[LINK] Beechwood homes and IP

Brendan Scott brendansweb at optusnet.com.au
Thu Jun 19 08:21:03 AEST 2008

Richard Chirgwin wrote:
> Linkers,
> I've long thought that people in general didn't care about questions of 
> copyrights and patents because such things are too remote from everyday 
> life.
> <http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/receiver-rejects-call-to-release-home-plan/2008/06/18/1213770732792.html>
> It's interesting to see that people caught up in the Beechwood Homes 
> collapse are now running into the nasty end of copyright law. They're 
> being told they can't go ahead and build their homes with some other 
> builder, because the plans they paid for are actually the copyright 
> property of Beechwood.
> It will be interesting to see whether something that clearly brings 
> copyright politics to the kitchen table will have any impact on 
> law-making attitudes... And to people who lobby over IP issues, I would 
> remark that you've never had a better issue given as a gift.

In theory if they've paid for the plans, then they probably have a licence to use them to build the house to which the plans relate. The problems are these: first, that there has been so much propaganda about copyright over the last 20 years that third parties are now scared of honouring that licence; and second the legislature has so inflated the consequences of copyright infringement that being wrong results in a disproportionate penalty.  


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