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2012-02-07 - 15:28:00 - by AlisonW - Topic: Hacks: Hardware |

The Wikipedia article on Open-source hardware has a good section on the issues around licensing. Just as there are a range of options for open software – indeed I wrote a post on my main blog yesterday on the issue – so hardware has issues of its own when it comes to being open source.

So when I found SolderPad earlier this afternoon I was interested in their list of licences, one of which looked especially interesting as it comes out of CERN: The CERN Open Hardware Licence .

But then I read the pre-amble and got annoyed. So I've sent a letter to the author of the licence asking them to amend the terminology.

The preamble comcludes: "... welcome to use the CERN OHL, in unmodified form only, for the distribution of his own Open Hardware designs."

Now, whilst it is certainly the case that many open hardware hackers and makers are men, a not inconsiderable number or not; we're women. Which makes the unnecessary use of 'his' in the preamble objectionable. As CERN, quite rightly, refer to "hardware designers" in the previous sentence then "... for the distribution of the designer's own Open Hardware designs" would be an improvement, though my own preference would be to acknowledge that 'designers' may be plural not singular, and so use "... for the distribution of their own Open Hardware designs". This would be grammatically correct for all numbers and genders and not just solo men.

I shall await a response!



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