I’m fan of free software, I’m also a Micro-electronic engineer, sometimes I wish I could apply the free software philosophy to some hardware projects.
Well I could just applying some nice licence to some design and publish it. For hacking this works, just look at Arduino‘s success !
And there are plenty of other examples :
- Here is a list published end 2008 by makezine.com: Open source hardware 2008 – The definitive guide to open source hardware projects in 2008
- I also like the adafruit.com and ladyada.net approach. One site is commercial and selling the open source projects described on the other.
I think one great part of the success is related to the fact that you can do it yourself.
Now if you consider bigger projects like FPGA/ASIC design, it seams harder, well yes you loose the ‘do-it-yourself’ fun, and you compete with big companies, but still there are some examples:
Ok this is possible, now let’s go further, how do I choose my licence ?