[Discuss] New OSHWA post up - Legal Notes

Mario Gómez mxgxw.alpha at gmail.com
Thu Dec 12 14:03:34 UTC 2013

I think that would be a great idea!

I would say that OSHW is in a "legal limbo" in many countries including
ours. For example: here you cannot have copyright over design files for
devices. Things like schematics, mechanical drawings, PCB designs,
blueprints, etc. simply cannot be copyrighted. The only exception to the
rule are architectural designs because they are considered more like an
"artistic expression" of the author.

Our law it's pretty clear on the topic that the only way to protect
specific implementations for devices are patents. Something like the
defensive patent license could make sense here but it means that you have
to do all the paperwork  (and pay the respective fees) to patent your
device to be able to license it (without considering the legal paper work
and costs associated to license your patent to a third party).

The other problem is that patents cover only specific implementations, this
is completly incompatible with the always-changing nature of the open
source (software or hardware).

I would say that there are a couple really important topics that need to be
considered when finding legal advice:

-Intelectual Property & Copyrights
-Import/Export controls & regulations

I'm not a lawyer but it's not hard to see that there are really
significative differences on how each country handles each of this topics,
it would be really interesting to expand this discussión to include lawyers
from other countries with the objetive to find simmilitudes/differences
between the different legal frameworks.


On Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 2:07 PM, Emilio Velis <contacto at emiliovelis.com>wrote:

> After something like this, it would be nice to find converging lines among
> people in other regions.
> Do you have more contacts outside the United States? Althought some of us
> aren't lawyers, I think it would be nice to organize hangouts to discuss
> issues such as these and invite experts from different regions to find the
> possibility to replicate some of the efforts you're doing worldwide. Let us
> know if you're interested, I know for sure that Mario Gómez and I would be
> delighted to participate in something like this.
> Perhaps it won't happen in the near future, but it would be nice to keep
> that possibility open.
> On 6 December 2013 10:49, alicia <amgibb at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Yes, definitely all the legal professionals in the room were American. I
>> will add this at the bottom in the disclaimers.
>> Thanks,
>> Alicia
>> smallwindturbineproj.contactor at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Thank you Alicia.
>>> It a huge job. Bravo !
>>> However, may we suggest you to modify "just a little" some parts of your
>>> blog post, concerning the "copyright and patent" section ?
>>> The analysis seems delivered across US (or US-like) copyright and patent
>>> concept. Maybe you should insist the copyright and patent analysis might
>>> not match with some world regions. Then, insisting on this, might avoid
>>> wrong reasoning for places where the US (or US-like) copyright concept is
>>> not (fortunately yet) completely valid.
>>> To better understand why, by a based-on-written-law country example, you
>>> will maybe interested in reading the following links - remember, there are
>>> also a lot of other regions where the law is oral and ownership is only
>>> valid across oral (or also "signs without any world at all") decisions :
>>> http://artlibre.org/licence/faq#FAQ_52
>>> and also:
>>> http://artlibre.org/licence/faq#FAQ_46
>>> http://artlibre.org/licence/faq#FAQ_48
>>> http://artlibre.org/licence/faq#FAQ_49
>>> Again, copyright term internationalization comes from a US industrial
>>> export spreading - by negotiation state by state region by region - and
>>> might (already have) generate(d) a US supremacy above copyleft practices
>>> and local culrure - where ownership is part of long ancestral culture
>>> evolution - whatever this supremacy is bad or good - the notion of bad or
>>> good is not the purpose here, but we might consider that people should be
>>> aware about this, if relevant - if so, we might think of it, might we ?
>>> Freely
>>> Antoine
>>> 2013/12/6 alicia <amgibb at gmail.com>
>>>> Hey all,
>>>> We wrote up the notes from the Legal Day in NYC as a blog post. We hope
>>>> you find it useful:
>>>> http://www.oshwa.org/2013/12/05/open-hardware-legal-meetup-nyu-nov-11/
>>>> We hope to have more of these in the future with larger rooms to
>>>> accommodate more participants!
>>>> Cheers,
>>>> Alicia
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