[Discuss] Need help picking a license / language support

Javier Serrano Javier.Serrano at cern.ch
Wed Mar 20 16:21:46 UTC 2013

On 03/20/2013 04:54 PM, Cameron Adamez wrote:

> I found out that I've had my first Asian hardware clone! Truly an exciting moment for an amateur like myself.

Congratulations! ;)

> 1) How do I pick a license that is as permissive as BSD/MIT and requires acknowledgement of myself as the creator (and to be contacted upon sale)?

That would be a non-free clause. That license would e.g. not pass the
"desert island test" [0]. Acknowledgement is of course OK and many
licenses have that. Notification is the problem. We got rid of a
notification clause in CERN OHL v1.1. [1] for that reason.

> 2) How do I make sure that the license is in several languages?

I think CC licenses are translated into many languages. For reasons
which the FSF has explained well [2] we don't think that's necessarily a
good idea. With translations often comes room for legal
misinterpretation. So we link to *unofficial* translations from the CERN
OHL site [3] which have no legal value and only serve the purpose of
explaining the license to non-English speakers. Reagrding translations,
we copied exactly what the FSF does with the GPL family of licenses.

For the choice of a license I think there are broadly two families:

- Licenses which only apply to the documents like BSD/MIT and CC.

- Licenses which take into account the fact that these documents will be
used to produce hardware. These include TAPR OHL and CERN OHL.

You can just read the license texts and pick the one you think suits
your needs best.



[0] http://wiki.debian.org/DesertIslandTest
[1] http://ohwr.org/cernohl
[2] http://www.gnu.org/licenses/translations.html
[3] http://www.ohwr.org/projects/cernohl/wiki/Translations (only one
there so far, volunteers welcome!)

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