[aprssig] APRS Open Spec

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Sun Sep 28 09:51:25 CDT 2008

On Sep 28, 2008, at 8:43 AM, Ron McCoy wrote:

> Thanks, Steve.
> Can you tell me how this would be construed as commercial copying?

It isn't and I didn't say it was. Editing and publishing a changed  
document is what is not "non-commercial copying". Copy means copy, not  
edit and disseminate.
> As far as I've seen, there is no longer an  APRS Working Group.

The fact that a group is not active does not make the group's  
intellectual property public domain. I resigned from the group prior  
to it becoming inactive, so I make no claim to the spec. Bob has a  
very definite stake in it though. If he gave permission for you to do  
this, and no members of the APRS WG objected after being notified,  
then I'd feel comfortable if I were the one publishing. Without Bob's  
blessing, and the chance for any other members of the copyright  
holding organization to object, I would never allow something like  
this on a web site I was legally responsible for.
> Last, if, in fact, the spec is encumbered in a way that prevents open
> comment and the ability for the community to work together to make  
> it a
> living, evolving spec, isn't that an outstanding reason to write an  
> open
> spec?

No one said you cannot write your own spec. I simply said that the  
current APRS Spec cannot be edited on a wiki without the copyright  
holder's permission. If you don't like the way the latest Tom Clancy  
novel ends, are you allowed to copy it, change the ending, and publish  
it? Even if you just correct a misspelling, are you allowed to  
republish it? Even for free? Of course not.
> A copyright applies to a specific work. An open spec could be written
> from scratch that could be in the Creative Commons.

That is NOT what was being proposed. The proposal was posting the  
copyrighted spec on a wiki and editing it. That is a VERY different  
thing from writing an open spec from scratch!

I never said anything about writing your own spec. Personally, I'd  
consider it a waste of time, because without Kenwood (controlled  
through Bob) and other APRS software authors agreeing to accept and  
implement any changes you make, it would not amount to much more than  
mental masturbation, but have fun!

Steve K4HG

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