S/36Doc (skating on thin ice)

From: lee courtney <charlesleecourtney_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Thu Jan 31 00:40:31 2002

Hi all,

An example of doing this in a way that avoided legal
entanglements is what the 1620 Project at Computer
History Museum (www.computerhistory.org) did. In the
process of working with IBM, the 1620 Project obtained
permission from IBM to scan all 1620 related
documentation and software with the goal of making it
available via the Museum's web site (via the Museum's
CyberMuseum Project).

The process took took well over a year, involving IBM
legal and Lou Gerstner's office. Dave Babock, the
project manager and driving force behind the 1620
restoration sheparded this difficult and tedious
process. It turns out that the 1620 Project obtained
permission to scan/post not only the 1620
documentation, but also a wide range of System/360,
unit record, and material covering other systems of
that era.

There have been conversations about expanding this
Agreement to other systems and the Museum obtaining
copyright releases for other IP. We have a good
working relationship with IBM so I am optimistic about
that happening at some point in the future.

I agree with most of Bill's comments about the danger
of duplicating and disseminating these documents.
However, IBM will not turn a blind eye to copyright
violations of IP just because a document is for an
'older' system. If IBM ignored an IP violation, that
could be used to weaken copyright claims on any of
their other copyrighted material - old or new. I'm not
a lawyer, nor have I played one on TV, but I doubt if
there is a distinction with regards to a document
being associated with a a system which is no longer
sold (other than the expiration/non-renewal of a
copyright). My $0.02.

Email with questions/comments.


Lee Courtney

--- William Donzelli <aw288_at_osfn.org> wrote:
> > I'm working on reviving a 5362 right now. Please
> reply
> > off list with whatever persuasion is required to
> at
> > least allow me the use of them. I'd be very happy
> to
> > scan them all and make them available.
> While I am all for saving and scanning docs for
> older computers - I must
> say that this latest talk about scanning and making
> public relatively
> current IBM stuff is scary and dangerous.
> S/370(ish)s and S/36s are still
> out there, in suprising numbers. IBM has NOT given
> any permission for us
> to make the information public. Please, people, do
> not make this stuff
> public until IBM blesses it. They have been turning
> a blind eye in the
> classic computing world, but we would not want them
> to clamp down, would
> we? Lets wait a few years...anyway, S/36 and S/370
> docs are fairly common.
> Now older IBMs - 650s, 1130s, and the like - are
> pretty much fair game,
> and I doubt IBM would really care. S/1s, S/3s, S/7s,
> S/88s, 8100s, and PC
> stuff, however, might cause problems.
> William Donzelli
> aw288_at_osfn.org

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Received on Thu Jan 31 2002 - 00:40:31 GMT

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