If I correctly understood what cjpalermo said, any limit on failure to act would depend on whether and when Scott/Amos paced 1847usa "on notice."
Quote: A copyright owner may, without prejudice, silently observe infringement for years without taking action, and then successfully sue for infringement. However, if the copyright owner places the infringer on actual notice that a claim exists, and then acquiesces in infringement or waits too long to sue, then equitable principles of estoppel or laches (excessive delay) or acquiescence may bar relief in the delayed lawsuit. Usually it takes more than 5 years of delay for a court to find that you "sat on your rights."
So if notice only came recently, then 1847usa got a ride for a few years (maybe while Amos tried to measure the impact on their bottom line?) and then got notice. And they decided to shut down rather than fight it. Or so we might imagine. Who knows.
Since I have received no response at all from Bob, I'm starting to think that essayk's conclusion/question might be spot on. However, the fact that the other party hasn't answered me either (and he has always been a very prompt responder), makes me feel like there is hope. That maybe the reason neither party is answering me is because they may be close to hammering out a deal. Who knows?
I hear what you're saying essayk, but how could 1847.com have affected Amos Publishing's bottom line? All I can think of is by doing a more thorough job of identifying stamps than the Specialized catalog does. Yet, all Amos would have had to do is add a few more pages of information to the Identification section of their catalog, and not worry about 1847.com.
1847.com attempted no price guidance, unlike the theswedishtiger.com site does, which I will add, is still up and running, and has been also for years. Why wouldn't Amos Publishing go after swedishtiger before ever worrying about 1847.com. I would think Amos would be more worried about them, even if the prices on swedishtiger are inflated. But so are the prices in the Specialized catalog according to my buying experience. Perhaps the two are in bed together. After all, theswedishtiger.com does carry a big fat link to Amos Advantage where Scott catalogs can be found and bought.
At this juncture, all I can hope for is that some folks are trying to fix something somewhere, somehow and that it will get fixed.
Quote: 1847usa.com has been notified that Amos Press, the owners of the Scott numbering system, wish us to discontinue the use of Scott numbers. I realize that many of you use this site on a daily basis and regret any inconvenience this may cause. I will decide what direction to take regarding reinstalling certain portions of the site as time goes by, particularly those stamps that are not bought and sold exclusively by Scott number. Thank you to all the people who have visited the site over the years and my apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.
So, at some point 1847usa had a licensing agreement to use Scott numbers.
Beyond that, we have no idea why the site shut down.
As for The Swedish Tiger, they also have a license to use Scott numbers:
Quote: "The Scott Numbers are the copyrighted property of Amos Press Inc., dba Scott Publishing Co. and are used here under a licensing agreement with Scott. The marks Scott and Scott's are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and are trademarks of Amos Press, Inc. dba Scott Publishing Co. No use may be made of these marks or of material in this publication, which is reprinted from a copyrighted publication of Amos Press, Inc., without the express written permission of Amos Press, Inc., dba Scott Publishing Co., Sidney, Ohio 45365."
I found Amos very reasonable when I interfaced with them regarding the use of the Scott numbers on my web site and Plate Number database. They quick and professionally sent over a fair contract with asked very little in return. They want their copyright noticed posted and a reciprocal link. I do not understand why anyone else would have any problems with getting this in place. Of course my site and Plate Number Tool is strictly 'commercial' free. Any site sells items or is considered commercial might fall under different terms and conditions. Don
Quote: I found Amos very reasonable when I interfaced with them regarding the use of the Scott numbers on my web site and Plate Number database. They quick and professionally sent over a fair contract with asked very little in return. They want their copyright noticed posted and a reciprocal link. I do not understand why anyone else would have any problems with getting this in place. Of course my site and Plate Number Tool is strictly 'commercial' free. Any site sells items or is considered commercial might fall under different terms and conditions. Don
My own experience has been quite good.
I requested "permission" to use Scott numbers on my non commercial website, and they responded with alacrity and fairness.
Thanks for the summary factus10. Apparently the domain name is still registered to Bob for a couple more months (or longer if he chooses to renew it). It's the hosting by Go Daddy that has expired. Since he had posted a notice of having a license to use the Scott info, I am more inclined to believe that the shutdown was due to other factors than a forceful hand from Amos, as I said before. Maybe he got tired of keeping up with it, maybe the traffic was causing bandwidth challenges and increased fees with the host, maybe he's looking for another host, maybe...maybe...maybe. Where does that get you?
Quote: I do not understand why anyone else would have any problems with getting this in place.
Because every unjustified contract makes you at least a little less free. Suppose you and I live on opposite sides of a public suburban street. You own a motorcycle--a "Hog"--and a white pickup truck that you like to park in front of my house, so you can see them out your window. And every morning you start the Hog at 10AM to go to work. I own a big mansion, with bodyguards, contractors and deliveries coming and going, parties, and so forth. Your house is much more modest. I become convinced that the curb in front of my house is mine, and you need permission to park there. You refuse, but I badger and badger and my lawyers send you letters about the noise of your motorcycle and your beat-up truck and eventually you knuckle under and sign an agreement saying I am granting you a license to park there, only for the status quo. Then, your work hours change, and you have to start leaving at 6AM. Now you're waking me up with your Hog. Is that within the contract? You decide to repaint your truck bright red with flames on the sides. Is that within the contract? You die, your kids inherit the house, and between them and their spouses they have six used cars. Can they park in front of my house? I die, my trustee takes over, he doesn't like your kids, and decides to do everything in his power to tighten the contract and kick your kids off the curb. Is that within the contract? Someone new moves in next door, and my trustee marches over with the contract and says, everyone in the neighborhood has signed these, you must do so also. All these complications arise because you signed something, and created a course of dealing between us, that you didn't have to.
This is how some IP owners maintain or increase market dominance. And this is why movements like open source software exist.
The above probably is a bad analogy. So, to show I'm completely off base, how about posting a copy of the agreement (personal contact information redacted)?
Presuming you're talking about StampSmarter, you're not even using "Scott" in the site. It just says "Catalog Number". While I've argued earlier that you don't need permission to list numbers in that way, I can also understand that you think you are safe with the agreement, and it was easier to sign it than to have to defend your freedom. Reasonable people can make that business decision, but I would argue that it comes at a cost to everyone.
So a "license" from Amos is not hard to get, but requires posting the following:
Quote: "The Scott Numbers are the copyrighted property of Amos Press Inc., dba Scott Publishing Co. and are used here under a licensing agreement with Scott. The marks Scott and Scott's are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and are trademarks of Amos Press, Inc. dba Scott Publishing Co. No use may be made of these marks or of material which is reprinted from a copyrighted publication of Amos Press, Inc., without the express written permission of Amos Press, Inc., dba Scott Publishing Co., Sidney, Ohio 45365."
I've pointed this out before, but this is conflating trademark and copyright claims in a fashion that seems designed to confuse the reader. The only things that are claimed to be "registered" are the trademarks. The copyright claim is specified to refer to "material which is reprinted from a copyrighted publication of Amos Press, Inc." I don't know of anyone who has claimed that Amos/Scott does not have an enforceable copyright over material "reprinted from a copyrighted publication." However, that copyright does not extend to the numbers as a "system." That would require specific registration, especially if Amos intended to enforce such a copyright by legal means, and there is no evidence of such registration.
As the discussion nears an end, it appears that its genesis may have had nothing to do with copyright issues (this time). But it has been a fruitful discussion, and I've appreciated all the thoughtful posts that have been made in it.
CJ, We will simply have to disagree on this point. It is my opinion that Amos has allowed me to use their property without asking much in return. They have invested a lot of time and money into their products and deserve some protection. Again, this is simply my layperson, personal opinion. Legal beagles can argue the various merits of the personal freedom vs. intellectual property angles until the cows come home. Frankly the bigger issue in my mind is the preservation of philatelic information over time. What value is it to argue over "open source" if thought, and planning, is not applied to the philatelic content itself over long periods of time? Web site owners come and go and web sites themselves may also be ephemeral. We all watched the fall of a good forum over at Delphi. We saw that simply thinking we could snag the decades of information is something that could be "moved" resulted in a lot of ugliness . We saw what happened when this very forum had some technical issues. These things remind us that we should be concerned about the fragile nature of this approach and our roles in protecting this information moving forward. Don
Let's look at this in a simplified manner. One must read this entire essay before responding.
Does what we are talking about here really mean that everyone and everyplace that uses a "Scott Number" has to have a license? All auction sites, Mystic, all stamp forums, every stamp publication that uses them, ad infinitum? No, it isn't fair for Scott to just move legally against 1847usa and a coulpe of others. For fairness it has to be against the whole lot. However to do that they would have to hire many more lawyers.
And what gives Scott the right to give a simple integer (named a "Scott" number), legal protection? It is just an integer! Just because of John Scott's last name?
No, because what we are talking about here specifically is something entirely different...the question of what a "numbering system" is. Not a name associated with a number for identification of what the integer refers to.
By the way, how much does this license cost?
John Walter Scott, in 1868 made the first Scott catalog. To categorize the stamps, how could anyone do it in any intelligent manner other than starting with the first stamp and going 1...2...3...4...etc. How does this rate a license then for someone else to use these numbers?! The stamp catalog is one thing. But the integers that refer to items within it? No. Does a store who puts out a clothing catalog copyright a simple integer, or letter that refers to an item in that clothing catalog? Of course not. So it doesn't wash with me, even if Scott owned every stamp ever made.
"The numbering system used by Scott to identify stamps is dominant among stamp collectors in the United States and Canada." --Wikipedia.com
Where's the "system" here. I don't see it. That means Scott uses numbers. Integers. That is correct. Also however, they claim to own numbers themselves, that they use to refer to things?
I am just so sorry for everyone who feels a loss for losing 1847usa. I think requiring a license to use a number to identify something, no matter who started doing it first, is ridiculous. And any law that supports anyone requiring such a "license" for such a purpose is ludicrous. I'm sorry I don't understand legal discussions very well. My background is in engineering, so I think logically, and sometimes Logic and laws conflict with me.
In my mind, If John Walter Scott had used something like 1...1zdx..1qed...2...2zdx...2zdy...2qed...etc., with the letters having certain meanings, then!... That would fall under the category of a "numbering system" in my mind that would have a logical right to protection.
However, claiming simple ownership of simple integers used worldwide for an infinite number of purposes for thousands of years, being used yet again for just one specific purpose? No. Did Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz, who created Calculus copyright the "Integral Sign"? Do their estates to this day have rights to license every textbook, organization and beyond, that uses it? The thought is idiotic to me.
I'm sorry but I feel hot about this whole sordid Amos "control freak" thing that negatively affects so many people, and for what gain?
This may not add much to the discusson, but at one tme - perhaps 25/30 years ago, I thought seriously about trying to re-write the Sanabria Airmail Catalog, which was the "bible" for worldwide airmail stamps. They had their own numbering systemn, which differed from Scott, so I sought Scott's permisson to use their numbers in my proposed catalog, and was told very forcefully that I could not do that, but a license could be issued for (as my aging memory serves) for $2,000., which at that time was, to me a lot of money. So I abandoned the idea. So as the years passed, Steve Datz re-did the "North America" section only, and it was a lackluster job by most accounts. So here we are 30 years later and we still do not have a good up-to-date worldwide airmail catalog - thanks to Scott being so tough. And further, as I recall, I contacted an attorney friend who basically advised me that Scott was wrong and that their numbers are in the public domain, and anybody can use them for anything the want - however, up to that point in time, no-one had ever really challanged Scott in court, and if anyone WOULD challange them in court, they would win. But Scott has/had always been successful by threatening to sue people who they claimed infringed on the use of their numbers.
I also have been told that anyone can ue a simple number compendium showing your number and the Scott number without any fear of action.
But I also agree wih Don. Every business deserves to be able to protect itself. I also wish to add that I've had a great working relationship with Scott going back many years (at least to c.1990) so perhaps they've softened over the years, although I'm not sure that was the case with Bob Allen!