My Fab Academy 2015 final project, is an incubator named In3. This project is funded by the Fab Lab Madrid CEU. The goal is designing and building an affordable incubator for third world hospitals, clinics and people. Therefore, it must be easily replicable and repairable. This second characteristic is even more important than the low price of the machine.
In order to achieve the goal mentioned before, having free access to the designs, sources and documentation to build and fix the incubator in an important characteristic. That's why I decided to publish all the documentation on a public repository under an open source and open hardware license.
After reading the different "contracts" available on the web, such as Creative Commons, GPL, LGPL, MIT License, etc. I decided to go on with the MIT license (taking into consideration the opinion of the investors of the project).
The MIT License represents the best solution to get people interested on the project, read about it, learn and, eventually, collaborate with it. In fact, it is even more interesting than being recognized as the author of the work or forbidding other people to sell a derivative product. Creating a community of people or hospitals around the design and promote an organic growth collaborating with people all around the world.
For example, if a third person modifies the initial design making improvements and doesn't want to share those, he doesn't have to. On the other hand, he can collaborate and improve our design, getting it published in the repository if he wants. The only limitation of the license is imposed by the bolded line.
Copyright (c) <year> <copyright holders>
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this hardware, software, and associated documentation files (the "Product"), to deal in the Product without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Product, and to permit persons to whom the Product is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Product.
THE PRODUCT IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE PRODUCT OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE PRODUCT.
Obviously no money will be obtained selling the design, and it shouldn't be obtained by selling copies of the product (at least not much). Ideally, the price of the incubator must cover the fabrication costs.
Taking into consideration the license of the product, I am not going to impose the prices at any level of the future redesigns or fabrication costs. However, at the end of the semester I will estimate the cost of building a copy of the designed incubator.
Once the semester is finished there are several founding possibilities:
All of them are realistic and not mutually exclusive.
If the first prototype works, for the next few years, it can be improved.
Once the prototype becomes a "minimum viable product" (MVP) the infrastructure behind the project can grow and start asking for government assistance to expand the team and start producing incubators to test them on a broader scale. This will help us to redesign the elements that can be improved and learn about its usages, failures, etc. At this point it might be interesting to create a group of experts to help to the hospital engineers to repare the broken incubators.
Of course, everything should be promoted by a nonprofit organization.