Open Hardware Summit Notes

Met and ran into fellow grassroots mapping folks Bonny Gregory and Cesar Harada, and my old roommate Isaac Ravishankara.

Bruce Perens** & **John Wilbanks echoed each other:

“IP is a disease, good open licensing and prior art databases can innoculate the future against it.

John Wilbanks

freedom doesn’t come from the barrel of a license.  decide on the values underlying the license.

Nina Paley:

“Copyright is like kids, you don’t own ‘em.”

Business Forum

Successful Open hardware projects are awesome but their businesses are boring- 40% markup, good relationship with shipping, quality, trademark protection, insurance, accounting.

Had a great talk with Britta Riley, Jeffrey Lipton, and Chris from Netduino about licensing mechanical and analog devices.  I’ve been thinking of  a way to frame the problem, and I think I’ve got a helpful case-study, the miter box:

Designed to replicate exact and consistant angles, a new miter box can be cut using an existing miter box as a guide.  It is also a simple enough object that whenever it’s used, it’s ability to copy itself is implied.  Instructions can be written, but they really aren’t necessary.  I think it can be said that the miter box  contains it’s own instructions.

I don’t know what our open licenses should look like, but I think they aught to account for objects like a miter box.

Talked to Chris Anderson about flying safety and PET film.  In Grassroots Mapping we’ve been discussing making to PET  balloons, and we’re trying to decide between aluminized (less helium loss) and uncoated PET for balloons. Chris’s company DIY Drones sells a mylar UAV blimp kit.   Chris’s advice: go with uncoated PET, aluminized balloons can short out power lines if they break free.