Mach 30 Open Design Pledge

DRAFT – v0.1

Preface

This pledge is a distillation of several sources of material.  The most recent of which is John Wilbanks’ presentation (video here and starts at 8:30 in).  In his presentation, John Wilbanks makes three important points about openly licensing hardware.  First, “open source hardware” is a commons, but maybe the not kind we think.  Instead of one commons, it is really a set of commons.  Second, as a result of this view, openly licensing hardware is not as straight forward as software, and maybe the answer is to focus on norms instead of licensing, and use the licenses that are available already where applicable.  To that end, this pledge is a statement of the norms and application of licenses for Mach 30 projects.  Lastly, all new licenses in the open hardware arena are like “uncompiled code” until tested in the courts, so it is difficult to tell what will actually work in terms of licensing open hardware.

  1. Introduction
    The intellectual property rights involved in licensing open design hardware, also called open source hardware and open hardware, are complex and cross many legal boundaries.  Most physical products developed today involve embedded and/or companion software, and include documentation.  These are all examples of copyrighted works, the licensing of which are well covered by existing open source software licenses and the Creative Commons.  Then there is the question of patents and inventions, which require registration with government agencies and involve permission to make, use, and sell products.  Instead of attempting to develop a single license that captures all of these complications, Mach 30 instead makes this pledge, with specific implementation details below:  In order to promote open sharing of the design of its hardware projects, Mach 30 will license all material related to hardware projects it creates under open licenses, asking only for attribution in return, without limits on the making, using, or selling of that hardware.
  2. Disclaimer of Warranty and Limitation of Liability
    Mach 30, and its contributors, provide all materials related to Mach 30 hardware projects As-Is and make no warranty, expressed or implied, about the hardware or its software or its documentation, per the licenses specified below.  Similarly, Mach 30, and its contributors, are not liable for any damages related to the use or misuse of Mach 30 hardware projects per the licenses specified below.
  3. Permission to make, use, and sell
    Permission is granted to all users to make, use, or sell the hardware developed by Mach 30.
  4. Software
    Unless otherwise noted, software developed in support of Mach 30 hardware projects (including embedded systems, applications, and all other types of software) is licensed under the Apache License 2.0.  Note:  Mach 30 may include third party software in its hardware projects, and this third party software may be licensed under other approved open source licenses.  Mach 30 may also develop software that is derived from third party software, in which case, the license of the originating software will be the license used for the derivative software.  These and any other exceptions will always be clearly noted in the project’s documentation.
  5. Other Copyrighted Works
    Unless otherwise noted, all other copyrighted works developed in support of Mach 30 hardware projects (including documentation, drawings, plans, art, etc) is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.  Note:  Mach 30 may include third party copyrighted works in its hardware projects, and these third party works may be licensed under other approved Creative Commons licenses.  Mach 30 may also develop works that are derived from third party works, in which case, the license of the originating work will be the license used for the derivative work.  These and any other exceptions will always be clearly noted in the project’s documentation.
  6. All Other Material
    All other material developed in support of Mach 30 hardware projects is released to the Public Domain.  This includes, but is not limited to patentable inventions and test data.
  7. Request for attribution
    The selection of licenses associated with Mach 30 projects is intended to ensure that proper attribution is given to Mach 30 for the development of its hardware projects.  Mach 30 requests, but recognizes it cannot enforce, similar attribution for the materials it submits to the Public Domain.
  8. Statement concerning ITAR/Export restricted material
    The nature of the work of Mach 30, and its relationship to spaceflight, means that many of Mach 30’s hardware projects will fall under the jurisdiction of ITAR and other export restrictions.  As long as this remains true, when material is ITAR/Export restricted, this pledge is limited to sharing material within those restrictions.

Sources:

Apache License 2.0, John Wilbanks’ OSHW Summit Presentation, Creative Commons Licenses, TAPR OHL, CSTART Social Contract, Open Design Definition

Questions or Comments are welcome below.

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