[oshug] "The audio genius who vanished"

Jeremy Bennett jeremy.bennett at embecosm.com
Sat Jan 16 20:46:40 UTC 2016

Hash: SHA1

On 16/01/16 18:03, Matt Maier wrote:
> Yeah, that's basically it. Physical, practical, functional ideas
> are only covered by patents. If something works, the fact that it
> works is not controlled. Copyright allows you to control the
> description that you fixed in a medium using some amount of
> artistic effort. But if someone uses their own artistic effort to
> reproduce the idea in a medium they have copyright on their own
> version.

This is the fundamental problem with hardware licensing.  The main
open hardware licences (SolderPad, CERN OHL, and TAPR OHL) address
this by recognizing that all significant hardware relies on its
documentation and design drawings, which can be protected by
copyright, and so the licenses protect this.

Trying to copy any significant piece of hardware without infringing
the copyright on design documentation or drawings is quite hard, so
these licenses work reasonably well.

Any license is not going to stop some cheap knock-off shop in the far
east selling small volumes online - it's not worth the legal hassle.
But anyone trying to sell large volumes through a reputable channel
will have difficulty. Those channels won't risk being sued, having to
bin stock, suffer reputational damage, and then pay compensation. Look
how many years W H Smith wouldn't stock Private Eye for fear of such


> On Jan 16, 2016 09:51, "Gareth Coleman" <gareth at l0l.org.uk 
> <mailto:gareth at l0l.org.uk>> wrote:
> Great articles and discussion, thanks!
> I was amazed to read Stallman say:
> "Copyright doesn't cover physical circuits, so when people build 
> instances of the circuit, the design's license will have no legal 
> effect on what they do with the devices they have built."
> So provided someone is prepared to transcribe your device into
> their own EDA files, they can just copy it, modify it,
> commercialise it - without restrictions (like NC or ND) that you
> might want to apply? Can this be correct?!
> Gareth
> On 15 January 2016 at 17:00, Jason Flynn G7OCD <flynnjs at yahoo.com 
> <mailto:flynnjs at yahoo.com>> wrote:
> I'm going to stick my neck out here as someone who regularly makes
> NC and ND contribution to the community. It's unhelpful and
> unpleasant having people class your work as second class because of
> some other peoples' arbitrary redefinition of the word open. There
> are a lot of greedy and selfish people out there and my efforts to
> put my works in the public domain are for then general good and not
> to fuel such people who offer nothing to society in return. It
> doesn't mean that my efforts can never be moved forward or turned
> to profit but it does allow me to vet the intentions of those that
> I let do so.
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