Open Hardware and Design Alliance

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"The Open Hardware and Design Alliance (OHANDA) aims at encouraging the sharing of open hardware and designs. The core of the project is a free online service where manufacturers of Open hardware and designs can register their products with a common label. This label maps the four freedoms of Free Software to physical devices and their documentation. It is similar to a non-registered trademark for hardware and can be compared to other certificates such as U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or CE mark. OHANDA thus has the role of a self-organized registration authority." (


"In July 2009, at the Grounding Open Source Hardware summit held at the Banff Center, a group of participants created the Open Hardware Design Alliance (OHANDA). One of the project’s first goals was to launch a service for open hardware design based on a certification and registration model (OHANDA)⁠. OHANDA thus created a label, in the sense of trademark, which stands for the Four Freedoms derived from the Free Software movement and adapted to hardware: the freedom to use the device for any purpose; the freedom to study how the device works and change it (access to the complete design is precondition to this); the freedom to redistribute the device and/or design (remanufacture); the freedom to improve the device and/or design, and release improvements (and modified versions in general) to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

Designers who wish to apply the OHANDA label to their projects begin by registering with the organization and in this way accept OHANDA’s terms and conditions, that is, they grant their products’ users the four freedoms the organization stands for. Creators can then register their designs and receive a unique product ID, the OKEY. The OHANDA label and the OKEY are subsequently printed/engraved on each copy of the device. This way the link to the documentation and to the contributors travels with the physical device itself and makes it a visible piece of open source hardware — with the OHANDA registration key on the product the user will be linked back to the designer, the product description, design artifacts and the public domain or copyleft license through OHANDA’s web based service. Through this process OHANDA seeks to: make public sufficient information to test/reproduce the device; collect information on new innovation; ensure openness; make the description/documentation publicly accessible; protect common knowledge; make the standard generic, universal, simple; create a venue for time-stamping, quality control & trust (Neumann and Powell 2011)⁠." (


The Open Hardware and Design Alliance has rewritten the four freedoms of free software as follows to match them to hardware resp. hardware documentation:

  • Freedom 1: The freedom to use the device for any purpose.
  • Freedom 2: The freedom to study how the device works and change it to make it to do what you wish. Access to the complete design is precondition to this.
  • Freedom 3: Redistribute the device and/or design (remanufacture).
  • Freedom 4: The freedom to improve the device and/or design, and release ...