[Discuss] Publish OSHW with CC0?

Javier Serrano Javier.Serrano at cern.ch
Wed Nov 5 12:31:49 UTC 2014

On 11/05/2014 01:05 PM, Wouter Tebbens wrote:

> But replicating copyleft in hardware is clearly much harder as Alicia
> says. Copyright based licenses may apply to documentation, design files
> etc, but do not prevent people to reuse that information in
> non-free/-open hardware, as the hardware itself is not protected.

This is exactly the same in free software. I can take ideas from the
source code of emacs and write my own proprietary editor. Because the
task for writing an editor from scratch is not trivial, I will think
twice and probably decide to contribute whatever new feature I want to
emacs itself. The power of copyleft grows with the complexity of the
sources it protects, and is nearly zero for trivial work. The same
happens with hardware. While hardware is definitely different from
software, I think there is a large family of hardware (that manufactured
from copyrightable design files) where this difference is not so big.

There is (at least) one respect in which the non-copyrightability of
hardware leads to an undesirable outcome, and that is our inability to
fully guarantee that, under all circumstances, should the original
designer wish so, recipients of open hardware always get access to the
design files. Copyleft does that for software: if you get the binary you
can always have access to the sources. We did our best in CERN OHL v1.2
using the concept of "Documentation Location Notice", inspired by Eli
Greenbaum's paper on 3D-printing [1], but I am very interested in any
other ways of tackling this important problem, hopefully not involving




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