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

John Ackermann N8UR jra at febo.com
Mon Feb 12 12:11:58 EST 2007

Thanks for that pointer, Dave; I ran across that link early on. 
Unfortunately, that project appears never to have gone anywhere.  Note 
that the page was last updated in 2000!

I also looked at the Freedom CPU license referenced there.  It appears 
to have been dead since 2000 as well.  It appears to focus mainly on 
semiconductor design, which raises a bunch of different issues (much 
more like software and copyright) than traditional hardware.  And, 
unfortunately, the published draft is more discussion points than actual 
license wording.  (There may very well be a good reason to develop a 
license for VHDL and similar hardware description works since they don't 
totally fit into the software license model, but that's not what the OHL 
tried to do.)

David Andersen wrote:
> http://www.opencollector.org/hardlicense/
> On Feb 12, 2007, at 11:51 AM, John Ackermann N8UR wrote:
>> 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
>> http://www.tapr.org/OHL.
>> 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.
>> Thanks,
>> John
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