[cc-community] Seeking open hardware advice
jefro at jefro.net
Thu Aug 19 20:45:33 EDT 2010
I am trying to find out the logical differences among open-source licenses,
partly because I should know after this many years in the field, and partly
because I would like to advise a hardware project on the best methods for
both licensing and copyrighting their materials.
The project is a small ARM-based single-board computer (
http://beagleboard.org). The intent of the provider is that the board be
"totally open", meaning OK to download the plans and modify, even to create
commercial products, with attribution. They prefer that their logo not be a
part of any derived works. That is basically it. These guys are TI
engineers doing this project on their own time and get nothing from it other
than the joy of helping to spread embedded systems love to the world.
The website from which these materials flows also has a CC-BY-SA logo on the
home page. There is a set of detailed design drawings (with no copyright
marks) and a system reference guide (with a CC-BY-SA logo on the front).
The "license" page itself contains just the disclaimer portion of a slightly
modified BSD license, although as I said, that license does not appear in
the materials themselves. The maintainers have considered and rejected the
new Open Hardware License due to clause 3, which requires derived works to
maintain the same license - they don't want to put that restriction on the
So, in other words, the docs & materials are CC-BY-SA while the IP that
defines the board is BSD-like. From what I have read, I believe what they
need to do is:
(1) put the CC-BY-SA logo on every page of all materials, drawings,
documentation, etc. and on every page of the website
(2) state in the front of each set of materials, drawings, documentation,
etc. the language of the BSD-like license and what is covered by it - the
specific ideas as expressed in the drawings and materials
I would really like to help them get their licensing correct as the first
step to forming a "real" dot-org. Am I on the right path?
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