[hackerspaces] Classes and costs

Christie Dudley christie at hackcounsel.com
Sun Sep 18 00:48:47 CEST 2016

Well, only about 75% bunk. :P

Whether the instructor is liable is up for debate, probably in court. It 
would be a bad lawyer that didn't name the instructor AND the space, AND 
the officers and directors.

The problem with a waiver is that it's very difficult to enforce in a 
fairly open environment. Furthermore it it's more of a "belt and 
suspenders" solution. (A lot of lawyers advocate for that and they're 
just being lawyers... i.e. paranoid.) A sign on the wall has the same 
effect and requires no enforcement - no collection and storage of forms, 
no mapping signatures to people, etc. Then the only record-keeping is 
when the sign went up. I would also assume that an instructor teaching 
how to soldier would cover safety before the class started.

Ahh, I miss Ace Junkyard. (look it up. :P)


On 7/21/2016 10:25 AM, dosman wrote:
> 100% pure bunk. If they are on your property (counts for rented 
> property too) then you can be found liable. Now move on with life.
> Anyone can sue your space at any time for anything, your only 
> protection is due-dilagence. Have public liability insurance for your 
> space. Have everyone stepping into your space sign an injury liability 
> waiver. Liability waivers don’t stop anyone from sueing, but it 
> certainly makes it harder for them them in the court room if they do 
> sue. If you are using tools, give folks a heads up of common ways to 
> avoid injury (the tip of the soldering iron is hot, no touchy. leaded 
> solder is bad, keep your fingers out of your mouth, etc). If you are 
> doing something dangerous, take standard precautions: use safety 
> glasses/full face shield, gloves, aprons, and any other safety gear 
> merited for the activity should the activity go wrong.
> If something does go bad, and someone wants to lawyer up, having done 
> these things makes it way harder for someone to prove you were 
> negligent in the court room. Unless you were actually being negligent. 
> Doing all these things, then letting some rando's kids juggle 
> chainsaws in your space is dumb. It takes vigilance to keep a place 
> safe and still allow hackerspace anarchy to thrive. There’s no 100% 
> way to ensure everything will be ok, but not doing something because 
> of fear of being sued is no way to operate. Within reason of course.
> -dosman
>> On Jul 21, 2016, at 12:00 PM, Pete Prodoehl <raster at gmail.com 
>> <mailto:raster at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> Because my space sometimes has gloom and doom people, someone brought 
>> up the idea that if you charge for a class, you could be held 
>> responsible if someone in the class gets injured. This would be 
>> different than if you did *not* charge for a class because there is 
>> no (or less?) expectation of responsibility if you are not charging 
>> for your services/expertise.
>> I think the thought is that a student would try to sue you personally 
>> versus the space, and there was a suggestion that individuals who 
>> teach should get their own personal insurance that would cover the 
>> teaching they do. (The space has its own insurance and 
>> waiver/disclaimer forms that everyone signs.)
>> I am definitely not a lawyer, but I'd love to hear what others think 
>> of that idea. (And yes, I am in the overly-litigious United States.)
>> Pete
>> On 7/21/16 10:42 AM, Silence Dogood wrote:
>>> one side benefit of charging for classes is allowing the class 
>>> teachers to profit.  this can be particularly important for space 
>>> members who need supplemental income to afford their dues or to get 
>>> them by between contracts / gigs / what have you.
>>> On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 6:24 AM, webmind <webmind at puscii.nl 
>>> <mailto:webmind at puscii.nl>> wrote:
>>>     On 20/07/16 17:48, Chad Elish wrote:
>>>     > Here’s a question for everyone,
>>>     >
>>>     > What do you normally charge for your classes?
>>>     > I know its a big cash cow for spaces to make up income.
>>>     Hmm, not here. I think most Dutch spaces mostly run on
>>>     membership-income.
>>>     Both spaces in Amsterdam do not have a set price, LAG generally asks
>>>     donation Technologia Incognita mostly the same or people ask
>>>     cost-price.
>>>     IJHack (a "space" without a space) has been doing workshops to
>>>     generate
>>>     some income, I think they did twice the cost price to have a
>>>     buffer of
>>>     components or be able to share kits.
>>>     > We’re currently at $40.00 for a learn to solder class which
>>>     you take
>>>     > home an arduino you soldered together. We recently noticed
>>>     tech shop
>>>     > charging $99 for soldering a blinking badge together.
>>>     Do a lot of spaces elsewhere use workshops/services as a way of
>>>     providing basic-income for the space? Do spaces have other models
>>>     outside of services or membership to generate base-income?
>>>     At LAG we're currently looking at alternative ways of generating
>>>     income
>>>     for the rent/etc.
>>>     Thanks!
>>>     webmind
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