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Guide to the CERN OHL v.1.1
This document contains guidelines on how to apply the CERN OHL v.1.1
to a given hardware design, and on the use of hardware designs
licensed under the CERN OHL v.1.1.
How to apply the CERN OHL v.1.1 to a hardware design
Authorship/ownership of the design must be clear and undisputed. Only
the legal owner of the rights in the hardware design may decide under
what conditions to make it available. If ownership is vested in more
than one person/entity, there must be an agreement among the owners to
release the hardware design as open hardware, and under the CERN OHL
in particular.
The hardware design documentation and files package
Pack all your hardware design documentation files (schematics,
layout...) as well as the documents listed below in an archive
file. This will ensure the licensee downloads everything in one go. It
is best to archive the files using a format everybody can
open. Schematics and layouts should be included in both source form
and a format readable by everybody, such as pdf.
The following documents must be distributed together with the hardware
design documentation:
Document containing the CERN OHL v.1.1 (e.g. LICENSE.PDF)
This Guide
Text files (plain ASCII file), where information can be added to but
not removed from, listing:
Contact point of any Licensor who wishes to receive modified
Documentation (see section 3.3.d) (e.g. CONTRIB.TXT);
Contact point wishing to receive information about manufactured
Products (see section 4.2) (e.g. PRODUCT.TXT);
Modifications made by Licensee (see section 3.3.b)
What to do with the hardware design documentation
Include in the hardware design documentation, for instance as a
header, the following elements (see section 3.1 CERN OHL v.1.1):
a copyright notice reflecting actual ownership;
a notice that the hardware design documentation is licensed under the
CERN OHL v.1.1, possibly with a link to where
the licence texts are hosted:
“Licensed under CERN OHL v.1.1 or later”
“Licensed under CERN OHL v.1.1”;
a disclaimer of warranties;
The following is an example of header if CERN is the Licensor:
Copyright CERN 2011.
This documentation describes Open Hardware and is licensed under the
CERN OHL v. 1.1. You may redistribute and modify this documentation
under the terms of the CERN OHL v.1.1. ( This
documentation is distributed WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY,
PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Please see the CERN OHL v.1.1 for applicable
Include on the silkscreen:
the licence notice: “Licensed under CERN OHL v.1.1”
Do not include the CERN logo or the copyright notice
How to deal with hardware designs licensed under the CERN OHL v.1.1
Generally speaking, you must always comply with any obligations
applying to a particular design (detailed in a contract or
accompanying licence). If you receive hardware designs licensed under
the CERN OHL v.1.0, the obligations are to:
Keep intact all the copyright and trademark notices that are on the
hardware design documentation;
Keep intact the references to the CERN OHL v.1.1;
Keep intact the disclaimer of warranties.
If you modify hardware design that you received from someone else that
is licensed under the CERN OHL v.1.1, you must
Keep intact all the notices referred to above;
Include notices that you have modified the hardware designs, detailing
what modifications where made (e.g. in a CHANGES.TXT file);
Add the appropriate copyright notice to the modifications that were
license the modifications under the CERN OHL v.1.1 if you distribute
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