Dr Carey Pridgeon, DR Nazaraf Shah
Created: 2016-11-03 Thu 15:35
What is Copyright
- Copyright is legal right that protects the use of your work once your idea has been physically expressed.
- Valid in the country of origin or certain economically co-operating
- Worldwide Copyrights can be obtained.
- Copyright is automatic, and can be expressly abandoned.
- Copyright can expire (70 years after authors death in the US and EU,
95 if author is unknown), but cannot be assumed to have been
How Does it Work? - 1
- Rights to use Copyrighted work can be granted with or without
payment a fee by the Copyright Holder.
- The rights to use Copyrighted work can be expressly denied, or
withdrawn by the Copyright Holder.
- Code that lacks a Copyright notice can not be used for 95 years, so
in our terms, never.
- Copyright ownership can be transferred.
How Does it Work? - 2
- Copyright cannot be arbitrarily assigned to works you did not
create, or assigned to works that have fallen out of copyright.
- Copyrighted names can be co-opted (eg, Linux), but are usually
returnable with enough evidence.
- Creative Commons: code, literature, music, hardware.
- CopyLeft: Free Software Foundation (software primarily)
- Open Source: Software/Documentation/Hardware.
- Commercial: Access granted via a fee or under strict non profit
- You can create your own Copyright notice.
- Within those options there is a huge range of choices.
A symbol or name associated with a given product.
- A mark be unique enough that it won't confuse consumers with a similar brand.
- Names: Champagne, Oreo, Smarties
- Symbols: Nike Swoosh, FireFox Logo, FSF Logo, Coke Swirl.
- Unlike Copyright, Marks must be protected/defended or they can be
lost (Cheddar, Hoover, Aspirin), a process also known as becoming
Generic, and can be used by any similar product.
- Trademarks can also become effectively, if not legally, generic.
- Can you Hoover that up, would you like an Aspirin or somesuch.
- Owning a Mark for a product does not prevent someone producing the
same thing and using a different Mark for it, you need Copyright to
- A Trademark gives you a Brand, Copyright protects the products of
- Some Marks predate trademark laws, so can be widely used to identify
a process or class of product (Sabatier knives, Damascus steel).
Open Source Relevance
- Marks are as important in the free/open source world as in the
- Possibly less at risk of becoming generic, because there is no
profit motive to re-use them.
- Free and Open Source licences, do not transfer Marks.
- Like Copyrights, Marks can be transferred/sold.
What they protect
- Patents control an idea expressed in a design (usually)
- Holding a Patent means you can prevent someone else using your
idea/design in their own product.
- Patents are usually made available for a fee, but the can be
licensed for a minimal fee, or none at all.
- Patents can be dedicated (released to the public), which means the
owner allows free access to the technology it covers.
- Patent licensing abuse is rampant in the US.
- Patent Trolls are a thing.
- There is a Patent covering the Internet, which was initially
conceived/created by Vince Cerf
- Copyright: Randall Munroe - XKCD
- Mirrored in my hosting to avoid bandwidth stealing
Licence for this work
- Licenced under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0
International by Dr Carey Pridgeon 2016
- (Licence does not cover linked images owned by other content creators)