More on manuals plus rescue

Tothwolf tothwolf at
Wed Aug 19 18:47:27 CDT 2015

On Wed, 19 Aug 2015, Jason Scott wrote:
> On Wed, 19 Aug 2015, William Donzelli wrote:
>> In closing, I might ask you to consider taking your sweet time getting 
>> this stuff online. There are still some manual dealers out there. Let 
>> them handle the decline of their business in whatever way they see fit. 
>> All of them know it is just a matter of time - probably five years or 
>> less. If you flood the net with the free scans, it might really fuck 
>> them up. I know some of them, and it is not unreasonable for me to 
>> think that they might get really annoyed by your efforts and burn their 
>> libraries just for spite.
> That is a most interesting metric. I honestly hadn't considered that 
> issue. The key, I think, will be communication with them to understand 
> which manuals have sales going on, and which ones it would be 
> advantageous to get online because they have long dropped into 
> historical myths. Thank you for the advice. All of it.

I have to disagree strongly with Will on this. There are quite a few "PDF 
manual dealers" who honestly deserve to go out of business. Those 
"dealers" tend to fall into two categories:

First, the large number who have built their PDF libraries from collecting 
everything they can find online. Quite often they'll take the work of 
hobbyists and simply watermark / lock (encrypt) the PDF file then offer it 
for sale. Some of these "dealers" have websites, while others just try to 
hock their wares on eBay and other ecommerce platforms.

Second, those that threaten others when they find a PDF manual online 
which competes with their offerings. Some of them will file bogus DMCA 
takedowns even though they are not the copyright holder. Some of these 
"dealers" try to assert that because they scanned a manual (...or claim to 
have scanned it), that /they/ then hold the exclusive copyright to the PDF 
version of that manual.

Copyright just doesn't work like that though...the original copyright 
holder /still/ holds the copyright, no matter if someone scans it to a PDF 
or makes a xerox copy. Under US copyright law, they cannot even make a 
"sweat of the brow" argument as that is not an accepted legal argument 
under US copyright law.

17 U.S. Code § 103 - Subject matter of copyright: Compilations and 
derivative works

"(b) The copyright in by the author of such work, as distinguished from 
the preexisting material employed in the work, and does not imply any 
exclusive right in the preexisting material. The copyright in such work is 
independent of, and does not affect or enlarge the scope, duration, 
ownership, or subsistence of, any copyright protection in the preexisting 

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