For Approval: Open Source Hardware License

Wilson, Andrew andrew.wilson at
Thu Jul 5 21:23:56 UTC 2007

Jamey Hicks wrote:
> There are no OSI-approved licenses for open source hardware, so I am 
> proposing this license. 

It is not immediately obvious to me why no existing, OSI-approved open
source licenses,
although not perhaps originally intended for such applications, could
not also be used for hardware descriptions written in VHDL or Verilog.
Granted, a strong copyleft license such as GPLv2 or v3 might raise
in practice about the scope of its copyleft (e.g., if you have one
GPL'd chip on your motherboard, is the entire motherboard a
"derivative work" and therefore also subject to GPL?), but a
less aggressive copyleft license such as EPL or CDDL could (IMO)
work in practice for your proposed usage model.  Please elaborate
if I am missing something fundamental here.

Andy Wilson
Intel open source technology center

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