Quoted from acebathound:
That's a nice free gesture. I thought of creating some DIP adapter nvram boards and putting them out for free a few years back, but I'm pretty unclear of how support and liability would work on open sourced designs in general. I figured regardless if you offer something for FREE or $100.. if it can be tied back to you, it increases your exposure since you were the person that put it out there. Not really a settling thought to me, so I never went down that free path heavily. There's simple diagnostic tools I'd have put out for free otherwise. It's all exposure though if people misuse the stuff, at least that's how I see it.
Maybe open source hardware doesn't work that way. But take a more extreme example of a design that works with mains voltage & makes it easier for someone to injure themselves or their property -- and it can be tied back to the designer. I'd think there'd be some liability concern there.
Just some thoughts I've had a long the way. Kudos for offering something up for free like this, hopefully you don't find the support or liability aspect to be an issue. As I said, I really don't have a clear idea of either -- just assumptions. Uncharted territory for me and I'll probably keep it that way.
Simply put, pick a license that states your liability. I modified the MIT open source license used in open source software:
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this design and associated documentation files (the "Design"), to deal in the Board Design without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Design, and to permit persons to whom the Design is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Board Design.
THE BOARD DESIGN IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE DESIGN OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE DESIGN.
Of course, my favorite license is: http://www.wtfpl.net/txt/copying/ , but it doesn't have a warranty or liability claim.