Open Hardware Creative Commons Draft

jon at jon at
Fri Jul 16 04:47:44 EDT 2010

<topPost />

This is a good time to call out the parts defined for Copyleft
Hardware. Copyleft Hardware is different from Open Source Hardware.
Open Source and Open Source HardWare are far too vague of terms to be
useful at this point, to describe what is necessary to free the
knowledge necessary to build both complete free hardware, business and
industry around something like the NanoNote, Milkymist, etc.

You can say your product is Qi hardware (aka, Copyleft Hardware) if it has:

    * Copyleft Plans (CC BY-SA): Plans to manufacture the device.
    * Copyleft Software (GPL): Software to use the device and to
construct it from the plans.
    * Public Patents (Public Patents): Patents free and clear for
technology on the device. (Patent-Free Technology)

The goal of Qi is to have 100% Copyleft Hardware.

Check out those pages on the

Of importance is to recognize that the more we post about our
innovations and technology on this wiki, we are making prior art on
our hardware. This is a great approach to transcending the patent
problem. More on that later.

The Open Source HardWare definition is super vague and not firm or
complete enough to be helpful for a major global movement, like
Qi/Copyleft Hardware. I know. I flew to the first meeting in NYC and
have been participating, ok, well, mostly observing now. I recommended
our approach to the problem quite vocally at the meetings on the
lists, but our path was not chosen. However, I firmly believe for a
really meaningful impact in this field, we need the same extremity
that RMS had with the GPL, but with the different beast, hardware.

Also, I don't think we need such a big detailed statement to really
determine what can be *open* hardware. The more details made, the
harder it becomes to make something innovative. More importantly, it
is great to be committed to the freeing of as much knowledge as
possible, around the creation, production, and use of qi hardware
projects and products.

So, its great to have this OSHW as a point for counterpoint. However,
I would ask us to consider: What about Qi Hardware and our
definitions? :)


On Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 11:26 AM, Werner Almesberger
<werner at> wrote:
> Carlos Camargo wrote:
>> I think that in the point 1 there is a missing feature:
> I think open tools and "open sourcing" are important. But I would
> rather put them into guidelines than mixing them with the license.
> A license should simply state what you allow to be done with your
> work. Whether your work is actually useful or not, is beyond the
> scope of the license. There are many ways to create useless work,
> depending on expensive tools or requiring unobtainable ingredients
> are but a few.
> Of course, every developer aiming to further openness should
> strive to make their work not only open but also relevant, and
> there are probably many cases where constrains that will cause
> problems further down the road are readily accepted because they
> seem harmless or unavoidable.
> In such cases, developers may appreciate guidance that makes them
> aware of the issues and that also enables them to make whatever
> transition is necessary to ultimately make their work more
> relevant.
> A license allowing derivative work also opens another door for
> making projects more relevant, namely by enabling others to solve
> issues the original developers may fail to perceive or to address.
> - Werner
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