The cornerstone of the "Open Source" philosophy is that recipients of technology should have access to all its building blocks, such as software code, schematics for electronics, mechanical designs, to study it, modify it, and redistribute it to others. Ever since releasing the WWW software under an open source model in 1994, CERN has continuously been a pioneer in this field: open source hardware (with the CERN Open Hardware Licence), Open Access (with the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics - SCOAP3) and Open Data (Open Data Portal for the LHC experiments).

CERN Open Hardware Licence

CERN Open Hardware Licence (OHL) is a legal framework to facilitate knowledge exchange across the electronic design community.

Version 1.2 of the Licence, written by Myriam Ayass, legal adviser of CERN’s Knowledge Transfer Group, was issued in September 2013.

In the spirit of knowledge and technology dissemination, the CERN OHL was created to govern the use, copying, modification and distribution of hardware design documentation, and the manufacture and distribution of products. Hardware design documentation includes schematic diagrams, designs, circuit or circuit-board layouts, mechanical drawings, flow charts and descriptive texts, as well as other explanatory material.

Version 1.0 of the CERN OHL was published in March 2011 on the Open Hardware Repository (OHR), the creation of electronic designers led by CERN engineer Javier Serrano, working in experimental-physics laboratories who felt the need to enable knowledge-exchange across a wide community and in line with the ideals of "open science" being fostered by organizations such as CERN.

 

MORE INFORMATION:

CERN OHL: www.ohwr.org/cernohl (link is external).
Open Hardware Repository (link is external).
CERN Press Release.
Article on CERN Courier: Hardware joins the open movement
Article on the Bulletin: CERN releases new version of open hardware licence
Earlier article in the Bulletin: Open hardware for open science

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