Rami Olwan

All About CyberLaw, Copyright and Developing Countries

Open-Source Hardware Standards Formally Issued

Late Tuesday, a group of signatories including Wired magazine editor and DIY Drones’ Chris Anderson, Phil Torrone of Make magazine, David Mellis of MIT Media Lab and Arduino, Limor Fried of Adafruit, and Ayah Bdeir of New York’s Eyebeam publicly issued a formal definition of open-source hardware.

The basic elements of the standards are as follows: documentation; necessary software; derived works; free redistribution; attribution; no discrimination against persons or groups; no discrimination against fields of endeavor; distribution of license; license must not be specific to a product; license must not restrict other hardware or software; and license must be technology-neutral.

That is a definition that might be considered familiar to many who have read much about free-software licensing.

The decision to issue the new standards stemmed from a meeting in March organized by Bdeir and attended by many of the endorsers and participants, as well as a lawyer from Creative Commons.

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