[time-nuts] TAPR Open HArdware License -- Public Comment Period

John Ackermann N8UR jra at febo.com
Mon Feb 12 11:51:27 EST 2007

Hi all --

For the last several months, I've been working, as a TAPR project, to 
develop an open-source-like license for hardware projects.  We've 
recently posted a 0.9 version for public comment, and welcome your input.

The license is aimed at "real" hardware (the stuff you solder on) rather 
than firmware, VHDL, or other software-like elements.  There are 
significant differences in the legal approach you need to take with 
hardware, and this agreement is aimed at those differences.  As far as 
we know, this is the first attempt to create an open source framework 
around hardware.

You can download the TAPR Open Hardware License from 

While I'm happy for comments however I receive them, there is a 
discussion forum at http://technocrat.net/OHL and I'd prefer to get 
input there so the discussion can be open.  The public comment period 
ends on March 7.

(In addition to the OHL, we've created a companion license, the TAPR 
Noncommercial Hardware License, that is identical except that it limits 
products to non-commercial use.  While that's not completely consistent 
with Open Source models, the fact that it costs real money to offer 
boards, kits, or complete products led us to think this would be 
valuable in some situations.)

I really look forward to comments from all quarters.



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