More on manuals plus rescue

Jay Jaeger cube1 at
Fri Aug 21 16:49:27 CDT 2015

On 8/21/2015 1:50 PM, tony duell wrote:

> I will happily agree that it is both morally and legally a crime to distribute somebody else's
> work that they get income from. The discussion of manuals and software here refers to 
> items that the original author/company cannot or will not provide any longer. It is 
> still a legal crime to distribute such work without permission I think, but I don't feel it is a
> moral crime. Nobody is really losing money as a result (which is probably why some 
> companies specifically allow it and many more turn a blind eye.)
> -tony

To that last part - a few years back I corresponded via e-mail one of
IBM's legal counsel, to see if I could get permission to provide scanned
copies of IBM 1410 manuals. (Really, it was pretty amazing that he even
took the time to correspond with me).  IBM never gave the permission. I
got the feeling that the issue was that nobody was willing to sign off
internally that IBM could never derive any value from them in the
future, even though clearly they never would. The problem was really
cultural / organizational - there really was never any question about
any real issues for them.

And yet I am pretty sure those involved with bitsavers are reasonably
confident that IBM would never sue them. ;)  Or, if IBM did, that the
damages, after worst case tripling, would be something under $0.03, ala
Queens Bench VII.  ;)  ;)


More information about the cctech mailing list