Open-Source Cloud Hardware Grows Up Fast

OCP broadened its approach to licensing, as well. The hardware designs are available under an Apache Software Foundation-style of license, where the licensee may make modifications, sell them, and keep the additions proprietary. It’s a “permissive” license, in the parlance of open-source. The adopter may do just about anything with the code without obligation. To encourage contributors, the Open Compute Project Foundation may move to a second model, a GPL-like license, where anyone may modify an Open Compute Project design, but if they sell a product based on it they must contribute their changes back to the community. The GPL governs Linux use. Its giveback clause makes it more restrictive, or “prescriptive,” in how for-profit modifications must be handled.