Electronics > Open Source Hardware

Delays in certification


I submitted a certification request for a product I will be selling reasonably soon about 2 weeks ago, should I contact OSHWA or wait it out, anyone else waiting for a response?

Could you educate me on the benefits of an OSHWA "certification"? The OHSWA website seems to state that it gives those who want to use (copy, build) your design more assurance that they can do so without violating any intellectual property rights.

But I take it that OSHWA does not carry out a full "freedom to operate" search on your design, which would ensure that your design does not violate any 3rd party IP. (Which would be required to give you as well as future users of your design the assurance claimed by OSHWA.) So what exactly do they "certify", and what is the benefit?

I recommend to just apply the well-known free licenses to your project and not using any logo of any political organization, including the "OSHW" logo.

Your open hardware doesn't require approval of any political organization. We are free to develop what we want without anybody awarding us a "certificate". Likewise, we can develop free software without the official approval of the FSF.

The OSHWA state their purposes are to "organize conferences", "educate the public", and "organize the open hardware movement around shared values and principles". They say:

--- Quote ---So why do you need a license at all? Is it enough to just add a disclaimer that your project is “open” and distribute it for the world to use freely? Unfortunately, probably not. Without a proper license or certification, it’s too risky for downstream users to implement or add to your invention without fear of legal liability for infringing the intellectual property protections that may cover your project. Licensing and certification solve this problem. By attaching the appropriate licenses to each applicable element of your project, you empower downstream users to use, recreate, modify and distribute your designs without needing additional permissions and without fear of legal repercussions.

--- End quote ---

Yes, your project must be licensed under a free license in order to be freely usable by others. However, it doesn't need legal certification. This is a ploy. They go on:

--- Quote ---After completing this guide, you will have the knowledge to self-certify your product as OSHWA-compliant open source hardware. This allows users to know that your hardware complies with the community definition of open source hardware.

--- End quote ---

So, you "self-certify your product as OSHWA-compliant", and "OSHWA compliance" is equated with "the community definition of open source hardware".

However, the OSHWA doesn't have the authority to speak for the community. It doesn't represent the community at large, it doesn't have any mandate for that. They just want you to believe that they do so that you spread their influence.

Is OSHWA certification really of any help? As far as I know, selling an electronic product needs many certifications depending on the product type and the country where it will be sold.


--- Quote from: rooppoorali on September 27, 2022, 01:15:50 pm ---Is OSHWA certification really of any help?

--- End quote ---


--- Quote ---As far as I know, selling an electronic product needs many certifications depending on the product type and the country where it will be sold.

--- End quote ---


OSHWA is a *political organization*, not a technical one. They have political goals that they want to enforce upon the community. Their strategy is to tell people that they represent the community and thus speak with authority. Of course, that's a lie.


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