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Open-source hardware statement of principles and definition.

David MellisOctober 8th, 2010

Although Arduino has been doing open-source hardware for a while now, we haven’t had a good place to point people to explain what we mean by it. That’s starting to change, thanks to a recent effort I’ve been involved with to write up a statement of principles and definition for open-source hardware. We’ve just posted a new draft and are looking for public feedback. Here’s the statement of principles:

Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make and sell the design or hardware based on that design. The hardware’s source, the design from which it is made, is available in the preferred format for making modifications to it. Ideally, open source hardware uses readily-available components and materials, standard processes, open infrastructure, unrestricted content, and open-source design tools to maximize the ability of individuals to make and use hardware. Open source hardware gives people the freedom to control their technology while sharing knowledge and encouraging commerce through the open exchange of designs.

What do you think? Please share your comments here or on the Open Hardware Summit forum. We’re hoping to find language that’s specific to what we do, but understandable and acceptable to a broad audience.