Mycroft AI Mycroft Mark 1
OSHWA UIDUS000049 Project Profile
Mycroft Mark 1 is a smart speaker and a reference device for the open-source AI assistant Mycroft.
Mycroft chose to use the CERN license to cover its distinctive physical hardware. The appearance of the Mycroft incorporates creative elements that go beyond simple functionality, so it is likely protected by copyright. The license allows other people to copy the hardware without violating its copyright as long as they follow the CERN license terms.
The CERN license integrates the General Public License (GPL) for software into its terms. Using a single CERN license for hardware and software can be a good choice for creators who want the GPL’s terms to apply to all elements of their product.
DocumentationCERN View Documentation
The CERN license also integrates GPL-style terms for documentation. This makes it a good choice for creators who want the GPL’s terms to apply to all elements of their product.
The Mycroft name is protected by trademark and not openly licensed. This trademark protection is fairly strong because it goes well beyond simply describing the functionality of the product. That means that anyone is free to make a version of the Mycroft Mark 1, but only Mycroft AI can market them under the name “Mycroft.” Mycroft’s decision to license the physical hardware under a CERN license would likely prevent them from attempting to protect the appearance of Mycroft Mark 1 with trade dress protection.
Protectability Spectrum of Project Components
Mycroft Electronic Hardware Elements
The internal electronics are purely functional and unlikely to be protectable by copyright or trademark.
Mycroft Product Documentation
The documentation mostly consists of schematics, which leave little room for creative expression protectable by copyright.
Mycroft Product Design
The product design and hardware itself is fanciful and creative, going well beyond what is needed for its core functionality. That expression is protectable by copyright.
Mycroft Name and Logo
The Mycroft name and logo are distinctive and not merely descriptive of the product. It is likely that they can be protected by a combination of trademark and copyright.
Most software is protected by copyright. This includes firmware.