Creative Commons (BY NC SA) license granted by the authors. First published on March 16, 2012

Last Modified on March 02, 2014. Please keep us updated if you adopt this model and make improvements.

Authors: Tiberius Brastaviceanu, Bayle, Francois  add your name here

Content on this document is Creative Commons (BY NC SA). All rights reserved for SENSORICA logo.

Product Licensing

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This document explains the license of SENSORICA-labeled products. SENSORICA is an open, decentralized, and self-organizing value network, designing, producing and distributing optical fiber-based sensors.

Table of contents

Links

Introduction

Current situation

License for all the work on value networks

License for all the work on sensing technology

Basic assumptions

Discussion

Low-cost, one time, mass market products

Multiple licenses

General discussion

Discussions in 2011

Discussions in 2013

Warranty

Contacts and collaboration

Links

Introduction

There is no one-fit-all type solution for hardware licensing. It depends on the nature of the product, as well as on the context in which the product is brought into existence and is distributed. Every situation defines a specific game. We need to understand what possible games we can play, to choose our games and to learn how to play them well. Some games require more control over designs than others. We cannot play all games! We have some choices to make...

A license sets the degree of control we chose to apply on our creations, and influences their future development. Control is not always needed and in some cases it is even detrimental. In other cases control is necessary, in order to insure sustainability of a given economical operation.

To adopt the best license agreement we need to take into consideration different factors.

  1. The SENSORICA brand is protected, the SENSORICA logo is copyrighted and can only be used by SENSORICA members in operations that are sanctioned by the community, moderated by the reputation system and by all the positive incentives associated that value network. The brand is part of our commons.
  2. We are designing products that are inherently open, i.e. they need to be redesigned in order to be compatible with a closed (classical, based on control) business operation. They are modular, they can be easily updated, they are NOT programmed for obsolescence or made difficult to modify. In other words, our products cannot be simply copied and expected to integrate the offers of classical business, which is build on a very different philosophy. See SENSORICA Product Design Philosophy.
  3. We are planning to build an ecosystem of interoperable products. The interdependence between these products makes it it harder for someone else to copy a single product. The brand, quality, and the ethical and moral dimension of our products will play in our favor.
  4. Open products can form a community of developers, designers and passionate users/consumers around them. Closed products cannot do that.
  5. add others ...

Current situation

License for all the work on value networks

The OVN model and infrastructure developed by SENSORICA community in cllaboration with others is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The work is documented on the OVN wiki.

License for all the work on sensing technology

SENSORICA sensing technology by SENSORICA community is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

NOTE: we give to anyone the right to commercially use our technology!

Basic assumptions

Read Tibi’s post on Multitude Project:

How to play the open game in the present and future economy.

We believe that the tactic we’re employing at this moment works when the nature of the product leads to a repeated and long-term game between affiliates of the value network (researchers, designers, manufacturers, marketers, distributors...). This situation arises especially for material products that have a rapid evolution, that have high costs of reproduction, that require special knowledge for marketing and for servicing. High-tech products usually fall into this category.

It is assumed that SENSORICA will develop products for which there will be a high dependency between designers on one side, and manufacturers and distributors on the other side.

Once we develop our manufacturing and distribution network, the economic situation will improve for SENSORICA members, because we’ll be able to use our brand, the distribution and the economy of scale to thrive among large corporate entities.

Discussion

{Put your ideas in here. Use comments to react to other ideas. See the section Cautions and contribute to it.}

The natural economical relations between stakeholders (designers, manufacturers, distributors, consumers) are dictated by the depends on the nature of the product and by the context in which the product is brought into existence and distributed. Every situation defines a specific game.

Low-cost, one time, mass market products

The natural economical relations between stakeholders (designers, manufacturers, distributors, consumers) are dictated by the context in which the value is produced and distributed. In this case we are dealing with the production of material goods, which are very low-cost, appeal to a very large population, and are trendy or ephemeral.

If the product is a one-timer, or a trendy product, i.e. it doesn’t have an evolution path like the car, or the computer for example, the relation between the designer on one side and the manufacturer and the distributor on the other side is weak, because this makes it a one-time game (not a repeated game), the last two don’t depend on the designer to repeat the innovation success.

If the product addresses a mass market, the temptations to be disloyal are significant and justifiable, and this can exacerbate the problem exposed in the previous paragraph. In this case, the relation between the distributor and the manufacturer is strong, and the relation between them and the designer is weak.

Francois asked this question:

What if we, partners within SENSORICA value network design a hockey stick with a force sensor in it? This is a mass market product. Nike can decide to copy the design and mass produce it in China, and because of their world renowned brand that their vast distribution network can sell this product leaving SENSORICA members without revenue.

Answers:

Tibi

Nike is NOT into selling sensors, but into selling sports equipment. Normally, Nike would work with other companies to put their product together. In this case, they would come to SENSORICA for the force sensing device. The problem is that if we cannot produce at a low enough cost Nike can turn around and ask a Chinese company to copy the force sensing device, since it is open innovation, and produce it at the lowest cost possible. In order to bypass that problem SENSORICA would have to find a partner that can produce at the cost Nike dictates.

In this particular case Nike has a lot of power because of their brand and their vast distribution network. They can also take advantage from the large scale effects.

The product is a mass market product, and probably a one-time product. Therefore Nike doesn’t rely on SENSORICA for a continuous and rapid stream of innovation for future versions of the product. Because of this weak link Nike can easily jump over SENSORICA.  

Multiple licenses

[Tibi] If there is no one fit all solution we can use different licenses for different projects/products, based on the type of game each type of product entails.

General discussion

Bayle Shanks

As I noted earlier on the list (see discussion here), the idea that the value network license is noncommercial use only and the sensor license allows commercial use seems backwards to me. What if a company comes along and wants to use the value network? We won’t sell it to them so why not give it to them. And what if a company comes along and wants to use the sensor designs? This is something that we would prefer to sell, so why give it away (unless we insist on giving everything away, but in that case neither license should be commercial? Note however that I am biased (i don’t know in which direction) as I am founding a commercial company that makes value-network stuff ourselves -- on the one hand it would be good for Pietrust if SENSORICA licensed it to us for free so we could use it -- on the other hand in a way it would be good for Pietrust if SENSORICA did NOT license it for free because that’s less competition for us. -- BayleShanks

Here are my thoughts on designing a copyright license that Pietrust will use for source code, in case SENSORICA would like to do something similar:

 http://p2pfoundation.net/Slowly_Opening_License

The proposed license has not yet been drafted (and it needs a much better name).

Although Pietrust will apply for patents, this is for defensive use only so the patent license is not as important for us (presumably for SENSORICA the patent license is more important than copyright).

[Tibi] On open innovation

I see a connection between this profound but very subtle disagreement on knowledge and the difference of opinion about rewarding ideas OR rewarding processes that materialize ideas. In the open innovation philosophy knowledge is considered as being abundant. Moreover, we believe that sharing/spreading knowledge can bring more than keeping it and exploiting it alone or at small scale. Furthermore, knowledge is NOT seen as property. There is no jealous attachment to one's ideas. The FOCUS is on the effects of ideas AND on the process through which wealth is extracted from applied ideas and knowledge. We believe that there are new such processes available. Control of ideas of knowledge is NOT necessary, even more, its detrimental! Rewarding knowledge or ideas directly becomes incompatible with the game. This is why I like to say that we are moving, either we like it or not, towards a know how economy rather than a knowledge economy, i.e. people will get paid for what they do, not for their ideas, which is not to say that ideas will become unimportant, they will not be considered as products anymore, because not only they are becoming abundant, but also because it becomes more "profitable" when ideas are shared than when they are kept. These processes are new and they are related to large scale effects made possible by the Internet. A new game is now possible because of the Internet and digital technology, the open innovation game. In my opinion, this is what we need to master. Why is it counter-intuitive? Because we've been conditioned NOT to share and to compete. This game is about sharing and collaboration. Moreover, this game introduces large scale effects, and humans are used to think at small scale, small group dynamics, ...     

Discussions in 2011

Discussions in 2013

openness, transparency and protection and OSH day

Warranty

Enter content here of link to doc.

Contacts and collaboration

See about David Lametti here and here.