A couple of us from MAKE attended an inspirational meeting on Wednesday at Eyebeam in NYC with the most influential people in open source hardware including Limor Fried, Bunnie Huang (Chumby), and the Arduino team. Legal counsel from Creative Commons brought answers to many of our questions, and we discussed the future for open source hardware:

We all agree open sourcing hardware is important, and as practitioners, many of us have been involved in work, research and talks about it. To date, no universal “right solution” exists. While Creative Commons licenses are widely used for software, there is a growing number of groups using the licenses for hardware, without necessarily accounting for the difficulties and restrictions hardware imposes. In short, open source for hardware is not like open source for software, and thus cannot use the same legal tools.

The purpose of this workshop is to create a direct dialogue between Creative Commons and some of the most significant players in the Open Source Hardware Community . CC representatives will be sharing their perspectives while listening to the needs and perspectives of this community, in order to help form more appropriate licensing options for open hardware.

Thanks to Ayah Bdeir and Eyebeam for organizing/hosting. Pictured above is the group, and the FIRST ARDUINO EVER MADE, toted around in a box of prototypes by Massimo Banzi himself. Check out PT’s Flickr photos.