Re: Kit Idea

Don Jackson

Sean and the "reflector police",

Maybe I can interject a few thoughts here, at the risk that I, myself might be flamed which should not take place on this list or in this group.

There are two* ways to protect something: (1) Patent, and (2) Copyright.  While the usual caveat "I am not a lawyer" applies here, let's look at each.  For the HW-7, I doubt very much that Heathkit had any kind of patent on it or for it.  That leaves copyright. One cannot copyright a circuit diagram to the extent to prevent someone else from redrawing it.  One just cannot reproduce an exact  copy of the original diagram by publishing it on a web page or using a copier or other printing means.  One cannot copyright an idea either, or a method of doing things (like I saw some time ago about how to make an enclosure with PCB material).

If I show my latest wiz-bang SDR receiver on my web page, it becomes copyrighted by the mere act of publication -- in fact even a copyright notice is not required (any more).  The value of a copyright notice, besides trying to keep someone out of trouble, is only in court in which one may be able to collect more in damages.  That certainly does not prevent some publication or individual from redrawing the schematic diagram and publishing.  Ignore the fact that it may be unethical without attribution and just plain "not nice".  And since I wouldn't have a patent on my wiz-bang "invention", it does not prevent someone from building it or improving upon it.

Common fair play and courtesy says you don't claim originality.  Certainly, taking the design of the HW7 and making original design PCBs and kitting it up does neither violate patent nor copyright, assuming a new schematic is drawn and a patent does not exist (and I do not see how one could be granted since there is nothing that is a new idea and patentable with the HW7 -- it contains rather mundane current practice in design).

All that being said, the subject of the PSK31 Warbler came up recently -- and if the reflector police had done a little homework, they would have seen there is nothing stopping 4SQRP or any one else from resurrecting it.  The author even gives his blessing to anyone who wants to do so (on his web page).  Personally, I'd love to see 4SQRP make an improved re-do of the Warbler(s) and kit it.  It would fulfill a great need of a very simple entry-level low powered PSK31 as well as it did originally years ago.

As far as I know, plagiarism is not a crime anywhere.  It probably approaches that mostly in academic circles.  For example, if you were designing a power supply with a diode bridge rectifier, would you have any trouble drawing that in your schematic?  Someone probably had a "copyright" on it waaaay back in time!  In fact, even with attribution, it would make things quite awkward if, when drawing a transceiver circuit, you had to attribute each micro part of the design to the original "inventor", wouldn't it?

I thank Sean and others for making suggestions for further kits in the 4sqrp group's portfolio.

One OF's opinion,

Don AE5K

* - there are actually at least 3 ways to protect something -- the one I have left out is to just keep the "invention" secret.

On 05/03/2017 02:13 PM, Sean Edwards cybersean3000@... [4sqrp] wrote:
This the second time on this list that I have been accused of something nefarious.

I should keep my mouth closed and my ideas to myself.

-= Sean Edwards =-

On May 3, 2017 1:37 PM, "bob.groh@... [4sqrp]" <4sqrp@...> wrote:

Just a bit of caveat: the rights to many of the Heathkit's are still in force and, while I certainly imagine you can follow the general outlines of the HW-7 et al, you certainly don't want to get too close!  And frankly no reason to.

Bob Groh, WA2CKY

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