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14

To answer your question with a question: "Can you build the firmware without needing to violate the copyright or trade secret protection of the target hardware?' The answer to this question is the answer to your question. So, if the target hardware is 'just an ARM chip with a conventional boot process', sure, you can write new code for it. One tricky part ...


13

You'll have to start by defining what your 'source' is. Data-sheets are usually not restricted, but only the author contributes to it. If you make your data-sheets a shared effort, you are already well on your way. Of-course, you can expand this to all documentation. Second would be the actual hardware. Do you want your contributors to have a say in what ...


9

Yes. 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....


7

TL;DR The .CAD model would be characterized as artistic, even if it is not exactly what people would expect as "art". The act of 3D-printing the object would be characterized as a Reproduction in the terms of the license. Yes, the license to the design does carry over onto the object that was created based on the design. But it barely manages to ...


7

The Open Source Hardware Association has a list of guidelines that should be met to call a project Open Source Hardware. Electronics is different from source code in that circuits themselves cannot be copyrighted (can anyone suggest references on this point?) while all material around them, such as design files, can be. Things are further complicated ...


6

If you mean computer hardware, then yes, communities exist. The problem is that writing hardware is not nearly as intuitive as writing software, debugging is a much more involved process, and writing comprehensive test suites is far more important. Essentially, the problem is that most of the people writing open source hardware have only a software ...


6

Yes, open source sewing patterns exist, but there aren't many. A search for "creative commons sewing pattern" yields several hits, and "open source sewing pattern" yields a few more. I won't link them here because you can easily find them yourself. EDIT: Here's an example: www.silverseams.com/opensource. It's a blog so I can't guarantee that the link ...


6

I suggest taking a look at EOMA68 computer cards. They're expected to receive RYF certification, and you can order a desktop housing kit to go with yours.


6

If you have not already, read through Producing Open Source Software and/or The Open Source Way - they have lots of good information about all of the things that people tend to forget when running an open-source project (that is, everything other than the code). One thing I don't see mentioned in your list at all is the subject of licensing. This is likely ...


5

To add to bmargulies's answer you need to consider that firmware is a special breed of software. Firmware, by it's definition, runs on special-purpose hardware. This hardware platform may have highly proprietary components (ASICs for example, or special sensors, etc). Firmware is very intimately aware of that hardware, and usually developed with access to ...


5

The answer is a bit convoluted and I don't claim to understand all of the subtleties. I think the answer is, essentially: No, you cannot copyright clothing designs Yes, you can copyright design patterns, as they are pictures or design files Taken from copyright.gov: A “useful article” is an object having an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not ...


5

Firmware is nothing more than software that lives on a difficult to write to medium. Just as you can can run free software on non-free processors, for example Linux on an Intel i5 processor, you can run free firmware on non-free processors.


5

The aim of the LGPL license is that people can replace the LGPL code in a larger project, without requiring that the complete source code of the larger project is disclosed. I am not familiar with how HDL works for FPGA design, but the LGPL requires that you release the modified LGPL HDL code under the LGPL license you release the rest of the full project ...


4

The essential principles of open-sourcing hardware and software remain the same: primarily, to ensure everyone has the right to use and reuse what you've created. You do, however, need to pick (or make - though that's not recommended) a license that will apply well to both software and hardware. Hardware has the difference of being rather, well, physical, ...


4

The official website containing the documentation can be found here. It seems that they have not made official documentation yet. However, The article you linked to, is over a year and a half old. Since then numerous other articles have been released saying it is now fully open source: First Totally Open Source Software Open source laptop Fully open ...


4

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 ...


4

Trivially, a mouse can't be free software, because a mouse is not software. So what other questions could this be? Can a mouse's drivers be free and or open source software? Can a mouse's design be free/open? Can a mouse's firmware be free/open? To all questions, the answer is, obviously, yes, it can be. If there exist "advanced" mice with non-free ...


4

You seem to be misunderstanding a fairly fundamental point about open source licenses: they are just a license to use something, like any other license. The default position (at least in any country which is a signatory to the Berne Convention, which includes the Dominican Republic) is that only the copyright holder can make use of a piece of intellectual ...


4

Most modern hardware designs are a combination of both hardware and software and like anything we create, both the hardware and software components can be covered by copyright. According to wikipedia :- HDL modules, when distributed, are called semiconductor intellectual property cores, also known as IP cores. There have been several licenses designed ...


4

How would [the LGPL] work in the case of an FPGA design? It doesn't. At least, not very well. You've correctly identified the problem with this license construction. The only situation I can think of where the LGPL might be usefully applied to an FPGA design would be in a design that uses dynamic reconfiguration. In particular, this might be relevant to ...


3

I ended up choosing the GPL / LGPL for hardware, too. I asked this question on some other sites and the following answer was spot on: I spent quite a bit of time looking into this, and there is not really a useful solution. For some general background try https://www.publicknowledge.org/news-blog/blogs/open-source-hardware-and-law1 In a nutshell, ...


3

You're thinking along the right lines but I think you're minifying the scope of your actual problem toward running a "wholly free system": GPUs have proprietary firmwares (many required even for free drivers to work) CPUs ship with firmware "microcode" (which can be updated) which are often closed source. Common BIOSes are rubbish for being free (though ...


3

A mouse's design can be free or not free. Software inside of a mouse can be free or not free. This is not related to your ability to use it. There are standard protocols for USB 'human interface' devices. So, I can build a mouse around a microcontroller, and I can load that microcontroller with 100% not free microcode, and I can sell it and it will work ...


3

I'm not sure I understand 100% but P2P Foundation is an instutition and posts their definition, license, and terms on their site. http://p2pfoundation.net/Open_Hardware_Licenses OSHW by Freedom Defined is an example of promotion/definition: http://freedomdefined.org/OSHW OKFN's Open Design and Hardware Group also does something similar: http://design....


3

Open source hardware means that the designs and specifications (shape, size, materials, contruction methods) are open source. This could be one or several of various available formats: technical drawings written instructions HDL source code circuit diagrams/schematics integrated circuit layout data In the case of hardware, open source means that the ...


3

I've just discovered the FSF Guide on Free Hardware. It appears to provide just enough information to make some informed decisions on hardware.


2

Open sourcing generally means releasing the format that you designed the hardware in. For hardware this would be circuit diagrams, trace design, blueprints. Things like that. If you previously took out a patent on it then you would provide the patent as well along with a license for people to use the patent freely.


2

I'm not too sure if you're thinking of competition from other companies or from individuals producing their own parts, but it doesn't make too much difference really. Just because the designs are open source doesn't mean everyone will prefer to make the parts than buy them. Hobby 3D printers and CNC milling are of much lesser quality than professional/...


2

Many open source products are often crowd funded. This means making a profit from selling it is not the goal of the company. Although if they do want to make money selling parts, they could do this by manufacturing difficult parts that the average manufacturer could not make.


2

The concepts of Open source can be applied to other fields, with some minor modifications. Well known is creative commons adapting open source for the arts. Open source hardware also exists. It usually involves, that the blueprints to build the hardware are available under a license that follows the ideas of open source. Actually many projects choose an ...


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