The concept of "open-source hardware" is not yet as well known or widespread as the free software or open-source software concept. However, it shares the same principles: anyone should be able to see the source (the design documentation in case of hardware), study it, modify it, share it and distribute it.
In addition, if modifications are made and distributed, it must be under the same licence conditions. The license ensures that the whole community will continue benefiting from improvements.
At Wikifab, we want to give you the possibility to choose the appropriate legal framework for your open source projects. To do so, you can choose between the fourth most popular OSHW licenses. Our vision of licenses is constantly evolving so feel free to share your thoughts and expect many necessary improvements.
Licenses for your projects
You can choose to distribute your tutorials among one of the fourth following free licenses:
What am I free to do with these licenses?
While each of these licenses have their own terms, here is a summary:
You are free to:
- Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
- Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
for any purpose, even commercially.
What is my interest in publishing my tutorials under these licenses?
Today, most of the knowledge required to make a product are inaccessible by their complexity or are "protected" by patents. By sharing freely the documentation of your product, you allow citizens to make things by themselves and no longer depend on a particular industry. The inventions of mankind belong to all!
Moreover, even if you are the best engineer in the world, sharing your recipes enable collaboration and improve your product.
If you're still not convinced, we invite you to watch this video with Nathan Seidle of SparkFun Electronics explaining the principles and challenges of open source hardware well better than us!
Might I lose my content if someone makes an undesirable change?
Don't worry, whatever the changes made, you can find all versions of all the tutorials in the "History" page. Any version can be roll-backed by anyone at anytime. Here is how history works.
Moreover, when checking the "Watch this page" box at the bottom of the modification page of a tutorial, you can track changes made by another contributor. You can then discuss with the community on the discussion page if you think that the modifications are not relevant.