Public Lab Research note

Report back on Creative Commons Sensor licensing workshop

by liz | October 22, 2014 16:37 22 Oct 16:37 | #11291 | #11291

To evaluate current open hardware licensing and explore gaps specifically facing distributed sensor technology and its data integrity, Creative Commons drafted a white paper and a held one day conference (Monday 20 at NYU Law). This effort was supported by Sloane Foundation.

Public Lab folks in the conversation: @LilyBui (also wearing MIT researcher hat), @donblair (remotely).

Creative Commons Science Hardware: Goal


"Massively-distributed, sensor-based hardware can revolutionize behavioral, environmental and public health data collection. However, a lack of clarity, custom and choices regarding the intellectual property (IP) of hardware poses challenges for hardware developers limiting collaboration and reuse.

Funded by a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, we are evaluating the available open licensing options for their strengths and weaknesses, with an emphasis on distributed sensing hardware. Our goal is to produce a whitepaper that will become the authoritative reference for open hardware developers when choosing their licensing strategy."

Creative Commons Science Hardware: Objectives

The draft paper and presentation are embedded here:

NB: the paper is in draft format and is NOT CITABLE YET.

Notes from the day are here (they should be embedded in the above URL soon):

Debated topics during the workshop

  • establishing trust in large-scale decentralized data collection efforts, and
  • the Defensive Patent License for open source hardware, which operates by creating a set of viral, bilateral obligations focused on preventing offensive patent litigation and promoting freedom to operate and innovate.


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