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Thread: Open Source Plans

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Thanks Dave

    I'm going to proceed cautiously here. Perhaps if a question comes up I'll send them a single drawing suggesting that this is the fix that builders have been using or this is an alternate way of doing it. You never know. If enough questions are asked a whole new set of plans will eventually get circulated. But they would have already bought a set of plans from someone else in order to be able to ask the questions.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    By legal definition all work is copywritten. There doesn't have to be marks or statements on the work. It is illegal to steal someone else's work and claim it as yours … or put it in open source. As has been mentioned, computer program languages are often open source, but the products produced from them are not. For example, anyone can buy MSExcel, VB or and use it. But the programs produced by it can often be "copywritten" and/or company proprietary. Changing a part or two doesn't make it a new design. (sarcastically) Ask Garmin or any other manufacturer for there code … it's written in some language that's publicly available.

    BTW, Paul Poberezny BOUGHT the rights to the Corbin airplanes (drawings and part patterns). How do I know? I did the drawings to document, update and modify them … and widen the Super and Junior Ace airplanes. Are there errors? Yes. The cabane measurements don't match the number on the general arrangement drawing as an example.

    Several have mentioned talking to the original designer. Great idea. They are normally open, but be prepared to live with his/her answer.

  3. #13
    Airmutt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    NW. Atlanta GA
    If I understand the Corben history correctly...Paul sold his rights in 1959-60?? and the Corben designs changed hands a number of times over time and last I heard they were owned by a guy up in north Georgia. I certainly wasn’t privy to Paul’s activities but when the Pober Junior came around he was not the plans owner. That’s merely the point I was making. Now he may have had an agreement in place at the time but it wasn’t common knowledge. Either way it’s a clone with improvements. And I’m OK with that.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Although the internet isn't always correct, Wiki does an okay job on this one in particular. I know Paul owned the right in 1984-1986 when I "updated" the airplane to the Pober airplanes (and documented the originals much better). For eample, the originals had steel leading edges, and we updated those to aluminum.

    The Pober airplanes removed the Ford Model A engines and installed Continential C-85 engines. The Super was widened 7" and the Juniour 9" (Wiki incorrectly states it was a 2-place, tandem where it is really a 2-place, side-by-side). The horizontal of the Junior was widened and both vertical surfaces were combinations of different Corbin models, made to fit (artistic design changes by Paul).

    As for the sale of plans, I believe that all were accomplished through Acro Sport, Inc (Jean Kenneman?), but I was not a part of that at all. I believe that her son has carried on some work in that area, but I am not sure there either.

    Getting back on topic, I would be very careful of taking other people's work and claiming it as mine or putting it out to the world for free. If the original designer or the more recent owner to those designs is still living, they could potentially sue you. In the certificated world, just because a manufacturer quits producing an airplane, it doesn't mean that one can started building and selling them. An owner can make parts for their airplane but not produce parts for anyone else.

    I'm interested to see what happens as more of the new generations want everything to be "open" but this same group is also more litigious. The lawyers will find people to put names on the lawsuit. Interesting topic.

  5. #15
    Hi all
    Seems to be not so easy subject.

    We started some time ago a project to provide plans for a wooden fun plane. And offer it as open-source. Without knowledge of your discussion, we ended to use CERN Open Hardware license, strongly-reciprocal CERN-OHL-S (
    See description

    Other possibilities we looked at were Creative Commons, which is more suited to text/picture type of things.
    And as we knew that a license is required in some countries, we decided to provide a written license with that serial number.



  6. #16

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    New Hampshire
    Just some technical info. The posts here appear to be confusing patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Patents expire. If I recall correctly after 17 or 20 years the work is no longer protected and anyone can use the intellectual property. Trademarks also expire. I believe that you have to pay an annual fee to hold your trademark. Interestingly, work that can be copyrighted essentially does not expire.

    So all of the folks who are making XYZ-Cubs are taking advantage of all of the above. In the case of Wag-Aero, they started making "cub clones" a long time ago so they might have run afoul of the rules in the early days and changed their names to avoid problems that cost $$.

    In the case of publishing copies of other individual's works, that can indeed result in problems for the copier. Much safer legally and ethically to publish updates to the original plans. Or get the written blessing of the original author.

    Best of luck,


  7. #17
    lnuss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Interestingly, work that can be copyrighted essentially does not expire.
    Not really true, though it can almost seem like it on newer works. You used to have to register, then renew in order to maintain copyright, with renewal limits. Now if it's published it's copyrighted. After 1978 the copyright term is the life of the author plus 70 years. And for works published or registered before 1978, the maximum copyright duration is 95 years from the date of publication, if copyright was renewed during the 28th year following publication.

    Larry N.

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