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Old 6th May 2005, 01:18 AM   #1
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Default Published designs on DIYAudio and Copyright, Patent and etc issues...

Hi everybody!

I have thought for a while about something that maybe should concern everybody since many of us DIY:ers are sometimes publishing own designs here, and some IMHO with real market value, and all these valuable information is given away for free.

I wonder now if somebody is publishing a design that may be a kind of a new circuit, invention or so not patented yet, is the published information when published on for instance here on DIYAudio, is it a public knowledge then?
As I understand if something is made public it can't be patented, but this is really not my area.

Or maybe sites like DIYAudio are not an official place where to publish, are there perhaps some other place on internet where somebody can make official publishings of own designs etc.?

Another thing is how and when to use Copyright (C), can the Copyright text/symbol be added whenever somebody feel to use the Copyright?
And if used, how can it possibly protect ones design, at least if we look at it from a theoretical point of view?

How are these issues applicable internationally, or perhaps just for Europe and US?

I hope these issues could be discussed from a general point of view, anybody with some insight?

I personally think it would be highly interesting to know somehting about these issues, I think if some DIY:er make any publishing that it would be good if it could be prevented from being patented as I guess here and everywhere on the internet are "commercial thiefs" who can snap up ones ideas and it would feel a bit pitty to see some DIY design being patented that have been published before.
I understand that it's impossible for companys etc who are applying for patents to check everywhere, but anyway.
I also understand that for most of us it's propably economically impossible to protect ones design, but newertheless hopefully we can put these kind of issues wont let the main issue to be discussed, but all aspects are valuable and interesting information and welcome to be discussed.

Regarding the Copyright issue I have seen someone use it in her schematics.
BTW, is it possible to make notes in combination with Copyright marking to add text such as "only for non-commercial use" to express the way a design is allowed to be used, this is also something seen sometimes.

Comments and worthwhile insights are wellcome!

Regards Michael
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Old 6th May 2005, 10:17 AM   #2
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There are differences over the world, but in general, if you publish a design anywhere, you can't patent it. As for using the copyright symbol, that does not protect your design, merely the artwork side of it such as schematics or pcb layouts. All someone has to do is redraw the offending article and they are off the hook.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no way that an average member of the public can protect their own IP, unless they are very rich/sell out to a big company, so we just have to be happy with the self satisfaction of a job well done, and respect from our diy peers. That's good enough for me.
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Old 6th May 2005, 02:29 PM   #3
Mr Evil is offline Mr Evil  United Kingdom
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Personally I dislike the very concept of intellectual property. If I publish something worthwhile here and someone uses it, for themselves or commercially, then so be it. After all, everything I create is itself based on ideas I have obtained from others in the same manner.

In the US it is possible to patent things which have already been published, but not elsewhere (of course in the US it's possible to patent a method for swinging on a swing, so that's not saying much).

Copyright is applied automatically to anything you create. Good luck trying to enforce it without being a powerful corporation with lawyers though, as pinkmouse has already said.

Yes, you can put a "for non-commercial use" thing on to allow something you hold copyright on to be used freely by normal people.
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Old 6th May 2005, 11:25 PM   #4
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Hi and thanks for your comments guys!

Oh, I re-red my text and my intention is not really to prevent a "big" guy to patent it or so, as even I understand and mentioned it also that we small guys can never defend because we would be ruined economically long before tha case is won.

Personally my backthoughts would be more to try to "secure" ones right to use it's own design despite of a patent that has appearad afterwards.

I mean if some DIY:er would present a design that will gain popularity from other DIY:er, it would be commersial, even if there is no profits to talk about.
But also if the designer himself would perhaps like to commersialize the design in the future... the issue as I see it at least, even if perhaps very tiny, is that some "BIG" guy may have patented afterwards and may prevent DIY group buy or the designer to commercialize her own design.

My primary issue here is not to seek how to protect ones ego on any DIY forum, but more protect our rights to make it available for other DIY:ers But Also the designers eventuall will to commercialize his own design.
If the designer want to commercialize his design, the idea is not necessary per automatic that the designer want to prevent DIY:ers from continue to build the design, as I mentioned before it's always possible to add a text like "for non-commersial use".
Also if the designer want to commercialize his own design, it also may not necessary mean to make any profit, but to make it to ones own hobby or whatever reasons and at least of principle protect it!
If someone want to drive the "ego line" he or she can also concider not to publish on a DIY forum to avoid unnecessary annoyans.
The whole thing at lest as I see it is of priciple.

And last but not least to concider regarding DIY designs and Copyrights: www.passdiy.com

Regards Michael
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Old 7th May 2005, 01:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr Evil
In the US it is possible to patent things which have already been published, but not elsewhere (of course in the US it's possible to patent a method for swinging on a swing, so that's not saying much).
Only if it's published by the inventor seeking patent protection, and then only if it was published less than a year before applying for a patent.


Quote:
Originally posted by Mr Evil

Copyright is applied automatically to anything you create.
I don't think it's automatic.
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Old 7th May 2005, 05:31 AM   #6
SY is offline SY  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr Evil
Personally I dislike the very concept of intellectual property. If I publish something worthwhile here and someone uses it, for themselves or commercially, then so be it. After all, everything I create is itself based on ideas I have obtained from others in the same manner.
I love the concept of intellectual property- that's how I make my living. But, audio is a hobby for me, so I've got the same attitude as you about people using stuff I post.

@pooge: What you say is correct in the US, but under most other patent law, publication prevents subsequent patenting unless a US priority date has already been established (in which case, the one year clock starts ticking).

Ususal disclaimer: I'm an experienced inventor but I am not an attorney.
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Old 7th May 2005, 05:42 AM   #7
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I don't work in the field, so I cannot speak from experience, but isn't all this trend of putting "Copyright....." on schematics on this board all just ego? I mean, only a tiny fraction of what is posted appears to me to have any novelty. I don't mean to be negative, I know there is a significant amout of good stuff. I just feel it drowned out by the volume of fluff. I cannot imagine that they could ever stand a patent suit. Lately I only go to the Chip Amp forum to laugh at the "discoveries"
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Old 7th May 2005, 05:43 AM   #8
SY is offline SY  United States
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A copyright just applies to a particular drawing. There's a lot of misunderstanding about what a copyright can and can't do.
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Old 7th May 2005, 06:34 AM   #9
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It is an absolute mystery to me why anyone would post something on a message board that they planned to patent and make money from.

That absolutely astonishes me.

As for somebody else patenting something, I would think that if you make something for yourself or just as a sideline to a relatively few people, how on earth is the patent holder ever going to know you exist?

I'm not advocating anyone break the rules, but some things are just obvious.
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Old 7th May 2005, 10:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by SY
A copyright just applies to a particular drawing. There's a lot of misunderstanding about what a copyright can and can't do.

SY,

How does that work with prose? I mean, suppose I write a 4-page treatise on the virtues of copper screws on PC boards, and I put "(c) Jan Didden" at the end, does that mean that legally it cannot be copied or distributed without my agreement?

Jan Didden
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