Saturday, June 24, 2006

The ARRL missed an opportunity .........

Above you can see two designs. The one in English was designed by the American Radio Relay League for a past Field Day (2003, I think). They have used this logo, since then, whenever they have desired to promote Amateur Radio's unique ability to be a "failsafe" communcations resource in an emergency when all routine commercial avenues fail.

In German, you will see a modified design that the German QRP Club put on T-shirts; and was selling at the Friedrichshafen Hamfest in Germany, which is Europe's version of Dayton Hamvention. You can see the similarity; and so did the ARRL. In fact an ARRL official, Bob Inderbitzen NQ1R, who was at Friedrichshafen went over to the German QRPers and asked/requested/demanded that they stop selling the T-shirts, as the logo is copyrighted by the ARRL.

Was the League within their rights? Yeah, they are ........ BUT the logo being used by the Germans is an adaptation and not a carbon copy. The similarities may be enough that the copyright was technically being violated - that's for the lawyers to decide. But that having been said, I think they made a crucial error. First and foremost, the League should be about promoting Amateur Radio and good will - anywhere and everywhere! The League official should have asked the German QRP Club to come to some sort of agreement, split the profits, don't sell any more T-shirts or perhaps agree to never use the logo again after the first run - anything but stop them at this point.

The idea is to spread the word about the need for Amateur Radio worldwide. Selling this logo on a T-shirt in Europe is not exactly going to hurt the League's efforts in the United States. The action they took might technically be the right course; but it makes the ARRL look incredibly small, selfish and petty. Worry about spreading Amateur Radio popularity and our survival first - worry about the coin later. The League needs to keep its priorities straight. If we lose Amateur Radio, the League won't HAVE ANYTHING to make money on.

73 de Larry W2LJ - Life Member, ARRL

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:57 AM


    I have noticed similarly that QRP-ARCI has gone to the trouble of trademarking "FDIM". That was enough for me to decide NOT to renew my ARCI membership. It may seem a small thing but why are club funds being spent on a "legal team" which was the phrase ARCI President Dick Pascoe used when announcing the trademark.

    I didn't join ARCI to fund teams of lawyers and I won't continue to do so. From now on, other than the ARRL if a ham club charges dues, I'm not going to be in it. Period.

    All this legal wrangling is spoiling the hobby.

    73 de Jeff