LMF and abandonned products - VMS

This is a discussion on LMF and abandonned products - VMS ; Michael Moroney wrote: > It is something like that *now* for works created after a certain date. > They changed the copyright law. For works created before that date, > it's a shorter period, something like 50 years from the ...

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Thread: LMF and abandonned products

  1. Re: LMF and abandonned products

    Michael Moroney wrote:

    > It is something like that *now* for works created after a certain date.
    > They changed the copyright law. For works created before that date,
    > it's a shorter period, something like 50 years from the time of creation.


    If the company that owns the rights to some software is wound down
    without selling any of its remaining assets because they are considered
    worthless, is there anyone left to enforce the copyright on those products ?

    In the case of a book, the writer would likely have surviving family who
    would inherit the rights, or perjaps the publisher would get the upon
    death of writer.

    But in the case of a small company that just stops existing, it isn't
    obvious what happens to copyrights.

    Does the copyright law differentiate between somoene "copying a book"
    and a company starting to publish the book and sell it without permission ?

  2. Re: LMF and abandonned products

    JF Mezei wrote:
    > Michael Moroney wrote:
    >
    >> It is something like that *now* for works created after a certain date.
    >> They changed the copyright law. For works created before that date,
    >> it's a shorter period, something like 50 years from the time of creation.

    >
    > If the company that owns the rights to some software is wound down
    > without selling any of its remaining assets because they are considered
    > worthless, is there anyone left to enforce the copyright on those products ?
    >
    > In the case of a book, the writer would likely have surviving family who
    > would inherit the rights, or perjaps the publisher would get the upon
    > death of writer.
    >
    > But in the case of a small company that just stops existing, it isn't
    > obvious what happens to copyrights.
    >
    > Does the copyright law differentiate between somoene "copying a book"
    > and a company starting to publish the book and sell it without permission ?


    Copyright law makes provisions for something called "fair use". You
    can't copy an entire copyrighted work but you CAN reproduce small
    portions with proper attribution. You are well advised to consult a
    lawyer before you reproduce and publish ANY portion of a copyrighted
    work. Or, of course, you can write a letter to the owner requesting
    permission to use some portion or all of the work. If you get written
    permission, you're okay.

    Copyright survives the author. You could not, for example, go back
    through the archives of Info-VAX/comp.os.vms and publish "The Wit and
    Wisdom of Carl J. Lydick" without permission from Carl's estate.

  3. Re: LMF and abandonned products

    On Jun 21, 4:52*am, moro...@world.std.spaamtrap.com (Michael Moroney)
    wrote:
    > Roger Ivie writes:
    > >On 2008-06-20, Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    > >> ISTR that copyright is good for fifty years or the life of the author,
    > >> whichever is greater.

    > >I was under the impression that it's currently something like 75 years
    > >*after the death* of the author.

    >
    > It is something like that *now* for works created after a certain date.
    > They changed the copyright law. *For works created before that date,
    > it's a shorter period, something like 50 years from the time of creation.
    >
    > >This is why Steamboat Willie has not yet lapsed into the public domain.

    >
    > Steamboat Willie was created before the copyright law was changed, and
    > would be in the public domain. *(did you ever notice things like DVDs full
    > of old cartoons in the $1 bin at bargain stores? *The cartoons themselves
    > are in the public domain so the mfgr only has to pay for the CD and
    > packaging it)



  4. Re: LMF and abandonned products

    >>Anyone that does not want to get sued by HP's.

    OK, last time I checked, HP were still using DEC Document to produce
    their OpenVMS documentation (Some HP software development groups use
    Framemaker btw). A DEC Document license could be either issued by DEC
    or issued by TTI.

    So what to HP do to get licenses then?

    I am still trying to buy one, I even have found the old kit (AXPBIN
    CD 3) by the way. The license is not on hobbiest but was on deccampus.
    HP cannot help, and I only want to do the right thing......

    sigh.

  5. Re: LMF and abandonned products

    On 2008-06-21, Michael Moroney wrote:
    > Roger Ivie writes:
    >
    >>This is why Steamboat Willie has not yet lapsed into the public domain.

    >
    > Steamboat Willie was created before the copyright law was changed, and
    > would be in the public domain.


    Quoting the Wikipedia entry for Steamboat Willie:

    > Steamboat Willie has been close to entering the public domain in the
    > United States several times. Each time, copyright protection in the
    > United States has been extended. ... The U.S. copyright on Steamboat
    > Willie will be in effect until at least 2023 unless there is another
    > change of the law.

    --
    roger ivie
    rivie@ridgenet.net

  6. Re: PDP-11 newsgroups, was: Re: LMF and abandonned products

    On 20 Jun 2008 07:28:09 -0500, clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
    (Simon Clubley) wrote:



    >PPS: Before you bring it up, I've also seen some comments about how some
    >people claim that the Mentec hobbyist license is no longer valid. What
    >I've never seen is any actual statement from Mentec that actually says
    >that.


    Do you have a copy of the license? Refer to it; you'll find that it specifically
    licenses the software to be used for hobbyist purposes on pdp-11 emulation
    software *owned by DEC*.

    I'm not 100% clear if very early versions of SIMH were in any sense 'owned by
    DEC', but I don't believe that's true; what is certain is, even it that was once
    the case, it hasn't been the case for many years.

    So, due to the specificity of the Mentec license, I think it's true to say that
    there is currently NO emulator on which pdp-11 software can legally be run -
    since no currently-available emulator meets the 'owned by DEC' criterion. This
    has been discussed before and I don't think anyone disagreed with my analysis.
    The only statement needed from Mentec *is* the license, and it's pretty clear
    that it's useless now.

    (I think this license was drafted at a time when there was a possibility that
    SIMH would be released as an official DEC solution, but that of course never
    happened - this is speculation on my part)

    Mike
    --
    http://www.corestore.org
    'As I walk along these shores
    I am the history within'

  7. Re: PDP-11 newsgroups, was: Re: LMF and abandonned products

    In article <1l5r54ds0c423morgepkb9kqc5nul8po1s@4ax.com>, Mike Ross writes:
    > On 20 Jun 2008 07:28:09 -0500, clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
    > (Simon Clubley) wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >>PPS: Before you bring it up, I've also seen some comments about how some
    >>people claim that the Mentec hobbyist license is no longer valid. What
    >>I've never seen is any actual statement from Mentec that actually says
    >>that.

    >
    > Do you have a copy of the license? Refer to it; you'll find that it specifically
    > licenses the software to be used for hobbyist purposes on pdp-11 emulation
    > software *owned by DEC*.
    >
    > I'm not 100% clear if very early versions of SIMH were in any sense 'owned by
    > DEC', but I don't believe that's true; what is certain is, even it that was once
    > the case, it hasn't been the case for many years.
    >


    Yes, I do have a copy of the licence, and yes, I did miss that interpretation
    of it, primarily due to the fact that the SIMH author continues to distribute
    older distributions of RT-11 and RSTS/E, under, and I quote:

    (under license provided by Mentec Corporation)

    When you look inside the RT-11 V5.3 and the RSTS/E V7 distribution kits, you
    see the licence listing the various versions of the operating systems that
    you are allowed to run as a hobbyist.

    See http://simh.trailing-edge.com/software.html for the reference.

    Oh well; now that you have raised doubts in my mind, I'll stick to reading
    the manuals; which will do for what I'm interested in anyway.

    Has anyone told Bob Supnik that the information on that webpage is now
    apparently incorrect and that people aren't allowed to run those kits ?

    I am surprised that he wouldn't have realised that himself however.
    Are you sure that your interpretation of the license is the correct one ?

    Thanks,

    Simon.

    --
    Simon Clubley, clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
    Microsoft: Bringing you 1980's technology to a 21st century world

  8. Re: PDP-11 newsgroups, was: Re: LMF and abandonned products

    In article , clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP (Simon Clubley) writes:
    >
    > See http://simh.trailing-edge.com/software.html for the reference.
    >
    > Oh well; now that you have raised doubts in my mind, I'll stick to reading
    > the manuals; which will do for what I'm interested in anyway.
    >
    > Has anyone told Bob Supnik that the information on that webpage is now
    > apparently incorrect and that people aren't allowed to run those kits ?
    >
    > I am surprised that he wouldn't have realised that himself however.
    > Are you sure that your interpretation of the license is the correct one ?
    >


    I've sent email to simh-owner (mail to the simh contact address on the
    website bounced and simh-owner was suggested in the bounce) asking for
    clarification of this. If I get a response, I will let you know. I've
    also asked permission to publish any such response.

    BTW, does anyone have a better contact address for Bob Supnik ?

    Simon.

    PS: One of the reasons that I was annoyed in my original response in this
    thread is that I have always acted in good faith. It would be annoying if
    the information on the website was wrong.

    --
    Simon Clubley, clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
    Microsoft: Bringing you 1980's technology to a 21st century world

  9. Re: PDP-11 newsgroups, was: Re: LMF and abandonned products

    glen herrmannsfeldt skrev:
    > Simon Clubley wrote:
    > (snip)
    >
    >> PS: BTW, how would you feel about an re-implemention of a PDP-11/other
    >> DEC OS that was done from public documentation ? (I'm thinking here about
    >> how Linux re-implemented Unix here) Would you regard that as stealing a
    >> vendor's product as well ? :-)

    >
    > You mean "look and feel?"
    >
    > Like what Windows stole from Apple?


    Oh, like what Apple stole from Xerox? :-)

    Johnny

    --
    Johnny Billquist || "I'm on a bus
    || on a psychedelic trip
    email: bqt@softjar.se || Reading murder books
    pdp is alive! || tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

  10. Re: PDP-11 newsgroups, was: Re: LMF and abandonned products

    On 22 Jun 2008 00:45:45 -0500, clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
    (Simon Clubley) wrote:



    >Has anyone told Bob Supnik that the information on that webpage is now
    >apparently incorrect and that people aren't allowed to run those kits ?
    >
    >I am surprised that he wouldn't have realised that himself however.
    >Are you sure that your interpretation of the license is the correct one ?


    From the license:

    "EMULATOR shall mean software owned by Digital Equipment Corporation..."

    That's pretty unambiguous to me. Can you point me to any pdp-11 emulation
    software owned by DEC/Compaq/HP? That's the only software you can legally run on
    as far as I can see.

    Can *you* see any other interpretation? I'm happy to be corrected. In the past,
    when this has come up for debate, people have suggested in a rather wooly
    fashion that it was obviously *intended* to refer to the Supnik emulator, even
    though that isn't/wasn't actually owned by DEC. Or that perhaps early versions
    were in some sense 'owned by DEC' (since I think Supnik was working for DEC when
    he started the project) and current versions are somehow 'grandfathered in'
    despite being most definitely not owned by DEC (or indeed HP).

    I find neither of these arguments even slightly convincing.

    Mike
    --
    http://www.corestore.org
    'As I walk along these shores
    I am the history within'

  11. Re: PDP-11 newsgroups, was: Re: LMF and abandonned products

    In article <7mbt54dvmo8olc2opg9lbeccgv830853h1@4ax.com>, Mike Ross writes:
    >
    > From the license:
    >
    > "EMULATOR shall mean software owned by Digital Equipment Corporation..."
    >
    > That's pretty unambiguous to me. Can you point me to any pdp-11 emulation
    > software owned by DEC/Compaq/HP? That's the only software you can legally run on
    > as far as I can see.
    >
    > Can *you* see any other interpretation? I'm happy to be corrected. In the past,


    No, I can't, when looked at it like that.

    I was looking at the license distributed with the kits as giving permission
    to use those kits (and the other OS versions listed in the license) on the
    current version of simh because the website points to those kits as things
    that you can run on simh.

    > when this has come up for debate, people have suggested in a rather wooly
    > fashion that it was obviously *intended* to refer to the Supnik emulator, even
    > though that isn't/wasn't actually owned by DEC. Or that perhaps early versions
    > were in some sense 'owned by DEC' (since I think Supnik was working for DEC when
    > he started the project) and current versions are somehow 'grandfathered in'
    > despite being most definitely not owned by DEC (or indeed HP).
    >
    > I find neither of these arguments even slightly convincing.
    >


    If I get a response to my email to Bob Supnik, perhaps this issue might get
    cleared up one way or another.

    In the meantime, I'll stick to reading the manuals.

    Simon.

    --
    Simon Clubley, clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
    Microsoft: Bringing you 1980's technology to a 21st century world

  12. Re: LMF and abandonned products

    In article , Roger Ivie writes:
    > On 2008-06-20, Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    >> ISTR that copyright is good for fifty years or the life of the author,
    >> whichever is greater.

    >
    > I was under the impression that it's currently something like 75 years
    > *after the death* of the author.


    It was changes to 75 years to protect The Mouse, and others.


  13. Re: PDP-11 newsgroups, was: Re: LMF and abandonned products

    Johnny Billquist wrote:
    >glen herrmannsfeldt skrev:
    >> Simon Clubley wrote:
    >> (snip)
    >>
    >>> PS: BTW, how would you feel about an re-implemention of a PDP-11/other
    >>> DEC OS that was done from public documentation ? (I'm thinking here about
    >>> how Linux re-implemented Unix here) Would you regard that as stealing a
    >>> vendor's product as well ? :-)

    >>
    >> You mean "look and feel?"
    >>
    >> Like what Windows stole from Apple?

    >
    >Oh, like what Apple stole from Xerox? :-)


    No, Apple actually paid a licensing fee to Xerox for it.
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

  14. Re: PDP-11 newsgroups, was: Re: LMF and abandonned products

    Scott Dorsey skrev:
    > Johnny Billquist wrote:
    >> glen herrmannsfeldt skrev:
    >>> Simon Clubley wrote:
    >>> (snip)
    >>>
    >>>> PS: BTW, how would you feel about an re-implemention of a PDP-11/other
    >>>> DEC OS that was done from public documentation ? (I'm thinking here about
    >>>> how Linux re-implemented Unix here) Would you regard that as stealing a
    >>>> vendor's product as well ? :-)
    >>> You mean "look and feel?"
    >>>
    >>> Like what Windows stole from Apple?

    >> Oh, like what Apple stole from Xerox? :-)

    >
    > No, Apple actually paid a licensing fee to Xerox for it.
    > --scott


    Oh! I see. So that's why Xerox sued Apple after Apple sued Microsoft.

    Johnny

    --
    Johnny Billquist || "I'm on a bus
    || on a psychedelic trip
    email: bqt@softjar.se || Reading murder books
    pdp is alive! || tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

  15. Re: PDP-11 newsgroups, was: Re: LMF and abandonned products

    In article ,
    Johnny Billquist wrote:
    >Scott Dorsey skrev:
    >> Johnny Billquist wrote:
    >>> glen herrmannsfeldt skrev:
    >>>> Simon Clubley wrote:
    >>>> (snip)
    >>>>
    >>>>> PS: BTW, how would you feel about an re-implemention of a PDP-11/other
    >>>>> DEC OS that was done from public documentation ? (I'm thinking here about
    >>>>> how Linux re-implemented Unix here) Would you regard that as stealing a
    >>>>> vendor's product as well ? :-)
    >>>> You mean "look and feel?"
    >>>>
    >>>> Like what Windows stole from Apple?
    >>> Oh, like what Apple stole from Xerox? :-)

    >>
    >> No, Apple actually paid a licensing fee to Xerox for it.

    >
    >Oh! I see. So that's why Xerox sued Apple after Apple sued Microsoft.


    It's America. Americans are _all about_ suing one another right and left.
    --scott

    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

  16. Re: PDP-11 newsgroups, was: Re: LMF and abandonned products

    In article ,
    clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP (Simon Clubley) writes:
    > In article <6c0dphF3edbf1U2@mid.individual.net>, billg999@cs.uofs.edu (Bill Gunshannon) writes:
    >>
    >> retired != abandoned
    >> If the owner of the product does not want you to continue using it
    >> that is their right. The product is not abandoned because they
    >> aren't willing to meet your demands. Damn, this is starting to
    >> look like the PDP-11 newsgroups.
    >>

    >
    > [Followups set to the PDP-11 newsgroups]
    >
    > I've no comment about VAX Document, but it's already been pointed out
    > to you (with varying degrees of politeness :-)) in the PDP-11 newsgroups
    > that most, and probably all, the people there are wanting to stay within
    > the bounds of what's allowed by the law and Mentec's previous permission
    > to use old versions of the PDP-11 operating systems under a hobbyist
    > licence.
    >
    > For the record, I for one, make sure that I stay with the versions of
    > the operating systems that are allowed by the Mentec hobbyist license
    > and I resent any implication that I would do otherwise.
    >
    > Simon.
    >
    > PS: BTW, how would you feel about an re-implemention of a PDP-11/other
    > DEC OS that was done from public documentation ? (I'm thinking here about
    > how Linux re-implemented Unix here) Would you regard that as stealing a
    > vendor's product as well ? :-)


    I have brought up the suggestion that there is probably more than
    enough expertise available to do that many times in the past 15
    years. I have never had anyone get back to me about starting such
    a program.

    >
    > PPS: Before you bring it up, I've also seen some comments about how some
    > people claim that the Mentec hobbyist license is no longer valid. What
    > I've never seen is any actual statement from Mentec that actually says
    > that.


    Well, I was always one who beleived in the letter of the law and while
    IANAL, and we have been over this too many times already, I have always
    read the Mentec Hobbyist license as saying; "non-commercial uses in
    conjunction with the EMULATOR" and "EMULATOR shall mean software owned by
    Digital Equipment Corporation". Considering that Digital Equipment
    Corporation does not and has not existed in quite some time I still
    don't see any way anyone can claim to be abiding by the original Mentec
    License. As for expecting a statement from Mentec, Mentec has completely
    ignored any attempts by hobbyists to talk with them for quite some time.
    Knowing that they were at one time seriously considering establishing
    a hobbyist program but broke off negotiations rather abruptly, and,
    considering what I think the reason for that was, I am not surprised
    that they have chosen to totally ignore the hobbyist community. And,
    none of this changes the reality that these OSes are the IP of Mentec
    or whoever they decide to pass it on to.

    bill


    --
    Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
    billg999@cs.scranton.edu | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
    University of Scranton |
    Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include

  17. Re: PDP-11 newsgroups, was: Re: LMF and abandonned products

    In article ,
    glen herrmannsfeldt writes:
    > Simon Clubley wrote:
    > (snip)
    >
    >> PS: BTW, how would you feel about an re-implemention of a PDP-11/other
    >> DEC OS that was done from public documentation ? (I'm thinking here about
    >> how Linux re-implemented Unix here) Would you regard that as stealing a
    >> vendor's product as well ? :-)

    >
    > You mean "look and feel?"
    >
    > Like what Windows stole from Apple?


    That Apple had previously stolen from XEROX?

    bill

    --
    Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
    billg999@cs.scranton.edu | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
    University of Scranton |
    Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include

  18. Re: LMF and abandonned products

    JF Mezei wrote:
    > If the company that owns the rights to some software is wound down
    > without selling any of its remaining assets because they are considered
    > worthless, is there anyone left to enforce the copyright on those products ?
    >
    > In the case of a book, the writer would likely have surviving family who
    > would inherit the rights, or perjaps the publisher would get the upon
    > death of writer.
    >
    > But in the case of a small company that just stops existing, it isn't
    > obvious what happens to copyrights.


    Someone will likely still own the rights.

    And the fact that they are not selling it does not prevent
    them from suing.

    Arne

  19. Re: LMF and abandonned products

    In article <485bc1a9$0$20523$c3e8da3@news.astraweb.com>,
    JF Mezei writes:
    > Bill Gunshannon wrote:
    >
    >> No pandora's box. It is flat out illegal. Just like faking licenses
    >> for VMS or Windows or MS Office.

    >
    > Ok, just for the sake of discussion here. Say company X writes a piece
    > of software that was last updated in 1990. Company X has since gone out
    > of business.
    >
    > Wouldn't copyright eventually expire on said piece of software and it
    > would then become fair game to start to use it without paying a licence ?


    Sure. Current Berne Convention rules say "50 years after the death of
    the author" Not sure how author would be defined in the case of a
    corporate work for hire, but 50 years is still along time. :-)

    >
    >
    > OK, lets take a theoretical case of VAX-Book. It is sold to SSI
    > technologies in the 1990s. Since then, SSI hasn't developped it, but
    > remains in business due to other products.
    >
    > What does SSI have to do to keep "ownership" of VAX-Book and prevent the
    > copyright from lapsing ? Just fill out some form every 5 years ?


    Probably nothing. But, they could always just modify some piece of it
    with a new copyright every year or so and there is no requirement that
    they release it outside of the corporation.

    bill

    --
    Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
    billg999@cs.scranton.edu | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
    University of Scranton |
    Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include

  20. Re: LMF and abandonned products

    In article ,
    m.kraemer@gsi.de (Michael Kraemer) writes:
    > In article <485bc1a9$0$20523$c3e8da3@news.astraweb.com>, JF Mezei
    > writes:
    >>
    >> What does SSI have to do to keep "ownership" of VAX-Book and prevent the
    >> copyright from lapsing ? Just fill out some form every 5 years ?

    >
    > That's a rhethorical question, eh ?
    > We all know the probable Fatwah of our IP Mullah B.G.
    > If you apply common sense (i.e. the opposite of IP laws),
    > those rights should expire after a couple of years of
    > non-marketing, just as patents do.


    Why should my rights to the fruits of my labors ever expire?


    > Maybe some Ralph Nader should pursue that issue.


    "First, we kill all the lawyers."

    bill

    --
    Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
    billg999@cs.scranton.edu | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
    University of Scranton |
    Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include

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