Classic Hardware Documentation Project

From: Richard Erlacher <>
Date: Fri Nov 19 16:01:09 1999

It seems to me that there are cases such as government funded privately (by
contract) generated documents in which ownership of the information is
public, but ownership of the document itself, i.e. the layout, text
formatting, etc, is property of the party or parties who generate and print
it. In the case of hardware, the information is part of a patent, not part
of the document in which it is presented, therefore subject to prevailing
patent law not copyright. This, like most legal matters, is probably
subject to the whim of whatever court your adversary manages to get to hear
the matter if you don't beat him to the punch, however, until such time as
superior court decisions etch it in firmer material.


-----Original Message-----
From: Hans Franke <>
To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
Date: Friday, November 19, 1999 12:05 PM
Subject: Re: Classic Hardware Documentation Project

>> Public Domain? Not if there's any indication of a copyright on them.
>> That disclaimer you plan to write will not cut it if there is a copyright
>> on the documents. Very few documents could be considered PD unless they
>> not have a specific copyright notice OR if there is a general specific
>> release given by the copyright holder to PD OR the copyright holder gives
>> *you* permission to hang it out on your website for the public to see
>> a notice stating the copyright holder still retains copyright. Recently
>> revised copyright laws make *everything* copyrighted nowadays.
>ALso you may have to take into account that other countries may have
>complete different Copyright laws. For example, German law defines
>three complete different positions within:
>a) The Copyright is strictly limited to natural persons. No company
> or whatsever may hold a copyright. Also a person is _unable_ to
> sell this right. If you are issueing some work, it's yours until
> the end of time. Business is still not restricted, since you are
> entiteled to sell comerial usage of your work on a royality base.
> These comercial right are also only valid for a limited time beyond
> your lifespan.
>b) To be copyrighted a pice of work has to reach a 'non trivial level'.
> So a simple note may or may not be copyrighted - even a book may not,
> althrough based on regular court decisions it's hard to do this.
>b) There is no thing like Public Domain. Every work (if it reaches a
> defined level) is copyrighted. It is just impossible to give up your
> copyright (like it's impossible to give up your human rights - well
> basicly the same idea). You may choose not to use your right and
> pursue violators, but never give up your basic copyright.
>Well, this isn't ideal world, so in every days business the situation
>is the same.
Received on Fri Nov 19 1999 - 16:01:09 GMT

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