Open Licensing

GOAT aims to encourage inventors to share their work in ways that allow others to use and modify them. When you publish your work online, consider using licensing to make sure that you are defining how you want to be credited for it, as well as what you intend to allow others to do with your designs. Here are some useful guides to licensing you may need for hardware, software, and other work like text and images you create.

Open Hardware

Open Hardware licensing guide from the Open Source Hardware Association.

“Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design. The hardware’s source, the design from which it is made, is available in the preferred format for making modifications to it.

Ideally, open source hardware uses readily-available components and materials, standard processes, open infrastructure, unrestricted content, and open-source design tools to maximize the ability of individuals to make and use hardware. Open source hardware gives people the freedom to control their technology while sharing knowledge and encouraging commerce through the open exchange of designs.”

Open software

Software that is made available to the public under an open license. It can be convenient to publish it in a repository such as GitHub. There are many open licenses and free licenses to choose from!

Creative Commons licensing and copyleft

Creative Commons is an organization that has defined various sharing licenses for free use by anyone. You can use their licenses to give permission for others to use your work.

“For over 20 years, Creative Commons has supported a global movement built on a belief in the power of open access to knowledge and creativity. From Wikipedia to the Smithsonian, organizations and individuals rely on our work to share billions of historic images, scientific articles, cultural artifacts, educational resources, music, and more!”