In the software world the FSF and the OSI both accept licenses as free/open. They also promote licenses for usage. In the hardware world some open source licenses have been created, like the TAPR Open Hardware License and the CERN Open Hardware License. But I can't find any institution accepting these licenses as open, keeping a list of them and promoting them. Does such an institution exist?


3 Answers 3


I think the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) is probably one of the top organizations out there. They are active in the open hardware movement, increasing awareness and spreading information about projects.

Quoting president Gabriel Levine,

OSHWA will continue to work together and with some advice from attorneys who are open to discussing some of the legal options and licenses available, compile some clarifying documents that can help companies and individual see what some legal options are available for producing and distributing open source hardware.

That said, I'm having trouble accessing their website right now, so I cannot get to said list. At the moment, this is technically a link-only answer (sort of). If someone could add the list on, that would be great. If not, and I continue to have computer difficulties, I will delete this answer.

EDIT (change as necessary): I followed your link to the OSHWA and found a definition of Open Hardware and in Best Practices is a section about Licensing, naming a few licenses, including normal OSS-licenses like GPL and BSD, Creative Commons-licenses and hardware-specific licenses like TAPR and CERN OHL.


I'm not sure I understand 100% but P2P Foundation is an instutition and posts their definition, license, and terms on their site.

OSHW by Freedom Defined is an example of promotion/definition:

OKFN's Open Design and Hardware Group also does something similar:


Projects using the CERN OHL:

On the CERN OHL website they have a list of projects using their license[4]. These projects include:

TAPR Open Hardware License > Adoption:

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