I was reading a previously asked question, Can I distribute related software and hardware under the same license?, and then it occurred to me that hardware might have patents.

Does this mean that you can't release hardware under, let's say, a Creative Commons license?


1 Answer 1



Examples include:

  • Chumby HDK1
  • The TAPR Open Hardware License1
  • The MIT License2
  • Various BSD licenses2
  • Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 and Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.02
  • GPL2

Note that the last four can also be used for software. None of the examples given are exclusively for hardware, with the exception of the TAPR Open Hardware License.

So you can, in fact, release hardware under a Creative Commons license!

1 This was given as an example here, though not necessarily endorsed.
2 These were described and compared here.

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