At a recent Open Hardware Camp in London, it became clear that one of the main obstacles to applying open source principles to hardware was licensing. For example, (1)should competing big companies be allowed to use their economies of scale to make and sell cheaper products based on open hardware designs developed by small start-ups without payment? (2)There’s also the problem that hacking designs for physical objects like open source cars may have safety implications, which raises questions about liability. So what’s the best way to address these issues?”
- Yes, if the OSH makers create OSH and state commercial use allowed (and other items like attribution/share-alike are followed) that’s that, it’s why this is working out so well. We (Adafruit) we are pretty adamant about this because the success of open source software came from the freedom to use the software in commercial products.
- Open source hardware licensing and “safety implications” for cars, two different things. The Linux kernel is not liable for your havoc, liability comes from the manufacturer, not the code repository.
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