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Sponsored Libre Research Agreements to Create Free and Open Source Software and Hardware

1
Department of Materials Science & Engineering and Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
2
Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering, School of Electrical Engineering, Aalto University, FI-00076 Espoo, Finland
Inventions 2018, 3(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/inventions3030044
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 6 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Innovation Papers)
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Abstract

As a growing number of companies reject intellectual property (IP) monopoly-based business models to embrace libre product development of free and open source hardware and software, there is an urgent need to refurbish the instruments of university-corporate research partnerships. These partnerships generally use a proprietary standard research agreement (PSRA), which for historical reasons contains significant IP monopoly language and restrictions for both the company and the university. Such standard research agreements thus create an artificial barrier to innovation as both companies using a libre model and universities they wish to collaborate with must invest significantly to restructure the contracts. To solve this problem, this article provides a new Sponsored Libre Research Agreement (SLRA). The differences between the agreements are detailed. The advantages of using an SLRA are provided for any type of company and include: (1) minimizing research investments on reporting requirements; (2) reducing delays related to confidentiality and publication embargos; and (3) reducing both transaction and legal costs as well as research time losses associated with IP. Moving to libre agreements both speeds up and reduces costs for setting up collaborative research. Under the SLRA, university researchers can spend more time innovating for the same investment. View Full-Text
Keywords: free and open source hardware; FOSH; free and open source software; open design; open hardware; open science; open scientific hardware; OScH; P2P; P2P manufacturing; sponsored research; sponsored research agreement free and open source hardware; FOSH; free and open source software; open design; open hardware; open science; open scientific hardware; OScH; P2P; P2P manufacturing; sponsored research; sponsored research agreement
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Pearce, J.M. Sponsored Libre Research Agreements to Create Free and Open Source Software and Hardware. Inventions 2018, 3, 44.

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