Skip to content


Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with HTTPS or Subversion.

Download ZIP
100644 103 lines (88 sloc) 5.463 kb
703da61 @nasser Add title to LICENSE
nasser authored
1 Open Source Hardware Definition 1.0
4315865 @nasser Add README and LICENSE
nasser authored
3 Introduction
4 Open Source Hardware (OSHW) is a term for tangible artifacts --
5 machines, devices, or other physical things -- whose design has been released
6 to the public in such a way that anyone can make, modify, distribute, and use
7 those things. This definition is intended to help provide guidelines for the
8 development and evaluation of licenses for Open Source Hardware. Hardware is
9 different from software in that physical resources must always be committed
10 for the creation of physical goods. Accordingly, persons or companies
11 producing items ("products") under an OSHW license have an obligation to make
12 it clear that such products are not manufactured, sold, warrantied, or
13 otherwise sanctioned by the original designer and also not to make use of any
14 trademarks owned by the original designer. The distribution terms of Open
15 Source Hardware must comply with the following criteria:
17 1. Documentation
18 The hardware must be released with documentation including design files, and
19 must allow modification and distribution of the design files. Where
20 documentation is not furnished with the physical product, there must be a
21 well-publicized means of obtaining this documentation for no more than a
22 reasonable reproduction cost, preferably downloading via the Internet without
23 charge. The documentation must include design files in the preferred format
24 for making changes, for example the native file format of a CAD program.
25 Deliberately obfuscated design files are not allowed. Intermediate forms
26 analogous to compiled computer code -- such as printer-ready copper artwork
27 from a CAD program -- are not allowed as substitutes. The license may require
28 that the design files are provided in fully-documented, open format(s).
30 2. Scope
31 The documentation for the hardware must clearly specify what portion of the
32 design, if not all, is being released under the license.
34 3. Necessary Software
35 If the licensed design requires software, embedded or otherwise, to operate
36 properly and fulfill its essential functions, then the license may require
37 that one of the following conditions are met: a) The interfaces are
38 sufficiently documented such that it could reasonably be considered
39 straightforward to write open source software that allows the device to
40 operate properly and fulfill its essential functions. For example, this may
41 include the use of detailed signal timing diagrams or pseudocode to clearly
42 illustrate the interface in operation. b) The necessary software is released
43 under an OSI-approved open source license.
45 4. Derived Works
46 The license shall allow modifications and derived works, and shall allow them
47 to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original work.
48 The license shall allow for the manufacture, sale, distribution, and use of
49 products created from the design files, the design files themselves, and
50 derivatives therof.
52 5. Free redistribution
53 The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the
54 project documentation. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee
55 for such sale. The license shall not require any royalty or fee related to the
56 sale of derived works.
58 6. Attribution
59 The license may require derived documents, and copyright notices associated
60 with devices, to provide attribution to the licensors when distributing design
61 files, manufactured products, and/or derivatives thereof. The license may
62 require that this information be accessible to the end-user using the device
63 normally, but shall not specify a specific format of display. The license may
64 require derived works to carry a different name or version number from the
65 original design.
67 7. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
68 The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.
70 8. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
71 The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the work (including
72 manufactured hardware) in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it must
73 not restrict the hardware from being used in a business, or from being used in
74 nuclear research.
76 9. Distribution of License
77 The rights granted by the license must apply to all to whom the work is
78 redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those
79 parties.
81 10. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product
82 The rights granted by the license must not depend on the licensed work being
83 part of a particular product. If a portion is extracted from a work and used
84 or distributed within the terms of the license, all parties to whom that work
85 is redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted for the
86 original work.
88 11. License Must Not Restrict Other Hardware or Software
89 The license must not place restrictions on other items that are aggregated
90 with the licensed work but not derivative of it. For example, the license must
91 not insist that all other hardware sold with the licensed item be open source,
92 nor that only open source software be used external to the device.
94 12. License Must Be Technology-Neutral
95 No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual technology,
96 specific part or component, material, or style of interface or use thereof.
98 Afterword
99 The signatories of this Open Source Hardware definition recognize
100 that the open source movement represents only one way of sharing information.
101 We encourage and support all forms of openness and collaboration, whether or
102 not they fit this definition.
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.