Sale of "free" stuff on eBay

From: Tony Duell <>
Date: Wed Nov 24 18:29:56 2004

> All:
> 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
> today.

A couple of days ago somebody on this list mentioned they were having
PCBs made for a DEC KM11 (maintenance board) clone based on my design.
And that they intended to sell said PCBs and/or kits.

Now, for the record, I was never asked if I minded about this. I never
gave permission. To be honest, I _don't_ mind. I prodcued that design
initially to get my own 11/45 running, and shared it with the world in
the hope that it would keep a few more machines going. And if somebody
wants to make PCBs for it, fine, go ahead. I am not going to stop you.
But do you think I should have been asked first?

My view is that once I put something on the web, I've allowed any member
of the public to download it. Whether they do this by downloading it from
the site or by buying a CD-ROM with it on makes no difference to me. I do
(of course) insist that any acknowledgements remain intact (if only so
you know who to moan at when things go wrong ;-)).

Based on the fact that I have no CD burner (only a reader), limited hard
disk space, and a slow dial-up connection, I'd often rather purchase a
CD-ROM than download large files myself. Preventing your work from
appearing on such CD-ROMs seems to be rather selfish to me.

> 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.

I would agree with that.

> 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.
> Rich

Received on Wed Nov 24 2004 - 18:29:56 GMT

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