[aprssig] Igateing a Non Amateur

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Sun Oct 2 10:41:56 CDT 2005

On Oct 2, 2005, at 11:04 AM, Andy Gonzales wrote:

> What are their calls ?

Many of the employees of these companies are hams. Many companies you  
would recognize, like MFJ and PacComm were started by and are owned  
by hams, who have made plenty of money off of amateur radio. (Many  
have lost a lot of money, but that's another story!)
> I meant of course the operating community.  If I come up with a 4  
> band radio
> product for sale and advertise it over the local repeater and make  
> a profit,
> that's not amateur radio.  If I set up a server or write some  
> software or
> produce some sort of kit, and I get money enough to defray some or  
> all of my
> expenses then that seems to be correct

Don't feel bad that you are mistaken on this count, many people have  
an incorrect impression about the meaning of amateur. Back when the  
term was coined, its meaning was an enthusiast, rather than the  
present connotation of non-professional. The prohibition in the FCC  
rules is against using the airwaves to make money. Your first example  
is against the rules, you could not advertise on your 2 meter  
repeater. You could go to the local ham club and sell all you want  
though, and make as much or as little profit as your choose. Note  
that the rules are not about whether you make a PROFIT, so even if  
you are selling it for half your cost, you still cannot advertise on  
the air if it is an ongoing enterprise. The rules allow for the  
exception of selling amateur radio gear if the selling is not done on  
a regular basis... e.g. I can sell an old rig on the air, but if I  
run a home business in old gear, I can't use ham radio to promote it.

You are trying to put limitations on me, and every other producer of  
intellectual property. You are not alone, Richard Stallman feels the  
same way you do, and is quite eloquent in his promotion of the  
concept. He believes any information that is useful belongs to  
civilization as a matter of morality. He thinks it is OK to write a  
novel and sell it, but if I write a how-to book, it belongs to  
everyone and it is immoral to make money (even expenses). I call that  
information communism, and I reject it just as I reject material  
communism. I have rights to the output of my brain just as I have  
rights to the output of my hands.

Steve K4HG

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