back to list - yml - json - text - edit License
The Balloon Open Hardware License v0.2
  • Copyright (c) 2006 2007 iTechnic Ltd
  • iTechnic Ltd
The Balloon Open Hardware License (BOHL)
Version 0.2 For Discussion
The Text of this License is Copyright (c) 2006 2007 iTechnic Ltd
Permission is granted to copy this license unmodified and use it to protect Open Hardware

This license agreement covers hardware designed, manufactured and distributed on an open basis.
The license outlines the Terms and Conditions placed on the use of the design. When licensing
Open Hardware it is important to note that there is a significant distinction between Open
Hardware and Open Software particularly with respect to both the design process and the
replication process.
Firstly the design and replication of hardware is different because there are intermediate steps in
the processes that are valuable in their own right. Secondly the process of replication can involve
considerable time, cost and expertise. For these reasons it is not appropriate to simply transfer
licenses that have validity in the software domain (such as the GPL) to the hardware domain.
This license is intended to establish an Open Design approach in the hardware domain while
building in practical safeguards, which are necessary for the design and manufacture of hardware,
where manufacturers take a financial and legal risk when replicating Open Hardware and where
the physical product must conform to approvals if its sale is to be legal. It is also important to
protect designers from issues of liability particularly as many designers may be working as
individuals and therefore not protected by an employer.
The license is written to apply to any type of hardware produced using an Open Hardware design
process. It has originated from the Balloon Project ( but the license can be
freely applied to any Open Hardware.
In order to augment the text of the license it is accompanied by Notes and Appendices. The
notes help to provide interpretation and guidance within the text of the license and the
appendices contain more detailed discussions about the operation of the license and detail the
types of Manufacturing Information and Design Documentation that might be provided as a part
of any Open Hardware Design. The notes do not form part of the License but are intended to
clarify the intention of the license. The Appendices are intended to provide uniformity to the way
that hardware designs are released and managed when using this license.
{Notes occur in the text of the License between curly brackets and in italics}

The purpose of this license is to protect the designers of the hardware from any form of litigation
resulting from its design, manufacture, distribution or use. 
It is also the purpose of this license to ensure that the design remains Open in the sense detailed
in the license and that manufacturers, distributors, and users are obliged to adhere to the Open
principles of the design and to protect their rights to access the design as specified in the license.