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User:Jpotvin/Free-Libre-Open Hardware Definition

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Free/Libre/Open Hardware Definition[edit]

A device is considered "free/libre/open hardware" or "open hardware" if its designer, or design community, has distributed the device's essentials in a manner that:

A. Respects the freedom of others:

1. To use the device, in whole or in part, for any purpose;

2. To study how the device works, and to change it so it meets their needs;

3. To make and redistribute copies of the original or their modified versions, for free or otherwise;

B. Fulfills these preconditions:

4. Share essential documentation, requirements, design files, software and data under compatible free/libre/open licenses;

5. State the current system's functional completeness in relation to its requirements;

C. Avoids these restrictions:

6. Do not apply royalties to original or derived works;

7. Do not discriminate against persons or groups;

8. Do not discriminate against fields of endeavour;

9. Do not tie to another license or to a non-disclosure agreement;

10. Do not tie to any particular product, technology or purpose;

11. Do not restrict other hardware or software's terms and conditions.

12. Do not impose cumbersome attribution requirements.

Economic Drivers of Open Hardware Methods for Projects[edit]

Augment Benefits

  • Knowledge-sharing & innovation through agile private-public-academic collaboration
    • Cross-industry
    • Cross-sector/Cross-departmental
    • International
  • End-to-end design, prototyping and production optimized for:
    • Iterative learning-by-making
    • Speed-to-market
    • Small quantities, prompt customization for niche requirements, mass-customization
    • Deep customization
    • Agility to accommodate rapidly changing requirements
  • Leverage of existing intellectual assets
  • Accept extreme competion with no barriers to entry
  • Diversify and decentralize talent and facilities
    • Opportunities for small/medium enterprise outside major cities
    • Everyday working linkages that are local, regional, national and global
  • Engage internal and external expertise
    • Different core competencies
    • Quality assurance community
    • Implementation community
  • "Re-shoring" reverses decades of "off-shoring"
    • Functions as a manufacturing business incubator, and as a direct showcase for investors
    • Skilled workers and students develop practical experience
    • Builds local income opportunities, keeps more money in the community

Manage Risk

  • Distribute risk amongst multiple investors
  • Protect the "knowledge commons"
  • Devices outlast their team/organization (sustainability)‏
  • Learn from peer review feedback
    • Praise and/or criticism
    • Confirmation/rejection of assumptions
    • Employee retention & succession management
  • Ideal for awkward, heavy, fragile or expensive devices
    • Finding the cheapest possible manufacturing is a less important factor in cost management
    • High-value individual units damaged, delayed, or lost in-transit are a major concern
  • Reduce risk exposure during turbulent times,
    • Currency exchange rate fluctuations driven by speculators
    • Availability of international commercial credit interruptions during financial crises
    • Transportation cost fluctuations due to fuel prices
    • Foreign labour issues that are less well understood than local issues
    • Negotiation and contracting across languages, cultures, legal jurisdictions and time-zones

Reduce Costs‏

  • Re-use components (own & others)‏
    • Redirect creativity, effort and spending out of redundancy and idiosyncrasy
    • Externalize some costs of creation/evolution
  • Reduce start-up times and delivery times
  • Engage international open vendor-neutral standards by default
  • More elegant modular architecture
  • More agile systems development
  • Eliminate most costs of rights protection, reverse-engineering, litigation, non-disclosure;
  • Flexibility to easily adapt to client requirements
  • Freedom to stand still (no forced obsolescence/upgrades)‏
  • Streamline and standardize management of licenses and agreements, greatly reducing legal costs