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Shawn Connelly asked about legal requirements in documentation:
"The type of documentation that I am authoring is user (and other technical
documents) that accompany our hardware and software products (IT industry).I
don't know if it is dangerous but...I believe 100% of my past documentation
always included sections such as: limitations and liabilities, references to
other copyright and trademark holders, GPL license and/or other software
library information, etc. Can anyone shed some light on those obligatory
documentation components that I should concern myself with, especially in
regards to U.S. law (although I am interested in insight about other
If your company has a legal department or advisor, check with them to see if
they have a list of the requirements you must meet. Also see what the
marketing department has on all its sales brochures and other literature.
Any electrical or electronic hardware devices in the US should be certified
by Underwriters Laboratories (the UL on the labels). See http://www.ul.com/
for complete information. Such products sold in Canada require CSA (Canadian
Standards Association) approval or certification. In the European Common
Market, ISO standards apply.
There are probably several websites that will provide what copyright and
licensing statements should be included on your software documentation to
protect your company's intellectual property. In my experience with
software, we included a specific copyright statement like the following:
Software Copyright Notice
"Copyright Company Name, Inc., 2009-2013. All Rights Reserved. Printed in
The information in this guide is confidential and a proprietary trade secret
of Company Name, Inc., and may not be copied, distributed, published, or
disclosed without express prior written permission. This guide is subject to
change without notice and does not represent a commitment on the part of
Company. The software described in this guide is furnished under a license
agreement and may be used or copied only in accordance with the terms of the
There have also been multiple discussions on this list about including
copyright information in documentation.
Start looking. Good luck.
Margaret Cekis, Johns Creek GA
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