[OH Updates] TAPR meeting results

Alicia Gibb alicia.gibb at buglabs.net
Mon Sep 19 14:04:21 PDT 2011

That is awesome to hear Bruce! Thank you!

Ayah and I spoke at Maker Faire and one of our points was that the Summit
tries to educate and include everyone, mostly because we think we can get
more people open sourcing their hardware by welcoming them. So, our goal is
to have companies who are at various layers of open in the audience, and we
reach out to several completely closed companies and invite them as well,
which probably explains why you saw a spectrum of openness there.

In fact, if every project at the Summit met the open hardware definition I
think I would consider it a failure. That would mean we are only sharing,
educating, and conversing with like-minded people and that's not how
innovation happens.

However, we have also discussed in next steps that there may be a need for
something like a standard. Although standards tend to be what stands in the
way of openness and flexibility so I'm not sure how I feel about this yet, I
will have to keep thinking about it when I'm not a post-summit zombie. :)
An interesting sponsor this year was ASTM <http://www.astm.org/>, they see
this community moving in a path that will soon need to start conversing
about standards and I think they could be a lot of help. I'll let them know
they should join this mailing list.


On Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 4:06 PM, Bruce Perens <bruce at perens.com> wrote:

>  We had the TAPR meeting this weekend in Baltimore, after the Summit.
> TAPR will deprecate the Non-Commercial License and will immediately apply
> the Open Hardware License to new work funded by TAPR.
> We had previously used the Non-Commercial License to make sure we would
> recoup the investment in our first production run of the TAPR-funded
> http://openhpsdr.org/ boards. After that sold out, we applied the Open
> Hardware License. History in producing these boards shows that the NCL is
> not necessary to protect our revenue, and nobody ever turns the boards to
> add the OHL statement when it's time to do that. Boards after Hermes<http://openhpsdr.org/hermes.php>will include the OHL statement. Hermes will include the OHL statement in
> addendum, as the board has already been laid out.
> We had a short discussion of whether we should remove some of the
> requirements in the TAPR Open Hardware License in order to get more parties
> to use the TAPR license. This was countered by concern among the leadership
> about the rather low standard for "open" in the Open Hardware community in
> general right now. They pointed out:
>    - Some of the things featured at the Summit don't meet the Open
>    Hardware Definition.
>     - Some companies that are thought to be leaders in Open Hardware
>    predominantly make breakout boards for ICs, with little design investment in
>    them.
>     - A lot of things said to be open just have a PDF for the schematic,
>    no modifiable design files, and no gerber files.
> So, the feeling at TAPR is that we should work to raise the standard for
> "open" in the community.
> We're going to invest some funds in promoting the high design investment
> projects which have to a great extent been overlooked.
>     Thanks
>     Bruce
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