[LINK] Beechwood homes and IP

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Thu Jun 19 08:53:05 AEST 2008

Brendan Scott wrote:
> 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. 
And third, organisations are accustomed to exaggerating their claims ... 
I agree that the customers should have a license to use the plans; I 
hope people weren't fools enough to let the contracts assign rights to 
the plans to the builder.

> Brendan 
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