Electronics > Open Source Hardware

Open Source Project Worries

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Bored@Work:

--- Quote from: Alana on January 03, 2013, 02:05:09 pm ---Bit off topic but valid, at least for me.
If i publish a book, fictional sci-fi story and describe some device or experiment that a character makes, am i liable for what may hapen if reader tries it out?

--- End quote ---

You may even be in trouble for just describing it, without someone even trying it. E.g. in some parts of the world it is illegal to describe how to make certain chemical substances, like drugs.

The thing with all these questions is you have to ask a lawyer. A real one, not someone playing a lawyer on the Internet. Don't trust me, don't trust Dave's "if you do it in good faith". Get someone who is qualified and knows all the twisted ways of how the legal system work in your country.

bitwelder:

--- Quote from: Bored@Work on January 03, 2013, 04:04:17 pm ---Get someone who is qualified and knows all the twisted ways of how the legal system work in your country.

--- End quote ---
At least, to end the legal madness somewhere, is it enough to be legally covered in their own country (i.e. country of the 'publisher' of the project), or if somebody gets hurt on the other side of the globe also the legal system in the country of the 'offended' can get into play?

Bored@Work:

--- Quote from: bitwelder on January 03, 2013, 05:58:09 pm ---
--- Quote from: Bored@Work on January 03, 2013, 04:04:17 pm ---Get someone who is qualified and knows all the twisted ways of how the legal system work in your country.

--- End quote ---
At least, to end the legal madness somewhere, is it enough to be legally covered in their own country (i.e. country of the 'publisher' of the project), or if somebody gets hurt on the other side of the globe also the legal system in the country of the 'offended' can get into play?

--- End quote ---

Again, ask a lawyer, not me :)

What I know is that some countries think their law extend beyond their borders. I.e. if they think you "published" into a particular country, even while sitting outside of it, they might think they have jurisdiction. If they can make it stick to you is yet another issue.

EEVblog:

--- Quote from: Bored@Work on January 03, 2013, 04:04:17 pm ---The thing with all these questions is you have to ask a lawyer. A real one, not someone playing a lawyer on the Internet. Don't trust me, don't trust Dave's "if you do it in good faith". Get someone who is qualified and knows all the twisted ways of how the legal system work in your country.

--- End quote ---

Keeping in mind of course, that a lawyers opinion (no matter how good they are) actually means squat. It's just slightly more informed advice than you'll get here - or maybe not. After all, how many lawyers would know the in's ad out's of the electronics industry and what is considered best practice etc?
The only opinion that matters of course is the final one of a judge or jury if the shit even does hit the fan.

Fact is, if you always operate with the best of intentions, in good faith, using best practice, with suitable warnings etc, and document that fact. The chances of being held liable for free technical content on the internet borders on zero. Even more so if you use some OSHW license that has already been vetted by fine legal minds, which usually covers you from the financial legal liability standpoint.
I challenge anyone to find a single case anywhere in the world were an individual has been found liable for a death or injury by publishing free (legal) technical content on the internet or in a magazine in good faith. Maybe there is one, but I think you'll struggle...

Dave.

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