For Approval: Open Source Hardware License

Allison Randal allison at
Fri Jul 6 23:34:03 UTC 2007

Rick Moen wrote:
>> It would be a shame if the pioneers of the open hardware movement 
>> weren't given the opportunity to benefit from the years of hard-earned 
>> experience in the open software community.
> I can't help noticing that OSI _certifying_ only software licences
> wouldn't equate to it somehow hoarding its experience.  Either I'm 
> missing something, or perhaps you are.  ;->

In terms of practical applications, I see two extremes, and a range in 

- Software and hardware are completely separate, the OSI declares itself 
as only interested in software, and has absolutely no interest in 
talking about hardware licenses. In which case, the discussion 
continues, but somewhere else.

- Software and hardware are taken as one lump, the OSI is interested in 
licenses for hardware (whether applications of existing licenses, or 
creation of licenses more relevant to hardware), and this is the perfect 
place to discuss the future of hardware licenses.

Flipping bits on various attributes in the two extremes defines the 
alternatives between the two extremes.


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