on board as our venue sponsor for the New York Hall of Science. They were absolutely instrumental in getting the Summit off the ground. Ayah mentioned that with her new fellowship at Creative Commons, one of the things they wanted to do was a conference around Open Hardware. Becky told her she should come talk to me – and really, the rest is history :)

I do have to say it is such an honor to plan this with Ayah, I read her work as a grad student and as Peter texted me after our first meeting with all the key players in the Summit, “I think the fact that the first Open Hardware Summit is being chaired by women is a terrific signal”. I feel very fortunate to have a job that allows me to make my dreams happen, and CEO who truly has his heart in the right place when it comes to open source. Peter’s ability to be a successful business man while not forgetting the importance of sharing, giving back, and maintaining transparency in open source projects has been inspirational to me.

Ayah and I are the co-chairs of the Summit. However as we plan more and more we hope to bring on other volunteers for help. The other key players that we consider catalysts to this event are: Bug Labs, Creative Commons, littleBits, MAKE, Maker Faire, NYSCI, and Eyebeam.

littleBits intro from ayah bdeir on Vimeo.

Ayah, can you talk a little about your background in this, particularly since Opening Hardware was a project you created at Eyebeam?

Ayah: From my end, i have been working on Open hardware for my own project littleBits (www.littleBits.cc) with advisor John Wilbanks of Creative Commons for a while. Our talks were so interesting that we decided to host a small workshop in March where we would invited interested hardware makers and have a discussion between the open hardware community and creative commons to better understand the issues and licensing options. In the workshop we saw that a license would not be the way to go but rather a community-approved set of norms or definition might work best. Ed.: As noted in comments, littleBits is not yet available for purchase, but “design files, schematics and instructions will be online when we are done manufacturing.” -PK

Who is actively involved in that community effort?

Ayah: The Opening Hardware workshop was organized by me, with eyebeam, ted ullrich and celine assaf, and sponsored by CC. we then set up a mailing list and hosted discussions on the definition, where a bunch of us were actively involved in the drafting (dave mellis prodding people to hash out the version 0.1 draft and Windell did most of the writing for the current (0.3) draft (adopting from the DFSG and the OSI OSS definition)). Although lots of people contributed both comments and text including: Arduino, Adafruit, Buglabs, MakerBot, Chumby as well as Jonathan Kuniholm (Open Prosthetics), Chris Anderson (Wired), Mako Hill (OLPC, Wikipedia), Jon Philips (Qi), Shigeru Kobayashi (Gainer), Becky Stern (Make) and Thinh Nguyen and John Wilbanks (CC) and us (littleBits, Eyebeam), Parallax, Sparkfun, Lilypad.

What drove this effort; what made it come about?

It seemed like so many of us that were interested in porting the open source movement to hardware were struggling with adapting it, and its restrictions and specificities. We believe it is such a worthwile movement to fuel creativity in the world that we really wanted to share it with others.

Open Source Hardware Workshop @ EYEBEAM

Participants in the Open Source Hardware Workshop at Eyebeam. Photo (CC-BY-NC) Ted Ullrich.

The most common question I hear asked is by creators, who are concerned that people will simply set up cheap manufacture to clone products, undercutting costs and reducing their ability to invest in support and further development. Is there anything in this definition that would protect against this?

Ayah: From David Mellis, Arduino:

I think the best strategy is to provide good products at a reasonable price, offer good customer service, and establish a brand that people trust. We do mention in the introduction that you can’t imply your products are supported or or sanctioned by another manufacture or use someone else’s trademarks – both intended to help protect a company’s brand and reputation.

Ed.: Okay, there’s quite a lot more to discuss here, I know – so consider this the beginning of this conversation, not the end. I think what David suggests is one compelling answer, but I hope we do have a larger discussion of the issues here, as this a significantly multi-dimensional question. -PK

What’s essential to this definition in your view and what’s up for discussion? For instance, some (though not all) makers believe that some sort of non-commercial
restriction is needed to prevent cloning, but that’s explicitly forbidden in this draft. Is it possible that a future definition might include other tiers, like Creative Commons’ non-commercial license for creative works? Or is that anathema to the definition of open source hardware?

Ayah: We’re trying to define open-source hardware (not create a license). We mostly think non-commercial clauses are antithesis to open source. However, some want a really idealistic application for open source to hardware, but others, (like me) think it’s ok if different companies and individuals have different flavors so that the movement can gain the most traction and people can find their own ways to be sustainable.

More Unboxing the Bug from Bug Labs-20081206-4

BUG Labs’ modular hardware is an early entry in the open source hardware field, a platform on which new hardware and software gadgets can be created – including music and sound tools. Photo (CC-BY) Roland Tanglao.

What will the role of the hardware summit be?

Ayah: The summit will be a venue to share and discuss issues, problems and solutions in open hardware. This is also an opportunity for us to bring Creative Commons into the discussion with the community.

There will be a very deliberate attempt to remain practical and not too academic/theoretical, and we want to get work done in terms of the movement. We are also hoping to get more comments before the summit and be able to release version 1.0 of the definition to the world!

Where does Creative Commons fit in?

Ayah: CC committed, albeit in an early stage to support the open hardware movement, which can be seen by their awarding me of a fellowship to support the field and focus on open hardware. Even if it will not be throught creating licenses for us, they are interested in being involved in the discussion, and have been very generous supporters.

Are there any usable license models now that someone could look at? Definitions aside, is there a sense of best-practices for someone who has a hardware design now and wants to take the plunge?

Ayah: Again, from David Mellis:

I would recommend people share whatever they feel comfortable with. Open-source hardware doesn’t make sense for all companies or all products, and everyone should decide what makes sense for their own situation. On the other hand, we believe in the value of open-source as applied to hardware in the ways stated in the definition, and so we would encourage its use where possible.

If people want to get involved in the discussion, what’s he best way to do that?

www.openhardwaresummit.org/forum

What are some of the highlights of what you have scheduled for Thursday? What can people expect to hear?

Everything is a highlight for Thursday! The response and interest to the summit has been so incredible that we really tried to pack the best in. The panels are particularly going to be interesting, with such great participants from various fields, we expect to get lots of great questions and answers.
TOne of our most important goals for the Summit is to keep the event very action-driven and solution-driven. This means talking about best practices, advice on how to better make open hardware, and staying away from the theoretical jargon and bikeshedding. We expect there to be a lot of young makers and companies starting out in open hardware, so the more specific/real-world experiences and advice we can give them the better! Another particular highlight we are selfishly hoping for is to hash out the Open Hardware definition and take it from version 0.3 to version 1.0!

Since we’re talking to a music/sound (and on motion, visual) audience, anything likely to be specifically relevant to them?

The sprint talks will be specifically interesting to them. The speakers are showing their projects, in space research, art, design and education. We think it will be particularly interesting eye candy for your audience, as well as have a lot of value in terms of relating to the speakers and the problems/opportunities they face with their work.

(CDM) Call for Open Source Music Hardware

My read of the situation is that this is the beginning (or even a prelude) rather than the end of the story. So that means, since there really isn’t much, if any, representation of audio and music platforms at the summit (unless you count Arduino, or a possible cameo by a x0xb0x), maybe it’s time to do a tally of those platforms.

What projects do you consider “open source hardware” for music? Are there any you’ve seen recently, or use actively?

What would you want in an open source hardware platform?

And do you have a project you’ve considered for an open source license yourself?

I’ve actually seen a few projects recently that I’m excited about, either available now or coming soon, so I’ll be covering those, but at the risk of proposing a list that’s incomplete, I’ll leave them out for now and listen to what you think.

The Summit…

http://www.openhardwaresummit.org/

  • http://www.virb.com/rumpelfilter rumpelfilter

    Well it really depends on what you define as open. If you stick to the "legal" aspects of it then you won't find a lot of open music hardware, if you take the term with a softer approach, then there is probably a couple of projects you might find.

    I would mention now the Shruti-1 / Shruthi-1, which, if I'm not mistaken, you should know well. Olivier is not really releasing anything with a real open hardware licence, but he's really as open as one can be with everybody who wants to collaborate in the projects, he released a lot of info about his filters, he even provides all the necessary data if one wants to make his own filter board for the Shruthi-1 and sell them. There's a pretty long discussion about the topic of openness on his forums, which you might want to check out (http://mutable-instruments.net/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=207&page=1#Item_16)
    I think things are coming along, it's just that open software started over 20 years ago, and hardware is starting now… so it will take a bit still.

  • http://www.ilektron.com Mudo

    Open hardware is all source codes and sch avariable for cloning by ownself. Comerce? why not?

    To make it cheap you must invest some money and time, why not take some profit?

    As a electronic luthier I doesn't understand why I can't build an instrument from kit (from ucapps i.e) and sell it one by one like regular luthiers.

    Arduino is the only option and monome is not the best example, Peter.
    http://post.monome.org/comments.php?DiscussionID=

    It seems that is not "possible" to make workshops for people. Protecting the "knowledge"

    creativity and self-suffience born died.

    I spent my two last years in collaborate to open hardware and I see a future where corps and open develops work altogheter, people pays less money for new develops but helps in maintain their "gear" alive… I'm trying to get some interesting open source projects for music interface but it is really difficult from open source community mind jails.

    Not everyone has "another" job. Some of us want to build and co-create full time job.

    I'm very very sad…

  • Mike S

    Ayah Bdeir = dream girlfriend

  • Brendan

    If littleBits was open source, wouldn't there be schematics or code or pcb layouts somewhere on their website besides just a bunch of fanfare about making LED's light up and photos from a launch party that didn't actually release anything…

    "The littleBits starter's kit is not quite ready yet. But we are taking pre-orders!

    If you are interested please get on the mailing list and we will keep you posted when it's ready to ship out!"

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    I actually thought I had remembered to note that the monome fails to qualify by this definition. Edited accordingly.

    The reason I bring up the monome is that it has had such a substantial impact. The project subscribes to the philosophy espoused by the open source *hardware* summit – and the monome itself is hardware – even as the actual licensing is only explicitly open source for the software.

    The monome would qualify as open source *if* there were an appropriate license that allowed for non-commercial use. Note:
    http://docs.monome.org/doku.php?id=tech

    The problem is actually two-fold. It's not just that the open source hardware movement generally doesn't like that non-commercial restriction – there also actually isn't a model license with such a restriction to apply, at least that I know of. (You could make one up.) I think the question of whether non-commercial restrictions are appropriate, and more importantly in which contexts they're useful and in which they're not, is a whole other discussion. It's an important one to examine in its entirety.

    But Brendan is right. You have to first specifications before you can really say you're open source hardware, just as you're not *really* open source software until you upload some code. (That is, there's no source.) You would count as, at least, an unreleased open source project.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Elsewhere on littleBits' site: "design files, schematics and instructions will be online when we are done manufacturing."

  • Kim

    This seems like a fitting article to point you all towards a new piece of software. Well kinda of new … it is similar to an Outsim product for good reason.

    http://www.dsprobotics.com/products.html

    FlowStone Hardware Options:

    One of the key features of FlowStone is its ability to connect to a whole host of low cost hardware options. The connectivity can be split into several categories, USB devices (I/O cards, webcams, audio devices etc, COM port devices, (Industrial robotics and legacy systems), and Network devices (IP devices, IP Cameras, other FlowStone Systems). These devices are auto detected in the FlowStone software once connected so all you need to do is start using them in FlowStone (Some Devices are limited to the full versions of FlowStone). Below is a short list of some common FlowStone Hardware:

  • http://mutable-instruments.net pichenettes

    To me, an essential motivation of doing open source is to document the design process and get people interested during the development of the project, not a posteriori. I personally see the non-commercial restriction as something which allows me to release things early (ie, when they are still at the prototyping stage) to hobbyists, attract individual contributors, while bringing the project to maturity and to a point where a more open licence would totally make sense.

    The David Mellis quote is interesting: "I think the best strategy is to provide good products at a reasonable price, offer good customer service, and establish a brand that people trust". This is what happened with the Arduino: they have successfully created a trademark that has pretty much became the generic name for an "AVR development board". Their best hack was linguistic. But it took time to get there… And they were careful in protecting their product by a trademark very early, even before fully opening it.

    The "Little bits" case is also interesting. They will be sharing their stuff once it will have been manufactured. I can't help but see there a way of giving themselves a head start.

    So we have here two "strategies" that allows these two projects to be maximally open while keeping some kind of protection for their creators. This is absolutely fine and well-played, but this is not where I want to go as a music hardware developer: I want to release things early and I don't want to have to mess with trademarks.

    A lot of music harware projects are very open in spirit (look at the midibox wikis or the schematics analysis on Ian Fritz' website), but with a nc clause: Ruin & Wesen Minicommand is BSD+non-commercial, Midibox has a custom licence preventing commercial use, and in the modular synth DIY world, there's almost always a "for personal use only" notice at the bottom of the schematics. Why do we see this? I have 3 theories:

    - Music hardware is a small market and the people who are doing this are not teams of dozens of developers, often one or two persons. This implies that for a given product, there's only space for one manufacturer, so the project owners want to be that manufacturer… This also implies that the barrier to entry to clone a project is very low: some commercial synth products (especially modules) are still through-hole PCBs.

    - A synth is more a "cultural" than "industrial" product. The term "artistic vision" totally makes sense for a musical instrument, probably less for an accelerometer breakout board. So maybe this is why some music hardware designers frown at the idea of seeing their work rebranded as something else?

    But maybe some other developers (someone from Midibox? Wesen?) could have more to say about this…

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Sounds almost as though we need a definition of "open hardware" — which provides a free software stack and open specs for the hardware — and "free hardware" — which meets the stricter definition.

    I think there is some music hardware that lacks the non-commercial restriction. And while the discussion has focused defensively on some reasonable arguments *for* the non-commercial restriction, there are some positive benefits to avoiding it, as well, to try to balance. But I need to double-check which hardware does have it… any further thoughts?

  • http://www.mutable-instruments.net/ pichenettes

    @Peter Kirn: I like the "open hardware"/"free hardware" distinction you made.

    Regarding music projects truly meeting the OSHW definition, some candidates:

    - Todd Bailey's WTPA sampler. I haven't found any licence info with the schematics, but on the software end it's very liberal ("Do whatever you want with this code, but holler at me if you like it, use it, got a nice ride / big ol' butt, or know how to do it better.") – it might be for the hardware too.

    - All the projects running on a bare arduino with an open-source firmware (eg Auduino) could be packaged and branded as "open source hardware", since both the hardware and software match the definition.

    - The x0xb0x hardware is MIT Open Source license. Unless Roland still owns all the IP?

    - The Microdec might be (published firmware source and schematics file), though I haven't found any explicit licence information.

    - Open Stomp has a free software stack, not sure about the hardware.

  • http://www.inoutfest.org Flplsx

    Gears are turning in my head….

  • dnigrin

    The Mutable Instruments thread that rumpelfilter pointed to contains a link to a that pichenettes and others had on the Adafruit forums.

    As you can see there, the focus that Adafruit (Phil I think) has on adhering to the strict Open Hardware definition is painful; Mutable is as open as most could ever want (open everything, even before product released), and yet it doesn't meet the requirements of the Open Hardware definition. Sad.

    I agree that a new definition as you suggest Peter (open vs. free) is likely needed.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Dan: I'm not necessarily advocating that as the remedy, but on the other hand, I do think you need some name for this other stuff.

    Anyway, I wouldn't pin that on Phil. The group had already reached the consensus that non-commercial restrictions were not permissible, and simply elaborated on that as a foregone conclusion. See the updated 1.1 draft:
    http://freedomdefined.org/Permissible_restriction

    I don't agree with this glib explanation, however:

    " In practice Share Alike or Copyleft clauses provide a restriction on commercial profits since any reuse making excessive profits will soon stimulate a bunch of copycats which will bring prices down while encouraging even wider distribution of the works – which is the objective of the free culture licenses."

    – and I've registered my complaint about that on the OHSW discussion board. ;)
    http://www.openhardwaresummit.org/forum/viewtopic

    I do feel there's an argument for why you need e definition that doesn't restrict commercial use. The first part of that link gets part of it – that the definition is vague. The other dimension of it is, a truly free project would be permissive. That doesn't necessarily have to mean destroying your business, because it eliminates areas like support, customer loyalty, quality, community, and so on, or even building a business model around this kind of permissive license.

    I do think that, for our music community, there's hardware that doesn't fit this definition but *is* very different from completely closed gear, and we need a name for that. :)

  • http://www.mutable-instruments.net/ pichenettes

    Ladyada's website, has a list of open-hardware music projects, some of them being indeed only "open source firmware": http://www.ladyada.net/library/openhardware/proje

    But it was nice to find out a new open-hardware project we have not mentioned, the Glitch Desk: http://glitchdesk.com/glitchdesk/

    There's also some arguments against -nc-:
    http://www.ladyada.net/library/openhardware/licen

    Some of which making sense, some others not. In particular, the comparison with software is not relevant, since software involves two parties – the author and the user ; while hardware involves 3 parties – the author, the manufacturer and the user. Software can be copied at no cost. Using an open-source software example when talking about open-source hardware would make sense in a world where manufacturing is made irrelevant because everybody owns a "printer" at home to make anything on demand, at no cost – the same way the internet has made physical CD/vinyl distribution much less relevant in the distribution of music. Preventing a 3rd party to manufacture and resell a product is a different thing from restricting use by a 3rd party in a commercial context.

    To me, -nc- means : you cannot manufacture this just to sell it to a third party and profit for it. You can manufacture it for your own personal use or for a non-profit use (eg: educational use). But maybe cc-by-nc-sa is not the best license for that.

    As the reply to Peter's objection hints at, bending the OSHW definition is hopeless. Now that the "open source hardware" idiom has been taken, there's a void to be filled by a new idiom. Suggestions welcome!

  • burnsy

    Peter:

    The distinction you bring up between "free" and "open" software/hardware is significant.

    In real life, we have a distinction between OSS and FOSS, but it appears that such a distinction has not been an aim with the OSHW draft.

    I really object to the weaselly language and the bullying employed by the "OSHW" guys.

    The "huge amount of people that totally agree" appear to be sometimes people that work together, appear to be entirely representatives of million dollar(+) companies, and appear to be entirely USA-based, yet they are attempting to present themselves as speaking for everyone who develops hardware when they say:

    "Here. We have re-defined a sentence. It is agreed, and you must all adhere to it."

    pichenettes:

    I couldn't agree with you more, the most valuable benefit of open source hardware is that insight into the development process, be it on the engineering or business side.

    It hurts me to have to do it, but you might be right about needing to lay claim to a new idiom. What to call it though?

    The CC by-nc-sa licence is ideal for open source hardware. Maybe we could get a movement using this licence, , and calling their devices "Open Source Hardware Classic"? "Open Source Hardware Deluxe"? ;)

  • pt

    i probably will not check this post too often, so i would suggest posting these great topics over on the open source hardware forums…

    http://www.openhardwaresummit.org/forum/viewforum

    @rumpelfilter – ladyada's x0xb0x as well as MIDIsense are both completely 100% open source hardware.

    @Mudo – the monome is not open source hardware, it's non-commercial and (my opinion) could not keep up with demand and that's why there were "clones". these clones are sold in many places now. it didn't matter that is was non-commercial, people made clones. same goes for iphones, ipods, ipads and anything else people want.

    @peter kirn – open source hardware (like open source software) does not have non-commercial use. so far no one who is doing OSHW, or the people who have signed the definition or the attendees at the summit want non-commercial use, the main reason is because it would not be "open source". open source has a specific meaning and part of it means – commercial use is always allowed.

    @pichenettes – you can document the design process and get people interested during the development of the project but you just can't call it open source hardware *until* you allow commercial use. if you want to wait until you recoup your money, great – then release the files later and *then* call it open source hardware. many people do this, it's just not "open source hardware".

    @Peter Kirn – there may be a need if there is enough people to develop a definition for something that is not "open source hardware" that encourages sharing but has non-commercial use. it's taken over 5+ years and hundreds of projects and thousands of people to get OSHW where is now, i think another "open hardware" definition could be interesting, along with non-commercial use but someone will need to invest the time, money, effort and gather a community to make it happen.

    @dnigrin – that is not correct, i don't see why or how it is "painful" to only call something "open source hardware" that's actually open source hardware. mutable objects does not allow commercial use, it's not open source hardware – that's that. cool project, OSHW isn't for everyone – i don't think anyone should feel they need to do OSHW. and i also do not think it's fair to call something OSHW when it's not.

    @pichenettes – you said "bending OSHW definition is hopeless" – i would say that you never attempted to make any effort to change it. there are communities, summits, mailing lists and forums. posting on peter's site and on the adafruit forums about the arduino trademark doesn't build a case for changes you want. join in, make valid points, do work in the space.

    you also said "Now that the “open source hardware” idiom has been taken, there’s a void to be filled by a new idiom."

    agreed! you should work on this, i would love to point people to something besides OSHW when it doesn't fit their needs. right now i usually suggest creative commons non-commercial, but that's not really ideal.

    @burnsy you wrote "bullying employed by the “OSHW” guys." who? ayah, alicia? ladyada? me? who is bullying anyone – how is that even possible with OSHW, you can do what you want with it, including selling it!

    seeed studio is not usa based, arduino is not usa based, i can list more but you get the point – do not turn this in to an anti-USA thing. companies and people, large and small all worked hard to develop the OSHW definition, join in and contribute.

    keep in mind, we all so far have agreed that open source hardware = commercial use. it would be a challenge to change it, but over time *many things* about OSHW has changed – through hard work.

    @pichenettes & @burnsy – you seem to both have a goal, you should work together and do something besides complain about people actually doing OSHW.

  • burnsy

    pt:

    By "bullying", I meant the attitude that "we have decided what's going to happen, now accept it". This attitude is apparent in your response here.

    "do not turn this in to an anti-USA thing"

    I did not intend to, that was just part of my larger point that the people that attend your summit are not the only people producing hardware.

    "you should work together and do something besides complain about people actually doing OSHW"

    This is not a helpful attitude and makes it hard to assume good will. I'm not yet involved in commercial hardware production, but pichenettes has developed some great stuff. If every discussion about OSHW devolves into a pissing competition, then it's not just going to be bad for the development of definitions and licences, but for the scene as a whole.

    (Of course, maybe you weren't trying to be snarky with that last comment. It can be hard to tell on the net, so if you weren't then please disregard that.)

  • pt

    @burnsy – i'm practically begging for you to get involved if you'd like to contribute to the ongoing OSHW definition and/or help create another one that fits your needs – that's not bullying.

    just because hundreds of smart people agree with something that you may not, that does not mean there is "bullying" – perhaps we all thought long and hard about OSHW and arrived at the same conclusions. join in, maybe you will too.

  • http://www.ilektron.com Mudo

    @pt – That's was I said. ;)