For Approval: Open Source Hardware License

Simon Phipps Simon.Phipps at Sun.COM
Fri Jul 6 17:21:01 UTC 2007

On Jul 6, 2007, at 02:12, Rick Moen wrote:

> Quoting Jamey Hicks (jamey.hicks at
>> There are no OSI-approved licenses for open source hardware, so I am
>> proposing this license.
> My understanding is that OSI's licence approval process
> ( is  
> specifically
> for _software_ licences.  That scope limitation came up previously  
> when
> people proposed documentation licences for certification; I suspect  
> the
> same logic applies here.

I'm afraid the distinction between "software" and "hardware" is  
getting harder and harder to make. The Verilog that's used to make  
the UltraSPARC T1 is definitely software, and the GPL (or any other  
Free software license approved for open source community use by OSI)  
seems 100% applicable to me.

If we allow special "hardware" licenses because the copyrighted work  
is used for that purpose, we are on a slippery slope towards many  
other specialist (an in my view redundant) sub-categories.

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