PURPOSE: CITIZEN RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT FOR OUR HEALTH, SOCIETY, & THE ENVIRONMENT
The designs of Windowfarms and access to this website is available for free so that as many people as possible of any income can learn about hydroponic farming, a skill set we believe will be vital to sustainable cities in the future. This community and the core team are working against great odds to keep this life-supporting art opensource. We are participants in the open hardware summit and are helping write the definition of what openness means when it is applied outside the software world.
Hydroponics is seeing a lot of patenting, similar to the industrial agriculture and pharmaceutical industries, and we want to keep this technology in the hands of the people. The best way is to be in the game ourselves as a community, to produce our own R & D, and to secure it for royalty-free use by individuals.
We are all standing on one another’s shoulders and we are leaguing together to solve sustainability issues in our society for ourselves one piece at a time. We call this R&D-I-Y (research and develop it yourself).
YOU AGREE TO HOLD WINDOWFARMS & THE COMMUNITY HARMLESS
By acknowledging these terms of service, you agree to hold the hosts of this website, Windowfarms LLC, the Windowfarms Project, and all members of this online community harmless for ANY ISSUES OF ANY KIND related to your participation on this website or content hosted on Windowfarms servers. In other words, if you follow instructions on this website and some kind of harm comes to you or others as a result, no one here is liable. Read and follow content here at your own risk.
FREE LICENSE FOR INDIVIDUALS TO USE THE DESIGNS
By agreeing to these terms of service, if you are an individual using the windowfarm for non-commercial purposes, we hereby pass on to you a royalty-free license to use the windowfarms(TM) community’s patent pending designs.
WHAT THE COMMUNITY ASKS OF YOU IN RETURN
1) Publish your innovations freely for the next person to use
2) Allow Windowfarms to use your ideas to support the community
3) Share your documentation all along the way
4) Fail! With glory!
5) Move the conversation forward
6) Be a tester of other people’s good ideas
7) If you don’t like something or have a question, lead a group in making it better or finding an alternative!
1) In exchange for this free information and the group’s service, we ask as a community that you keep it open! Currently, everything on this site is available under a Creative Commons non-commercial share-alike license, which you can read more about at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/. This means that if you download or take ideas from people on this site and then you build something new, you also promise to publish your new idea in a way that other people can follow and you keep it open for people to copy and modify as well. Open means a free sharing of ideas among individuals.
2) You may keep a non-commercial restriction on your work, however we ask that you understand that the core team may use one of your ideas for kits we sell back to the community and use to make money to support site costs. If you are not okay with that, please do not agree to these terms of service.
3) Sharing is active and ongoing. Please come back to the site, share your process, ideas, tests, and photos. Join a group! Test a new technique! Be a contributor! Everyone wants to see photos of all the Windowfarms being built out there, documentation of new ideas, and some snapshot of the people behind them.
4) Failures are much more valuable than successes here. Telling us what you tried that did not work will reveal more and push the whole group farther than a bunch of horn-tooting. Show pictures of what didn’t work!
5) If you harbor some skepticism about an approach, point out both the value in the approach and specific challenges that you envision. This is the wrong place for the quest to be right. Be supportive and be a proposal-maker. We need to explore as many different approaches as possible and people have different conditions. Both core contributions and “forks” are valid.
6) Give other people’s ideas a shot. If everyone is always proposing, nothing will get tested. Implement an idea. Report on the method you used, the outcome, and your discoveries along the way. Talk about both the strengths and weaknesses and suggest a next course of action.
7) Have a question, a big skepticism, or a complaint. Start a group to get to the core of it and solve it. The question of BPA leaching from recycled bottles has provided a great example. We now have 4 scientists and a bunch of parents working on finding the answer to this question and have lots of fantastic new designs arising from this concern!
COMMERCIAL LICENSES REQUIRE A DIFFERENT PROCESS
If you are planning on using your Windowfarm in a commercial setting, using it as a marketing/advertising prop, or in any way profiting from it, those uses are currently outside of the scope of our intended creative commons license use. We request that you contact us at info[at]windowfarms[dot]org with an explanation of your proposed use.
CORE TEAM RESERVES RIGHTS TO PUBLISHING & DISTRIBUTING ALL OFFICIAL HOW-TOs & INSTRUCTIONS
Following the opensource software model, the windowfarms community is led by a founding core team. The core team safeguards the community’s long-term interests and reserves the right to make decisions about what design changes from the community are folded into the “official windowfarm” designs. Sometimes it takes several seasons to see how design changes impact the health of plants over time. Our goal is to make sure that the community is disseminating designs that have been tested so that we are not all contributing to more wasteful landfill fodder.
USE HOW-TOs, INSTRUCTIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS AT YOUR OWN RISK
Please be advised that you download and follow both official instructions/how-tos and all other posts on this site AT YOUR OWN RISK. We cannot be held responsible for injuries or accidents.
Openhardware projects like this are a new area for intellectual property and patent law. We make no guarantees that designs shown on this site do not violate existing patents that other companies may hold. We cannot be held responsible if you follow someone else’s instructions and end up infringing on an existing patent. However, we are working with lawyers to make headway for all openhardware projects on this front and we are committed to a future in which largest possible array of hydroponic farming techniques are available for all ordinary people to use without fear of infringement.
PLEASE KEEP THIS PROJECT ALIVE BY DONATING $$$
We ask that, if you can, you make a donation to our non-profit by sending a check to The Windowfarms Project c/o Alice Stock at Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology 540 West 21st Street New York, NY 10011.
Our small team has worked for more than a year and a half (some full time) without pay or benefits to lay in place the groundwork for this project. In fact, some of us have invested more of our own savings than we care to think about in this project. We run a little shop in Brooklyn where we test out new windowfarm ideas submitted by the community, publish how-tos, and run the site. We field thousands of emails from windowfarmers and educators and are working on educational outreach strategies to make the best of the community’s knowledge. Your contributions keep us standing until the project develops its own financial legs.
TERMS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Although most changes are likely to be minor, Windowfarms may change its terms of service at its sole discretion as we pioneer further into the application of opensource to physical systems and learn more about how to apportion rights and responsibilities. We request that you check back on the terms of service frequently. Continued use of the site after changes constitutes your agreement to these terms of service.
Thank you, and happy windowfarming!!
Britta, Ted, Andrew, Pirapha and the rest of the Windowfarms Core Team