20,046 page doc archive still available

From: Jay West <jwest_at_classiccmp.org>
Date: Tue Sep 7 20:56:04 2004

Let me speak from my past history of owning software and manual copyrights.
My argument does not center around law though, that's separate topic for
which I hire lawyers. This is more of an owners view into when he decides to
set loose the sharks....

If someone gave away an old manual to a very old release of our software to
someone else, or another company, quite frankly it didn't raise our ire too
much. The magic line of demarcation was when someone was charging for it and
making money on it. If someone was selling our old manuals or use of the
software, that was the only thing I needed to break out the enforcers of

So, consider how DEC, IBM, HP, etc. etc. is going to view this. If we are a
bunch of hobbyists trading images of obsolete manuals, it's not a lost
source of revenue as chances are they (we) wouldn't pay for a real manual
anyways, and it IS truely old stuff. However, by SELLING collections of old
manuals on ebay (or elsewhere), you are definitely tweaking the nose of the
bigboys as there is cash involved, however trivial.

So, by actually SELLING copies of vintage manuals, you are taking the risk
of pissing off those who's gracious understanding allows us to continue. I
would bet a lot of money that HP still owns the copyrights to the old 21XX
manuals and such and DOES have the right to enforce them on us if they wish.
I perceive (not stating their stance) that they aren't that upset as long as
it is hobbyists trading, freely. You get financial compensation in the
picture and you have just shown them that it IS a case of lost revenue. Then
they are liable to start actively enforcing the copyrights.

Same principle... if a cop sees a guy at a rock concert lighting up, he
probably wont do anything about it. If he sees a guy selling weed on a
street corner, he's gonna bust him.

Since I host mirrors of various vintage documents on classiccmp.org, I am
EXTREMELY concerned about this stuff getting too much "light of day" as in
Ebay. It certainly gives me pause to reconsider.

Yes, I know people sell old manuals on ebay all the time. Usually an
original, and in a qty of 1 or a set, and often with the hardware it was
related to. But this is different. This is a huge set of docs, and
reproduceable to the masses at will. I know instrumentation manuals are
often sold on ebay too. Perhaps TEK, B&K, etc. are more lenient about this.

Putting the CD on ebay is tantamount to forgetting to put the rolled up bath
towel at the bottom of the door *GRIN*

Received on Tue Sep 07 2004 - 20:56:04 BST

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