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Potential infringement of copyright
11-29-2016, 09:50 PM (This post was last modified: 11-29-2016 11:06 PM by renif.)
Post: #1
Question Potential infringement of copyright
From another thread in the General Forum, written by one of the moderators:

Quote:RE: Is there anything you can use a calculator for ...
Hey Otto and Hal;
I know that you two, and your friends Albert and Donald, have an abiding interest in the 34s / 43 project.
When youall get back from vacation; look this(*) up. You might find it interesting.
It's the download page for an up-to-date open source manual for the 34s. It's credited to the original author as per the publishing agreement & kept current by a fan and power user of that fine calculator.
And it's free!

I'm kind of irritated by the fact that a moderator of this forum is involved in actions which could be regarded as an intentional infringement of copyright. The quoted posting might be the unpleasant result of an almost equally unpleasant confrontation with a user who repeatedly has violated the rules set up in this forum and who has been sent to so called temporary vacation - for good reasons as many users think. But this is no excuse for the abduction of a copyrighted work originally written by said user. It's no excuse either for uploading the copyrighted document to that obscure file sharing service (see link in citation). I even don't dare writing that service's name, so let's call it TOFSS in consistency to unwritten forum rules). Wink

As far as I can asses this from a legal perspective the manual (in whatever version) can only be maintained by another person with the original author's consent. Furthermore, a new maintainer (not author!) may not be aware of the fact that any consent given in the past may be modified or withdrawn any time.

P.S.
While I've been writing this posting (and having a lunch) the citated thread has been deleted. So, part of my irritation is gone. Thank You, whoever has taken charge of it!
Now for desert, I'd like to see the hijacked manual removed from TOFSS, as not doing so does not match this otherwise mostly pleasant forum.

Best regards

Edit: link at the position marked by (*) removed for obvious reasons...
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11-30-2016, 06:24 AM
Post: #2
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
Hi Renif,

That doc has come up a few times before. Walter obviously believes it is an infringement. Several other people have stated that they believe it is not. I have never taken the time to unravel the arguments in part because I'm not a lawyer and in part because Walter is an ongoing annoyance and I never feel any urge to spend any more of my time dealing with him than is absolutely necessary. So, bottom line, I don't know about the doc.

I did however take down the thread in question. Quite frankly, my first thought was to use it as a carrot. Ie: If Walter stops creating account after account to try to sneak in more nastygrams and disruptions then the thread & link would remain hidden. However, your post did remind me that there is still the question of whether it is infringing - which I still prefer to not try to determine myself. So for the time being at least, it will stay hidden.

Meanwhile the mods will continue to manage Walter as best they can. Fortunately, that's pretty much all they have to do as the rest of the forum is great! Today I implemented an idea Katie had. We'll see if that helps.
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11-30-2016, 09:35 PM (This post was last modified: 11-30-2016 09:37 PM by Den Belillo (Martinez Ca.).)
Post: #3
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
renif;
This is the third time walter or a friend has dragged us through the mud on this. The second time; FIVE members posted on this forum saying in part that there was nothing illegal with Fhub keeping an orphaned open source manual current. There was no one saying that it was illegal, or even a tort, except walter. I didn't post then but I found an essay by Cory Doctrow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation on this exact subject. Through that I decided that Fhub, emecee, pascal, Guenter, Bart, and Bob were right. That was six opinions to one, if you are counting.

IMHO: There is NO infringement of copyright in Fhub's generous work (in which he credited walter as the original author as required by walter's copyright). Your using the word "Potential" is a red herring.
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12-01-2016, 08:52 PM
Post: #4
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
OK, like I said, I haven't read the terms myself but Den's message does match what others have told me. At this point I'll continue to keep the thread stowed away because I prefer not to get into one of those "tit for tat" kinds of things, even though our moderators have been dealing with a whole lot of tat lately. However, it's good to have options if our URL Badman gets totally out of control.
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12-01-2016, 10:35 PM
Post: #5
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
(12-01-2016 08:52 PM)Dave Hicks Wrote:  ..... "a whole lot of tat lately"......
Dave; That was good. As Garrison Keillor says: "keep your humor dry". Powdermilk biscuits are optional.


BTW: To (fortunate) casual readers, the Otto, Hal, Albert and Donald which are referred to in the first post are the vacationed third, fourth, fifth and sixth accounts here on this forum by walter / wob. He tried to use them to berate members, support walter's "rights", and +1 himself. The offending posts, and entire threads, have been deleted. Shenanigans like that are why I personally get, as one member termed it: "kind of irritated".
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12-01-2016, 11:25 PM
Post: #6
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
(11-30-2016 09:35 PM)Den Belillo (Martinez Ca.) Wrote:  IMHO: There is NO infringement of copyright in Fhub's generous work (in which he credited walter as the original author as required by walter's copyright). Your using the word "Potential" is a red herring.

Until an actual copyright lawyer is involved this, it is far safer to follow Dave's removal policy.


- Pauli
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12-02-2016, 08:52 PM
Post: #7
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
Hello Den!

Needless to say, that I agree with Paul...

You wrote that
Quote:This is the third time walter or a friend has dragged us through the mud on this. The second time; FIVE members posted on this forum saying in part that there was nothing illegal with Fhub keeping an orphaned open source manual current. There was no one saying that it was illegal, or even a tort, except walter. I didn't post then but I found an essay by Cory Doctrow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation on this exact subject. Through that I decided that Fhub, emecee, pascal, Guenter, Bart, and Bob were right. That was six opinions to one, if you are counting.

Let me affirm that I never have been a friend of Walter, neither do I try to judge the confrontation between him, the moderators, or some other member of the forum. Anyhow, such problems tend to become real coproductions the longer they last. Some time Walter may not the only one to blame.

I was not aware of the discussion you mention. After being an active member for years in the old forum (since 2004), lately a french speaking forum catched my attention. So, I missed out on that one. On the other hand, copyright issues crossed my way not long ago when a competitor pirated the best selling product of my small business, including thoroughly elaborated documentation. That was a hard and expensive lesson sharpening my view on such concerns. A friend of mine, a french lawyer who helped me solving the matter of copyright on documentation, shares my assessment. So, AFAIAC the question "infringement or not" is more or less answered. That's why the way Dave has managed this so far deserves my respect. Others may disagree, but at least the removal reflects the kind of integrity and style users have been getting accustomed to in the old forum.

Den, you continue
Quote:IMHO: There is NO infringement of copyright in Fhub's generous work (in which he credited walter as the original author as required by walter's copyright). Your using the word "Potential" is a red herring.

My usage of the word "Potential" aimed to achieve both: adressing a legal problem and avoiding any kind of impolite accusation at the same time. Obviously without success. The document in question is still being distributed - with your backing. And instead of at the least considering the possibility of being wrong in this special case you are accusing me of playing tricks with the forum (see "red herring"). That's not exactly the way I exspected this to be handled.

As I promised Dave to not disturb the forum in re Walter and as the whole story really starts annoying me, the time has come to leave. So, may I ask you for the deactivation of my account, please? BTW, I'm not going to withdraw any permission to reproduce programs although I had the right to do so. Wink

Thank you in advance and despite that last controversy
Best regards!
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12-02-2016, 10:07 PM
Post: #8
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
Well this is interesting. Over the years several (4ish) people have asked or demanded that I close their accounts. Generally I do nothing because if you want to stop using a forum you simply stop using a forum. And most of those people (possibly all) came back anyway. I suppose this is essentially the internet equivalent of walking out in a huff and slamming the door.

What's really odd is that the only case that I can remember where I actually acceded to the demand and banned a person (but only temporarily - which was not his demand) was a guy who holds the opposing view on the copyright status of this very same document. His request to be banned/deleted happened as the other side was questioning (to put it mildly) his interpretation of said same copyright.

So basically each time this has come up, someone from one side or the other has left in a huff. And so it remains as unresolved as ever. It certainly is a contentious document.

That other guy has been back for some time, and I've seen him online these last few days. But apparently he doesn't want to get back into this brawl again. That's probably better for his blood pressure, at least.

Anyway, renif, feel free to take a break for as long or as little as you like. But I am leaving it to you as to when/if you come back.

I'm really sorry that Paul has been put in the position he is in. I didn't realize until recently that he was the coauthor. Not wishing to cause collateral damage just adds to my reasons for keeping the thread under wraps.
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12-03-2016, 12:44 AM
Post: #9
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
(12-02-2016 10:07 PM)Dave Hicks Wrote:  ...... I didn't realize until recently that he was the coauthor.

Dave;
I hadn't realized that Pauli was a coauthor either. Until recently; my only version was Walter's 370 page hardbound edition where Paul's name is not in the "Welcome" or "About the Author" sections. He isn't listed on the Copyright/acknowledgements page either. Paul Dale is listed and signatory in the "Welcome" section of that third party open-source update in question here. So I guess my simplified view of this project as being Marcus's algorithms, Pauli's programs, and Walter's manual is somewhat incomplete.

I wonder if there are any more 30b warranty replacements lost somewhere at Page Mill Road. More intriguing; do you think we could sneak a 34s onto Bill Hewlett's desk?
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12-03-2016, 05:42 AM
Post: #10
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
(12-03-2016 12:44 AM)Den Belillo (Martinez Ca.) Wrote:  I hadn't realized that Pauli was a coauthor either.

I do not consider myself a coauthor of the 34S manual. I contributed little to it beyond finding some errors and typos.


Quote:So I guess my simplified view of this project as being Marcus's algorithms, Pauli's programs, and Walter's manual is somewhat incomplete.

Broadly speaking, Marcus did the low level hardware support, some of the software features (local variables spring to mind but there were many others) and rewrote a fair portion of the inefficient/inelegant code I'd produced for the user interface. I did the bulk of the software and implemented all of the numeric functions. Marcus and I worked together on the byte scavenging, so the firmware fitted into flash. Walter wrote the manual, did the keyboard and display layouts and ensured consistency and usability of the UI.

All three of us contributed in our own way and I doubt the result would have been nearly as good without any one of us. I certainly wouldn't have come up with a consistent and usable UI by myself. Likewise, I wouldn't have done anything like as good a job on the hardware support and power management.

It also hasn't been just a three person team. Many others assisted -- the assembler, iOS port, obtaining accuracy, .... I won't try to list names here since I'm sure to miss someone. The 34S really has been a group effort by many.


Pauli
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12-03-2016, 08:09 AM
Post: #11
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
(12-03-2016 05:42 AM)Paul Dale Wrote:  
(12-03-2016 12:44 AM)Den Belillo (Martinez Ca.) Wrote:  I hadn't realized that Pauli was a coauthor either.

I do not consider myself a coauthor of the 34S manual. I contributed little to it beyond finding some errors and typos.


Quote:So I guess my simplified view of this project as being Marcus's algorithms, Pauli's programs, and Walter's manual is somewhat incomplete.

Broadly speaking, Marcus did the low level hardware support, some of the software features (local variables spring to mind but there were many others) and rewrote a fair portion of the inefficient/inelegant code I'd produced for the user interface. I did the bulk of the software and implemented all of the numeric functions. Marcus and I worked together on the byte scavenging, so the firmware fitted into flash. Walter wrote the manual, did the keyboard and display layouts and ensured consistency and usability of the UI.

All three of us contributed in our own way and I doubt the result would have been nearly as good without any one of us. I certainly wouldn't have come up with a consistent and usable UI by myself. Likewise, I wouldn't have done anything like as good a job on the hardware support and power management.

It also hasn't been just a three person team. Many others assisted -- the assembler, iOS port, obtaining accuracy, .... I won't try to list names here since I'm sure to miss someone. The 34S really has been a group effort by many.


Pauli
Pauli;
I'll try a few names. I hope I can forget some, because it wasn't my job to remember them in the first place.
-Marcus did a lot of the builds and put them up on Sourceforge didn't he?
-Bit wrote several fixes IIRC, and he also found a few bugs and caught unexpected results.
-One or two of our Thomases caught a bug or two and suggested a better constant. I think it was Thomas Klem who used to help new users to the 34 and give real clear step by step instructions. He would even walk them through long hand.
-Eric Rechlin's overlays are a great addition and he'll still put them on calculators for people at the annual HHC.
Yes; all that work you guys did inspired quite a bit of help. -db
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12-03-2016, 08:53 AM
Post: #12
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
Yes, you missed several pivotal people in the project Smile

Enough said, they know who they are....


-Pauli
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12-03-2016, 01:52 PM
Post: #13
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
(12-02-2016 08:52 PM)renif Wrote:  My usage of the word "Potential" aimed to achieve both: adressing a legal problem and avoiding any kind of impolite accusation at the same time. Obviously without success. The document in question is still being distributed - with your backing. And instead of at the least considering the possibility of being wrong in this special case you are accusing me of playing tricks with the forum (see "red herring"). That's not exactly the way I exspected this to be handled.

I'm not a lawyer either. But still to me the situation seems to be pretty clear. The WP34S project page clearly states
Quote:License
GNU General Public License version 3.0 (GPLv3)
This includes also the documentation e.g. manual version 3.1
Once you publish something under the GPLv3 you're bound to this license even as the original Author. Though it is recommended there to select a different license for manuals or other text there is no where stated that the GPLv3 should not apply to the manual, thus the manual simply is part of the aforementioned project under GPLv3. Consequently fhub had every right in what he was doing, carefully following the terms of the GPL. More precisely, Walter, the original author, himself is violating the license by not making the derived work publicly available.

The offer of the GNU community to use their license model, makes it rather easy for everybody to NOT get in trouble with legal affairs. But you have to obey them once they are used. If you don't like the consequences, don't use this license.

Günter
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12-03-2016, 03:03 PM
Post: #14
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
For those that are objecting thinking copyright infringement, I would like to understand the response given what Gunter correctly points out:

The original work was published under GNU General Public License version 3.0 (GPLv3).



If that GNU means anything at all, it MUST mean that the terms apply. Claiming something otherwise does not address the points Gunter brings out.

No one wants to have someone's work improperly used and no one wants to violate anything. However, once GNU was adopted, the choices are made. If not, why not and how not? I'm curious. I have no dog in this fight and have nothing to do with the derived work or the original. :-) And, I love all you guys!
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12-03-2016, 03:17 PM
Post: #15
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
(12-03-2016 03:03 PM)Gene Wrote:  If that GNU means anything at all, it MUST mean that the terms apply. Claiming something otherwise does not address the points Gunter brings out.

Gene, I made this same point here a long while back, and like you I have no dog in the fight, I don't even use that calculator -- it's too complicated for me Sad

I don't know if this issue will ever be settled here, I think it best to let it play out elsewhere on the internet and move on to other things....

-katie

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12-03-2016, 08:53 PM
Post: #16
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
Katie;
I have always deferred to your superior and more wide ranging knowledge. In this case though, since the OP is now a third person here who has talked about lawyers in relation to me (while defending walter's interests); I find this thread interesting.
-------------------------
Guenter brought up an salient point when he said : "Once you publish something under the GPLv3 you're bound to this license even as the original Author."

This means that when walter put
"This file is part of WP 34S. WP 34S is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the gnu........"
on PAGE ONE of the manual for the 3.0 release of WP 34S it was binding on him too, to not go and change the rules.

Walter's 3.1 says "This manual documents WP 34S. Wp 34S is free software: you can redistribute it and / or modify it under the terms of the gnu" which is a rewording of the 3.0 version. I'm not sure he was in the right to change the wording, but it doesn't change the intent.

Both refer to the gnu ver 3 and seem to say that the what fhub did was within the agreement. Walter's 3.3 changes the wording even more, but fhub's was based on the 3.1

As far as the spirit of the agreement, as I said:
In fhub's 3.3 he identifies both Walter Bonin AND Paul Dale as authors just as walter did in ver 3.0
In walter's 3.3 he identifies only himself as a writer, despite having given credit to Pauli in ver 3.0

It looks like fhub had a doubt so he went overboard in giving credit, even highlighting both the original authors names in colorized typeface.

The takeaway here for this creative group is: pick your copyright carefully. Divorce is not an option, although a screaming unhappy threatening roller coaster of a marriage is.
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12-03-2016, 10:06 PM
Post: #17
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
(12-03-2016 03:17 PM)Katie Wasserman Wrote:  ...
I don't even use that calculator -- it's too complicated for me Sad

I don't know if this issue will ever be settled here, I think it best to let it play out elsewhere on the internet and move on to other things....

I don't use these calculators either. But I considered those efforts as an interesting proof of concept. And frankly I admire all the efforts by those people, mostly Walter, Pauli and Marcus. Therefore I bought the manuals, the printed for the WP34S and the WP31S as well as the digital manual of the WP34S. All this only to show my appreciation for these activities.

It is very unfortunate that this promising project suffers so much by the odd behaviour of W.

I really understand that Dave doesn't like to deal with these situations that seem to be uncertain. But on the other hand, we should not give in to easy to those who try to impose unsettled threats on us.

Günter
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12-03-2016, 11:07 PM (This post was last modified: 12-03-2016 11:11 PM by Paul Dale.)
Post: #18
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
(12-03-2016 01:52 PM)Guenter Schink Wrote:  Walter, the original author, himself is violating the license by not making the derived work publicly available.

This is totally incorrect. Licencing something under the GPL does not relinquish the author's copyright, it sets out terms whereby others can use the work. The author is still free to do whatever else they want with their copyright.

An author never needs to licence their own work, I'm not even sure that doing so would make legal sense or even be possible.

Pauli
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12-03-2016, 11:57 PM
Post: #19
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
This IS a question.

After copyrighting the manual in versions 3.0 and 3.1 with a document that allows updating by others, CAN walter just decide to break/end the tie to that document when someone else makes an allowed update?

I didn't see this in my reading because the user, Cory Doctrow, was happy with the system. He is also a writer, just a few years (and books) into his career and was more interested in gaining readership and exposure than squeezing every penny out of what would be far fewer copies sold.
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12-04-2016, 12:13 AM
Post: #20
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
This is where a lawyer needs to be consulted. The GPL isn't a copyright and you cannot copyright anything with or using it. It is a licence to publish/reuse only. The copyright stays with the author.

My understanding of the GPL is that it is perpetual subject to a few specific termination conditions but I'm not a lawyer and won't pretend to understand the nuances involved.


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