View Full Version : IH plans and intellectual property

12-12-2006, 04:46 PM
There has been a lot of questions on whether or not we are going to be offering plans for sale. Currently that is up in the air, we have a few potential buyers for all of our intellectual property (plans, designs and such). As such we are in limbo until those decisions are made.

this was posted on the IH website, i don't know who the companies are that are willing to buy the intellectual property, but i just wonder what it would take to make this property public knowledge. NOt saying that Aaron should give the knowledge away, but its been really helpful so far and i'd hate to lose such a resource as Aarons knowledge or his site. maybe we can take up a collection to help keep the site open or to buy the intellectual property to make it public domain so everyone can benefit from it.

maybe we can integrate it into this site (CNCZONE.com). i only bring this up before the decisions are made so all the options are covered. let me know what you guys think. And Aaron, if you see this let us know what you think about this.

12-12-2006, 07:29 PM
As someone who just brought an LI kit, I would be a little bothered with the info for the kit available before I even recieve it.

As far upgrade plans to the ih mill (belt drive conversion, spindle changes) it would be cool if that was available for those who have the mill.


12-12-2006, 08:43 PM
I assure all my past customers, out of respect for what you paid for your CNC conversion; I will never give away the plans free on the web.

12-12-2006, 09:17 PM
i guess i was more referring to new things that aren't necessarily out yet. things like the belt drive spindle. maybe not give away all the secrets but at least give us a head start on what it takes to build it successfully. i have bought a cnc kit and mill from aaron, and i agree, i don't think that all the info should be public domain but at least leave up what you have.

i would also like to know how to set the preload on the bearings for the spindle. i know there is a slim margin on setting these up and i don't have time for the trial and error part of it. but if thats what it takes then thats what i'll do, or i'll stick with the tapered roller bearings. those are a little more forgiving.

12-12-2006, 11:06 PM
I seriously doubt that there is any IP.

12-13-2006, 07:05 AM
I believe that intelectual property and website are two differant entities !

NC Cams
12-13-2006, 09:35 AM
Big difference between IP's, copyrights and what may be "trade secrets".

The specifications and procedures needed to build/tune the machines are essentially the owners intellectual properties. If he documents and sells them without copyrighting them, he's essentially "giving" them away and loses his copyright protection and probably his IP's.

NOTE: simply putting circle C on the document is NOT protecting crap - read the copyright law (17 U.S.C.). If you don't register them, you're basically a fool and your "copyrighted materials" pretty much become public domain.

Now, the bills of material and the specs contained therein are where the technology is critical. With this info, it is easy to duplicate the machines. Without it, you could lose countless night of sleep trying to figure out what it takes to make the machine.

Look at it like this: everybody knows what is in Coca Cola. The trade secret lies in the exact formulation of the additives that are blended to create it. Anybody can make Coke if they buy the syrup from CocaCola and mix it with carbonated water - duplicating the syrup is where the trade secret lies.

Although trade secrets are a good way to protect a device, one runs the risk of losing the rabbit if/when someone reverse engineers it and effectively duplicates the performance in a similar way - this is where a patent is handy. HOWEVER, to get a patent, you have to unveil the secret which some people can outright steal or engineer around. There is no honor at times with some patents.

Having the OEM specs faciliates the service parts duplication process - it helps even more if you try to improve upon performance (at least you know what NOT to do). The PITA parts which are going to be hard to duplicate are the "iron" or other custom made/application specific parts. These requires tools and capital which is why they are not readily duplicated in service applications.

12-13-2006, 04:11 PM
There may be a misunderstanding about copyrights. Here is a quote from www.copyright.gov:

"How to Secure a Copyright
Copyright Secured Automatically upon Creation

The way in which copyright protection is secured is frequently misunderstood. No publication or registration or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright. (See following note.) There are, however, certain definite advantages to registration. See “Copyright Registration.”

Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and a work is “created” when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time. “Copies” are material objects from which a work can be read or visually perceived either directly or with the aid of a machine or device, such as books, manuscripts, sheet music, film, videotape, or microfilm. “Phonorecords” are material objects embodying fixations of sounds (excluding, by statutory definition, motion picture soundtracks), such as cassette tapes, CDs, or LPs. Thus, for example, a song (the “work”) can be fixed in sheet music (“copies”) or in phonograph disks (“phonorecords”), or both. If a work is prepared over a period of time, the part of the work that is fixed on a particular date constitutes the created work as of that date."

The quote clearly states that registration is not necessary.

12-13-2006, 05:55 PM
Assembly procedures may be copyright, but that is of little value. It is well established law (well, I'm not a lawyer, but that is my understanding), that recipes protect the representation, but not the list of ingredients or order of steps.

So, you can't just photocopy (whoops, I almost said Xerox) a recipe, but you can sell something with the same list of ingredients and steps.

You can't just copy someone else's plans, but if you have one, you can measure it and publish the plans. Of course, if there is a patent, you can publish the plans, but you can't make one; not even for your own use.


12-13-2006, 06:39 PM
I learned something new today. You wrote, "you can't make one; not even for your own use". I didn't know that. When I did a Google search on patents, I found that you are absolutely correct.

Thanks for your post.

NC Cams
12-13-2006, 09:00 PM
Memo to Richard:

You are reading a summary of the statute. HOWEVER, and of greater importance, If you plan to take legal enforcement action against an alleged copyright infringer, YOU MUST HAVE AQUIRED OR AT LEAST REGISTERED FOR COPYRIGHT PROTECTIION. DON"T READ THE SUMMARY, READ THE STATUTE!!!

I don't recall the specific statutory clause, HOWEVER, there definitely is one that addresses this important, little known statutory requirement of US Copyright Law enforcement proviso's. I think this stipulation is found in 17 U.S.C 203 or around that statute nearby.

BTW: the defendant's lawyer tried to ge the case tossed out of court on my "baseless claims" that a failure to register wasn't grounds for a suit. My FORMER lawyer said that my argument wouldn't fly as the guy didn't have to register the C/R for it to be enforceble.

Unfortunately for defendant, the legal argument/filing that I wrote (never spent a day in law school) were found valid by the judge and both my FORMER lawyer and the defendant's still are shaking their head wondering "duh, HUH????"

Read the statute, not the Cliff Notes' Summary. You'll learn more than what they tought the lawyers in law school.

The federal judge agreed to hear the case and said that his court DID have jurisdiction for the reasons claimed. Namely, the guy's failure to seek C/R protection in a/the proper fashion as prescribed by law. Both my FORMER lawyer and the guy's lawyer were shocked that an engineer could make such a convincing argument to a federal judge.

NC Cams
12-13-2006, 09:55 PM
Oops sorry, wrong statute was mentioned previously:

First go here:


Then read down to and focus on section 411b which deals with "Registration and Infringment Action" and I quote:

17 USC 411b = " No action for the infringment of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with this title."

Threaten all you want but if you decide to go to court, you'll likely lose your ass without a formally registered copyright. The statute goes on to outline and/or limit liability if/when a proper or improper copyright protection is claimed or granted or recognized. You don't have to register immediately BUT if you don't you could drastically limit any remedies that could/will be granted if you wait too long before registering the C/R.

IF you think for a minute that you've got federal copyright protection simply by saying a work is copyrighted - you are are flat wrong. Read the ENTIRE formal statute, not just the Cliff Note summary!!!

Yes, you own the intellectual property but actual proof of ownership in federal court of an intellectual propety is recognized via copyright registration, not whether or not you merely claim copyright protection for something that isn't registered.

There are more interesting facts in the law that copyright holders and/or potential infringers need to be aware of.

We're proving that there are a lot of misconceptions with each filing in our particular case - especially when a pro se (without legal counsel) litigant can and have their arguments prevail over the filings of real live copyright lawyers.

12-13-2006, 09:59 PM
Thanks for pointing out some of the vagaries of copyright law. I've only had the time to skim Title 17 U.S.C (it is 290 pages long), but I think that parts of section 411 pertain to your memo concerning enforcement:

§ 411 · Registration and infringement actions¹⁰
(a) Except for an action brought for a violation of the rights of the author un-
der section 106A(a), and subject to the provisions of subsection (b), no action for
infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until
registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with this title.
In any case, however, where the deposit, application, and fee required for regis-
tration have been delivered to the Copyright Office in proper form and registra-
tion has been refused, the applicant is entitled to institute an action for infringe-
ment if notice thereof, with a copy of the complaint, is served on the Register of
Copyrights. The Register may, at his or her option, become a party to the action
with respect to the issue of registrability of the copyright claim by entering an
appearance within sixty days after such service, but the Register’s failure to be-
come a party shall not deprive the court of jurisdiction to determine that issue.

(I hope I'm not breaking the law by copying from www.copyright.gov!)

In looking at the footnotes, I'm guessing that this provision is required so that any claims of ownership of a copyright can be verified before a court is involved.

(Edited: It looks like you're a faster typist than I am because you posted four minutes before I did, but at least we were both checking the pertinent code.)

NC Cams
12-14-2006, 07:33 AM
Faster typist?

No, just more involvement with the law - I knew where to look for the statute because I already spent weeks researching in in preparation for my copyright case filings for federal court.

The copyright law is pretty easy to understand if looked at as follows:

Two guys are arguing about who owns a car. However, when it comes to the law and winning in court, the guy who has the title to the car in his name is the TRUE owner of the vehicle.

Copyrights are essentially the federal equivalent to a "title" when it comes to intellectual properties - the first guy who registers or at least goha and files for C/R protection is afforded same in the eyes of the law.

That very argument has been the foundation of my C/R case and it has kept the case before the judge in spite of numerous efforts on the part of defendant to have case dismissed for all sorts of other frivolous FRCP issues.

You don't have to be a lawyer to understand C/R law - only a studious researcher and reader of the law. In our case, we've alread "out read/out studied" some true C/R lawyers who said they'd get our cases tossed in a heartbeat via their lame "legal" chicanery.

In spite of their better efforts, the case remains in litigation.

12-14-2006, 12:02 PM
NC Cams - Can you say what your particular copyright fight is over?

FWIW: I asked someone who works in IP and they had an interesting addition to make. The copyright mark puts one on notice of the author's intent to protect the work and the actual registration can be done pretty late in the game. I did not ask explicitly but got the impression it could be done just before the case. They thought the possible awards/fees change negatively for late registration though.

12-14-2006, 12:35 PM
Here are a few paragraphs that I've copied from Title 17 U.S.C. found at www.copyright.gov.

Section 302 seems to say that a copyright subsists when it is created.
Subsist Sub*sist", v. i. imp. & p. p. Subsisted; p. pr. &
vb. n. Subsisting. L. subsistere to stand still, stay,
remain alive; sub under + sistere to stand, to cause to
stand, from stare to stand: cf. F. subsister.
§ 302 · Duration of copyright:
Works created on or after January 1, 1978 ⁴
(a) In General.—Copyright in a work created on or after January 1, 1978,
subsists from its creation and, except as provided by the following subsections,
endures for a term consisting of the life of the author and 70 years after the
author’s death.

401 relates to putting a copyright notice on the work.
§ 401 · Notice of copyright: Visually perceptible copies¹
(a) General Provisions.—Whenever a work protected under this title is
published in the United States or elsewhere by authority of the copyright owner,
a notice of copyright as provided by this section may be placed on publicly dis-
tributed copies from which the work can be visually perceived, either directly
or with the aid of a machine or device.

408 relates to when a copyright may be registered.
§ 408 · Copyright registration in general ⁸
(a) Registration Permissive.—At any time during the subsistence of the
first term of copyright in any published or unpublished work in which the copy-
r ight was secured before January 1, 1978, and during the subsistence of any
copyright secured on or after that date, the owner of copyright or of any ex-
clusive right in the work may obtain registration of the copyright claim by de-
livering to the Copyright Office the deposit specified by this section, together
with the application and fee specified by sections 409 and 708. Such registra-
tion is not a condition of copyright protection.

410 gives me the impression that it is better to register a copyright as quickly as possible if legal proceedings are anticipated. Look at paragraph (c) in particular.
§ 410 · Registration of claim and issuance of certificate
(a) When, after examination, the Register of Copyrights determines that, in
accordance with the provisions of this title, the material deposited constitutes
copyrightable subject matter and that the other legal and formal requirements
of this title have been met, the Register shall register the claim and issue to the
applicant a certificate of registration under the seal of the Copyright Office. The
certificate shall contain the information given in the application, together with
the number and effective date of the registration.
(b) In any case in which the Register of Copyrights determines that, in accor-
dance with the provisions of this title, the material deposited does not constitute
copyrightable subject matter or that the claim is invalid for any other reason, the
Register shall refuse registration and shall notify the applicant in writing of the
reasons for such refusal.
(c) In any judicial proceedings the certificate of a registration made before or
within five years after first publication of the work shall constitute prima facie evi-
dence of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate. The
evidentiary weight to be accorded the certificate of a registration made thereaf-
ter shall be within the discretion of the court.
(d) The effective date of a copyright registration is the day on which an appli-
cation, deposit, and fee, which are later determined by the Register of Copyrights
or by a court of competent jurisdiction to be acceptable for registration, have all
been received in the Copyright Office.

All of this is interesting to me because I've built machines for the photo industry that puts a copyright notice on the back of every photo processed by certain professional photo labs. The photographers are under the impression that the copyright notice fully protects them; however, some of the data in this thread seems to indicate that the photos are not protected until the photograph has been registered.

NC Cams
12-14-2006, 04:42 PM
Suffice it to say that there are proper ways to register a copyright.

There are also ways to license the exclusive and non-exclusive distribution rights for dissemination of copyrighted material.

There are also proper and improper ways to terminate the distribution rights granted for the distribution of materials.

Suffice it to say that the copyright laws were written to protect both the IP rights holder as well as the licensee of the rights. In an economy of words, the IP owner can't be screwed out of the ownership of their IP's and the licensee can't be arbitrarily and capriciously left out in the cold because an IP owner wants to regain exclusive distribution rights just BECAUSE.

There are procedures for granting and terminating rights that assure fairness for both the IP creator as well as the licensee of said rights. If you can't read or follow the law, you can encounter some expensive learning lessons.

Simply put, as long as both parties live up to the terms of the agreement that they enter into by agreement or via their actions and practices, neither the IP owner and/or the licenseee can't welch on the deal without encoutering termination liability problems and/or consequences.

It has cost me a lot in time and legal expenses to learn what I learned about C/R laws. simply put, we're still in litigation, hence, I'm not at liberty or about to explain how to lose a case while also giving a road map on how to win a C/R case.

Read the law and research it. When and if you you do (the internet is full of examples on legal precedents), you too can become a C/R expert and confound high buck lawyers much as we have in the process of doing so. When/if we win the case, I'll cite the legal opinions as the case will become legal precedent for future litigants.

Until the case is adjudicated, unfortunately, I can't and won't discuss the details of the proceedings or the legal strategy that we've embarked upon - we've had too much success with our filings using the strategy we've chosen and can hardly afford to telegraph our potential moves at this point in time.

12-14-2006, 06:18 PM
I am hoping that whoever acquires Aarons/IH intellectual property is as honest as Aaron. They will have some great engineering to start out with. We need a little more selection in this class of mill.

I recently discovered that the Z axis casting had never been machined at the base of the casting. Aaron has picked up the cost of having this milled locally. For someone leaving the business shortly, that's a real class act...not many of his type around any more.

The best of luck to Aaron....

12-14-2006, 08:12 PM
"I am hoping that whoever acquires Aarons/IH intellectual property is as honest as Aaron."

I think that that's the key. We all know when we've done something original and when we've tried to copy something else. Whether copyright laws are in force or not is immaterial. We're either honest or we're not. As far as I'm concerned, Aaron Moss is an honest guy with true integrity.

12-15-2006, 01:57 AM
I have a question for Aaron. Since I won't be able to come up with the funds before your doors close to buy the kit. What would would it cost to buy the "specs" for an LI conversion? The majority of what I cut is steel.


12-15-2006, 07:38 AM
Thanks brian for getting us back on topic. this is more along the lines of where i wanted to go with this. ideally i'd like to see a site setup with downloadable plans and hardware info. the site can be setup as a membership site, where all current owners of the kits have access for a nominal fee and then everyone else will have to a pay a significant premium to access the content. that way everyone is making some money. ideally something like:

i have yet to sign up here since i don't own a mini lathe but the concept is great. if there was one for the 9x20 lathes like this i would definitely sign up.

i agree that aaron shouldn't give away his information, but at least something like this will keep the hobbyists and his current customers going.