Airbus critique of 787

Jon Ostrower of FlightBlogger has a stunning coup: a 48 page critique of Boeing’s 787 by Airbus. His blog link is here. He has a link to the full report.

6 Comments on “Airbus critique of 787

  1. Hi Scott,
    I have a question about your comments on the legality of publishing this report on the net via the first amendment vs. the confidentiality notice at the end of the presentation. Although the USA has the first amendment, what are the laws as far as the rest of the world, specifically Europe concerning such an incident? Are there international laws that would cover this? Or would the U.S. laws take precedent, since it was published in America by and American citizen?

    Regards,
    John

  2. Flight Magazine, who own the website and employ Jon Ostrower are UK based. I don’t believe under English law, information pertaining to a commercial company is protected at all.

    Boeing have certain copyright protections which restrict other people copying their actual PowerPoint slides, but not the conveying of the information they contain. Boeing could hypothetically claim against Ostrower and Flight who published the document, but not against Airbus as it didn’t apparently agree to publication. Airbus have a similar hypothetical claim against Ostrower and Flight for their analysis pages.

    However, I don’t believe a copyright claim would get far in court. There is little evidence of commercial gain through this copying and there is a defence of fair comment. At most, Flight would be forced to remove the link to the actual document.

    Employees who revealed confidential information to Airbus might be subject to contractual sanctions – presumably dismissal – and just possibly criminal sanctions according to the laws of the place where they work. But this wouldn’t affect Airbus or Flight.

  3. The readers raise valid points. However, Jon Ostrower is an American jounalist working out of Flight’s US office and can argue First Amendment rights. The question then becomes is posting the entire, copyrighted Airbus document “fair use” or a copyright violation? Our policy is if we find a document on the Internet, it’s already “out there” regardless of copyright and we’ll post the whole thing. If the document is not in the public domain, we take a conservative approach and only excerpt text or slides under “fair use” unless we explicitly get permission to post the whole thing.

    If Airbus (the aggrieved party in this case) were to sue, would it sue in the UK or the US? As readers point out, the UK law isn’t as friendly to journalists as the US law. But since Ostrower is a US citizen working in the US at Flight’s US office, an argument can be made the jurisdiction ought to be the US. There is also the solid principal that a lawsuit needs to be filed in a venue reasonably close to the defendant, in this case (hypothetically) including Ostrower.

  4. Any lawsuit would have one heck of a procedural hurdle to overcome. I saw a lot of information on those slides that is already in the public domain.

    Speaking hypothetically, does an entire document labeled proprietary – either from A or B – retain protection even if the information laid therein is public knowledge?

    Tough question to answer for 99.9% of us. And that’s one of the easier questions I could raise.

  5. I heard a rumour that Boeing are preparing for a lawsuit. Not sure what they want to prove….
    They should just move on, in my opinion and take those ‘lessons’ as a free, independent assessment 🙂

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