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'[OT]That old chestnut copyright'
2009\03\24@193107 by cdb

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I'll preface this with I understand what copyright is for..  but in
practise it confuses me.

I'm looking at the Texas Instruments application note for a water
meter.

First off the sensor they note is their IP, and yet they give enough
information to make one yourself - so if you made an inductive sensor
would one be theoretically in breach - commercial or hobby use.

Then they list the code - with a proviso it mustn't be used in any non
TI microcontroller - fair enough - but once ported to another uC which
means changing code to fit the competitors device - is it still TI
code?

In fact how would TI know, unless they disassembled the hex code?

Perhaps this is just like the notices where shops say they are not
responsible for a damage to your car whilst parked on their property,
but in law, they are unless they can prove recklessness by the car
owner - they just rely on scare and cost tactics.

Colin
--
cdb,  on 25/03/2009



2009\03\24@200837 by Richard Prosser

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Colin,
>From my completely non-legal viewpoint.

The sensor is thier IP. You can look up how almost anything works by
looking up the patent application. But that doesn't give you any
rights to copy it.

With the software it would depend how much of their code you copied.
You could copy the .code functionality, without directly copying the
code and they would have no recourse. Once you start actually cutting
& pasting it gets a bit different.

For a hobby project I doubt they'd be bothered to do anything about it
anyway - even if they found out. If you published the project on the
web you may get a letter I guess, particularly if it became popular. I
thinks the intent of the statements are more along the lines of "we
reserve the right to ....." in the event that they felt disadvantaged
over your actions.

Richard P

2009/3/25 cdb <spam_OUTcolinTakeThisOuTspambtech-online.co.uk>:
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>

2009\03\24@202015 by Sean Breheny

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With the standard proviso that I am not a lawyer, here's how I understand it.

Also, this is from the perspective of US law, I do not know how it
applies elsewhere.

Patents are for methods/algorithms/general designs. Copyright is only
for a particular work and direct copies thereof (whether
written/printed/painted/on computer media, etc.)

They can copyright their code, but they cannot patent it. They can
patent their algorithm for doing something in particular. They can
also patent the design for the sensor, or the overall method which it
uses.

If you make one of their sensors, nothing about the copyright of the
app note prevents you from doing so or from selling it. If they have
patented it, then you have a problem if you want to sell it or use it
commercially.

If the code is copyrighted, then you may not copy it verbatim. You
probably can use the ideas contained in it to write code which does
the same thing on another (or even the same) platform without any
breach of copyright (this would be somewhat of a matter for a judge to
decide on a case by case basis - the general idea is that you cannot
sell something which is too close to the original, but copyrighting
code does NOT patent or otherwise restrict the algorithms in it).

Patents run out after a certain number of years. Copyrights last for
(I think) at least the entire life of the author, and maybe even
longer (belonging to his estate or perhaps company).

Sean


On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 7:30 PM, cdb <.....colinKILLspamspam@spam@btech-online.co.uk> wrote:
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>

2009\03\24@214516 by Russell McMahon

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Patents run out after a certain number of years. Copyrights last for
(I think) at least the entire life of the author, and maybe even
longer (belonging to his estate or perhaps company).

US Copyright lasts from the date that Mickey Mouse was conceived of until
some future date*. Strong vested interests and love of the good life is
liable to ensure that this keeps being the case for increasing values of
"some future date". (* Really!)



     Russell

2009\03\24@215425 by Michael Algernon

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--- Fair use of copyrighted material
http://library.albany.edu/digital/copyright.html

--- Use of patented IP
    Here is the actual quote from _Roche Products v. Bolar  
Pharmaceutical_:
    [B]y 1861, the law was "well-settled that an experiment with a
    patented article for the sole purpose of gratifying a philosophical
    taste, or curiosity, or for mere amusement is not an infringement
    of the rights of the patentee."  Peppenhausen v. Falke, 19 F. Cas.
    1048, 1049 (C.C.S.D.N.Y. 1861)

MA   20090324

{Quote hidden}

2009\03\24@220453 by Michael Algernon

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Length of copyright is variable.
Maximum is :  author's life plus 70 years.  Will be extended when  
Mickey Mouse copyright is in jeopardy.
see:  http://www.bitlaw.com/copyright/duration.html
MA    20090324


{Quote hidden}

 WFT Electronics
Denver, CO   720 222 1309
" dent the UNIVERSE "

All ideas, text, drawings and audio , that are originated by WFT  
Electronics ( and it's principals ),  that are included with this  
signature text are to be deemed to be released to the public domain as  
of the date of this communication .

2009\03\24@221052 by cdb

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:: --- Use of patented IP
::     Here is the actual quote from _Roche Products v. Bolar
:: Pharmaceutical_:
::     [B]y 1861, the law was "well-settled that an experiment with a
::     patented article for the sole purpose of gratifying a
:: philosophical
::     taste, or curiosity, or for mere amusement is not an
:: infringement
::     of the rights of the patentee."  Peppenhausen v. Falke, 19 F.
:: Cas.
::     1048, 1049 (C.C.S.D.N.Y. 1861)

Ah yes, I can't find on the TI website or in the code pre-amble that
the design of the sensor is patented, just that it is their
intellectual property .
As far as the code is concerned it is in assembler and obviously of
the MSP430 variety. Therefore only the idea of their software would be
used if I were to not only pic'arise it but also c'arise it.

It still seems a very weak don't copy our code statement,  ' to be
only used on TI microcontrollers '. I mean OK, it uses an 8051 type
architecture, but I would have thought even if someone wanted to port
it to a Renesas H* part, it would need to be altered. As I said even
if someone were to make a commercial product (sensor notwithstanding),
unless they reversed engineered or commandeered the code, how would
they know?

Colin
--
cdb, .....colinKILLspamspam.....btech-online.co.uk on 25/03/2009

Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk  

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2009\03\24@222546 by Richard Prosser

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Colin,

Go for it - and let us know what happens :-)

It looks to me like they have very little formal protection. Possibly
something somewhere they haven't quoted (eg a patent number ?).

If the code is in assembler then, unless you translate it line by line
(or as near as possible to that) I can't see how copyright would be
enforceable. But they might try, and even that could be very
expensive.

RP

2009/3/25 cdb <EraseMEcolinspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTbtech-online.co.uk>:
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>

2009\03\24@222755 by John Gardner

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> US Copyright lasts from the date that Mickey Mouse was conceived of until
> some future date*. Strong vested interests and love of the good life is
> liable to ensure that this keeps being the case for increasing values of
> "some future date". (* Really!)

Sad, but true.

Jack

2009\03\26@123148 by John Ferrell

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Them who has the Gold makes the rules.....

John Ferrell  W8CCW

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing." -- Edmund Burke
...."The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other
people's money."
  MARGARET THATCHER
http://DixieNC.US


{Original Message removed}

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