Author Topic: What's the best Open Source Hardware License?  (Read 6092 times)

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Offline metri

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What's the best Open Source Hardware License?
« on: September 02, 2015, 04:26:27 pm »
I'm in the process of making a bunch of free projects to share with other people. My intention is that others can use and/or modify my design without restriction (non-commercial or commercial), but I would like credit for the original design work.

What are my options for licenses?

For example, I came across the ControLeo2 Reflow oven controller. The software was open source, but what good is that without hardware, so I made a compatible PCB that I want other people to be able to use freely.
You can see pics of the Reflow Oven http://brianmakesit.com/

I made a small Arduino Leonardo compatible board, and I think it could be useful to someone...

Any advice on a license would be very much appreciated. Thanks.


 

Offline zapta

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Re: What's the best Open Source Hardware License?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 04:33:24 pm »
Search for: creative commons attribution
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline ElektroQuark

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Re: What's the best Open Source Hardware License?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 05:02:19 pm »
Hahaha. Reading you web I was impressed about your English skills being in China, untill I realized you are from Canada...

Offline awallin

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Re: What's the best Open Source Hardware License?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015, 05:38:37 pm »
have a look at this one also:
http://www.ohwr.org/projects/cernohl/wiki

CERN is releasing many quite significant designs under this, with multiple commercial producers for some boards, so it can't be that bad you'd think..
 

Offline metri

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Re: What's the best Open Source Hardware License?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2015, 01:36:30 am »
Thanks, I think the CERN license is a good one to use. It complies with the definition of OSHW, and that's one of my goals. It adds limited liability statements and clearly states the design is free to be used.

Thanks again.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: What's the best Open Source Hardware License?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2015, 03:12:20 am »
The answer is, however, it depends. Do you want it to be freely available even for commercial users?

Do you want your licensee to license their derived work as the same license you used? Do you want they attribute you?

Software side, do you want the code to be compatible with any other licenses? Did you implemented some patented technologies?

You can give a detailed license requirement so that we can help you more on choosing a better license.
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: What's the best Open Source Hardware License?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2015, 05:32:23 am »
Hahaha. Reading you web I was impressed about your English skills being in China, untill I realized you are from Canada...
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline ElektroQuark

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Re: What's the best Open Source Hardware License?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2015, 05:36:25 am »
You didn't catch it: I was laughing at myself.

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: What's the best Open Source Hardware License?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2015, 06:07:18 am »
i did... i just posted an relevant thing, probably when people are laughing at us or whoever :P
otoh to the OP, try modding your china 3d printer bed, thats a nice machine, agreed with you on "too many projects thing". a shop should not be messy or not should not be debated thats just a waste of time, its personal preferences, if you want messy then messy it is. for me i love to keep my shop tidy while i can and it can get messy while i'm working on something and cannot stop for cleanup :P... etc etc...
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 06:11:55 am by Mechatrommer »
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline timofonic

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Re: What's the best Open Source Hardware License?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2015, 05:28:22 pm »
If you release it, don't care about "commercial purposes". As with other content, this just scares possible contributors and copiers will do it anyway. Prove it in a court, of find them if you can.

There's some very nice projects, but they have the no-commercial license. It makes distribution a lot more cumbersome to hobbyists and scares potential contributors because too much sense of ownership.

Unless you release a big project and plan to get enough profit for a living, you shouldn't care about that. Anyway, you'll find copies out there and lawyers are expensive so prepare to profit a lot ;)

I see CERN OHL 1.2 is quite interesting, I consider it more appropiate than CC, because it's special for hardware and done by CERN.. I consider some stuff needs fixing, I would prefer one that makes the software in it to be AGPLv3+, because this can avoid TiVOization issues (open hardware, but closed because the software hides the "secret sauce") :P


OSHWA? Their mailing list is dead, the websites of signers is dead too. They are just people into fashionable stuff with blinking lists and call themselves "artists". That Shenzhen woman at least was seen doing real soldering and have extra airbags, she at least invested in something tangible and don't pretend to be into electronics in an advanced way :D
 

Offline tekbasse

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Re: What's the best Open Source Hardware License?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2015, 07:12:59 pm »
metri,
If your project includes a novel or patentable technology or concept, then be sure to choose a license such as TAPR OHL ( https://www.tapr.org/ohl.html ) in order to protect the novel concept from getting patented by a third party.  Usually any public disclosure of something original is enough to prevent a patent by third party. However, there are hypothetical cases where a license that addresses patent issues helps to protect a open source hardware project.
cheers,
Ben
 

Offline NF6X

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Re: What's the best Open Source Hardware License?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2015, 06:44:31 pm »
For a while, I agonized over which license I should choose for my open hardware projects. Eventually I got fed up with that, and decided to just release them with a simple notice that I'm placing the design in the public domain, without any warranty or restrictions. The last straw for me was the debate about the OSHWA certification. That's what brought me to the point of choosing to opt out of the quagmire of opinions and regulations surrounding open source licensing.

I no longer care whether any particular government recognizes my license; I released the design files for you, not for them. Do whatever you want with them, or don't. If I want to release something that I created, I will, and if I don't, then I won't. I don't care whether any particular entity gives my release their own seal of approval. My shared source is my certification. I shared it, you have it, and that's good enough for me.
 

Offline tekbasse

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Re: What's the best Open Source Hardware License?
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2015, 07:47:07 pm »
.. decided to just release them with a simple notice that I'm placing the design in the public domain.. My shared source is my certification. I shared it, you have it, and that's good enough for me.
NF6X, I agree with the spirit of your strategy.  The only issue is one of innovation and the practice of patent trolling.

If you invent something and release into public domain, a patent troll might still be able to patent and subsequently control the invention and limit progress --even interfering with your own use of your own invention.

By releasing with a license, such as TAPR, a patent troll has more difficult legal hurdles to meet. If the invention docs show record of prior-art and/or you sell prototypes or kits, the hurdles are even higher.


 
 

Offline NF6X

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Re: What's the best Open Source Hardware License?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2015, 07:49:44 pm »
Good point.
 

Offline f5r5e5d

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Re: What's the best Open Source Hardware License?
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2015, 05:04:16 pm »
publication is a bar to another party patenting an invention - in fact there are search organizations looking for obscure publications to invalidate already issued patents

I don't know how thoroughly web publication has been tested legally but the principle of publication putting something into the public domain is clear, common to all major countries

you may have a grace period to apply yourself - but no one is supposed to be able to patent another's published idea - their patent would be invalid


that said the US Patent Office is lame, barely searches their own previously issued patents, easily misses even that prior art

a few years ago a amplifier compensation scheme was patented by a 3rd party with the filing date just a month after the idea was promoted on diyAudio

subsequent discussion revealed already expired US patent prior art
 


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