Simple Question about Open Source Licenses


Hi Everyone, Thank you for helping me with these Simple issues. I Have one Simple Question about Open Source Licenses, I want just to know, Can Documentations Or Articles or Even eBooks on the Web be licensed under Open Source Licenses like: Apache-2.0, CERN-OHL1.2+, CERN-OHL2, GPL3+, LGPL3+, MIT, MPL-2.0, SHL0.51+, TAPR-OHL? I am not talking about Creative Commons Licenses, I talk about just these Licenses Wich used for Open Source Hardware, but my Question is just about using them for Documentations and Articles on the WebSites.

For Example, if you looking at this Open Source Electronic Projects Hub WebSite called You will find that Any Project Published by Users Licensed Under one of these Licenses:

Apache License 2.0 (Apache-2.0)
CERN Open Hardware Licence version 1.2 (CERN-OHL1.2+)
CERN Open Hardware License version 2 (CERN-OHL2)
GNU General Public License, version 3 or later (GPL3+)
GNU Lesser General Public License version 3 or later (LGPL3+)
MIT license (MIT)
Mozilla Public License 2.0 (MPL-2.0)
Solderpad Hardware License version 0.51 or later (SHL0.51+)
TAPR Open Hardware License (TAPR-OHL)

For Example, look at these Project:

  1. Under GPL3+:

  2. Under MIT:

  3. Under Apache-2.0:

So is that mean the Articles or the Documentations of these Projects are Licensed under these Open Source Licenses? Or not, It’s just the Schematic, PCB, Enclosure, and the Firmware are Licensed under the Open Source Licence mentioned in the Project? So the Article or Documentation is Copyghrited?

In this WebSite Users Allowed to share Projects under Creative Commons Licenses as under Open Source Licenses, They need just to Select the License of the Project when Submitting Content.

So Can Documentations Or Articles or Even eBooks on the Web be Licensed under these Open Source Licenses? Thank you very much.


Hello, you seem to have asked the same question in the GOSH forum and got very good answers there, to which I have nothing to add. Quick summary: licensing documentation (e.g. articles) under open-source software and hardware licenses can be done but it’s suboptimal and lends itself to confusion. It is much better to use licenses which were specifically drafted to cover this area, such as CC0, CC-BY and CC-BY-SA.


+1 to that answer. There is also more information about licensing on the certification site. It breaks down what you are licensing and what licenses make the most sense for various parts of a hardware project: