Re: copyrights & CDROMs

Phil (VA3UX) <phil@...>

I'd be very careful about starting a campaign with Tek about the vintage manual situation. I suggest we "let sleeping dogs lie". We've already been given a preview of the answer such a request is likely to bring : one retired employee has never received permission and another retired employee was purportedly told " don't ask questions that you won't like the answers to". That last statement - if it's true an accurate - has the answer we're all looking for anyway but it's cleverly cloaked.

A petition is likely to attract the kind of attention that will have the effect opposite to the intended goal. In today's high tech paranoia-driven organizations, I can easily conceive a Vice President of Historical Relations and Vintage Affairs looking at this and thinking, " my gawd ! There's 200 names on this letter. This must just be the tip of the iceburg. There must really be thousands of potential customers for new products that are being held captive by our older products. We'll stop this menace right now. We'll issue a letter informing that we intend to prosecute copyright infringement to full extent of the law, no matter how old the product. We'll force them out of the 60's and 70's and into the year 2001". And then where would we be ? Worse-off than we are right now where little if any attention is being paid to the miniscule market for copied old manuals.

My advice : drop the issue and carry on as we have been.


At 12:13 PM 9/17/2001 -0700, you wrote:

The letters that Stan mentioned and I understand that he meant mass mailing,
would be very effective. If letters came from people who still work and on
company letterhead, Tektronix might get an idea how their scheming is
received by potential customers. I do not think that Stan and Dean should be
asked to sign a 'collective letter'; they still know lot of people at
Tektronix and no strain should be put on those relationships. Besides, in
Tektronix's mind our group, as collectors, is of no consequence, they are
looking at people who would buy new equipment.


Miroslav Pokorni

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2001 10:03 AM
Subject: Re: [TekScopes] Re: copyrights & CDROMs

>PS . . . . . I have to confess that I have made a copy of a
page or two for
>some desparate Tek equipment owners in the past myself.
One guy now offers a
>CD ROM with 46 complete manuals on it, which I consider
orders of magnitude
>worse than anything like this that I have seen in the past.

The manuals on that CDROM are *not* OEM Tek or HP manuals.
They are US
Army manuals that are publically available on an Army web
site. I'm
looking at one now (TM 11-6625-2759-14, aka Tek 7L5 service
manual) and it
says "This manual contains copywrite [sic] material
reproduced by
permission of the Tektronix Company." If Tektronix objects
to reproduction
of this manual, it's really up to them to complain to the
Army. The guy
selling the CDROM is not at fault.

For what it's worth, my opinion on the copyright issue is
that the test
equipment companies are happy with the current ambiguous
situation and
don't have any reason to clarify it. They also don't have
an incentive
to sue people for copyright violation since the legal
expenses would far
exceed any possible damages they could collect. Therefore,
I predict the
current situation will continue.

In support of this, I have noticed that even the largest
test equipment
dealers often supply photocopied manuals with the used
equipment they sell.
Two examples are Electro Rent and Tucker (Tucker also sells
service manuals). This doesn't really prove anything, but
since they are
franchised dealers for new equipment from HP and Tek, it
supports the idea
that those companies must not be bothered too much by the

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