Sale of "free" stuff on eBay

From: Richard A. Cini <>
Date: Wed Nov 24 06:45:42 2004


        Thanks for the comments on this. Dave pointed out that Dynacomp has been
around for a looooong time. His auction listing even indicates something to
the effect of "delivering quality software since 1975" which meshes nicely
with Dave's recollection.

        The product is indeed copyrighted, with no GPL. The source files do contain
a copyright notice but not an "All Rights Reserved." legend. However, I
expect people to download it, play with it, make enhancements, and then
contribute back. That's how we were able to move the project to where it is

        I'm twixt and tween...putting it on a compilation CD at least gets the
product out to a wider audience. However, since I (and a few others) are the
copyright holders to the emulator, and I am the "owner" of the project, I
feel that I should have been at least given the courtesy of being asked.
Since this person has sold software as a business in the past, even in the
"early days" of computing, he should appreicate that.

        Thanks for the input on this. I'm going to drop this person a note.


-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Michael Nadeau
Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 6:57 AM
To:; General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic
Subject: Re: Sale of "free" stuff on eBay

> Tonight, I looked at Volume 5 and in the CD table of contents (link
> above), I see "altair32 Project Altair" and two other related
> listings. As you all know, this is my baby and this person never had the
> courtesy to ask my permission to distribute my albeit free software.
> Am I crazy here? Should I contact this guy and ask him to remove it?
> Should I ask him to place a link to the project page instead? How about
> modifying the listing to include a "permission granted" message?
> Any thoughts on this?

The contents on your site are clearly copyrighted, so this guy is out of
bounds. The first step is to ask him to remove the item from eBay. A lot of
people don't understand copyright. They assume it applies only to material
that is for sale. So, be polite and explain that you own the right to
determine how and where the software is distributed.

If he does not comply, then I would file a complaint with eBay. Failing
that, a letter from a lawyer is often effective.

> Hello, all:
> I was browsing eBay and I came across this listing in my "S100"
> search:
> rd=1
> A few months back, I bought a CD from Dynacomp Software because it
> had a bunch of Altair manuals on it that I didn't have. This is, of
> before I found Bitsavers and Harte Technologies, which has all that I
> want on the documentation side.
> Anyway, when this guy was selling only Volume 1 and 2, he was also
> selling the original manuals, so I thought that this guy was OK. As time
> went on, he began to sell other compilation CDs but not the manuals, so I
> concluded that he began clipping files from all over the Web and selling
> them on CDs. A little unsavory, but, well, what can one do?
> Rich
> Rich Cini
> Collector of classic computers
> Build Master for the Altair32 Emulation Project
> Web site:
> /************************************************************/
Received on Wed Nov 24 2004 - 06:45:42 GMT

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