What is the Source of Open Source Hardware

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* Article: What is the Source of Open Source Hardware. By Jeremy Bonvoisin (Creator) ; Kerstin Carola Schmidt (Data Collector). Journal of Open Hardware,

URL = https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk/en/datasets/openness-assessment-of-132-open-source-hardware-products


"What “open source” means once applied to tangible products has been so far exclusively addressed through the light of licensing. While this approach is adapted for software, it appears to be over-simplistic for complex hardware products. Whether such a product can be labelled as open source is not only a question of license but also a question of documentation, i.e. what is the information that sufficiently describes it? In other words, what is the “source” of open source hardware? To date there is no trivial answer to this question, leaving large room for interpretation in the usage of the term. Based on analysis of public documentation of 132 products, this paper provides an overview of how practitioners tend to interpret the concept of open source hardware. Results empirically confirm the existence of two main usages of the open source principles in the context of tangible products: publication of product-related documentation as a means to support community-based product development and to disseminate privately developed innovations. It also underlines the high variety of interpretations and even misuses of the concept of open source hardware. This reveals in turn that this concept may not even be clear to practitioners and calls for more narrowed down definitions of what has to be shared for a product to be called open source. Results gained by the analysis of current publication practice are summarized in the definition of an open source hardware lifecycle to contribute towards this effort." (https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk/en/datasets/openness-assessment-of-132-open-source-hardware-products)