[aprssig] Another Bootlegger Using APRS As a Commercial AVL System ???

Scott Miller scott at opentrac.org
Sun Dec 28 00:45:30 CST 2008

> Is that really true.   I'm fairly certain the vendors like Byonics
> have some agreements with Bob and that's probably for APRS on amateur
> radio.   Commercial uses may be a totally different arrangement.
> Remember how even Radio Shack had notices on the merchandise when they
> were selling Amateur Radio equipment.

To repeat my previous email, these aren't specifically amateur devices. 
  As for agreements with Bob, I've never made any.  Bob holds the APRS 
trademark and I try to make sure I make that clear any time I use it in 
print.  I know he had some terms in his APRSDOS license restricting 
commercial use of that particular program, but the same doesn't apply to 
the APRS protocol itself.  Bob can't control how the actual protocol is 
used, any more than the National Marine Electronics Association could 
stop Bob from incorporating pieces of the NMEA 0183 protocol in APRS 
(and in the early days that's mostly what APRS was.)

Of course, anyone caught using the 144.39 APRS network without a license 
or for commercial use in violation of Part 97 should be shut down and 
possibly fined, just like anyone using 2 meter voice for commercial use. 
  But don't go expecting vendors to put arbitrary restrictions on 
devices with non-amateur uses.

Sorry if I seem a bit cranky when it comes to this subject, but I live 
in California - where any idiotic, poorly-conceived and badly-written 
measure can be put on the ballot with enough signatures.  We have more 
than enough stupid laws on the books that make life unnecessarily 
difficult for small businesses - witness the absolutely useless 
Proposition 65 warnings on EVERY grocery store, hardware store, drug 
store, and just about every store of every type.  They do absolutely 
nothing and provide no useful information, but give lawyers a chance to 
make a living by suing non-compliant businesses.  It's only the fact 
that I have fewer than 10 employees that lets me ship tracker kits 
without a Prop 65 warning in each one.

Let's not go adding more regulation where common sense will do.


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