Opening Hardware


We all agree open sourcing hardware is important, and as practitioners, many of us have been involved in work, research and talks about it. To date, no universal “right solution” exists. While Creative Commons licenses are widely used for software, there is a growing number of groups using the licenses for hardware, without necessarily accounting for the difficulties and restrictions hardware imposes. In short, open source for hardware is not like open source for software, and thus cannot use the same legal tools.

The purpose of this workshop is to create a direct dialogue between Creative Commons and some of the most significant players in the Open Source Hardware Community . CC representatives will be sharing their perspectives while listening to the needs and perspectives of this community, in order to help form more appropriate licensing options for open hardware.


This workshop was organized by Ayah Bdeir (littleBits founder, Eyebeam senior fellow) with John Wilbanks (VP Science, Creative Commons) and Thinh Nguyen (Legal Counsel, Creative Commons).

Additional support by Ted Ullrich and Celine Assaf


Download the event document here

Slides of John Wilbanks here

Slides of Thinh Nguyen here



Videos cover the first half of the workshop: presentations by John Wilbanks and Thinh Nguyen of Creative Commons. John Wilbanks shares Creative Common’s background, structure and roles. Thinh Nguyen provides an overview of intellectual property tools and rights tailored for groups creating open source hardware.





Make: Open Hardware @ Eyebeam, by Becky Stern

Common Knowledge Blog Post: Open Hardware, by John Wilbanks

Adafruit Industries Blog Post: The first Arduino ever made

To see the slideshow of the event, click here