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In response to CERN's Call for Comments LWN.net currently discusses improvements to the CERN OHL licence.
Note that firstname.lastname@example.org is the official mailing list where the CERN Open Hardware Licence is discussed and that is guaranteed to be followed by the relevant people. Fortunately the most interesting messages from LWN.net are transmitted to this official mailing list.
Thanks to all the feedback we have received on the CERN OHL v.1.1, we have made a few revisions and are now submitting the CERN OHL v.1.2 for comments and feedback (see text of the licence at http://www.ohwr.org/documents/144). The main changes were introduced in article 3 of the licence.
One point in particular is still under discussion and concerns article 3.3(e) – attempting to send modifications to the Licensors whose design was modified and those who requested it. On the one hand questions of practicalities arise – does every minor modification/debugging need to be sent to everyone? – while on the other it may be perceived as a fair return, for contributors, to be notified of modifications that were made. Your input and suggestions on this point are most welcome!
Another point which we would like also to consider is the question of compatibility with other licences.
David Mellis (of the Arduino team)had made the following suggestion:
"what about the possibility of aligning this license with the TAPR one, so that they could, for example, serve as localized versions of the same license? The licenses seem very similar in intent and approach (at least to a legally-naive reader) - it would be great if we didn't have to worry about choosing between them. At a minimum, maybe there's a way to allow for compatibility between them (i.e. the ability to combine TAPR OHL-licensed documentation with CERN OHL-licensed documentation)?
We hope to make the CERN OHL v.1.2 practical to use for anyone, so let us know if you think there are other points that could be improved as well.
In his New Year's presentation 2012 to all CERN's personnel, CERN Director General Rolf Heuer devoted one slide on the CERN Open Hardware Licence.
The slide reads:
Implementing new IP schemes
to bridge the gap between CERN and society¶
CERN Open Hardware Licence¶
A legal framework to facilitate knowledge exchange
across the electronic design community.
Version 1.1 of the Licence was issued in July 2011.
In the spirit of knowledge and technology dissemination,
the CERN OHL was created to govern the use, copying,
modification and distribution of hardware design documentation,
and the manufacture and distribution of products
Knowledge Transfer | Accelerating Innovation
The German start-up company Tinkerforge explains its modular hardware kit at http://youtu.be/3DwzskCmTgE
According to their Press release, they have chosen the CERN Open Hardware License for their designs.
The fine folks at Gizmo For You have decided to use CERN OHL to license all their designs. Check out their site for a list of nice projects and a very interesting business model.
"Four months after launching the alpha version, CERN has today issued version 1.1 of the Open Hardware Licence (OHL), a legal framework to facilitate knowledge exchange across the electronic design community." More info here.
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