If you’re a maker, hobbyist, or startup company producing your own USB device, you’ll need a USB Vendor ID and Product ID to uniquely identify your device to computers. The USB-IF’s position is that the only way to do this is for each organisation to pay $5000 for a unique Vendor ID, which may not be shared with other individuals or organisations.
For many makers and small companies, this is a prohibitive amount of money, and forces them to resort to workarounds, such as using other organisations’ VIDs without permission, or simply making up a VID and PID. These solutions make things worse for everyone, by damaging the assumption that a VID/PID combination is unique to a given device.
pid.codes seeks to solve this issue for anyone producing open-source hardware. We have been gifted a Vendor ID by a company that was issued one by USB-IF and has since ceased trading; they obtained the Vendor ID before the USB-IF changed their licensing terms to prohibit transfers or subassignments.
pid.codes will assign PIDs on any VID we own to any open-source hardware project needing one. To learn how to get a PID or PIDs for your project, see the how to get a PID page.
pid.codes will also gladly accept donations of Vendor IDs from other organisations that no longer require them, and take responsibility for administering them. If you have a VID code that is no longer in use, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This site is in no way supported or endorsed by USB-IF.
The USB-IF is listing the VID used by pid.codes as obsolete and invalid on their developer information page, along with the code points of similar projects (like OpenMoko) and several companies’ VIDs. There is no indication that they would attempt to re-assign those IDs, nor that operating systems would reject them based on that list.