Open Hardware Certification Program

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"In 1997, Bruce Perens (creator of the Open Source Definition, co-founder of the Open Source Initiative, and a ham radio operator) launched the Open Hardware Certification Program (Perens 1997). The goal of the program was to allow hardware manufacturers to self-certify their products as open. This implied making a set of promises about the availability of documentation for programming the device-driver interface of a specific hardware device. The program was free and in exchange vendors of certified equipment had the right to apply the program’s open hardware logo to their packaging and to state in advertising that their devices were certified. In turn, those who bought certified equipment were assured that a change in operating system or even the demise of the manufacturer would not make it impossible to have new software written for their devices. The Open Hardware Certification Program was one of the first attempts at extending software’s open source practices to hardware and, as part of this effort, Perens trademarked ‘Open Hardware’ and the domain which he committed to the certification program." (