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Re: filmscanners: open and control



In <382693518.991527991110.JavaMail.root@web595-ec>, Lynn Allen wrote:

> It seems to me that George Eastman circumvented Talbot's and other patents
> very successfully vis-a-vis sensitized-paper and celuloid negatives--and
> then proceded to take over or eliminate almost every other film and
> camera-maker in the USA within a short span of time. This probably relates
> more to the variations of the nations' laws than to the hypotheses at hand,
> viz "control" vs. "open," IMO.
>
Eastman did _not_ evade Talbot's patents, as they had expired by the time he 
got into the photo business. At that time British patents lasted 16 years and 
I believe that Talbot invented his Calotype paper negative process about 
1849. By Eastman's time paper negs had long been replaced by glass plates. 

A lot of people who talk about "evading" patents are confusing them with 
copyright, which is another thing entirely. Patents cover the basic 
principles of an invention but only last 16-20 years. Copyright covers the 
exact design of a particular product, and last virtually for ever. However 
when something is out of patent, you can sell something that *looks* 
different, even if it conforms to the same basic principles. For instance if 
Henry Ford had patented the motor car, then no one could have sold another 
motor car until his patent ran out. After that they could have sold other 
designs of cars, but *not* an exact copy of the Model T, as to do so would 
have infringed his copyright on that design.

> Ansco managed to hold out
> the longest, but is gone now except for the name.
>
I think Ansco were killed by the fiasco of "Anscochrome" colour film. As I 
understand it this was brought out in the fifties. Photographers thought it 
was wonderful, as it had a much higher speed than Kodachrome, which at that 
time was only about 10ASA. They saw that they could no take colour slides of 
fast moving subjects, or in lower light conditions - great!! However it was 
not so great a few years later when they found all the colours were fading 
from their Ansco slides! Anscochrome was not chemically stable, while 
Kodachrome has always been famous for its stability.

As for US-made cameras being killed off by Kodak, I think it is much more a 
case of them being wiped out first by the Germans and then the Japanese.

Brian Rumary, England

http://freespace.virgin.net/brian.rumary/homepage.htm





 




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