CERN Open Hardware Licence v2 draft released

Dear all,

I have been working with Myriam Ayass and Andrew Katz on version 2 of the CERN Open Hardware Licence. A draft and all necessary documentation to make sense of it can be found here:

I believe it answers some of the questions that were raised during the discussion on legal/licensing matters in the last gathering. We are now opening the draft to comments in a wider community, in the hope that it can be exposed to use cases we did not think of and that we can use the discussion to improve the licence text.

If you have an interest in licensing and have a bit of time, please have a look and tell us what you think. Thanks in advance for your help,



Adding a permissive license under such a similar name worries me. People are often fairly lax about reading the details in licenses. I can imagine someone licensing under CERN-OHL-S, and someone else finding the CERN-OHL-P guidance.

  • GPL and LGPL look far more different than CERN-OHL-S and CERN-OHL-L
  • GPL and MIT even more so, whereas CERN-OHL-S and CERN-OHL-P again look so similar.

I know creative commons have lots of licences too, but I have met no end of people who either just say it is CC, or who are confused about what each thing means. Perhaps CERN-OHL, CERN-LOHL and CERN-POHL seems somewhat clearer?

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@Javier , it would be really excellent if someone involved in drafting the new version could write a brief review article for the Journal of Open Hardware about re-drafting the licence (collaboration strategies when working on the licence, considerations, challenges, summary of outcomes). Could you do this or point to someone who can?

I think it would be a good idea, when the time comes, after the release. The licence is a bit like an open source project itself! If we were to do this, @AndrewKatz should definitely be part of it. In the meantime, any comments about the licence proper are very welcome!

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