Help me pick a license


I invented a board game, and after reading up on how to publish it and understanding how much time I would need to spend and how little gains I’m likely to get, I thought of open-sourcing it.

The game consists of a playing board and some 3-dimensional pieces that easily lend themselves to 3D printing. And of cause a set of rules.

Is there a license that I can use that allows people to 3D print the game, gift it to friends, and have fun, but not sell it or mass-produce it without paying me a part of the pie?

If such a license exists, can I just refer to that license and then share all the information online for everybody to use?

I’m not a native English speaker and trying to read and understand the (many) different licenses is hurting my brain, so any advice is very welcome.

Thank you.


There are licenses with non-commercial clauses, but in that case it wouldn’t meet the definition of open source hardware. You could use a copyleft (reciprocal) license which would allow for commercial use, but require that others distribute modifications under the same license. That would prevent others from creating proprietary derivatives of your design. You might take a look at something like the CERN-OHL-S.

We also have some information about the licensing process on the certification site. Once you’ve selected a license you’ll just note that the files are released under that license wherever you post the files. You can also use the open source license facts generator to create a label that lets people know what licenses you’re using.