Over the last few years we’ve been excited to be part of the rapidly growing open-source hardware community. One of the recurring issues in this community has been the lack of agreement on what constitutes an acceptable license for open hardware. For open source software, there’s a common language to start with: the Open Source Definition. But where is the analogous root document for us hardware folks?
Of course, there simply isn’t one. Or rather, there hasn’t been one until now.
Over the last few months, we’ve been helping to hammer out a draft definition of what it means to be open source hardware, in collaboration with open source stars including folks from Chumby, Bug Labs, Sparkfun, Arduino, Adafruit, MakerBot, Eyebeam, Make, and Creative Commons, amongst others. It’s a modest but important step in defining what it means for a project to be open hardware.
The current draft definition is labeled version 0.3, and hopefully we’ll be advancing it towards a 1.0 in the coming months. There’s an Open Hardware Summit scheduled to take place before Maker Faire NY. As things advance we’ll be working on ways to connect to actual licenses and to the other needs of our community. If you have the inclination, please check out the draft and see what we’ve been up to.