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From Patrick Andrews <patr...@riversimple.com>
Subject Re: use of Apache license for non-software purposes
Date Tue, 14 Oct 2008 21:50:08 GMT
very helpful Niclas, thank you. Will follow your suggestions.

Patrick


Patrick Andrews
Partner, Riversimple LLP

Mobile :  07717 226667



Niclas Hedhman wrote:
> I am not a lawyer, and this doesn't constitute legal advice. For a
> final word, you should consult a IP Rights lawyer.
>
> You are effectively in the same position as the software industry. If
> I take (for instance) Linux, and 'copies' the design by understanding
> what the code does and re-writing in another way, so that an automated
> checker would not classify it as the same code, it would still be
> infringement of the GPL. The important bit to understand is that (for
> GPL), if you do something/anything with the GPL'd code as the base
> (what they call Derivative Works) but don't release that works under
> GPL, you have breach the GPL and have no rights to use the codebase in
> the first place. I don't think any court has so far concluded how
> much/little 'inspiration' from someone else's work is required to
> still categorize it as Derivative Works.
>
> Now, that said; If you were to choose the Apache License for your
> design, you are offering a derivative works friendly license. I.e.
> Someone else can take your exact drawings, with or without
> modifications, and release that under restrictive terms (closed
> source), with very little required by such person/company (see license
> for details).
>
> There are examples of open source licensed hardware designs. IIRC, Neo
> FreeRunner schematics and CAD drawings are released under an open
> source license. Perhaps you should contact them and see what their
> findings were.
>
> Cheers
> Niclas
>
> On Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 5:27 AM, Patrick Andrews
> <patrick@riversimple.com> wrote:
>
>   
>> I am working on a hardware project in the automotive industry. The small
>> company I work for is committed to an open source approach to the
>> development and plan in the next few months to donate all our initial design
>> schematics to a newly-created foundation which will make them available on
>> the internet. The foundation will invite contributors to help us improve the
>> product (a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car).
>>
>> I am trying to get my head around the licensing issues. As I understand it,
>> it would not work if our foundation simply adopts a software license such as
>> the GPL or the Apache license, since these are focused mainly at copyright
>> protection and copyright will not protect the ideas represented in the
>> schematics, making our license effectively unenforceable. They would be
>> unenforceable because someone can simply look at our schematics and, once
>> they've understood the idea represented, they can make their own schematics
>> and ignore the terms of the license. We can forbid this under our license
>> but proving a breach will be tricky.
>>
>> We are wondering whether the foundation should instead focus on registering
>> and licensing patents. Another alternative (or supporting strategy) might be
>> trademark protection - but this is only effective if the trademark becomes
>> one of value (of course we hope it will become one...)  Does anyone have any
>> thoughts on this? Would the Apache license nevertheless be a reasonable
>> starting point when approaching this?
>>
>> Patrick
>>
>> --
>> Patrick Andrews
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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>>
>>     
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> DISCLAIMER: Discussions on this list are informational and educational
> only.  Statements made on this list are not privileged, do not
> constitute legal advice, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions
> and policies of the ASF.  See <http://www.apache.org/licenses/> for
> official ASF policies and documents.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe, e-mail: legal-discuss-unsubscribe@apache.org
> For additional commands, e-mail: legal-discuss-help@apache.org
>
>
>   

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