For Approval: Open Source Hardware License

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Sat Jul 7 03:08:54 UTC 2007

Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Simon Phipps (Simon.Phipps at Sun.COM):
>> I'm afraid the distinction between "software" and "hardware" is  
>> getting harder and harder to make.
> You know, there are circumstances in which I'd raise that point, too.  
> However, I'd feel a bit silly raising it in circumstances where
> something is described very unambiguously aas a licence specifically for
> hardware _and used_ (or at least planned to be used) only for that
> purpose, to a groups that certifies licences specifically for software.
> (I do doubt that OSI would refuse to certify a licence actually _used_
> for software, on no better grounds than it having the word "hardware" in
> it.) 

If OSI considers a license specifically designed for hardware, why
should we want it to be in use for software?  It seems these are
contradictory.  OSI could reject hardware-specific licenses if it
decides they diverge from the mission too much.  If they are acceptable,
though, there is no reason to require they be in use for software.

Matt Flaschen

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