Tim Shoppa wrote:
I'm not saying that anything illegal happened,
just that the
end result is a damned shame.
Indeed. That said, it's capitalism, pure and simple. The contract is online
here -- http://www.tech-systems-labs.com/pdf-files/Agreement.pdf
anyone's interested. $5000 for the entire Heathkit back-catalogue seems like a
pretty sweet deal...
I suppose the ultimate solution to this would be a pre-emptive strike of
sorts. Find out who owns the copyright to at least some of these manuals, then
ask for permission to distribute them as long as no charge is made for doing so.
The ideal would be to buy up the copyright for as many companies' manuals as
you can, then turn around and release them under GFDL or something.
Or you go for the middle ground -- AIUI there's a "gentleman's
between Tektronix and the electronics community at large. IIRC the terms were
something along the lines of "if the product has been out of production for
more than X years, and the manual is out of print, then owners of our gear may
copy/distribute the manuals as long as the copyright page is intact and no
charge is made for duplication". Again, I can't remember the exact terms, but
ISTR there was a letter posted to the "TekScopes" mailing list at one point
when permission was obtained.
Staying in the test equipment field for a bit, a couple of years ago, Agilent
started gathering copies of the manuals for their older test gear. That is to
say, stuff from the HP days -- 1650-series logic analysers, and even older
than that. What did they do with these manuals?
Scanned them and put them on their website. For free download.
This kind of behaviour can only be applauded (unless you're one of the
bottom-feeding leeches trying to sell manuals for a vast profit on ebay, in
which case, "ha ha ha, sucks to you")
classiccmp at philpem.me.uk