In recent months several manufacturers and suppliers have misled about their products. The most striking case among these is the Spanish mobile that only had the Spanish brand sticker. This worries users, many of them, but it also has a solution, at least in Free Hardware.
It has recently been created OSHWA, a Free Hardware association that distributes its own certificate indicating that it is Free Hardware. From what we see from this certificate, we know that they are not deceiving us with the hardware that the board or device carries.
OSHWA is an association that requires a series of conditions from manufacturers in order to issue the certificate. In addition, after approving the certificate, in OSHWA website we can find the plates or devices that have the certificate, so We can check if it is really true or the brand deceives us.
The OSHWA certificate can help us avoid future scams
The requirements to comply with this certificate are the same that a user should make to the Hardware to determine if it is Free or not. Thus, it is requested a list of bill of materials, software, schematics, design files, and other necessary documents to make derivative products. Come on, data that must be published or be public if it really is Free Hardware.
At the moment there are few brands that have this certificate, we can say that only have some BeagleBone and Sparkfun boards, but it is true that there is a long list of products that are passing these tests for the certificate. Among them are Orange Pi or SBC 96boards, a brand of minipcs that is being very popular lately.
The best known names in this world, Arduino and Raspberry Pi, possibly end up passing itHowever, we do not know anything about them and since OSHWA is recent, its creators may not be interested in this certificate. Although we have to say that such association and certification is very interesting and it would not be bad for all free hardware to go through it, so we would know if they cheat us or not.