Paying designers


In the case of CERN or other commercial application of the licence, how do hardware designers get paid? As employees?
In most cases, is the company issuing the licence or is it individuals?


The licence is independent from any methods for retribution. In particular case of CERN employees, yes, we are paid a salary by CERN and CERN is the copyright holder of the designs we do for work. Other employers may do things differently, but again, the licence makes no assumptions and has no say on these aspects. The CERN OHL is not different from mainstream Free/Open Source software licences in that regard.


Ok, drifting a bit from the original question, are there some hardware designers acting as in the software world where individuals get together and create very powerful solutions?

If it hasn’t started yet, and I hope it has, the question of individual hardware designers getting paid is not yet relevant. But I may lack the broader picture. The interesting thing in open hardware is that you always have a product to sell, so ideally everyone can get paid. That and easier tools to design could make open hardware “beat” (offer an attractive alternative to) the current model because of its ease of process.


Yes, of course there are collaborative efforts out there, and the question of how to sustain things financially is a hot topic in many of these collaborations, but this is outside the scope of our licensing effort. If you are interested in this matter, you may want to join this discussion in the GOSH forum:




Thank you for the link :)
Yes it’s convenient that the licence does not specify a usage in terms of “business”. I’m using it (and waiting for the 2.0) to build a system paying designers.