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Re: Library License



Really open person Opendous Support wrote:                (Sun, 25 Mar 2012 00:24:10)
> >[components] --A-->  [KiCad board file]  --B-->  [pcb hardware]
> >The point is that you cannot restrict A, B, C or D with copyright.
>   Ah, thank you!  You have now clearly defined the core concern: A.
>   Altium is a well lawyered-up EDA company and if you read their EULA
> they seem to believe they can restrict any file created with their
> software.  According to them, any file you create with Altium Designer
> is _licensed_ to you, not owned by you.  Note this has nothing to do
> with circuit ideas and functional designs which cannot be copyrighted.
> http://www.altium.com/products/eula.cfm

My favorite section of that document is 1.10: "Intellectual Property
Rights means patent, copyright, design right (whether registered or
unregistered), trademarks (whether registered or common law), trade
secrets, confidential information and any other form of intellectual
property rights."  <-- particularly this last circular definition
at the end where "intellectual property rights" are defined as including
"any other form of intellectual property rights."

Where copyright cannot apply, lawyers always fall on confidential
information (tied up with NDAs) and trade secrets as a way of attempting
to constrain what cannot be covered under copyright, trademark or
patent.  AT&T led the way on this with UNIX.

Looking at an EULA like this, one would be an utter idiot to agree
to spend $6000 a copy under these absurd restrictions.

>   "Exclusive rights to the "useful art" ... [is] only available by patent.
>   The description itself [is] protectable by copyright."
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker_v._Selden#Holding

The last part is questionable too.  Where the description itself is
nothing but a simple description of function (such as is a Gerber file),
there is no copyright protection for it either, even in France and Spain
because no author has "impressed his personality" on the works, and in
the US because no "sweat of the brow" was required to cast it so.
Evidence of this?  Have you ever seen a copyright statement in a Gerber
file?  Why is there no place for one in the definintion of the file

	"In no case does copyright protection for an original work of
	 authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system,
	 method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery,
	 regardless of the form in which it is described, explained,
	 illustrated, or embodied in such a work." 17.102(b).


>   I like hauptmech's idea to wait for SWEET to be finished, add a
> License field, then create an online repository.

I suggest the use of one of the "open hardware" licenses (TAPR or CERN
OHL) to address components or modules contributed to a library: then it
would be more difficult for someone to encumber the library with patents
and other claims by contributing patent or otherwise-encumbered material
to it.  See:


Another way is to not allow anonymous submissions.


Brian F. G. Bidulock   � The reasonable man adapts himself to the �
bidulock@xxxxxxxxxx    � world; the unreasonable one persists in  �
                       � trying  to adapt the  world  to himself. �
                       � Therefore  all  progress  depends on the �
                       � unreasonable man. -- George Bernard Shaw �