Sale of "free" stuff on eBay

From: Richard A. Cini <>
Date: Wed Nov 24 18:45:39 2004


>>Btw: I do have some of Rich's scans in my Altair section, and I *DID*
>>contact him for permission, and he *IS* listed in my credits. I even
>>gave him some scans of docs he was missing during our correspondance.

Frankly, this kind of recognition is all that I wanted for the project from
this person. In the end, all that I got was a link to my Web site and no
additional recognition. As far as I can tell, the files on the CD are
original. As a result of this, I may publish MD5 hashes for the
distributions and develop a real "license" to go along with them.

I appreaciated, and was flattered, that Dave contacted me, and I was more
than happy to contribute to his project in any way that I could. I wasn't
planning on flaming this person or hassling him through eBay. Now, if I were
in this for the money and I was writing this software for profit, then, yes,
I wouldn't hesitate to bust this person.

I love the Altair32 project; it's been an enormous learning experience and
has enabled me to make contact with some great people, including original
hardware and software developers, Microsoft Fellows, and others. I play by
the rules and ask permission when/if I want to use someone else's work (like
Jim Battle...thanks); I expect the same treatment in return.

Like I said in a concurrent post, I'm very happy that the Altair32 is being
distributed to others because it, and projects like it, can only raise the
profile of our hobby (for some and business for others). Who knows...maybe
some rare computer will find its way to me because someone in Sheboygan, WI
bought CD#5 and found my name on it. Who knows...stranger things have

Thanks for all of the input.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.


-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Dave Dunfield
Sent: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 6:42 PM
Subject: Re: Sale of "free" stuff on eBay

>Hi Dave.

Hi Sellam,

>You make good points overall, but I don't think it takes very much effort
>to contact the authors/producers of each contribution on the CD. It's
>just a matter of basic courtesy. This would take maybe an hour or two of
>e-mail. They're charging $50 per CD. That's about a dollar in production
>costs and $49 of profit. Assuming they sell even 5, that's still a good
>return for material to which they didn't contribute.

The auction I looked at (briefly) showed $10 - if he is charging $50, then
this is out of the "reasonable return for the convienence" catagory, and I
would agree that he should be putting a bit more effort into how he acuuires
the material.

My point would more apply to thing like the SIMTEL collection - the CD set
has a HUGE directloty listing which is "single line per item" - adding even
one line of acknowlegement would double this size, and would be negative in
effect (IMO) - And most people don't look at or care about each package on
the set - they read the desciptions and unpack the stuff they are interested
in, at which point they get exposed to all of the authors original material,
promotional or otherwise - It these cases, the CD really is not much
from an internet connection - its just a means of delivery. I looked at the
listing at $10 and placed it in this catagory...

I am also assuming that Rich's material is included on the CD in it's
form, as he prepared it - if not, then that would also cause me to have a
problem with the CD.

>You're referring to Al.

I specifcally avoided mentining names, because I do not recall all of the
details - this was intended as an example of how the "don't use my stuff"
attitude has prevented me from obtaining some material, NOT as a flame on
any particular person(s).

>>Really annoying, considering that he doesn't have permission
>> from most of the original authors, and claims to be preserving them and
>> "making them available" ... but apparently only to the "high-speed"
>> elite (but again I rant :-)
>He doesn't "claim" to be preserving them. He *IS* preserving them!
>I'm sorry, but have some fucking respect.

As noted above, this is not directed to a particular person ... And I DO
a great deal of respect for Al and others like him. And no dispute that
people are preserving important documents. But, anyone who takes the
"only to be distributed by download from my site" is NOT making them
to EVERYONE - it prevents me from obtaining much of the larger material (and
doc scans tend to be large :-) No matter how well information is preserved,
it is of no benefit if it is unobtainable.

>> Lets have a show of hands ... anyone participatng in this list ever
>> distrbure any material without obtaining explicit permission from the
>> orignal author?
>The question is, do you make a practice of this?

Yes, sometimes - see the "notes on documents and software" on my site for

Btw: I do have some of Rich's scans in my Altair section, and I *DID*
him for permission, and he *IS* listed in my credits. I even gave him some
of docs he was missing during our correspondance.

A lot of the documents on my site have been scanned by yours truly, there
some from other sources, and some I don't even know/recall where they came
so far nobody has minded, and as described in my "notes", I will remove any
material if asked to do so by the holder of rights to that material.

Rich's simulator is a bit of a different case than most "vintage material",
he is still around and supporting it. But he DOES give it away, and
hasseling the
creator of a $10 "collectin" CD will probably only result in its being
from the CD, and I do not see how this benefits anyone.

BUT - the choice as to what to do is ultimately Rich's .. He asked our
and I gave him mine. to quote Spock, he is free to "give it all the
it is due".

For the record: My original material from my site is welcome to be included
collection CDs and any other reasonable uses. I don't do this for money (in
it's quite the opposite :-), I don't do this for fame/recognition ... I do
because I want people to be able to see and experience something of the era
we enjoyed, before computers became another appliance (see my FAQ for a
description of my motives and activities).

dave04a (at)    Dave Dunfield
dunfield (dot)  Firmware development services & tools:
com             Vintage computing equipment collector.
Received on Wed Nov 24 2004 - 18:45:39 GMT

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