Machinist's Handbook 26 as an e-Book

A friend of mine recently sent me a heads up. Someone posted
Machinist's Handbook #26 on newsgroup alt.binaries.e-book.flood
on Dec. 18. as hundreds of ".rr" files. Not sure if they are usable or not.
The FAQ for those newsgroups is located at:
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Reply to
keith bowers
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Copyright issues aside, I prefer one nice paid-for book. I like the way it develops it's own index marks to the tapping and threading pages (:
Reply to
Jim Stewart
It may be useable or not, but it's highly illegal in either case. Industrial Press is pretty serious about protecting their copyrights.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Malum prohibitum, not malum in se. The "highly" is a religious sentiment.
The US Supreme Court decided quite a while ago, you can't copyright facts, collections of facts, arrangments of facts, diagrams of facts, tables of facts, formulas, recipes, etc.
The text of MH is largely such material, interspersed with some original commentary. The copyright covers only the latter.
The Internet calls even that much into question. Copyright in practice only counts for some multiple of the cost of copying. The less it costs to copy, the less things can be copyrighted. Publishing on paper or discs in order to artificially boost costs is a hopeless copyright-reification strategy.
The morality of copyright was based on (1) significant costs of copying, and (2) somebody making money on unauthorized copies. Both have vanished.
The world has changed, Ed.
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
Like I said, malum prohibitum, not malum in se. You're correct in the sense of a legal theory, and a litigation tactic, only. But in conflict with _Feist_. Data in a table of, oh, thread data, is in the public domain. The aspect ratio of the table is an original work? Puh-leeze.
The tap-drill table in MH is the same as any other I've seen. Are you claiming *that* is IP's property? Which mathematical formulas belong to them?
No thanks, I don't have to. MH has been on a.b.e for years. Who has been prosecuted?
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
Thanks guys, I downloaded that piece and burned it on a cdrom. What a wealth of information!
Reply to
The person who posted the message was not talking about thread data. He was talking about a multi-part copy of _Machinery's Handbook_.
I said representations. You can't copy their pages, whether they were electronic or printed. I have the CD of the 26th Edition. The copyright declarations are all over it, and the trademarks are registered.
How far do you want to try pushing it?
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
You seem to be educated; are you TRYING to confuse others into doing the wrong thing?
Copyright protects the FORM of the presentation. The facts as presented in Machinist's are not what is copyrighted, it is their PRESENTATION. If someone copies the presentation (hwether in print or electronically) without the beneift of a license, then they are operating illegally. End of story.
How in the world do you think any publication becomes a viable venture for profit under your way of operating?
Reply to
I found my copy at a used books store--got it for $8, IIRC.
Reply to
Representations of public domain facts may or may not be protected, depending on whether there is any original authorship in the presentation per se. For much of the information in MH, there just isn't any genuine originality possible for the presentation. There are not that many ways to present a mapping of one set (standard tap sizes) to another set (118 standard drill sizes).
So one could theoretically (and I am certainly not the one to be attempting this as the guinea pig) copy all the "facts" out of MH and present it as the most plain of HTML tables on Web pages.
The argument reduces to which elements of the book are facts vs which are original authorship. In _Feist_, it was a table of names vs phone numbers. In MH, it is taps vs drills. I would expect you could publish, say, an HTML version of that table on the Web all you like. Indeed, Google will find many instances of identical tabulated facts on the Web.
Yet preceding that table are a few paragraphs of prose, discussing how drilling and tapping is performed, how twist drills typically oversize the hole, how reaming is better for larger diameters and finer threads, etc. This sort of prose has some originality of authorship and might be protected. Even then, the ideas therein are not protected and must be freely publishible. The latitude of original expression in technical information is highly restricted compared to ordinary literary works.
Agreed, one cannot now scan the paper MH and publish images of it, verbatim, legally. Likewise the CD. But much of the content is just facts, not original expression. One could publish a somewhat thinner book, entitled, "Every Dry Fact in MH". The argument would be simply details about which items were facts versus which were original, and that is an impossibly complex judgment. Some publishers (not IP, of course) use exactly that complexity to their advantage to bully the world into accepting their text as the proprietary version. That is exactly what _Feist_ was supposed to clear up, but apparently some haven't heard.
Not very far at all.
I am perplexed by how a book that is 4/5 public domain facts and 1/5 original prose can leverage that 1/5 to make itself the sole publication of its type. You would think that the 4/5 would be freely available.
I'm also perplexed as to how the old theories of copyright can survive, because they are based entirely on copies costing something to make, and money changing hands for copies being made, neither of which is the case on a.b.e.
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
Well, Richard, that's exactly what's been done here. And that's a violation of copyright. That's the event being referred to, that's what happened, and that's what I'm reacting to.
Industrial Press, like others who find themselves in this situation, probably feels it isn't worth pursuing. You could get a cease-and-desist, but money isn't being charged, so you aren't going to get anything back. You've lost sales to a thief but you have no way to recover; you really have no way to prove it; and it's going to cost you even more money trying.
So, once again, the Internet provides moral cretins with a way to steal from people with no recourse. C'est la vie.
It isn't "original prose" that's at issue. It's the research, and the compilation, and the fact-checking, and the proofreading, and the printing and distribution and...
You get the picture. McGraw-Hill once asked me to update _The American Machinist's Handbook_. Since I wouldn't steal from _Machinery's Handbook_, and since M-H hadn't updated the _AM Handbook_ since 1955, I decided it wasn't going to be worth it, at then-current prices, to re-research and re-compile the book. That was in 1981. Today, I wouldn't even dream of depending upon royalties in an environment in which people find such theft so easy to justify, and so easy to do.
Not. They are based on compensation for work, for creative production, and for return on an investment. If I spend a year to two years updating _AMH_, I expect to be compensated, not to have my work stolen, whether it's published on paper or on a disc.
I assume you do the same.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
This is true as far as it goes, but the Supreme Court's test for 'original authorship' in compilation copyrights sets the bar pretty low.
From the court decision in Feist: Factual compilations, on the other hand, may possess the requisite originality. The compilation author typically chooses which facts to include, in what order to place them, and how to arrange the collected data so that they may be used effectively by readers. These choices as to selection and arrangement, so long as they are made independently by the compiler and entail a minimal degree of creativity, are sufficiently original that Congress may protect such compilations through the copyright laws. Nimmer ss 2.11[D], 3.03; Denicola 523, n. 38. Thus, even a directory that contains absolutely no protectible written expression, only facts, meets the constitutional minimum for copyright protection if it features an original selection or arrangement. See: Harper & Row, 471 U.S., at 547, 105 S.Ct., at 2223. Accord, Nimmer s 3.03.
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an analysis and the decision)
I think you're being misled by the rather peculiar nature of the situation in Feist. The data involved in Feist, a list of names and associated phone numbers, is very reductionist example. Most compilations of facts aren't nearly that bare and there is almost always some selection involved.
No, but if you've got a number of such tables, the elements of 'selection and originality' can well begin to come into play in choosing which tables to present.
I wouldn't bet on it. Consider this example from the legal analysis presented on Bitlaw:
A database of facts is also protected as a compilation, assuming the grouping contains enough original expression to merit protection (see the discussion of Feist below). An example of a protectable grouping of facts would be a database of Internet locations for selected legal articles. Each location consists merely of factual information, namely that a particular article can be found at a particular URL location on the Internet. There is no copyright protection for each location. Therefore, while the individual locations can be copied by others, if an entire database of locations (or a substantial portion of the database) were copied, the copyright in the compilation would be infringed. The creative, original expression that is being protected is the selection of locations for the database. If the locations were divided by topic in the database, the organization of the database would also be protected.
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Well, yes, but the court has held that selection and arrangmenet of the facts can constitute an act of original authorship.
Yep. However the situation becomes more complex when you consider a whole set of such tables.
One of the confusing things in all this is that while a compilation copyright protects the compilation it does not protect the underlying facts if they are not otherwise protected.
From the Bitlaw article:
Thus, a database of unprotectable works (such as basic facts) is protected only as a compilation. Since the underlying data is not protected, U.S. copyright law does not prevent the extraction of unprotected data from an otherwise protectable database. In the example of a database of presidential quotations, it would therefore not be a violation of copyright law to extract (copy) a quotation from George Washington from the database. On the other hand, it would be violation to copy the entire database, as long as the database met the Feist originality and creativity requirements.
There's no 'might be' in that case. That explanatory material _is_ protected. That's a well established principle.
This is a key misunderstanding. The creativity and originality can lie in the selection and arrangment of the material as well as in the material itself.
If they can show sufficent originality and creativity in the selection, then they're entitled to a compilation copyright -- see the Supreme Court decision above. (But also consider the limits imposed by the _Warren_ case cited below.)
haven't heard. The problem is that you're reading something into _Feist_ that just isn't there.
The underlying facts, if they are public domain, aren't copyrighted and may be freely used. But originality and creativity, as the court defined them, aren't limited to the facts. They also apply to the arrangement and selection of the facts. If you copy the arrangement and selection you may well infringe the compilation copyright.
For another look at the whole situation see _Warren Publishing vs Microdos Data", a report of which can be found here:
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In this case, the court set out three principles for compilation copyrights: (quoted with snippage)
Principle (1): A selection of data is not copyrightable where the entire universe is "selected," even if the compiler is the first to think of compiling the information and even if the compilation is commercially useful. . . .
Principle (2): A selection is not copyrightable where it is not the result of the compiler's own judgment, even if the compiler is the first to think of making the selection in the particular manner. The selection is not a true selection if there is no room for creativity; a copyrighted "selection" must be the result of the compiler's opinion about something subjective (e.g., the compiler includes in a trivia book certain facts from the universe of facts because of a belief that they are the most interesting facts; the compiler includes facts about 15 restaurants in New York City from the universe of restaurants in New York City based on a belief that they are the 15 best restaurants in New York City; or the compiler includes facts about ten cable systems based on a belief that they will still be in business in the year 2000).
Principle (3): A "system" of selecting is not subject to copyright protection even if it is creative and original.
How are copyright theories based on copies costing something to make?
"Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells 'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets fly with a club. -- John W. Cambell Jr.
Reply to
"Arrangment", is a non-issue, because in the case of books like MH, there is minimal authorship involved in the arrangment (order of chapters, layout of tables, ho hum), but in any case it is trivial to come up with an different "original" arrangement.
"Selection" is also a non-issue exactly for this type of book, because the selection of "an encyclopedia of everything known in this subject" (which is the "handbook" or "definitive reference" claim to value) is not original. The database model really doesn't apply here, because the subject is a motley collection of sundry facts, and there isn't some database antecedent to what is in MH anyway.
That's a conclusion I've made from my own unpublished analysis, which I can't really detail now. But try this thought experiment: Imagine anyone could clap three times and *poof* a perfect copy of a book appears for free, in the privacy of your home. No printing press, no bindery, just *poof*, it's there. No effort or expense on your part, just speak the title and clap. Everyone then becomes either a clapping copyright criminal, or somebody who drives to Barnes and Noble and spends $25 for a best-seller, when he could have stayed home and just clapped. An entire publishing industry is then based on people doing something much more difficult and costly than has to be, assuming anybody honors the malum prohibitum of clapping.
In short, in the ancient idea of copyright (actually only a few hundred years old), the notion of a tangible "copy" was implicitly something that took effort and materials (because until recently, it always did--paper, ink, film, vinyl, whatever), and if someone was going to that significant trouble and expense, it was the author's right to say who.
As copying becomes a vanishingly trivial event (in the physical sense), then the author's right to control your vanishingly trivial (physical) actions vanishes. As the lawyers say, the law does not deal with trifles.
Copyright *never* extended to trivial actions of copying: When you read a book, you are forming images on your retinas that are copies, yet not protected; you can make these copies all you like. Libraries can project copies of a single paper book into limitless eyeballs for free. DVD movies are copied within the electronic player every time they are played. Such exceptions prove that the basis of copyright is absolutely not copying per se; it is mere economic expedience, fitted arbitrarily to each circumstance, and exclusive of trivial actions, not some high principle of property rights. This is also exhibited in the 1700s constitutional language of "limited times" and the more recent doctrine of fair use.
And copying has become non-copying, that is, an altogether trivial event. A fraction of a square mm of microscopic, invisible, magnetic polarization patterns change from one jumble of bits to another. Nothing else in the universe changed. This is a crime?
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
You've never been involved in one of these projects have you?
Let me tell you a little story. Last year I worked for a company that was in the Internet yellow pages business. One of my projects was to develop an ontology (classification scheme) of about 5,000 entries for the business listings on the company's web site. It took something like a total of three person-months to develop and do rough testing on that 'arrangement' -- and that was followed by a lot more field testing.
As the guy who actually put the damn thing together, I had to work closely with our database designers on one hand and our sales and customer service people on the other to come up with the appropriate arrangement. And we won't go into how many 'discussions' we had or how much research some of us did to come up with the best design.
This was purely a matter of arrangement of facts -- in fact mapping a set of standard categories to the appropriate synonyms. But it most definitely met the tests for compilation copyright.
Arrangement is anything _but_ a "non-issue" on nearly any non-trivial collection/compilation and there's more than enough involved in almost all of them to meet the Supreme Court's test.
Nope. Not unless you're including the entire universe of known facts about the subject -- which is an impossibility in such a book. See the _Warren_ case I cited in another message in this thread.
That's a rather strained distinction. One I suspect you'd be hard put tp support. How do you intend to distinguish a 'database' from a 'motley collection of sundry facts'? And what makes you think it makes any difference at all legally?
You're confusing the ability to commit an illegal act with making the act legal. The fact that you can easily and quickly violate a copyright does not invalidate the copyright. As a practical matter ease of violation should (and usually does) eventually have an impact on how the law is modified or interpreted, that does not effect the underlying law itself -- which is why things like the DMCA are so pernicious.
more difficult and
You seem to be fascinated with the notion of malum in se versus malum prohibitum. However I don't think you understand the distinction. (Hint: All copyright law is malum prohibitum. Malum in se doesn't enter into it.)
Have you ever read any of the standard legal analyses of the notion of copyright? Or the histories of printing, publishing and copyright? You certainly don't seem to have any familarity with them.
The notion of copyright grew out of the idea that the author should profit from his/her work. (Okay, that's a first approximation, but it will do for this discussion.) The effort that was -- and is -- being protected is the creative effort involved in creating the work in the first place. The cost of reproducing the work does not and never has entered into it.
They can in the United States because United States copyright law has a specific exemption for libraries. This doesn't always exist in other countries.
You might want to read up on the analysis of what is going on here. And the hoops the courts have jumped through on this one.
Utterly incorrect. Copying per se, when not covered by one of the various exceptions in the law, is indeed copyright violation.
Wrong. Copyright is a property right.
You bet it is.
"Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells 'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets fly with a club. -- John W. Cambell Jr.
Reply to
You seem to assume that revolutionary thinking (and mine in 1987 on this topic led to a major US software copyright case) must grow out of ignorance of the status quo. Not so.
Now I have to turn the jaundiced eye to your background, because here you sound as if you hold to the "sweat of the brow" or "creative" theory.
Implicitly, it did. The old laws only dealt with copies that cost something (tangible media), not trivial copies (on retinas, in transit through a DVD player, etc).
Try to follow my line here. I challenge the idea that "copying" is the action controlled by copyrights. Of course the spirit and letter of the law refer to that term. Yet the exceptions and qualifications of what copies doesn't count as infringing, are so shot through the dogma, that it leads to the linguistic fallacy of "definitional retreat". You and I casually understand a "copy" to be some kind of physical image of something. Yet the law, which purportedly controls making "copies", admits so many exceptions for non-infringing images, that what is being controlled in fact is not copying in the usual sense. So the basis was never image-making, it was only about a restricted, ad-hoc, legal invention that was misleadingly termed "copying". And my conclusion is that while downloading a book is surely making an image, which is to say, a copy, this is not the "copying" which is the essence of "copyright infringement".
I know it sounds scholastic.
Let me illustrate. Imagine we say "fishing" is immoral and should be prohibited, and laws are passed against it. Then the law gets qualified to permit "fair use" fishing if you don't actually catch anything, or you catch something and immediately throw it back. You see, the definition fishing-that-is-prohibited gets so qualified that it shows the morality never involved fishing per se, it was only certain actions that happened to involve fishing. When a new type of fishing appears, you can't automatically conclude it is immoral.
Let me beg off any further rebuttals and close this by saying that the paleo-conservative and strict-constructionist view should be that the Constitution had it correct: it never uses the word "copy", and copying is not what the clause addresses. "The exclusive Right to their respective Writings" meant that consideration was necessarily involved, not the case of casual image-making such as downloading.
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
Your thinking isn't particularly revolutionary. It's just plain wrong. Now if you want to put this forward as the basis of a novel proposal for copyright modification, you're free to do so. But that is not how the matter stands today.
Urk? Your particular statement was about the history of copyright. And as a statement of the history it was flat wrong.
If you want to see how wrong you are historically, take a look at the first copyright law -- the Statute of Anne in 1710 -- which specifically states the purpose of the law was to protect authors from unauthorized copying of their work.
Nope. I hold with the law and the long line of copyright decisions.
The "Sweat of the brow" doctrine doesn't come close to entering into it. Do you even understand the terms you're blithely throwing around?
Wrong. If it had it would have been the publishers who would have been protected, not the authors. Publishers have never been protected by copyright, except as they may purchase the rights or hold a license to the rights.
What's the cost of performing a piece of music live? Where's the tangibility of singing a song? Music was protected even before recording technology.
Then you're simply wrong. This has been enunciated again and again in the court decisions. Copying is specifically what is protected by copyright.
Well, no. You're making several completely unwarranted -- and untrue -- assumptions here and you don't seem to know much about the theory of copyright.
The theory is roughly as follows: A copyright is a monopoly granted by the state. State-enforced monopolies are dangerous things and the people who wrote the Constitution knew it. (Take a look at the discussion of monopolies that surrounded the ratification of the Constitution, including the anti-monopoly laws in several of the states at the time.)
Yet granting a monopoly was recognized as a practical method of allowing authors to profit from their work. So the United States authorized a monopoly to the author. But it was a limited monoply, limited both in time and in extent. This is anything but 'definitional retreat'.
Again, this follows in the tradition that goes back to the Statute of Anne, where a time limit was set on copyright.
No. What is going on here is a balancing of rights for the greatest public good. There are exceptions to the monoply granted by copyright because making them serves either the interest served by the notion of copyright -- the dissemination of knowledge (fair use) or equally serious principles, such as equity.
Let me clue you in on a little secret. Laws are seldom, if ever, absolute. There are exceptions and conditions to almost all of them. Even our laws against murder have exceptions.
Your conclusion is wrong as a matter of law. Present that argument in court and you're going to lose.
It sounds half-baked.
This is the rationale for the law, it is not the law itself.
What gets written and enforced is the law, not the rationale. If some bright boy can find a way to fish without violating the law on fishing, then he's home free, no matter how immoral the result may be.
Whether or not morality is involved is immaterial if there is a law against it, no matter what exceptions the law might make.
No, it was the act of fishing, as it is defined in the law.
No but if the courts have held that it is illegal, then it is illegal. In the case of electonic copying the courts have repeatedly ruled that electronic copying can violate copyright. Playboy vs Webworld, for example:
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In other words, even if we buy your doctrine of 'definitional retreat' the courts have decided that electronic copying falls squarely under copyright law.
Nope. Remember the writers of the Constitution were working in a fairly well-defined legal universe where concepts such as copyright were perfectly well understood. They could, and did, stretch that framework, or completely discard parts of it in favor of something new. But concepts like 'copyright' were perfectly well understood, as was the phrase 'the exclusive right to their respective writings." They were giving the authors control over the copying and dissemination of their work.
"Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells 'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets fly with a club. -- John W. Cambell Jr.
Reply to
"... The compilation author typically chooses which facts to include, in what order to place them, and how to arrange the collected data so that they may be used effectively by readers. These choices as to selection and arrangement, so long as they are made independently by the compiler and entail a minimal degree of creativity, are sufficiently original that Congress may protect such compilations through the copyright laws. Nimmer ss 2.11[D], 3.03; Denicola 523, n. 38. Thus, even a directory that contains absolutely no protectible written expression, only facts, meets the constitutional minimum for copyright protection if it features an original selection or arrangement ..."
Publishers are certainly aware of this, and will take PD data and, indeed, organize it in a way which makes such data easier to use, on account of the relationship of the data presented in the derivative work.
A friend made a very lucritive business out of taking raw census data, obtainable on magnetic tape by anyone for a nominal duplicating charge, operating on that data by rearranging it in certain sequences, and outputting another magnetic tape which contained much if not all of the original data, but in the new format.
The "originality" is in the format, not in the raw content.
Reply to
Peter H.
You might want to take it easy on the know-it-all-or-not estimates, especially when based on Usenet patter. It is a characteristic of wisdom to hide itself. In the history of Usenet, never has an argument been won by flashing credentials.
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
At the risk of being labeled a thief and a cheat... I'd like to ask: How DO you download and render these binary files? Frankly, after seeing there are several hundred of them, I'm not sure I'll have the patience to do so, but I'd like to try a few of them.
Now, for those who think this is an immoral thing to do (like my top-posting), I'd just like to say that I OWN as copy of Machinery's Handbook, and my use of these files would be to print out, perhaps enlarged, selected pages for use in my shop... tap drill sizes or tubing wall thicknesses or some such.
Richard J K>>Well, no. You're making several completely unwarranted -- and untrue
Reply to
Forte agent can reassemble these articles and decode them.
I use my own perl scripts for it, but for you, forte agent is the way to go. I already burned my CD-Rom with this wonderful handbook.
Reply to

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