Jump to content


Photo

Public Domain Pen Documents Now Online

Parker Waterman catalogs service manuals

  • Please log in to reply
142 replies to this topic

#1 D Armstrong

D Armstrong

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 74 posts
  • LocationToronto, Ontario, Canada

Posted 03 August 2014 - 04:03 PM

It is always nice when someone decides to share. And when the thing shared is pen information, it is beyond nice: it’s a public service.

 

We were browsing through our favourite host of online information, the Internet Archive and came across the fruits of some generous soul’s labour: high quality scans of vintage fountain pen & pencil documents. Catalogues and service manuals for some of the biggest names in the pen business. These are all public domain items, some in full colour, and represent a very valuable collection.

 

The importance of this information cannot be understated. We can often pinpoint the age of a pen by it’s appearance in a catalogue. Or, we may be able to determine exactly which pen would have gone with which desk base. We have discovered the exact length of the neck ribbons originally supplied by Waterman. The list goes on, and that’s just the catalogues!

 

The real treasure is in the service manuals. Detailed breakdowns of pens. Step-by-step instructions as to repair methods. Illustrations of tools designed & provided by the manufacturers. This information is a lifeline for old pens.

 

So our thanks goes out to the kind soul who, rather than hoarding this information—or choosing to profit by selling it—chose to enrich us all.

 

The documents are posted to archive.org in groupings, which are not chronological and are named a bit oddly. We have decided to list them a little more intuitively on our website, making it much easier to locate what you are specifically looking for: http://www.restorersart.com/?p=1245


David Armstrong
--
www.restorersart.com
• Antiques for Readers & Writers •
--

www.scriptustoronto.com

• Toronto's Pen & Writing Show •

--
www.sevanti-letterpress.com
• Guaranteed Fountain Pen Friendly •


#2 MxMJ

MxMJ

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 131 posts

Posted 03 August 2014 - 05:22 PM

Awesome, thanks! Some of the Waterman links are pointing to the wrong files though. The 1902 catalog and the 1928, 33 and 37 desk set catalogs.



#3 D Armstrong

D Armstrong

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 74 posts
  • LocationToronto, Ontario, Canada

Posted 03 August 2014 - 05:46 PM

Awesome, thanks! Some of the Waterman links are pointing to the wrong files though. The 1902 catalog and the 1928, 33 and 37 desk set catalogs.

 

Fixed, thanks!


David Armstrong
--
www.restorersart.com
• Antiques for Readers & Writers •
--

www.scriptustoronto.com

• Toronto's Pen & Writing Show •

--
www.sevanti-letterpress.com
• Guaranteed Fountain Pen Friendly •


#4 John Jenkins

John Jenkins

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 322 posts
  • LocationDallas

Posted 03 August 2014 - 05:49 PM

I looked at two of the catalogs and both are ripped off from the members only PCA library.  Sad that some member has chosen to go this route.

 

While it is true that these documents are public domain, the search for original documents, scanning and storing on line is a time consuming process.  This service was done without pay by PCA members in order to support the PCA.

 

By republishing scans from the PCA library available only to members, that thief has stolen a valuable source of funding from the all volunteer charitable organization - Pen Collectors of America.

 

The end result will be that additions to the PCA library will dry up and the hobby will end up with less, not more.

 

Sad indeed.

 

John Jenkins


The poster formerely known as Buzz J

#5 D Armstrong

D Armstrong

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 74 posts
  • LocationToronto, Ontario, Canada

Posted 03 August 2014 - 08:25 PM

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I have put an end-note on our website.


David Armstrong
--
www.restorersart.com
• Antiques for Readers & Writers •
--

www.scriptustoronto.com

• Toronto's Pen & Writing Show •

--
www.sevanti-letterpress.com
• Guaranteed Fountain Pen Friendly •


#6 David Nishimura

David Nishimura

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 701 posts

Posted 03 August 2014 - 10:12 PM

Just to clarify, while a given book or document may be in the public domain (which is to say, it either was not copyrighted, or its copyright has expired), when someone digitizes that book or document, the resulting files are NOT automatically in the public domain. Companies such as Ancestry.com, for example, digitize huge quantities of public records. Access to the original records themselves is free, but the digital versions are another matter. One pays for the convenience, and for all the work involved. If Ancestry.com couldn't charge, they couldn't provide the service. It's that simple.

 

Compared to services such as Ancestry.com, access to the PCA Reference Library is dirt cheap. The PCA is nonprofit, and anyone can join. And joining helps ensure that there is a central repository preserving pen reference material. The work of scanning new material and upgrading the old is ongoing, with a staggering amount of work still to be done. Yes, many institutions have put scanned material up on Google Books or the Internet Archive. In many of those cases, however, the expense of digitization was covered by outside grants. The PCA has not been so lucky, and so has had to rely upon its own resources, including a host of member volunteers. So please, if you think digitization of rare pen reference material is a good thing, support the organization that is putting the effort into doing it.



#7 D Armstrong

D Armstrong

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 74 posts
  • LocationToronto, Ontario, Canada

Posted 04 August 2014 - 12:58 AM

Just to clarify, while a given book or document may be in the public domain (which is to say, it either was not copyrighted, or its copyright has expired), when someone digitizes that book or document, the resulting files are NOT automatically in the public domain. Companies such as Ancestry.com, for example, digitize huge quantities of public records. Access to the original records themselves is free, but the digital versions are another matter. One pays for the convenience, and for all the work involved. If Ancestry.com couldn't charge, they couldn't provide the service. It's that simple.

 

 

 

In terms of "best practice", which an academic code for good manners, the thing needed is terms and conditions clearly stated in connection with the new edition: http://copyright.ubc...olarly_Editions. It strikes me that nowhere on the PCA website, nor in any of the documents I have from my time there, was there any note about use. It is dangerous to assume that everyone having free access to something will understand unspoken conditions. (Correct me if I'm wrong; I just looked on the site, and in my downloads, and couldn't find any such.) So probably far more important than worrying about someone pointing to a cat which may have come from a bag, would be finding someone involved in the PCA and letting them know that they need to add something to their footnote on the library page. And perhaps on the pdfs themselves.

 

One other thing to take into consideration is that a something is either public domain, or it's not. It can't be partially so. In the case of Ancestry.com, and the PCA (and a bevy of universities and museums), organizations will use control of the portal as a means of income. What is being sold is not the file, but ease of access to it: the "convenience", as you say. However, the information on the documents is still in the public domain.

 

In order to create Intellectual Property Rights in connection with something in the public domain, one must make it new in some way. For example, one could take a photo of the Mona Lisa, and then change the colors, or the exposure. It is now your mashed-up version, which you control under copyright.

 

But the courts (the American courts, I should clarify) have been clear about straight-up reproductions: public domain.

 

Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp.,(U.S.A.)

-established that an exact copy of another digital copy does not confer copyrights.

 

Feist Publications, Inc., v. Rural Telephone Service Co. (U.S.A.)

Interlego AG v Tyco Industries Inc (U.K.)

-established that putting labor and resources into a copy does not confer copyrights.

 

 

I should add that I have been a paying member of the PCA, although my membership recently lapsed. And the PCA and it's members have done good work, as I acknowledge in my footnote. In fact, I even encourage folks to head on over and join, with a link to it.


David Armstrong
--
www.restorersart.com
• Antiques for Readers & Writers •
--

www.scriptustoronto.com

• Toronto's Pen & Writing Show •

--
www.sevanti-letterpress.com
• Guaranteed Fountain Pen Friendly •


#8 JonSzanto

JonSzanto

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 1,021 posts

Posted 04 August 2014 - 04:45 AM

Oh, good, we're down to arguing about the legalese and minutiae instead of the spirit, within a small community, with which the offerings were initially made. Got it.



#9 D Armstrong

D Armstrong

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 74 posts
  • LocationToronto, Ontario, Canada

Posted 04 August 2014 - 01:37 PM

Heh heh. Sorry. Pointed out something nice I found, only to have my head publicly caved in by trolls. Makes a fellow a bit defensive.


David Armstrong
--
www.restorersart.com
• Antiques for Readers & Writers •
--

www.scriptustoronto.com

• Toronto's Pen & Writing Show •

--
www.sevanti-letterpress.com
• Guaranteed Fountain Pen Friendly •


#10 John Danza

John Danza

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 909 posts

Posted 04 August 2014 - 01:58 PM

Heh heh. Sorry. Pointed out something nice I found, only to have my head publicly caved in by trolls. Makes a fellow a bit defensive.

 

David, it's because your defense is indefensible, and the "note" you put on your website is cheesy at best. The bottom line is that the images are stolen from another source, period. Taking something someone stole and pushing it out to others under the guise of it being "for the public good" doesn't make the theft right. It makes you an accessory to it.

 

The only appropriate thing for you to do would be to take the information off of your website.



John Danza


"Positive attitude makes for good decisions, but bad decisions make for great stories."

 

 

6080b6b0-840c-4c9c-aea6-5fb1f5d30e96_zps

 


#11 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 04 August 2014 - 02:20 PM

This is an interesting thread.  Putting aside the personalities and group dynamics in play,  I have not seen any legal counterpoints offered here to David Armstrong's citation of court cases, which would seem to make a case (pun intended) for his perspective on this.

 

Does anyone have any  actual legal information (vs notions of courtesy) regarding protection for a scanned copy of something for  which he himself does not have copyright?

 

The PCA indeed offers a nice portal to scanned public-domain information, but I am not clear from reading this thread that PCA has any claim to ownership of the materials, even recognizing the extraordinary effort pursued to generate said portal.

 

regards

 

Dvaid


David R. Isaacson MD. Website: VACUMANIA.com for quality old pens with full warranty.
Email: isaacson@frontiernet.net

Posted Image

#12 Jon Veley

Jon Veley

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 169 posts

Posted 04 August 2014 - 05:22 PM

Nice.  Mr. Armstrong, I'm assuming that in your extensive searches for old catalogs you must have found some others that the PCA could add to its library?  Or did you just find and publicize what was already in the library? 



#13 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 04 August 2014 - 05:37 PM

Nice.  Mr. Armstrong, I'm assuming that in your extensive searches for old catalogs you must have found some others that the PCA could add to its library?  Or did you just find and publicize what was already in the library? 

 

Why would one assume he (or anyone) must have found some other catalogues that PCA could add to its library?

 

Would PCA like to upload catalogues to its library that have been scanned and uploaded elsewhere?

 

regards

 

-d


David R. Isaacson MD. Website: VACUMANIA.com for quality old pens with full warranty.
Email: isaacson@frontiernet.net

Posted Image

#14 JonSzanto

JonSzanto

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 1,021 posts

Posted 04 August 2014 - 05:46 PM

FFS. Just because something is legal doesn't make it right, or ethical. Some people's concept of "community" can be pretty thin at times.



#15 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 04 August 2014 - 05:51 PM

FFS. Just because something is legal doesn't make it right, or ethical. Some people's concept of "community" can be pretty thin at times.

 

 

Hi,

 

I don't speak for anyone else in this, and I offer no stance so far regarding community or ethics. I am however curious about the legalities. 

Recognizing our views do not represent formal legal decisions, is there consensus then that straight scans of public domain material cannot be copyrighted? 

 

regards

 

-d


David R. Isaacson MD. Website: VACUMANIA.com for quality old pens with full warranty.
Email: isaacson@frontiernet.net

Posted Image

#16 John Danza

John Danza

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 909 posts

Posted 04 August 2014 - 05:54 PM

This is an interesting thread.  Putting aside the personalities and group dynamics in play,  I have not seen any legal counterpoints offered here to David Armstrong's citation of court cases, which would seem to make a case (pun intended) for his perspective on this.

 

Does anyone have any  actual legal information (vs notions of courtesy) regarding protection for a scanned copy of something to which he himself does not have copyright?

 

The PCA indeed offers a nice portal to scanned public-domain information, but I am not clear from reading this thread that PCA has any claim to ownership of the materials, even recognizing the extraordinary effort pursued to generate said portal.

 

regards

 

Dvaid

 

I think the whole "public domain" commentary is a red herring. This is predicated on the assumption that the product catalogues that have been scanned are in fact in the public domain. I don't think that's been proven, and I suspect Waterman and Parker would have something to say about that, given that it's their products and trademarks.

 

So let's look at this specific situation, that of taking images that originated on the PCA website and were copied and used by others for either profitable or non-profitable endeavors. In this case, I think that the PCA has been harmed and could prove harm if they were to take David Armstrong to court. Why? Because the images on the PCA website are not available to the public. They are available only to members, who pay the PCA for the privilege to access them. Therefore, David Armstrong's taking them and making them available for free has impacted the PCA's ability to sell their services by directly taking something from the PCA and giving them out. At this point, we only have David Armstrong's word for it that he got the images from a third party and not directly from the PCA website when he was a member.
 

So is it "illegal"? Maybe not. Is it unethical? Yeah, I think so.

 



John Danza


"Positive attitude makes for good decisions, but bad decisions make for great stories."

 

 

6080b6b0-840c-4c9c-aea6-5fb1f5d30e96_zps

 


#17 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 04 August 2014 - 06:10 PM


I think the whole "public domain" commentary is a red herring. This is predicated on the assumption that the product catalogues that have been scanned are in fact in the public domain. I don't think that's been proven, and I suspect Waterman and Parker would have something to say about that, given that it's their products and trademarks.

 


 

 

Hi John,

We might then have multiple red herrings. If the catalogues are not in the public domain (hypothetically, still owned by the pen makers), then I imagine even PCA would want to have written permission to offer free downloads to members, to prevent liability.  I suspect, though, that this issue is not in play.

 

o let's look at this specific situation, that of taking images that originated on the PCA website and were copied and used by others for either profitable or non-profitable endeavors. In this case, I think that the PCA has been harmed and could prove harm if they were to take David Armstrong to court. Why? Because the images on the PCA website are not available to the public. They are available only to members, who pay the PCA for the privilege to access them. Therefore, David Armstrong's taking them and making them available for free has impacted the PCA's ability to sell their services by directly taking something from the PCA and giving them out. At this point, we only have David Armstrong's word for it that he got the images from a third party and not directly from the PCA website when he was a member.

 

 

Neither of us are attorneys or prosecutors but I suspect these issues wholly are not in play.   I speculate that one cannot claim "harm" for another entity's distribution of a product for which one lacks ownership rights. Roger Wooten hosts a great range of Sheaffer ads whose images he could not possibly own; he very likely lacks specific permission from Sheaffer to offer them. Suppose he charged access?  If I were then to offer these images, I have great doubt he could assert legal harm, even as I encroach on his "business". I am happy to hear otherwise by those better steeped in the law.

 

In any case, I believe David Armstrong does not own archive.org and thus is not making the catalogues available in any fashion. It appears to be archive.org that does so. David Armstrong merely pointed us to the files, much as many have pointed to materials at google books, among other sites. I don't see info at the site that David Armstrong uploaded them. But, even if he had, and whether he found them at the PCA site or they were passed along to him by another party, so far I see no indication that PCA can claim legal harm.  On this thread we've had at least one art historian and one lawyer comment, and so far I've seen neither offer a legal objection.

 

Regards

 

David.


David R. Isaacson MD. Website: VACUMANIA.com for quality old pens with full warranty.
Email: isaacson@frontiernet.net

Posted Image

#18 Jon Veley

Jon Veley

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 169 posts

Posted 04 August 2014 - 06:11 PM

As far as I'm concerned, it's difficult to understand why someone in our hobby - in which we think nothing of paying hundreds for the objects of our affection - would be too cheap to pay $40 a year to support a non-profit, national organization dedicated to improving the hobby.

 

Mr. Armstrong, if you haven't paid your dues, I'll be looking for a check from you next week.  It is the least you can do.



#19 Jon Veley

Jon Veley

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 169 posts

Posted 04 August 2014 - 06:15 PM

Of course.   The PCA's goal is to make our library as comprehensive as possible.  However, the PCA asks for permission and gives credit where it is due.



#20 david i

david i

    ADVISOR

  • ADVISORS
  • 7,515 posts
  • LocationEast Coast USA

Posted 04 August 2014 - 06:26 PM

As far as I'm concerned, it's difficult to understand why someone in our hobby - in which we think nothing of paying hundreds for the objects of our affection - would be too cheap to pay $40 a year to support a non-profit, national organization dedicated to improving the hobby.

 

Mr. Armstrong, if you haven't paid your dues, I'll be looking for a check from you next week.  It is the least you can do.

 

Jon, these are Straw Man arguments, those that whether true or not are argued as though they are proxies  for  the *actual* issue in play, which in fact they are not.

 

We certainly can ask in general or specific cases whether collectors are ethically or legally obligated to support any particular cause or product. Too, we can analyze the psyches of those who believe that any collector is ethically or legally obligated to support any cause or product.  And, no doubt we can assess the merits and value of said causes and products.  But, none of those things has anything to do with David Armstrong's observation that archive.org has pen catalogue/manual scans present.

 

I fear I lack your certainly as to  what is the least anyone can or should do. Charity tends to be a very personal process, one that doesn't lend itself to the diktat of random individuals.

 

regards

 

-d


David R. Isaacson MD. Website: VACUMANIA.com for quality old pens with full warranty.
Email: isaacson@frontiernet.net

Posted Image





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users