Public Lab Research note

PLOTS adoption of the CERN Open Hardware License

by warren | March 09, 2012 20:00 09 Mar 20:00 | #913 | #913

Hello Public Labbers and Grassroots Mappers!

To date, the documentation and open science literature we've made as a community has been published under a Creative Commons ShareAlike license, allowing anyone to reuse, remix, adapt, improve, and redistribute our works. Today, the PLOTS Web working group would like to propose that we as a community adopt a separate license for our hardware designs, and after much consultation, we'd like to adopt the CERN Open Hardware License.

There are many reasons why this is more appropriate for our collaborative hardware designs, but, importantly, it is the closest to our existing license, but with specific provisions for protecting open hardware designs. A good license is intended to protect your ability to build upon the works of others, and to share your own work in a similarly open manner. Licensing may seem boring, but it is the legal backbone of how we collaborate.

What this means for you

We're now asking everyone who's contributed to hardware designs in the Public Lab community to agree to re-release their work under the new license. Nobody is requiring you to agree; however, in order to successfully "switch over", we will need 100% of the contributors for a given project (such as the infrared camera or the thermal flashlight) to sign their agreement. We're starting with those who have published on the website, but really we'd like to reach anyone who's contributed, and we'll need everyone to pitch in to get there.

How to sign the agreement

You can read even more about the background & reasoning, and most importantly, fill out the form to re-license your contributions at this URL:

Please forward it along to anyone you know who has contributed to PLOTS open hardware designs -- we really will need everyone on board to make this happen! If you can help to get the word out, there is sample email here to encourage others to sign:

If you have concerns or suggestions or think this is the wrong move for us as a community, please speak up! We'd prefer to have a discussion here on the mailing list but you can of course email me or the list directly if you wish.

I think this is an exciting moment for us, and one which will lay a solid foundation for our open science community for years to come.



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