License?

General Discussion - Everything else for V1 goes here

Moderators: seaton, strogg

Postby anton.tagunov » Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:18 am

seaton wrote:What we can do is possibly have a modified GPL that states that the use of this project in their design must be acknowledged


true, this is possible with any open source license

seaton wrote:AFAIK under GPL the copyright still remains with the author/project


Yes, with the authors. It's also true for any other open source license. Authors need to use real names for this I guess.

For the copyright to stay with the project I guess the project needs to be establish a non-profit legal entity.
Like Free/Apache/Eclipse Software Foundations. Authors sigh papers granting non-exclusive irrevocable copyright license to this legal entity

seaton wrote:the project will be able to enforce copyright breach issues


Not sure but I guess any kind of legal action is easier when there's a legal entity at the core of the project.
For example it can collect donations to cover the expenses.

seaton wrote:However, I do see spinoffs once we have a design then individuals/companies can make some money out of it if they so wish. Such as Parts, kits in various stages of assembley, Support, Custom Personalities etc ... plus no matter what we do there are plenty of shifty characters out there looking for a quick buck that will probably use the design and put their mark on it as their own


For me the big question is if/when these guys (kit manufacturers, device suppliers) will be allowed to use project name/logo for advertisement or put them on their devices (kits). I've mentioned the only solution that came to my mind in viewforum.php?f=10 but that's perhaps too fantastic

seaton wrote:1) A reliable trigger available to the stobist community at a resonable cost. We are not in this to make money, but to save it. Why the PW sells for what it does


A very noble goal. Not a goal easier to achieve with GPL. IMHO.
If I did't want somebody to unfairly make money I'd be more concerned about managing the trademark. See above.
(And BTW proper trademark protection is impossible w/o building a legal entity. IMO. Plz consider [link corrected] http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2107113,00.asp)

Also
as already mentioned it shall be impossible to enforce GPL on Chinese guys. If so why treat them as enemies (GPL) not friends (BSD)?
I can easily see these poor chaps with broken English coming to this forum for advice and perhaps even giving feedback/sharing experience!
Last edited by anton.tagunov on Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby JonSenior » Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:26 pm

anton.tagunov wrote:A very noble goal. Not a goal easier to achieve with GPL. IMHO.
If I did't want somebody to unfairly make money I'd be more concerned about managing the trademark.


Trademarks are a nightmare field. And if someone uses our design, claims it as their own and markets it as Honest Bob's Own Trigger(tm) unless we chose that as our mark, we've gained nothing.
Also
as already mentioned it shall be impossible to enforce GPL on Chinese guys. If so why treat them as enemies (GPL) not friends (BSD)?
I can easily see these poor chaps with broken English coming to this forum for advice and perhaps even giving feedback/sharing experience!


If we have a complete solution they'll have no need to modify it. The principal reason for GPL would be (to my mind) to ensure a compatibility path. If the hardware changes dramatically then we have to reverse engineer upgrades. The BSD allows this. The GPL doesn't. Since it is quite likely that any licence will be merrily ignored by the Chinese anyway, it's perhaps not the best place to base our licence decisions. :D

Jon
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Postby anton.tagunov » Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:44 pm

JonSenior wrote:Trademarks are a nightmare field. And if someone uses our design, claims it as their own and markets it as Honest Bob's Own Trigger(tm) unless we chose that as our mark, we've gained nothing.


Jon, this is my ideal scenario - more competing quality triggers for the world. My trademark concern is different.

Suppose the project gets named "SupTrig". SupTrig gains major success. Mr X sells "SupTrig" kits for a year. Then he registers "SupTrig" as his own trademark. He claims he's been doing business under the brand, he's been advertising the brand, he has become known under the brand and nobody else is allowed to use it any longer.

This is what RedHat has done to Hibernate brand: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2107113,00.asp (sorry my prev example was less relevant)
Another possible abuse of the project's name would be Mr X selling low quality devices named after the project thus giving project a bad reputation.
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Postby JonSenior » Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:55 pm

anton.tagunov wrote:Suppose the project gets named "SupTrig". SupTrig gains major success. Mr X sells "SupTrig" kits for a year. Then he registers "SupTrig" as his own trademark. He claims he's been doing business under the brand, he's been advertising the brand, he has become known under the brand and nobody else is allowed to use it any longer.


Understood. Perhaps we could ensure that the term Strobist is the root of the name and ask Mr Hobby for permission to do so. While I appreciate that it's not the same as an independent entity, my gut feeling is that we can probably trust Mr Hobby to remain neutral in anything that may ensue.

That said, if members of this project decide that a stand-alone governing entity is a good thing and are prepared to do the setup work, I have no objections at all. Can I play with ICs and hack code with impunity? :D

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