Re: Question about copyrights and "open" standards.

Subject: Re: Question about copyrights and "open" standards.
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "Matthew Kaster" <matthewkaster -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2006 14:47:15 -0700

Your best bet is to go back to the source. You don't have to actually talk to them (since your manager doesn't want
you to), but wherever the "open standard" is published there
should be some statement that spells out the terms of its use.
Since the owner of the "open standard" has expressed its
copyrights, it has definitely not put the documents into the public domain, so unless you see specific language somewhere that refers to licensing for reuse, you should assume that you cannot reuse any of their documentation.

Your best bet probably is to write your own manual, based
on the actual dimensions and test results of your own product.
The odds that *all* the dimensions, voltages, etc., will be
completely identical to the published "open standard" or that you will conclude that your users are interested in exactly the same datapoints specified in it are virtually nil. Then state somewhere that your product is "compliant with" the "open standard" and identify it by its owner's title and/or other designation. Be sure to include the standard "any product names or descriptions other than ours are property of their respective owners" statement.

If you have in-house IP/legal people, they should be reviewing
anything that relates to your company's use of another company's

Gene Kim-Eng

"Matthew Kaster" <matthewkaster -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote...

For example: it would be much better to say "our board
is X by Y inches in size, per the Specification (see
link)" instead of "I can't list the exact dimensions
for our product because it's a knock-off; please refer
to our competitors web-site." OK I'm exaggerating a
bit, but you can clearly see how silly it could get.
I'm willing to write my own manual, but without those
numbers it's going to be a pretty useless document.


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question about copyrights and "open" standards.: From: Matthew Kaster
Question about copyrights and "open" standards.: From: Geoff Hart

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