I am about to start a new project, and I have decided to make the hardware design as well as the software and documentation Open Source. The GPL doesn't seem to have a license that will work well with a hardware design. Does anyone know of a license that would be appropriate?
"Guy Macon" schrieb im Newsbeitrag news: email@example.com...
there is no open-source software license that would be suitable for hardware or hard-ip protection.
you can try using any license you select but - you should realize that very likely the hardware description will be considered or used as if it where public domain, no matter what open-source license you attach to it.
they way you publish and/or license the stuff really depends on your goals, eg why are you make it public, and what do you want to protect, or prevent with the license.
worst thing is to attach something like: "please use free but not for commerce". GPL is almost as bad.
so its up to your goals - its very unlikely that you get business from license fees, so you may only get side business from those who benefit from the project, and in that case - it would be also ok to tag the project as "public domain" - your name would still be present, and bring you potential business.
I wouldn't be quick to assume that. I have heard of "Open Source Hardware" before, and there's an extensive Wikipedia entry on it.
I'd look at the various projects listed there, find out what licenses they've used, and ask what their thinking on licenses is.
Definitely. The original poster must decide his goals. In software development, far too many people grab a license, such as the GPL, mainly because it's familiar to lotsa people. I often convince people to change their software library projects to LGPL, which is not so commercially onerous, because they hadn't really thought about their goals.
My goal is to achieve the hardware equivalent of Open Source software, not the hardware equivalent of public domain software.
In particular, I want to discourage anyone from distributing schematics, etc. that are out of date and have no references that would lead an engineer to the URL where the latest changes are incorporated.
I want the design to be free for everyone, and I want anyone who wishes to compete with me to be able to do so, just the same as Linux distributors compete with each other.
There is no need to prevent someone modifying the design and then copyrighting the modifications because a hardware design is not copyrightable, and because it is already a standard practice for engineers to copy designs, subject only to patent law, not copyright law.
The schematics, documentation, and firmware is copyrightable, and I plan on releasing them under the GLPL to make such copying as easy as possible.
I do plan on making and selling these, but I want anyone else who wishes to be able to make and sell exact copies or improved versions if they choose.
The design, schematic, specification and bill of materials will be copyrighted but the hardware itself can only be protected by patent. You should probably incorporate a disclaimer re the legislative and safety factors involved so that you don't end up getting sued if someone builds it and gets hurt (too many factors you cannot control) and state that any copy of the schematic should carry such disclaimers through-out. Otherwise, the advice of the others would seem reasonable.
Paul E. Bennett ....................