Apple 1 schematics - (OT) copyright comments

From: Paul Berger <>
Date: Sat Jan 18 20:55:00 2003

On Sat, 2003-01-18 at 16:34, chris wrote:
> >A: Yes.
> >B: Google is your friend.
> Oh look at that... tons of hits.
> Gee, I figured it might be the kind of thing that Apple would have
> protected... maybe it was the thread on copyrights just soured me into
> forgetting that not everything in this world is locked away in a vault.

Well Steve Wozniak designed the Apple 1 and was part of the homebrew
computer club, which was a pretty open group of people into sharing
information, he would probably say the design is in the public domain.
He is probably happy that people are preserving his work and that they
find joy in preserving the history of microcomputers.

> >It's *extremely* difficult to find some of the Apple I parts, which have
> >been out of production for over years. Particularly the seven 1024-bit
> >MOS shift registers, and one hex-40-bit MOS shift register.
> I really hadn't thought that far in advance.... I was honestly under the
> wrong impression that the Apple 1 plans would be hard to come by.

How are you going to get the ROMs if everybody believes in strict
copyright? I think it would be just about impossible to recreate an old
system without stepping on somebody's copyright.

--- a general rant to the list ---

Companies generally are not interested in maintaining their old
copyrights and preserving them, in the vast majority of cases old works
are is only maintained by dedicated hobbyists or librarians. This is
why "hard copyrights" like we have now with encryption and digital
restrictions entering firmware and severe criminal penalties for any
violation, without the character of the infringement even being
considered, is wrong.

Before 1973 the owners of a copyright had to actively maintain it by
first claiming copyright and second by registering it to keep it active
after the initial 28years. Before the No Electronic Theft Act in
1996(7?) it was not considered infringement to reproduce works as long
as the work was not being actively maintained i.e. publicly available
and it was not done fore profit. So if I had a copy of a manual for an
old piece of equipment I was free to make a copy and give it to you as
long as I did not profit directly from the act.

There is no logical reason that many technically infringing uses of
abandoned copyrights should be perfectly legal as long as it is not for
profit. If your argument to refute this is that the author has a right
control of the work, I would say that this right is not absolute since
it is legal for me to make a dub of a CD for my car, to sing happy
birthday (still copyrighted) at a birthday party in my home, and to
record TV off the air without having to pay royalties to anyone. I see
it as once an author makes a works publicly available, additional
non-commercial uses should fall into fair use if the author does not
continue making the work available to the public.

OK, I have that off my chest for now.

Actually a discussion copyright probably does belong on this list since
people are discussing making copies of manuals, eproms, paper tapes, etc
to preserve and keep old systems running and all these fall under
copyright and reproducing them is a infringe of copyright without the
author's consent even if it is done for non-commercial purposes under
current US law.

Received on Sat Jan 18 2003 - 20:55:00 GMT

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