[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [TowerTalk] Force12

To: K8RI <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Force12
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 07:49:39 -0700
List-post: <>
K8RI wrote:
> BTW In another time and life I've been a Sys Admin, Developmental Analyst 
> (fancy name for programmer), and project manager. I'm also a published 
> author and photographer so I do have a passing acquaintance with copyrights
>> For copyright, it makes NO difference whether your doing it for profit
>> or not. A wholesale copy is an infringement.  The profit would only come
>> in when setting damages.
> Not necessiaarily.  Wholesale copies (IE Complete copies) are permissible. 
> They are called backups and that falls under fair use. 

You're right (although I suspect some content providers would differ 
with you).  I'm not sure that actually falls in the fair use category, 
but, rather, in some other exemption.  And, I'm not sure that it applies 
to printed materials, although it certainly exists for software (unless 
you agree otherwise in the license agreement) or phonograph recordings 
(there's some famous case allowing the making of tapes of records you own)
I can copy any
> program which I hold a license or manual that is copyrighted and put it in 
> the file cabinet "just-in-case" the original is destroyed so I will still 
> have a useful copy of the document or soft ware. Backups are specifically 
> listed under fair use.  OTOH, I may not sell, give, or even loan such copies 
> to others and for software I may only use one copy at a time unless 
> otherwise stated in the license.  That's not much of a problem for a scanned 
> or photocopied manual as I can only handle one at a time anyway.
> Of course the RIAA and MPAA got around this by getting sympathetic law 
> makers to make it illegal to get around copy protection and then copy 
> protected all of their products making a joke out of fair use.
>> For patents, there ARE some exceptions.. I'm not real clear on the
>> details, but there is an exception if you are duplicating a patented
>> thing for the purposes of understanding it or making improvements, and
>> I'm pretty sure that there are a whole raft of rules around exactly what
>> you can do.
> With most patents it'd cost more to make the thing your self than to 
> purchase a mass produced item.

I think the concern, in the ham world, would be folks who value their 
time as free, and wind up infringing because they scrounge up surplus 
parts and make a bunch of copies.  Not saying it's happened or will 
happen, but consider that it wouldn't be too tough to scrounge up some 
stepper motors and make an antenna with variable length elements, etc., 
and wind up infringing the Mertel patent, which is moderately broad.

First claim of patent:
A tunable antenna system, comprising: a. at least one driven element, 
said element comprising two longitudinally aligned support arms made of 
non-conductive material, each said support arm including a length 
adjustable conductive member longitudinally aligned therein; b. means 
for adjusting the length of said conductive member in each said support 
arm; c. a radio transmitter/receiver coupled to said driven element; 
and, d. means to coordinate the means for adjusting the length of said 
conductive members to receive a desired frequency used by said radio 

Pretty broad.. a) covers wires, tapes, extending telescoping tubes, 
etc., as long as it's supported by a nonconductive support
b) any way of changing the length (hand cranks, pneumatics, steppers, 
servos, trained squirrels on treadmills, trusted assistants hanging from 
the tower responding to shouted commands
3) means to coordinate is quite broad.. could be gear trains, belts, 
microprocessors, a table of predetermined lengths, etc.

Interesting, though, the patent only covers systems where the 
transmitter/receiver is part of the system.  The antenna by itself is 
not covered.  However, the second you connect your radio to your 
homebuilt adjustable antenna, you've created an infringing system.

(There is prior art on adjustable length antennas, by the way.. there's 
a paper from the 60s describing an adjustable vertical for submarines)


TowerTalk mailing list

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>