DataPro purchases Heath Legacy Manual Service
On October 30, 2008, Data Professionals of Pleasanton, CA purchased the intellectual property of the Heathkit legacy products from Heathkit in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The rights to these legacy products also includes the copyright. Free manuals have been removed from many Internet sites (including BAMA) in compliance with copyright laws.
Reading the agreement with Heath -- it only describes Heath's Legacy Manual Duplication and Distribution service that Heath has offered for the past few years.
To purchase a printed manual from Data Professionals go here:
Here is a copy of the Agreement between DataPro and Heath for
Heathkit's Legacy Manual Duplication and Distribution.
Photos of "unbuilt" Heath kits
What's of concern, is that the principal of the company has been sending letters to people who have online manuals, such as BAMA, etc, claiming that he owns the copyrights and asking that they take such material down.
The sale contract between Heathkit Educational Products and DataPros is for REPRODUCING the manuals, and does not include transfer of any copyrights that might still be in effect.
As of today, there have still been NO TRANSFER OF COPYRIGHT at the US Copyright Office for any material copyrighted to the Heathkit corporation.
It's also worth noting that if you look at the contract hard enough, you can see the sum was $5k..............quoting Don Patterson from DataPro in an email I received through a group Don and I are mutually members of:
"I paid many thousands of dollars in attorneys fees, research and to the Heathkit company".
I've often found in life that those who make such announcements, rarely, if ever, are being truthful. I'm also not sure if anyone here is aware, but DataPro is claiming that the purchase was made, and again I quote:
"to prevent the manuals being thrown in the dumpster forever".
Hence, the warning letters to BAMA, etc, and lack of formal "Cease and Desist" letters or orders, appears to be part of a more grandiose scheme, I have yet to encounter.......
Not being all that legal or business savvy,I can only comment in the language of the layman. Simply put,I SMELL A RAT!
73 es GL,KG4TKC
If DataPro has any HEART at all, they will release the material to Ham Public Service sites like BAMA and Pestingers for the free download of the material, and go ahead and sell printed manuals to those who want them. They need to prohibit Manual Brokers like W7FG , Manual Man and the rat bastards at SAVAGE from Xeroxing them. But they need to sell them at a reasonable price too. Not something like $50 each like I bet they will charge. It really sucks when you have to pay more for the manual than you did the radio!!!!!
But what is most important is to get the INFORMATION back available to Hams who need it to keep these radios going. I am all set as I have every Ham manual Heathkit produced except for the SS-9900. But newcomers, the Ham who gets a HW-101 at the swapmeet for $20 and has no way to fix it because he has no schematic or alignment data, Desperately need this info. So I IMPLORE Datapro to "DO THE RIGHT THING" and let BAMA have the downloads.
Otherwise they fall into the greedy moneygrubbing Rat Bastard category.
Wonder what that chances are that Don Peterson of Pleasanton,Ca,94566 even has a call sign. IMHO no call sign=leech. On second thought,seeing as how he has seen fit to have the manuals removed from BAMA and Pestingers,even if he has a call sign he is still a leech,trying to suck a little gold out of others creations and hard work,things he did not have a hand in. It would be great if Heathkit did not renew copyrights,if so,everything prior to 1964 is public domain.
Don doesn't have any ham license. He was a technician that allegedly used to work at Heath and approached them for the right to reprint/sell manuals for legacy products.
He does not own the material, Heath owns all the material still covered by copyright. Everything else is public domain.
He didn't even send "Cease and Desist" letters, and no court issued him any Cease and Desist order - he simply asked people not to host manuals, as he was the "new owner" of them - which he is simply not.
Something seems amiss
Although IANAL (I am not a lawyer), I have been following, for several years now, a well known case involving the transfer of certain software copyrights involving the REALLY BIG GUYS (IBM, Novell, Sun and of course, SCO). In all the legal briefs much was made that there was no document, as required by law, that specifically enumerated the copyright registrations and transferred them from, in this case, Novell to SCO. As such, the judge ruled that there was NO transfer of any copyrights.
Originally Posted by W3DBJ
The posted contract mentions nothing of copyrights or their transfer. The first paragraph of the agreement mentions "all assets". There must be a list somewhere of those assets, right ? Would you sign a contract buying something without a list of what the something is, if for no other reason than to protect yourself later if the seller claimed to still own something you thought you had bought ?
Has anyone seen any of these "removal" request letters ? Have there been any DMCA "takedown" notices ?
And, for that matter, when were these various copyrights registered? Did they expire ? Have they been renewed ?
Very interesting, but I've seen nothing of substance. Any IP Lawyers out there ?
Last edited by k2ph; 01-02-2009 at 06:55 PM.
No, there hasn't been anything to back up Don's claim other than producing a copy of the contract, which doesn't specify any transfer of copyright.
Don has been reluctant to issue a Cease and Desist or takedown notice, as at that time, proof may be requested by reply. If he should present documentation to back up his claim, and the party refused to take the content down, THEN Don could take the matter further. If, however, on response of the receiving party, he is asked for doucumentation to support his claim, and does not follow through, the party is not in breach of the current act until Don/DataPro provides proof. The evidence of registration is a Certificate of Registration from the Copyright Office that states the effective date of the registration, the name of the work registered and the owner of the copyright
With copyright, one is still thankfully considered innocent until proven guilty. All one has to do is file at a local court, for a very small fee, for a Declaratory Judgement against DataPro upon receipt of a FORMAL Cease and Desist letter to show the Copyright, at the time the letter was received, is invalid or that he is not the registered copyright owner at the Copyright Office.
It's important to remember that a Cease and Desist letter is not the same as a Cease and Desist order, which would be issued by a judge, after the judge has seen proof that the published material is the same material explicitly mentioned in any active copyrights CURRENTLY on record.
W7FG is no longer in the manual business. Check Vintage Manuals on the web and you will see ownership changed. And if you check prices all of the people you demonize, they do/did not charge much for their copies. Also remember, you can't prevent what isn't illegal.
Originally Posted by WA6MHZ