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 Post subject: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 12:44 pm 
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If this question has come up before (and I have a feeling it has) can someone point me to the thread? I couldn't find it.

Anyways... This thread:
http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=27245

got me asking what exactly is being protected by the KO policy. I see 3 levels it could apply to.

(1) The stickering and exact outward appearance of the puzzle.
(2) The puzzle itself.
(3) The mechanism.

I suspect in practice in some occasions its being applied to all 3.

Let's look at this one at a time with some examples. First the outward appearance aspect:

http://twistypuzzles.com/cgi-bin/puzzle.cgi?pkey=2353
Inventor: Tanner Frisby
Year: 2010

http://twistypuzzles.com/cgi-bin/puzzle.cgi?pkey=2352
Inventor: Andreas Nortmann
Year: 2008

http://twistypuzzles.com/cgi-bin/puzzle.cgi?pkey=1728
Inventor: David Calvo
Year: 2006

These 3 puzzles appear to all be sticker mods yet each has a different inventor. For this particular puzzle it appears we are applying the KO policy to just the exact outward appearance. Or is David afforded any protection for the exact shape/mechanism for hiding the 3x3x3 edes? To quote Sandy:
Quote:
Puzzles considered "protected by their rightful owners" includes, but may not be limited to: all puzzles currently in production by their rightful owners, all new puzzle designs and variations created within the last 5 years, and any older designs still being "reserved" by the rightful owner (as Tony has done).
Of the above Puzzles the only one made withing the last 5 years is Tanner's. So who exactly does gr_cubed ask for permission to sell his 2x2 Super Cube?

(a) Tanner as he's the only one to produce this shape in the last 5 years.
(b) Andreas as his is the only puzzle which is the same puzzle solving wise, same number of permutations, etc. (Andreas has already given his permission)
(c) David as he was the first to make this shape/mechanism.
(d) He should really ask all of them.
(e) None of the above as one could simply take a Super 3x3x3 and remove the stickers from the edges and have the same puzzle and the 3x3x3 is public domain these days.

I'm honestly not sure so I wanted to ask.

Let's look at this from a puzzle standpoint. Two puzzles can be equivalent and have the exact same number of states and solving experience. So one can argue they are in fact the exact same puzzle. So from that perspective let me make up an example where I know the 2 creators are likely to not argue with each other. Let's say creator A made this puzzle:
Attachment:
PuzzleA.png
PuzzleA.png [ 452.54 KiB | Viewed 2245 times ]
And then later creator B made this puzzle:
Attachment:
PuzzleB.png
PuzzleB.png [ 227.38 KiB | Viewed 2245 times ]
These both solve as a 3x3x3 inside a 5x5x5 and with the correct set of stickers both have the exact same number of permutations, etc. Would the second puzzle be considered a KO if the creator didn't get permission from the first? I'd tend to say they are totally different mechanisms though I suspect the creators of both will be asked to get the blessing from V-Cubes before they offer them for sale. ;) Which reminds me of something for another post.

Anyways I suspect the answer here is "no". Look at Oskar's Framed Cube:
http://www.shapeways.com/model/122339/framed-cube.html
This came out in 2010.

However Daqing Bao make the first 2x2x2 inside a 4x4x4 in 2007:
http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=7918
And the super version was presented and set for production in 2009.
http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=14856

The Framed Cube is the exact same puzzle yet its not considered a KO. At least to my knowledge its never been stated that Oskar asked Daqing Bao before offering his version for sale. Nor am I saying he should have... it is a totally different mechanism. I'm just wondering were the KO policy draws the lines.

We can also look at this from a mechanism standpoint and not a puzzle standpoint. And this does seem to be how the KO policy is applied most often. I was asked to get permission from Verdes before offering my DoDep puzzles for sale as I did use the spherical and conical cut (shells mechanism) approach to the design (as did Tom even though that too is a different design) and as this was applied to a cubic puzzle it was felt best to make sure Verdes didn't feel his patent was being violated. And there are many higher order NxNxN puzzles out there and the ruling always seems to be as long as they don't violate Versdes' patent they would be ok and not considered KO. So the KO policy does seem to allow for many different mechanisms for the exact same puzzle (solving and permutation wise) each protected by their inventor.

So is it fair to list Andreas and Tanner as inventors on the two sticker mods of David's puzzle above? If so it seems perfectly ok for gr_cubed to claim his sticker mod. And if the KO policy provides various levels of protections for these aspects of the puzzle maybe we should start listing:

Stickering Owner/Inventor
Puzzle Owner/Inventor
Mechanism Owner/Inventor

The KO policy specifically calls out "puzzles" but that aspect actually seems the lest protected. For example... should Oskar's Framed Cube be listed as:

Stickering Owner/Inventor: Oskar
Puzzle Owner/Inventor: Daqing Bao
Mechanism Owner/Inventor: Oskar

To me it feels like puzzles are discovered... not invented. Its the mechanisms which are unique and should be owned. Maybe stickers with pictures on them should be protected but the notion of altering stickers to give each piece a specific position and/or orientation in the solved state should be in the public domain.

There is also the question of just how much is required to claim a new mechanism. The Super 2x2x2 that started this is a 3x3x3 with the edges shaved down and the corners extended. Its the same basic transformation that is used to make all commercial 2x2x2s. Is this considered a "protectable" design via the KO policy? Some could consider it just a 3x3x3 mechanism. But you have to be careful how far you push that. A Ghost Cube is a 3x3x3 mechanism but I'd certainly like to see the Ghost Cube protected.

Thoughts... comments... and has this all been discussed before? If feels very familiar...

Carl

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Last edited by wwwmwww on Sat May 10, 2014 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 1:47 pm 
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My understanding is that the KO policy is about showing respect for original designers. It's more of a question of moral values, not a precise black and white checklist of what can and can't be copied. The question to ask is: "how would I like it if someone copied XYZ elements (or bought copies) of my design without asking me? Use your judgement, or ask the original designer if in doubt.

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 3:03 pm 
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I have to say that the KO policy of the TP forums is both the poorest and best thing about being a member here. On the one hand it encourages good behaviour from our members which is a very good thing. On the other hand it has little or no influence on people who just want to make some money by selling a design they have seen here, so only the the people who would never in the first place think of ripping off someone will take notice of the KO policy.

It puts me in mind of speed humps in the road, which are designed to reduce the speed of the traffic. The cars which take the most notice of these things are usually small cars driven by older people who would not be speeding in the first place. Although the other category of cars which drive the absolutely slowest over these humps are those super modified ones with black windows and a huge fat exhaust and a ground clearance of 10mm driven by 18 year old guys wearing baseball hats at 90 degrees. Usually playing music at 120dB where you can only actually hear the bass thump-thump-thump.

And now I realise that this has become a rant, so I should really stop criticising a community which I love being a member of.

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 3:13 pm 
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In the following I just express my personal opinion:

The KO policy of this forum does not provide "protection", in my view.
It is just a set of rules what can and what cannot be included in posts made here.
E.g.

    You may not include any links where a KO puzzle can be bought.
    You may not sell KO puzzles using the TP forums.

What is considered to be a KO puzzle is not defined very precisely .
Sometimes it can be a tricky field, to determine if puzzle B is a KO of puzzle A.
All aspects that can be protected by copyright or a patent have to be considered.
The mechanism is probably the most important aspect.

As Kelvin has said, respect for the rightful owner or original designer is the most important guideline.

In the case of the 2x2x2 Super Cube made by gr_cubed I cannot see a big conflict.
Andreas has already said, that he should go ahead.
The mechanism is either an original 2x2x2 or a 3x3x3 that was rightfully bought and modified by gr_cubed.
We should not over complicate things in this specific case and I trust the opinion of our museum moderator :)

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 4:58 pm 
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Hello,
My personal opinion regarding sticker mods is the following.
A sticker modded puzzle is not a KO puzzle when it changes the consept of the puzzle.
For example the 4x4 super cube is not a KO of the standard 4x4 cube because the consept of the puzzle is completely different, but a 4x4 picture cube is a KO of the 4x4 super cube.
If we decide to consider consept changing sticker mods KO puzzles, then shouldn't we consider the mastermorphix(only for example purposes) a KO as well ? After all it is just a 3x3 super cube.
To sum up, I don't think that the 2x2 super cube is a KO of the "simple overlapping cube", but it deffinitely is a KO of the "super simple overlapping cube".
So my opinion is that we have to consider the consept of each puzzle and not the stickers or the mechanism in ordee to judge it as KO.
Hope I made my opinion clear enough.

Now I feel the need to explain a few things about why and how I made the 2x2 super cube, which caused this issue.I made this puzzle because I wanted to fill a collection gap on super cubes, at first I didn't think that it was possible to make a 2x2 super cube, because 2x2 cubes don't have centers, but then I thought what if I could reveal the hidden centers of a 2x2 and sticker them as such so that they have orientation. After I made the puzzle I searched the forum's museum to see if something similar was allready created. I did come across the "simple overlapping cube", but I didn't saw the "super simple overllaping cube" (museum has so many puzzles, it's impossible to view them all). So because the "simple overlaping cube" and the 2x2 super cube are with different consepts, I thought that it was OK for me to sell it.
Now my thoughts on selling puzzles are the following:
I sell puzzles only because I want the puzzle to be spread out to the community and not to make a business out of it, of course some extra money has to be earned only to cover the time and effort for making all this work and I can assure you that the time spent for each mod is way more than the proffit. This is the reason why I always set a "buy now" price for my ebay auctions, I could easily leave that field blank and hope the auction to reach thousands. Also I will always help anyone who can't afford any of my puzzles to make one of their own and not try to sell, in order to make money.I like to view the community members as fellow cubers and not as opportunity for making money.

Of course you can always choose to believe me or not, but I most certainly spoke the truth.
Thanks for reading this.

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 5:52 pm 
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gr_cubed wrote:
Of course you can always choose to believe me or not, but I most certainly spoke the truth.
gr_cubed,

First let me state that I'm NOT saying you've done anything wrong. The situation in your thread just made me wonder about a few questions I didn't know the answer to so I wanted to ask. You've asked and been given the go-ahead by a forum moderator so I think you are certainly ok to proceed. Its just that there are so many gray areas to this KO topic that I felt this could lead to a fair level headed discussion and I'd say it has for the most part, aside from me always being too long winded. We are all free to disagree and I'm certainly not trying to force my opinion on anyone as I'm not even sure what my opinion is yet.

However I can find a counter example to your claim that when the nature of the puzzle is changed (say giving a piece a specific orientation or taking that aspect away) as your sticker mod does that it shouldn't be considered a KO. Look at the Gear Octahedron discussed in this thread:
http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=24967
This is also more then just a sticker mod as the entire shape has been changed as well. This gives orientation to the face centers of the Gear Cube and takes away orientation from the corners of the Gear Cube. Read that thread and you will see that Oskar and the moderators feel that puzzle is a KO and their reasons are stated in that thread as well.

So I'd say if a shape change and a stickering change together can be considered a KO (and I'm in agreement that in the case of the Gear Octahedron it is) then a stickering change alone could be as well under the right circumstances. I guess the point is that if in doubt ask and you have so all is good. I'm just glad I'm not the one that has to make the call.

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 9:14 pm 
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I haven't read every word of this thread carefully enough to register all the information. However I would say that in most cases the solving and / or number of permutations has no affect whatsoever on whether a puzzle is regarded as a KO. The policy should apply with priority to mechanism and sometimes to outward shape with no regard to the solving problem. Trying to protect a solving challenge leads down an impossible path. If the 2x2x2 solving challenge was protected for example then all NXNXN puzzles would violate it since they have corners which present the exact same solving problem.
In answer to the first question, Assuming that the 3x3x3 mechanism patent has expired, David Calvo had the rights yet chose not to hold onto them after the 5 year period. That means the puzzle is free to all to make.
Sticker designs would be covered by copyright and I would suggest that if a design was of a unique nature (yellow and green elephants for example) then permission should be asked before copying it. If however it is a common one then it to would be free for all to copy.
So I believe gr_cubed has a right to sell his puzzles though I very much disagree with part of his statement-
"So my opinion is that we have to consider the consept of each puzzle and not the stickers or the mechanism in ordee to judge it as KO" . Mechanisms are of course at the very core (literally) of what makes a puzzle a KO.

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 5:55 pm 
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Tony I believe we are in agreement for the most part. But I would question this assessment.
Tony Fisher wrote:
In answer to the first question, Assuming that the 3x3x3 mechanism patent has expired, David Calvo had the rights yet chose not to hold onto them after the 5 year period. That means the puzzle is free to all to make.
Did David Calvo actually have the rights to this design for that 5 year period? During that 5 year period both Tanner and Andreas released sticker mods they claimed as their inventions. I don't mean to imply anyone did anything wrong as I see several possible explanations.

(1) The mechanism is a minor tweak from a 3x3x3 and isn't sufficiently different to warrant being covered by the KO policy.
(2) Tanner and Andreas got their base puzzle from David.
(3) David has stated elsewhere that he made no claim to the design.
(4) Tanner and Andreas asked David if they could make their own and he had no objections.
(5) Since to my knowledge, neither Tanner and Andreas were selling their versions so its simply a non-issue. But in that case do they also get this 5 year period themselves?

I'm really NOT trying to rock the boat. I don't believe there are any upset parties in the above example nor am I trying to make any upset parties. I'm just wanting to understand where the lines are drawn. But I think the main take way here is that if you think you are even near a line... stop and ask. Respect the designers that came before you and there won't be any problems.

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 10:42 pm 
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Quote:
But I think the main take way here is that if you think you are even near a line... stop and ask

Propably this the rule, we should all follow from now on.

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 12:14 am 
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Sorry to get to this one so late. The concept of what "Knock Off" is can be quite complex, and in general is subject of much disagreement. We do our best here to define it in manner that avoids a fixed set of black and white rules but sets forth a goal of respect, with the idea that each very grey area can be approached according to its unique circumstances.

Regarding what is most important in this designation (mechanism, shape, coloration, etc.) I have to say I would prefer not to consider any favored. What we are attempting to protect here is general intellectual property regarding the creation of puzzles. So while Tony's Golden cube is "just" a Skewb at its core, we clearly recognize that the very standard mechanism is the least important aspect of this incredibly creative work.
Likewise I have seen many sticker presentations that take a fairly minor puzzle mod and really add a theme or character that makes it special.
In this case I think the work involved in an overlapping cube like this clearly sets it apart from a supercube with no edge stickers. The fact that they may be puzzle wise equivalent is a complete dismissal of the artistic presentation, which I think can often be what makes a simple puzzle brilliant.
All are worthy of protection, in my mind, to the degree the inventor states a claim and a credible case can be made.

As for what is required in these cases (to address Carl's question) I think we once again fall back on our goal: How might one show respect to those who have come up with something before? I think common courtesy in these cases is to make a good faith effort to contact those from whom you may be borrowing to get their thoughts on your plans.

The few exceptions I can think of fall into three categories:
1.) Those sets of IP known to be public domain or generally acknowledged by the community as such. An examples would be a cuboid. The mechanism may be the subject of IP, but the general puzzle idea of a cuboid is simply too general for anyone to claim.
2.) Those sets of IP previously patented but expired. Consider the Rubik's 3x3x3 mechanism, the Megaminx, etc. By going the patent route the designer has entered a contract that declares when the patent has expired (due to time or lack of keeping it current) the IP becomes public domain.
3.) Puzzles you may have plans on *personally making* for just yourself. I think it is fairly universally accepted that making a single copy for yourself is not trampling on anyone's rights (and often done as an homage). Note that contracting someone else to copy a puzzle for you is putting them in the position of making a KO.

So hopefully that has added some clarity and not muddied things further.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:02 am 
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I think this is a naturally confusing topic to left brain thinkers who need clarity, logic and certainty, including clear checklists and rationale. But to right brain thinkers like myself, comfortable with general principles, values and uncertainty, it is actually quite clear. I just try to put myself in others' shoes and ask "how would I like it?". Using logic to dig into more detail is not going to help. This topic can only be judged by Captain Kirk, while Spock would fail to comprehend.

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:14 am 
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Sorry, this is OFF TOPIC, but left-right brain dichotomy is "little more than a myth".

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:18 am 
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Gus, you are right that physiologically there is no real distinction between left and right brain thinking, it is just a working figurative model (not real) that fits with observations.

You need right brain thinking to understand and appreciate that the model is only conceptual and figurative, not literal! :wink:

However, I agree that using such a right brain model to explain how right brain thinking works to left brain thinkers is a bit like Kirk using happiness and sadness as examples to explain to Spock how emotions work: quite pointless! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 4:38 am 
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Agreed. But as Spock is a Vulcan he understands emotions only too well, he just uses mental techniques (Kolinahr) to keep them under control :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 12:48 am 
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Let's stay on Vulcan topic, gents.

Dave ;)

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 3:35 am 
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wwwmwww wrote:
... To quote Sandy:
Quote:
Puzzles considered "protected by their rightful owners" includes, but may not be limited to: all puzzles currently in production by their rightful owners, all new puzzle designs and variations created within the last 5 years, and any older designs still being "reserved" by the rightful owner (as Tony has done).
...

Carl
We had an internal discussion between the moderators about the five year period.
Dave explained that it was actual a proposal by Pantazis. We do not have a strict rule on this.

Carl, can you, please, point us to the thread where you found Sandy's quote?

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 10:15 am 
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Konrad wrote:
Carl, can you, please, point us to the thread where you found Sandy's quote?
It is the first post in the pinned KO thread.

http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=149166#p149166

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 10:22 am 
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wwwmwww wrote:
Konrad wrote:
Carl, can you, please, point us to the thread where you found Sandy's quote?
It is the first post in the pinned KO thread.

http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=149166#p149166

Carl

It made me smile that the mods didn't recognize this as coming from Sandy's original pinned "grandfather" post on the site's KO policy. Not that I did either, and not that I'm suggesting that the mods don't do a great job of monitoring this policy, but it just shows how fuzzy this topic has become for us over time...

Perhaps it's time for us all to re-sit the KO exam! :D

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 10:57 am 
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I openly confess that I do not consider myself the expert in KO policy. :roll:
I'm glad that I was just quoting our real expert :lol:

Sandy's statement makes this 5 year proposal of Pantazis somehow official, I would say.
I'm sure that Dave will comment too, but I'm in Europe 9 hours ahead of him. :)

All of us moderators see it as a tricky field where we see grey areas and have contradicting feelings.
(Especially in cases where a puzzle B is considered KO of puzzle A, but the design of B contains newly invented elements as well. Now what is a puzzle C designed by the manufacturer of A that copies B? A KO of a KO? A bit like stealing from a thief.)
DLitwin wrote:
... The concept of what "Knock Off" is can be quite complex, and in general is subject of much disagreement. We do our best here to define it in manner that avoids a fixed set of black and white rules but sets forth a goal of respect, with the idea that each very grey area can be approached according to its unique circumstances.

...
Maybe you have seen David Calvo's post in the Super 2x2x2 thread. That resolves any issues with the puzzle that caused this reopening of this Pandora's box :wink: , in my opinion.

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 12:12 pm 
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I am probably the least knowlegable of the moderators on KO's. I usually must defer to one of the others.
As has been mentioned many times before, the KO policy is about respecting the original designers. As long as everyone is being respectful, then we are in good shape.

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 2:24 pm 
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Konrad wrote:
Sandy's statement makes this 5 year proposal of Pantazis somehow official, I would say.
It sounded that way as well to me which was why I pulled that quote over. Let me pull a bit more of that quote over.
Sandy wrote:
Puzzles considered "protected by their rightful owners" includes, but may not be limited to: all puzzles currently in production by their rightful owners, all new puzzle designs and variations created within the last 5 years, and any older designs still being "reserved" by the rightful owner (as Tony has done).

Puzzles considered "not protected by their rightful owners" include, but may not be limited to: puzzles whose patents and/or copyrights have expired and which are no longer in production by the rightful owner, and puzzles that were designed more than 5 years ago but are not being produced and are not "reserved" by the rightful owner. Copying and selling or trading puzzles "not protected by their rightful owners" is considered healthy for our community, so long as they are clearly declared to be copies.
The fact that he talks about "puzzles currently in production by their rightful owners" ahead of the 5 year point I take that to mean by producing your puzzle (making it available to the community) in some fashion is a way of "reserving" your design beyond the 5 year mark. Tony still procuses his designs and that is why he wants his reserved. I would think offering your design on Shapeways would also qualify. I think the 5 year mark really just applies to someone that makes and presents and single puzzle (and maybe sells that one on eBay) but doesn't continue to produce the puzzle in some form where its available other members of the community. And reading the second part... even after that 5 years one should state that the design is a copy. Looking at the current example gr_cubed when he offers his Super 2x2x2 should state that this is a copy of David Calvo's design. But Sandy actually says "Copying and selling or trading puzzles "not protected by their rightful owners" is considered healthy for our community, so long as they are clearly declared to be copies.". So this doesn't just apply to selling but just the act of making and presenting a copy as well. So shouldn't it be stated that these are copies?

http://twistypuzzles.com/cgi-bin/puzzle.cgi?pkey=2353
Inventor: Tanner Frisby
Year: 2010

http://twistypuzzles.com/cgi-bin/puzzle.cgi?pkey=2352
Inventor: Andreas Nortmann
Year: 2008

In these cases I tend to think of Tanner and Andreas as creators of these particular puzzles but I'd tend to consider them copies of a mechanism invented by David Calvo. It is now clear that David isn't upset or concerned by this. In fact he's likely flattered that Tanner and Andreas copied his puzzle. But it does seem to me to be an apparent inconsistency in the KO policy as is.

And there is one other aspect of this that troubles me and I can argue it both ways. Is there a time limit on these "reserved" puzzles? Or should there be? If not it seems we are offering greater rights then even those given in a patent. I believe Rubik's 3x3x3 has been more or less in constant production yet copies are no longer considered a KO.

And in other thread Tony made it clear there will (never) be a Shapeways Golden Cube. He didn't actually say "never" but it sure felt implied. And as a designer I respect his wishes. And as a designer I want full control over my DoDep puzzles, my Real5x5x5, my Bubbloids, etc. too so I'm not out to argue with Tony. That isn't the concern here. I'm just wondering if its fair to be able to expect to reserve a design for ever... or maybe a life-time. If the answer is "yes" and as a designer I'm ok with that, shouldn't we also afford Rubik the same protection for his 3x3x3? It seems the fact that a patent has expired has actually hurt the amount of protection our policy afords him as a designer, when most of us don't even have a patent at all.

After a patent expires one can legally produce and sell them but the KO policy is more about respect and what seems to be the morally correct thing to do. There are lots of things that are legal which many would consider unrespectful and/or morally wrong.

I don't have the answer here... just questions I think about.
Konrad wrote:
We do our best here to define it in manner that avoids a fixed set of black and white rules but sets forth a goal of respect, with the idea that each very grey area can be approached according to its unique circumstances.
I tend to think its best to try and anticipate some of those grey areas so the response is consistant and thought out well before hand. Granted that can't always be done but I think it helps.
Konrad wrote:
Maybe you have seen David Calvo's post in the Super 2x2x2 thread. That resolves any issues with the puzzle that caused this reopening of this Pandora's box :wink: , in my opinion.
Yes... I was very glad to see that post. That answered many questions about that particular design. But its always easier to open Pandora's box then it is to close it again. Pandora was a partically good puzzle designer in that regard. ;)

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 11:28 am 
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Some thoughts from my perspective.

The five year proposal:

Indeed what I remembered as Pantazis' proposal (5 years) did make its way into Sandy's post, which makes a pretty clear statement (it's his site!). My main concern with a fixed time period is expressed in that same thread where by those rules I believe there would have been periods where the Golden Cube was copyable (between individual productions and the mass production).
I think in general an "abandoned design" timeframe makes some sense, but if someone is pursuing their design I feel like we owe them some respect. I believe this is why the and any older designs still being "reserved" by the rightful owner was added in.

Regarding KO "protection" vs. patent protection:

Our policy of KO designation is a form of respect this community extends to those who make it great. It carries with it no real authority or force. It is the respect a friend shows another friend.
Patent is a legal protection that carries with it rights and serious consequences, enforced (sometimes) by governments.
So to imply one gets more protection from our KO policy is comparing two different things to me.
Clearly the duration of the benefit one gets from these two systems is different as is the quality of that benefit.
When one enters into a patent one is making the public and legal contract to reserve some rights in exchange for expressly giving up those rights after a contracted period of time.
Our KO policy recognizes that contract, in general. So when Rubik's patent expires we recognize he (or the owner) knew and agreed to having it become public domain after the period of the patent expired. As such there is no loss of respect (the basis of our policy) in others doing exactly what patent is intended to promote: Using that invention after the protected period.

Now if someone doesn't go through the patent system, they have no legal protections and if they choose to build and sell their design I think it is completely consistent for our policy to respect them doing so for as long as they choose. I don't see that anyone could with any reason "game" the system and avoid getting a patent so as to lock in "TwistyPuzzle KO rights" for longer than 20 years. In theory a duration gain is accomplished but in practice I see no real market advantage.

I am curious to see if someone can propose a reasonable situation under which this "unlimited" aspect of our policy has some negative consequences. I confess I haven't pursued that line of thought in detail, but mostly that is because no cases have presented themselves where this has indicated a problem.

Dave :)

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 7:19 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
Some thoughts from my perspective.

The five year proposal:
<SNIP>
I think in general an "abandoned design" timeframe makes some sense, but if someone is pursuing their design I feel like we owe them some respect. I believe this is why the and any older designs still being "reserved" by the rightful owner was added in.
I agree. If there is any indication that the designer is pursuing their design I'm perfectly ok with bumping things past 5 years. I think the 5 years is aimed just at what you called "abandoned designs".
DLitwin wrote:
Regarding KO "protection" vs. patent protection:
<SNIP>
I am curious to see if someone can propose a reasonable situation under which this "unlimited" aspect of our policy has some negative consequences. I confess I haven't pursued that line of thought in detail, but mostly that is because no cases have presented themselves where this has indicated a problem.
First I also agree that comparing the KO protection to a patent is like comparing apples to oranges. The KO policy carries NO weight outside of this site and it doesn't even have much influence over which puzzles most members of this site purchase. Its more about the posting rules on the site. So I feel safe in saying that most designers would patent their designs if it weren't for the cost of a patent. But the cost of a patent also requires that the design go public domain at some point in the future. That doesn't mean the designer really wanted it to become public domain... its just the price they had to accept to get the protection a patent offers. A company like Coca Cola for example does NOT have a patent on their formula for Coke. It is considered a trade secret and those can be kept indefinitely. But the structure of a 3x3x3 would essentially be impossible to protect as a trade secret. So Rubik didn't really have any choice in allowing it to become public domain if he wanted to produce his puzzle and get legal protection. I think its a choice any of us would make if we could afford the cost of the patent and the lawyers to enforce it.

There is a reason why patents have time limits and I won't state them all here but I would think most would apply to the KO policy as well in some respect. But as you say this really isn't a point that needs a hard set rule. The site has imposed a 5 year period on "abandoned designs" and I would think that in effect puts an over all limit on most designs at the designers lifetime plus 5 years. I guess the designer's family could still be benefiting from say a Shapeways shop the designer had opened even 5 years after his/her passing. But (at least in my case) my family wouldn't know a KO Bubbloid or DoDep if they were given one. So this seems reasonable to me. It just feels odd that Rubik then wouldn't be covered under the KO policy basically due to the fact that he got a patent. But considering how he's benefited from his patent over the years and that the KO policy probably has zero impact on him personally I'm not sure this debate really needs an answer. As I said... it just feels odd.

Going back to the Golden Cube. Did Meffert's patent it before he produced it? If so and that patent falls to public domain status and Tony still considers it a "reserved" design then what? Lots and lots of ifs I don't know but I think it would be a potentially tricky situation to apply the KO policy to.

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 1:10 am 
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wwwmwww wrote:
Going back to the Golden Cube. Did Meffert's patent it before he produced it?
With Tony's Golden Cube in the public domain for many years I am sure that would not have been possible.
wwwmwww wrote:
If so and that patent falls to public domain status and Tony still considers it a "reserved" design then what? Lots and lots of ifs I don't know but I think it would be a potentially tricky situation to apply the KO policy to.
Well for it be patented (were it possible, given its previous public disclosure) Tony would have had to either be named the patent or have sold his interest to Meffert for him to do so. Meffert couldn't just go and patent someone else's design.
In either of these cases there is a pretty clear contract entered into by the designer, the known outcome of which is the eventual entry of that design into the public domain. Given that I think our goal of respect is properly upheld should people later take legally and ethically proper advantage of that known reversion to public domain status.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: KO Policy Question
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 5:20 am 
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Konrad wrote:
Sandy's statement makes this 5 year proposal of Pantazis somehow official, I would say.


And since this five year proposal was stated five years ago, time is up!!! :lol:

On a less humorous but more creative perspective, I would advise everyone to try to come up
with their own new ideas. We are all different individuals with different experiences. Anything that
seems complex to others, may seem trivial to us, and with a little bit of thought (and a prototype!)
some new little miracles may pop up out of the blue.

:)


Pantazis

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