The Open Source Hardware Definition has reached a major milestone, hitting version 1.0 with this morning’s announcement by the Open Hardware Summit team. This is remarkable news for all involved in the development of Open Source Hardware (OSHW), as this really exciting community had been growing by leaps and bounds in the last couple of years, but had no single, unified symbol that different development shops could rally under.
Now, with the Definition having reached 1.0, and a logo soon to be announced to stamp hardware and project websites, the hardware crowd will be able to rally under flags similar to Tux the penguin and Beastie the daemon — not to mention the Open Source Definition and the GPL. As a Free/Open Source Software dude regularly cheerleading the Open Hardware crowd, I am impressed at how fast this young community came this far, as the 0.3 draft was circulated at the Open Hardware Summit last September in New York.
The Definition is not meant as a license, it rather mirrors the Open Source Definition that we are so familiar with — and indeed, a very energetic Bruce Perens was one of the opening speakers of the Summit last year, and has been actively commenting on the forums on the different drafts. Similarly to the Open Source Definition, the Open hardware definition is an umbrella meant to cover a number of differing licenses, all requiring the “source” (in this case, unobfuscated designs) of the board to be made available with the hardware as a minimum precondition.
Community members are invited to spread the word by blogging, tweeting (#OSHW), endorsing the definition, contributing designs to the logo contest, and, of course, labeling their work as OSHW 1.0.
This is a very exciting moment for the open culture movement in general, as yet another field of knowledge comes organized in the copyleft / CC / Some Rights Reserved approach.