Group proposes open-hardware standard

A group of companies and engineers has published a draft proposed Open Source Hardware (OSHW) Definition.

The group has published an early draft of its proposed Open Source Hardware (OSHW) Definition, inviting others to endorse the effort. In drafting the definition, the group has taken advice from John Wilbanks, vice president of science at Creative Commons, a group that has defined a number of licences commonly used online to allow users to share and adapt copyrighted works.

The definition, currently at version 0.3, demands that compliant hardware be released with documentation that includes design files and the designs must allow modification and distribution of the files. The design files cannot be printer-ready copper artwork but designs that allow ready modification in a computer-aided design (CAD) program.

Backers of the OSHW include companies such as Adafruit, Arduino, Bug Labs and MakerBot, which make hardware for electronics enthusiasts that allow modifications and additions.

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