Doing business with openenrgymonitor hard and software

Hello guys,

As a former independent consultant i wonder if there is a plan or model in place to earn money with selling your hard and software to customers other than selling the installation, training and/or customisations.

Willem Luijk

The founders of OpenEnergyMonitor, @glyn.hudson & @TrystanLea are best placed to answer that.

Im really interested in this topic too, as an engineer the licensing topic has been giving me a headache for months but I keep trying to understand it, I have been looking as many others behind me for a way to build a sustainable business model around the OEM project, hopefully I can get a confirmation about what i think i understand from the OEM project in this thread

I might not be the most ideal to attempt to answer this but i’ll give it a shot hoping glyn or trystan edit my post if i missed or misunderstood something,

I believe this question can be answered (mostly) by the Open Source Hardware (OSHW) Statement of Principles 1.0, GPL and APGL licenses used widely in the OEM project

I am no lawyer but if i am not wrong, you can do almost anything you want with anything on the OEM project including starting a business with your own brand as long as:

1.- You share and comment (like they do) any kind of change to the code
2.- You add the same license (AGPLv3) to your self hosted emoncms
3.- You don’t sell commercial licenses of emoncms (AGPLv3)
4.- You don’t make them (OEM) responsible for anything that goes wrong with the software/hardware
5.- You don’t actually claim any kind of warranties (since most of the work are sold as DIY kits)
6.- You don’t use their Logos on your business
7.- If you somehow manage to get a patent, by using part of their work you do not attempt to sue anyone in any way involved with the project

I have noticed that the hardware can be greatly improved, OEM has done a great job to assure hackability and customizability since their market target are us (engineers, hobbyists, enthusiasts, students, DIY people), I’m sure it’s possible to make a “smaller version” with less and better components to the EmonTX/EmonPI, and if you were to attempt to build and sell them in any specific country legally you would need to actually legally certify it (CE for europe, UL for USA) in order to sell them legally, considering every country has its own regulations for this, I doubt the OEM can reach them all, that’s where there is a chance for business.

emoncms, keeps evolving with several updates and, bug fixes, but it’s not really bullet proof due to it being always on development, while for example emonTX does not meet certification requirements (at least in my country), I could personally spend a life in here, learning,along the OEM community, hopefully contributing, but the only way to make it at the same pace than them is by making it my full time job, and that would mean to start a business around what they have done

They are fighting the good fight, doing what its right and I really love what they have done, OEM is probably one of the many good things in this world, and personally I would love to be part of it somehow however I’m still trying to decode the legal stuff in order to actually help keep the project going forward since this is one of the most proactive and good faith projects i have seen in a long time. If i had to guess i would assume they would like to see the OEM project become something as huge as linux with its several forks… hopefully

I would gladly like to hear what they have to say tho, especially about dealing with the still present patent system/copyright system that seems to be incompatible with the copyleft movement in recent years that they support, maybe a spinoff, a “partner” program who can vouch for them in the country or countries interested in replicating their organization.