[Arm-netbook] FSF-Endorseable Hardware companies

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Thu Mar 19 21:42:32 GMT 2015

On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 5:26 PM, Paul Boddie <paul at boddie.org.uk> wrote:
> On Tuesday 17. March 2015 22.14.19 Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:
>> hi folks,
>> ok - does anyone know of any companies that sell Libre or
>> FSF-Endorseable hardware?  i have thinkpenguin, laclinux,
>> hardware-libre.fr and inatux.com on the list already, i am looking to
>> contact companies that would like to help sponsor these projects, it
>> is very close so i would like to keep going full-time on them now.
> A while ago someone started a list of vendors of systems that promote/support
> Free Software on the FSFE Fellowship Wiki, and it has since grown
> considerably, although some entries probably need updating or removing:
> https://wiki.fsfe.org/Hardware_Vendors
> It might be worth a look. FSF-endorseable status is not mentioned, but that
> has mostly been a rarity until now, anyway, especially in the PC part of the
> market. Generally, a lot of these lists on the Web are out-of-date or feature
> all sorts of products that you might not care about, but the aim is to keep
> this one useful.
> Paul
> P.S. You'll also see that Rhombus Tech is mentioned in the Single Board
> Computers section of that page. When this was updated some time back, the
> situation as far as I understood it was that the EOMA-68 initiative might
> assert patents against people making "unauthorised" products based on the
> published standard, and so a warning note was added.

 well, i believed that patents would do the job exactly as actually
turns out that Certification Marks (the twin brother of Trade Marks)
actually does.

 so what i intend to do hasn't changed, but people's *understanding*
has changed.

> Since then, I think your policies (and associates)

 my *former* associates turned out be a a bunch of short-sighted
financially-motivated individuals who would do whatever it takes to
make profits first, disregarding all and any principles and goals
required in order to achieve those profits.

 *my* policies, principles and goals haven't changed: they're just now
better understood.

> have changed and that you're aiming to go down the
> trademark-plus-certification route to avoid unsafe clones bringing the
> initiative into disrepute

 ... and to protect people from being injured or killed by unsafe
clones: yes absolutely.  that has always always been the goal, even
when i believed that patents would be the means by which that could be
achieved: turns out that it's Registered Certification Marks that are
the better vehicle.

> (which I also imagine is a lot more viable a
> strategy, anyway).

 it's always been the strategy, paul.

> I'll gladly update the above page to clarify the situation
> if this is indeed the case. :-)

 yes please, i didn't realise that there was a page which mis-advised
people based on a misunderstanding of what i said.  i believe i can
say that safely (without offense paul!) because (a) you find the
certification marks explanation acceptable but the patents one not and
(b) i do recall endeavouring to make it clear, but really: there's
*really* nothing new or different between what i said four years ago
and six months ago [apart from the tool four years ago was patents,
and the tool six months ago was certification marks].  *really*.  so,
from (a) and (b), we can logically and rationally deduce that there
must have been a complete misunderstanding.

what i do remember though about the conversation four years ago was
that there were a lot of people really "not getting it".  also, i am
keenly aware that there is a huge aversion to patents in the software
libre community, as they tend to be severely abused, lending an aura
of "total automatic distrust" of the inventors.  as a result of that
abuse we know that there are now several linux patent groups formed: i
recall that it was almost *demanded* of me to transfer full
responsibility and control of the patents to those groups!  groups who
have *no way* to fully grok the scope of this project.

 since then, if you recall, when i entrusted responsibility for
getting the MEB crowdfunded to a third party with good software libre
credentials, i had to fight to keep it on track, even to the extent of
posting very embarrassing public corrections on their forums due to
them making unauthorised committments about changes and additions to
the standard that, if implemented, would throw the *entire* standard
into disrepute.

 so with that as just one example that i - all of us - learned from, i
think you can see why it is not safe to entrust anything like patents
or trademarks to any other third party... yet.  *once this is all
established* and running safely, then yes i will set up a foundation,
with strict rules, find some appropriate directors, and leave it in
their hands.  but that will be several years yet.


More information about the arm-netbook mailing list