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Legality questions for DIY amps

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

So, being that I live in india, it's fairly difficult to get a hold of parts for audio stuff, stuff like cmoyBBs or O2 amps which are fairly easy to build in the states are quite harder to source here. 

 

I was wondering if I were to design my own PCB based off the the designs available on the internet (JDS labs and the like) then sell them + the requisite components at cost to people who were interested would I be violating any IP laws?

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhead View Post
 

So, being that I live in india, it's fairly difficult to get a hold of parts for audio stuff, stuff like cmoyBBs or O2 amps which are fairly easy to build in the states are quite harder to source here. 

 

I was wondering if I were to design my own PCB based off the the designs available on the internet (JDS labs and the like) then sell them + the requisite components at cost to people who were interested would I be violating any IP laws?


Yes, you would - without a doubt.  DIY licensing is generally quite lenient.  In other words, you can build almost anything you want - modify it, alter it, change its purpose or integrate it into another design.  All of that is generally OK for your own purposes (without getting into specifics).

 

However, once you start talking about selling a design that belongs to someone else ... that changes everything.  Either you get the permission of the designer (and whatever arrangement you work out with that designer), or you don't do it - period.

post #3 of 9

Try getting a license to manufacture and sell them. Just contact the owners.

post #4 of 9

sorry folks - there is no real legal protection of circuits, hardware builds except for patents - active patents in the country the device is sold in

 

many in the hobby community would like to believe otherwise, may be confused with software copyright protection, the blizzard of copyright license terms for software attempting to assert "open, noncommercial" terms

 

headphone amps typically don't contain copyright software

 

exact mechanical/photo copies of a PCB artwork, someone's project exact schematic, manual are copyright protectable

 

the project name, names of the project authors could be protected as trademarks

 

but the circuit itself is open game unless there is/are active patents on the circuit in question

 

you can build from posted projects if you do your own documentation, PCB artwork, legally sell even in the US if there are no active patents - just don't use copyright or trademarkable names like B22, KGSS in your advertising and its perfectly legal


Edited by jcx - 10/18/14 at 6:52pm
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcx View Post
 

sorry folks - there is no real legal protection of circuits, hardware builds except for patents - active patents in the country the device is sold in

 

many in the hobby community would like to believe otherwise, may be confused with software copyright protection, the blizzard of copyright license terms for software attempting to assert "open, noncommercial" terms

 

headphone amps typically don't contain copyright software

 

exact mechanical/photo copies of a PCB artwork, someone's project exact schematic, manual are copyright protectable

 

the project name, names of the project authors could be protected as trademarks

 

but the circuit itself is open game unless there is/are active patents on the circuit in question

 

you can build from posted projects if you do your own documentation, PCB artwork, legally sell even in the US if there are no active patents - just don't use copyright or trademarkable names like B22, KGSS in your advertising and its perfectly legal


I think most of what you describe was already assumed ...

 

The specific PCB layout is un-disputably protected.  However, the rest of it is still in question - especially if you go to sell it.  It's easy to make a declaration that you can do it if you work for a company that has resources (legal, iow).  Try it on your own and see what happens ... you'd be a pariah in the same community you want to sell to, much less the legal questions ...

post #6 of 9
There are some open source designs around (e.g, O2). However, these also have a number of specific conditions which must be satisfied (e.g. the O2 may not be modified in any way). "Open source" does not mean "free for all"!
post #7 of 9

there are no legal questions absent an active patent for circuits - I have gone to dozens of IP seminars for engineers/entrepreneurs as a electronic equipment designer over my 30+ year career, have a patent, have searched for prior art for companies I worked for

 

only an active patent can protect a circuit - publish and don't file a patent application within a year and you have "open sourced" the circuit - it is free for any to use without any restriction, it becomes "prior art"

 

most discrete headphone amp circuit are much older often "textbook" or application note circuits - were never subject to patent at all

 

even if patented - anything over 20 years old that was patented has expired - again becomes the common heritage of all - that was the deal if it was patented - a Limited time monopoly in exchange for disclosing the idea for all to see, use freely after the term

 

 

asserting that circuits like CMOY, A47, Diamond Buffer, B22, O2 are proprietary is actually attempting to Steal from the commons

 

 

 

Ray can't keep anyone from selling bridged OPA541 industrial power op amps in a sexy case as long as they don't call it Dark Star, use his, his company's name

 

Glimore doesn't legally "own" any of his freely published circuits - Justin does have permission to use Gilmore's name, project names in the commercial versions

 

you could in fact argue that several of Gilmore's balanced circuits were covered by Nelson Pass' SUSY patent - care to ask Kevin Gilmore about his "stealing"?

 

 

 

and the head-fi community is totally hypocritical on the "clone" issue - it is agreed that clones of current production products are in poor taste - shouldn't be published in the DIY forum or linked to elsewhere at head-fi

 

but how many "lovely cube" threads are there - many with the Lehmann Black Cube product name spelled out in them, in the titles even


Edited by jcx - 10/20/14 at 7:33pm
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhead View Post

So, being that I live in india, it's fairly difficult to get a hold of parts for audio stuff, stuff like cmoyBBs or O2 amps which are fairly easy to build in the states are quite harder to source here. 

I was wondering if I were to design my own PCB based off the the designs available on the internet (JDS labs and the like) then sell them + the requisite components at cost to people who were interested would I be violating any IP laws?



The O2 is open-source so the design is free to use or reproduce for sale. JDS makes the O2 and sells it. You can't even get ahold of the original guy who designed it. He gave the design up for the audio community to make and enjoy. Sell em to who ever you want and don't worry!
post #9 of 9
NwAvGuy just says on his blog that you can't make the amp cheaper than his design states. He wants em all to sound the same. The plans are right there too.


You would make a million selling them in India. Cheers!smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by Redcarmoose - 10/19/14 at 12:12am
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