More Copyright...


jstanton@...
 

The recent discussion has awakened my interest in copyright, and I
have read a little more.

I have just discovered "The right of first sale". This is the legal
basis for being able to sell a book. When you buy a book you only
own the paper and binding, not the content, which belongs to the
copyright holder. You just purchase a right to read the content.

The "right of first sale" is the legal principle that makes selling
second-hand publications legal. Since Tektronix instruments were
sold with a manual and a right to read the manual embedded in the
price one can assume that the ownership of the instrument carries
with it a right to read the documentation. Should the original
printed copy of that documentation be lost, damaged or destroyed you
still hold a right to read and should be quite entitled in obtaining
a copy so that you can assert your right.

The foregoing argument would suggest that ownership of the instrument
permits you to legally obtain copied documentation. Companies like
Tucker who supply manual copies with their instruments are unlikely
to be violating any law.

Richard, you might like to give a lawyers opinion.

John Stanton
Wood Dale IL
jstanton@viacognis.com


jrlaw@...
 

Toronto, Canada
Sunday, September 23,2001

Dear John:

You have it right. Under Canadian and English law this
concept is referred to as the implied licence that is granted to a
purchaser of the copyrighted product. For that purchaser, who gave
value to the copyright owner, this licence is more generous than the
public "fair use" rights. It would usually be implied to permit the
making of personal use copies and replacement or repair copies. I
understand that on the same analysis, including the term "first use",
most US courts recognize the same rights.

Be aware that Courts are not perfectly predictable and that
judges are human too. Cases are and will be much influenced by
perceptions of "fairness" and "reasonableness". One or two copies is
one thing; dozens will probably be something else all together,
especially if the are offered for sale to all comers without regard
to whether the purchaser has any rights from the owner of the
copyright. Thus if I go to Kinko's and have a couple of copies made
of Tek 2336 service manual (which I am still looking to borrow!),
certainly OK. However, if I order up 100 and post a notice on the
internet offering Tek manuals for sale, this would infringe Tek's
copyright.

My other thoughts about abandonment and limitations on
remedies defining rights still apply and the practicalities should
influence Tek in these matters (as should their share price which
suggests that they could use more friends like the supporters in this
group). Most of us may not be personal purchasers for a new DSO, but
some of us may buy a few shares from time to time in companies that
we respect.

Kindest regards Richard Jones



--- In TekScopes@y..., jstanton@v... wrote:
The recent discussion has awakened my interest in copyright, and I
have read a little more.

I have just discovered "The right of first sale". This is the
legal
basis for being able to sell a book. When you buy a book you only
own the paper and binding, not the content, which belongs to the
copyright holder. You just purchase a right to read the content.

The "right of first sale" is the legal principle that makes selling
second-hand publications legal. Since Tektronix instruments were
sold with a manual and a right to read the manual embedded in the
price one can assume that the ownership of the instrument carries
with it a right to read the documentation. Should the original
printed copy of that documentation be lost, damaged or destroyed
you
still hold a right to read and should be quite entitled in
obtaining
a copy so that you can assert your right.

The foregoing argument would suggest that ownership of the
instrument
permits you to legally obtain copied documentation. Companies like
Tucker who supply manual copies with their instruments are unlikely
to be violating any law.

Richard, you might like to give a lawyers opinion.

John Stanton
Wood Dale IL
jstanton@v...


mwcpc7@...
 

In a message dated 09/23/2001 8:44:35 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
jrlaw@istar.ca writes:


Be aware that Courts are not perfectly predictable and that
judges are human too. Cases are and will be much influenced by
perceptions of "fairness" and "reasonableness". One or two copies is
one thing; dozens will probably be something else all together,
especially if the are offered for sale to all comers without regard
to whether the purchaser has any rights from the owner of the
copyright. Thus if I go to Kinko's and have a couple of copies made
of Tek 2336 service manual (which I am still looking to borrow!),
certainly OK. However, if I order up 100 and post a notice on the
internet offering Tek manuals for sale, this would infringe Tek's
copyright.
For the purposes of the law, quantity is irrelevent. If the work was a
limited run "work of art" selling for thousands of dollars a copy, even one
illegal copy would be very significant. The fact that Tektronics charges
hundreds of dollars a copy would give the seller of even a single copy a
problem in court.

However the philosophy that one is morally obligated to obey the letter of
the law always reminds me of the good burgers of Germany who righteously
rounded up their neighbors for deportation because "it's the law." I agree
with Tektronics policy of "looking the other way" when they see vendors
offering copies of out of print manuals on the Internet and in trade
magazines.

My other thoughts about abandonment and limitations on
remedies defining rights still apply and the practicalities should
influence Tek in these matters (as should their share price which
suggests that they could use more friends like the supporters in this
group). Most of us may not be personal purchasers for a new DSO, but
some of us may buy a few shares from time to time in companies that
we respect.

Kindest regards Richard Jones
It would be very unlikely that Tektronics would grant blanket permission to
publish copies of obsolete manuals for a reason not much mentioned here:
liability. It can be quite dangerous to work on scopes especially tube-type.
When one pays thousands of dollars for a unit (inflation adjusted) it can be
expected that it will be serviced by a qualified technician. However selling
a manual to someone with no electronics background who just paid $5.00 for a
scope at a flea market could considered irresponsible. Even though Tek might
not be directly involved in the transaction, simply permitting it might be
enough for a law firm looking for the nearest deep pocket. It would make me
nervous if I were a Tek executive.


I think that the present "informal" arrangement for distributing manual
copies is the best approach.

Mike Csontos