Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: Almanac Heaven
    From: Ken Gebhart
    Date: 2006 Mar 30, 22:14 -0600

    On 3/30/06 6:48 PM, "Frank Reed"  wrote:
    > Ken, you wrote:
    > "You are partly right about  the copyright issue.  Even though, as you say, no
    > one owns the position  of Mars, the British claim copyright to whatever data
    > they  collect."
    > That's ok, but they are not responsible for collecting more  than a trivial
    > amount of data underlying the present Nautical Almanac, and there  is
    > long-standing precedent for relinquishing copyright to that portion of the
    > data that
    > the UK did collect. The whole content of the Nautical Almanac can be
    > re-generated from scratch in no time.
    > And:
    > "They even extended this  thinking recently to tidal data in
    > British ports.  Since they collected  the data, they have stopped several
    > tidal prediction programs from being sold  without paying a royalty for the
    > British part."
    > Yes, and that ruling  also applies to international ports where the data has
    > been collected by British  authorities. In this case, they have a point. I
    > certainly wish they would make  it available for free, but of course,
    > collecting
    > this tidal data was expensive  and it is primarily relevant to commercial
    > users. This is a product, and there's  no strong reason to give it up for
    > free.
    > And:
    > "A case over  international copyright of data might go either way."
    > But not ephemeris  data. No way. There is no rational court in the world that
    > would award copyright  over the positions of the stars and planets to any
    > authority in the UK. Indeed,  the very fact that this information is presently
    > available, and has been  available for decades, in numerous products and in
    > numerous online databases  *without* contest by any authority claiming
    > copyright
    > guarantees that there is  no legal case for copyright of the data in the
    > Nautical  Almanac.
    > And:
    > "However, the British also claim copyright over the page  layout of the
    > almanac which is a creative issue. Most everyone agrees that that  claim is
    > proper."
    > It is a proper "claim", yes. Even that could be argued  over since most of
    > the layout was published in the American Nautical Almanac  *before* it was
    > adopted for the common Nautical Almanac. This is the sort of  thing that could
    > go
    > either way in court. But we don't have to argue it in court  since the
    > layout's
    > not terrificly important in any case. The specific layout of  the Nautical
    > Almanac is hardly sacrosanct, and it would be easy to devise  layouts that are
    > functionally equivalent or even considerably superior. There  are many
    > navigation enthusiasts, for example, who might be happier if the daily  pages
    > were not
    > cluttered with tables of twilight, sunrise/set, and moonrise/set  (wouldn't
    > that be a nice spot for some lunar distance tables...). Of  course, for
    > some
    > navigators, even the tiniest change in the Sacred Almanac  Layout adopted in
    > 1958 would be an abomination against the Ephemeral Gods  themselves and there
    > might be rioting the streets! But I think not.  
    > -FER
    > 42.0N 87.7W, or 41.4N  72.1W.
    > www.HistoricalAtlas.com/lunars
    Great comments, and some that I will earmark in case some sort of litigation
    looms in the future as far as the data is concerned. The layout, however, is
    a self perpetuating situation.  All of the navigation textbooks show a
    sample page of the almanac, and discuss how to read it.  If one had a
    different almanac page, such as Reeds' used to be, it would be hard to
    follow the textbook.

    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site