I basically wanted to see if anyone researched these "OSHW legal framework's
" and found a practical use. My research concluded that they lack legal teeth and are therefore worse than worthless.
Terms like OSHW license, legal framework, etc => WANK
I found no reason why 'open
' designs are not released completely into the public domain by completely forfeiting their copyright.
Since any OSHW design can be copied and sold LEGALLY
, regardless of what OSHW license might be violated.... what's the point of adding a bunch of legal jargon to essentially say:"I have an ego and want credit for my work. If you don't comply, I'll ruin your reputation in the OSHW community."
If that's all you want; just say it. No need for anything more.
Although, even then, you're reputation enforcement is limited to the electronic hobby community. A community largely indifferent to this type of defamation. How many 3D printer clones are in violation of one of these licenses? The fact that anyone could rip off an OSHW design anonymously makes the defamation even more ridiculous/useless. Patents:
Those patent legal fees/times agree with my own experience. Although any comments about how fast tech moves is purely pandering to the idea that SparkFun is constantly innovating. It's all about the money.
Although I wouldn't say patents are useless for small companies. Small companies need to cross license with large companies just to produce simple things in established spaces. Try breaking into the TV market without infringing on at least a dozen of Samsung or Panasonic's ridiculous patents regarding the use of an 'optically transparent' screen, or mounting points in the back (as opposed to the front!).Copyright being automatic:
Additionally, you have to register your copyright prior to bringing a lawsuit for infringement.Copyright doesn't work like that...
It actually does.
Click the US Government's Copyright Office link where it gives instructions on how to enforce your automatic
As I mentioned, although copyright is indeed automatic, if you wish to sue for infringement you need to register your copyright first.
Just because someone posts their project on their personal blog, doesn't mean The Wayback Machine
instantly archives it. Someone could register your design before you. If you decide to take them to court, good luck convincing the judge that your personal blog posted this board artwork or documentation before someone else registered it. OSHW licenses as a way of explicitly saying it's for public use:
Why can't you just say:"To my knowledge no part of this design is protected by a patent and I release all copyright claims to this material (board art, documentation, software, etc) into the public domain. It's free to use, copy, modify, sell in any way you like."
I don't think it gets any more effective. 'OSHW licenses' and talk of 'legal frameworks' discourages participation because people think they could potentially break the law or get hassled if they attempt to clone one 'incorrectly
I grew up with paper magazines like Nuts and Volts. People freely posted designs without licenses. What changed? The only thing I can think is that since software now falls under legal protection and open source software
became a 'thing
', people think hardware designs are now somehow protected so they need a license too. Or maybe they think OSHW licenses allow them to get assistance, then have some kind of legal protection when they go to sell it themselves. Actually that last one might be the most apt. Sad.Poe's OSHW License:
A) No credit be given to the original author
B) It can only be used in a purely commercial capacity.
Reading this right now:http://www.pololu.com/blog/27/thoughts-on-open-source-hardware