The NSCA Codes & Compliance Committee provides a forum for members to ask questions and find answers to the issues they’re most concerned about in regard to compliance.
Ask our committee a question and the most appropriate subject-matter expert will provide you with direction or advice. We may point you to other resources on NSCA’s website or to the leading authorities on the topic as well.
Our goal is to provide direction and best practices while respecting the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). The general advice we provide may still require you to check local ordinances, codes, or permitting regulations.
Intellectual Property (3)
Related to the code/copyright conversation: content protection schemes. Can we simply add a clause to our contract that specifically shifts all liability for copyright violation (should a video system be used to duplicate a movie, for example) and absolves us from changes to copyright protection schemes created/modified by the content producer (re: HDCP) should a future change to that scheme render our client’s system unusable.
Who owns the code and rights to make changes to initial programing configuration once the project has been turned over to the owner/end-user?
This is an often-disputed and often-debated issue. It is NSCA’s belief that code ownership needs to be a defined arrangement: something contracted between the software developer, manufacturer, programmer, integrator, and end-user. This is very complex when many parties are involved. There are several legal opinions, numerous case studies, and, in some instances, unresolved project closeout disputes that have gone on for years.
The most important factor is the agreement between the control systems manufacturer and the integrator. Often, the integrator signs a dealer agreement which clearly states that the software, source code, and initial programming will be turned over to the end-user; their license agreement is subject to turning that over.
In other cases, the manufacturer leaves it up to the authorized dealer to transfer the ownership (or not) of the programming information as they see fit.
It could be because an end-user equipped with the basic knowledge of the system, the as-built drawings, and the programming capability could replicate a system and use the limited-use license to build out many systems when the intent was a single system.