The MeeBlip is open source hardware. Hacking the MeeBlip isn’t just a privilege or a feature; it’s a right.
Why make this open source? We don’t want you to have to ask permission before you hack the way a MeeBlip sounds, or make one to sell to a friend. We want you to just dive in and do it. We want people using MeeBlips to be able to share modifications with each other. We think that’ll make the MeeBlip better – better-sounding, more useful, more crazy. We hope you’ll include MeeBlip sounds in other projects, or learn from it in your own work.
What’s open source hardware? It’s the principles of open source software, applied to the whole widget. It means that you have the freedom to hack, make, and sell not just the software components or documentation, but the circuits and enclosure and hardware bits, too. The Open Hardware Definition draft describes it thusly:
Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make and sell the design or hardware based on that design.
Or, as Tiny BASIC developer Dennis Allison declared in 1975, “Let us stand on each other’s shoulders, not each other’s toes.”
Open hardware: How and why it works [Jeffrey Osier-Mixon, IBM developerWorks]