[TenTec] Amateur operators to boycott Swatch AG

Scott Howell whowell@hq.nasa.gov
Sun, 04 Apr 1999 10:49:49 -0400

I am forwarding this because I think it is relavent. Please delete if your
not intrested.

73 de Scott/n3byy
Laurel MD

>It was bound to happen, sooner or later: 
>>Dear editors, Loop readers, list readers, and assorted amateur friends,
>>Over the past week I have received an incredible response to my query in
>>the Hudson Division's Hudson Loop newsletter about a curious advertisement
>>on the Swatch web-site.  To help advertise their new brand of "Swatch time"
>>watches, they appeared to be launching a satellite which would broadcast
>>the voice messages of web readers into space and back to earth over radio
>>on the frequencies from 145.800 to 146.000 MHz.
>>Thanks to the excellent researching skills of Stephan Anderman, K2SMA, and
>>Rick Lindquist, N1RL, I've discovered that Swatch in cooperation with the
>>Russian space authorities have decided to use the two meter Amateur band
>>for direct advertising via the "Beatnik" satellite (a mini-Sputnik and
>>AMSAT-FR project formerly to be known as RS-19) across the entire world.
>>According to AMSAT-France, during the construction of the satellite, the
>>Russian space center had made a separate commercial contract with the
>>Swatch watch company to put its messages on the satellite.  This was done
>>in spite of AMSAT objections and contractual agreements with them not to
>>put commercial advertising content in the digital messages.  AMSAT-FR
>>couldn't back out of their own contract and had to forward the parts on to
>>the space center.
>>Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, is doing his best to crack down on unlicensed
>>and unbecoming operations within the jurisdiction of the FCC, but soon an
>>egregious violation of the non-commercial status of amateur radio will
>>begin taking place just a few miles above our heads when our two meter
>>band is filled with advertisements for the latest Swatch watches.
>>Bernard Pidoux, F6BVP, writes that we should do our best to ignore the
>>satellite and not do anything to assist Swatch, such as tracking and
>>publishing the Keplerian elements of this rogue mini-sat.  I completely
>>agree, but I believe it's necessary to go even further than that.
>>Just as we've successfully done in response to Little LEOs and APCO
>>proposals in the past, it's time for amateur operators around the world to
>>let Swatch AG and the Russian space program know just how precious our
>>bands are to us.
>>The first step is a comprehensive boycott of Swatch products.  If you were
>>considering the purchase of a Swatch watch for you or someone else, please
>>take a moment to consider some of the other watch manufacturers who are
>>not stealing away ham frequencies.
>>Next is to write a letter off to the Swatch company explaining why you
>>made your purchase decision away from their products, and how you feel
>>about this intrusion on the amateur bands.  Use this address from their
>>web-site registration as a starting point.  If anyone knows the name of
>>particular individuals within Swatch that the letters could be personally
>>addressed to, please let me know.
>>Swatch AG 
>>   Jakob-Stampfli-Strasse 94
>>   2504 Bienne
>>   CH
>>As I understand it, the Russian space center will be able to upload voice
>>data in ten message batches, so it's possible that under pressure from
>>Swatch, they could "pull" these commercial advertisements off the ham
>>bands at any time during the 30 day life, even while the satellite is
>>still operational.  This is all the more reason to make it clear to Swatch
>>how strongly the amateur community feels about this issue right now!
>>Also, if you come across any amateur's page this month containing the
>>Keplerian data or any mention of the Sputnik-99, let them know what Swatch
>>is doing and encourage them to remove them as soon as possible.
>>I'll be maintaining a web site concerning the latest news in this problem
>>at http://rob.carlson.org/swatch-protest, which will start with this
>>letter.  More news will be posted here and placed on the web site as I
>>hear about it.  If you have any information, please feel free to e-mail me
>>at rcarls2@umbc.edu or kc2aei@amsat.org, or call me at (410) 455-3192 at
>>any time.
>>Please forward this message as necessary so that we can inform as many
>>amateur operators worldwide as possible about this problem.
>>73 and good luck,
>>Rob Carlson, KC2AEI
>>Rob Carlson, KC2AEI | rcarls2@umbc.edu | http://rob.carlson.org
>Pud Reaver, W3YD
>301-498-2885 (fax)
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