Dangerous Prototypes is now a sponsor of the Open Hardware Summit. This wasn’t one of the original options in our Advertising roundup, but after pt’s call for sponsors we gave them half of our proposed advertising budget. We won’t pretend it’s altruistic, we get exposure and legitimacy by sponsoring. It is very much part of our advertising efforts.
Two free tickets to the OHS in New York on September 23rd are part of the deal. It’s uncertain if we’ll be representing at OHS yet. You might be able to get one or both of the tickets in a giveaway.
We drew up a proposal for a talk at OHS, but we were too busy finishing new designs to polish and submit it. Our proposal was about our practical experience mixing open source with other licenses. We’re not experts on the law and philosophy of licensing, but we deal with it on a daily basis.
In order to play with the coolest technology, we sometimes use non-distributable code. To make cheap integrated USB devices, we have to sign a license for a unique USB ID number (VID/PID) that prevents commercial use of our compiled code. All this leads us to lock up some designs more than we’d like.
The software issues can be solved by hard working developers contributing to open source. Part of our mission is to make cheap, open hardware that helps facilitate that.
Some issues, such as the USB ID number, will effect more open hardware designers in the future. The USB people are happy to sell you a block for $2000 (no, resale is not allowed), a little steep for loose projects or a tiny startup. One solution is to lobby current and future USB groups for a community ID block and cheaper licensing.