OT! Re: UP Lawsuit
- Hi Gang,
Sorry to have been so cranky this morning, no caffeine yet coursing
through my bloodstream ;-)
The UP licencing issue has and is being covered daily via large
quantities of verbiage on many other sites. Do a search on
(http://www.google.com and click on groups then type in
rec.models.railroad followed by a search for UP license) and you can
catch up on the state of the chatter.
If the membership wishes to discuss the possible impact of this
licensing issue on Z, no problem. I recognize that many members have
strong opinions on the issue. However, please stay on topic and
avoid disparaging remarks or commentary on the professionals (i.e.
lawyers and, horrors! MBAs) who have been singled out for hobbyists'
Remember that our goal is to be constructive and courteous, no matter
what the issue.
Okay, you may plug in your keyboards and have at it.
- Jeffrey and the list:
> If the membership wishes to discuss the possible impact of thisI find it interesting that the Z_Scale list finally addressed this issue ...
> licensing issue on Z, no problem.
almost two (plus) years after the issue manifested itself in the industry and
on the web. As Jeffrey correctly points out, any search engine will uncover
the good, the bad and the ugly on this topic back to its start. To me, that's
a good sign. We have focused on the virtues of Z scale, the enjoyment it
provides and "how-to-get-there" information exchanges.
What makes the topic so frustrating is that the hobbyist has no single point
"lightning rod" to rally behind with their objections. The manufacturers,
distributors and retail associations are in disarray on the topic and none have
been willing to represent the "user" or "buyer." This has left the purchaser
to wander aimlessly on the various newsgroups/lists with their side of the
issue. Most of the posts are not worth reading.
To date, the effect of the UP action is most clearly seen in the list price
sheets of Kato products. Products with UP (family) logos are running about
$5usd to $8usd higher per $100 of cost when compared to identical non-UP
decorated products. Some of this extra cost is UP's fee, some is distribution
"markup" and some is for the accounting costs of quarterly reports to UP. The actual
terms-and-conditions and Contract forms may be found at www.up.com
When the issues first surfaced, I was surprised to find that I was able to
establish a business-letter email dialog with two of the most senior UP
officials in the UP organization chart. Executives at that level don't normally
respond to a member of the "unwashed masses" like myself. For some weeks, we
discussed the potential positive and negative aspects of the UP decision. They
were open enough to share what their decision was to have accomplished, and
surprised by the hobbyist's reactions.
Unfortunately, there must have been a huge amount of email to them that was
"less than business like" in tone. As a result, they terminated their public
access via email. Any attempt to send emails to them now result in a "form"
which goes to some clerk who probably only counts the "for" and "against"
positions of the arriving email.
The bottom line is that Jeffrey is correct. Like other lists before us, we
can beat this topic to death on this list as have all other lists and
newsgroups. The only thing we will accomplish is the certain death of billions of
electrons delivering our electronic opinions. Nothing more. And we risk
degrading into emails representing the South end of a North bound horse.
Perhaps a better use of time and electrons would be to email the larger
magazines (MR, RMC, etc.) and individual manufacturers in hopes of developing an
"advocate" in the matter. Might even try the UP website, for what value its
worth. Do make your voice heard. But emails to this list may not be the best
use of your time.
Sorry for the long opinion.
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