GNU License for Hardware

Arandir arandir at
Tue Oct 12 04:09:17 UTC 1999

On Mon, 11 Oct 1999, Jamil Khaib wrote:

>1. This license applies to hardware designs including the design ideas,

Ditto a previous responder. You can't copyright ideas.

> ...and the output of it is covered only if
> its contents constitute a work based on the original work.

This might end up being a huge restriction in practice. It would certainly
scare me away.

> 3. Any modifications of this hardware design or any derivative work from it
> should be documented and protected by the same license. 

Change "should" to must. Be aware that this would make the license "viral" in
nature. If this is your express intent, fine. 

> ... or any other form
> that describes the design except the ordinal is considered as a derived work.

This may be problematic. Just as you can't copyright an idea, neither can you
copyright an algorithm or method. A description of a design sounds to me like a
non-copyrightable thing. Perhaps you could clarify this better.

> 4. Works based on the hardware design should be protected also by the same
> license.

This clause is redundant. It's the same as 3. above.


This may work for software, but I REQUIRE a warranty for my hardware! You
should reword this to indicate that the original designer is not responsible
for any warranties, or something like that. The actual manufacturer must be
able to supply a warranty, or sales will be next to nothing. But this license
as is forbids the end manufacturer from warrantying its work.

David Johnson

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