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Images from manuals


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I've noticed there isn't much information on the internet about various stuff I own. Mostly no info in English, images are sparse and sometimes it's even not clear how the stuff works or what exactly its package contains. I'd like to create a thread for my stuff to put valuable info, both for me to remember and others to enjoy. What I'm not sure about are manuals. Reading this thread about images from other people, I'm not sure whether this also applies to scans of manuals. Having the whole manual available in the thread itself would be great, but I'm also fine with using just tiny bits that add value to the text. Would such thing, either full manuals or small excerpts, be allowed on this forum? It seems it might fall under Fair use policy.

 

Thanks a lot for an answer!

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Katem,

 

this is a gray area and given various copyrights around the world we have just been sidestepping this by drawing a clear line on just put your own images up to the forum. With images stored here, the forum is the target if anyone objects with a copyright issue. We are on Amazon s3 servers and their policy is with any issue is to just shut down service until it’s resolved, they dont want to be judge. So we just don’t want to go into that zone at all.

 

you would think manufacturers would be fine with this sort of use out on the web but when we approached a couple about permission to repost marketing sheets (things you would think they would love to have everywhere) they were very hesitant and it really did not go anywhere. So this is why we don’t just assume they would be fine with us providing scans of their stuff here.

 

we will continue to review our policies and may change in the future.

 

stuff made public else where can be linked to from here.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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roadstar_na6

It‘d help a lot if Kato would actually keep all their manuals online and not delete them after a few months and if Tomix would actually upload them somewhere 😄

That being said, is there any 3rd party website/blog that collects and stores those PDFs?

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You would figure most companies would want to do this, nice easy to use archive of stuff like this, but not the current web culture which is to ditch archives and any deeper content in favor of their sites being a purely pared down marketing brochure (one very very long page or picture a 2 or three sentence statement, it’s not a proper paragraph and statement is being generous for most marketing writing, and repeat 20 times). Also out goes things like detailed specs. I’ve given up trying to convince clients otherwise, it’s spitting into the wind at this point. I ask them what happens if someone needed detailed information or an instruction sheet etc. and they say they can call! I ask do you know how much phone support like that costs and do you have any dedicated phone support set up to handle stuff like that? The usual answer is no on both... oh well, why Im exiting that biz.

 

one good thing that works when folks are missing an instruction sheet is to just ask on the forum and one of us can easily scan it and send it along, done this many times in the past for forum members. That’s squarely in fair use.

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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bill937ca
2 hours ago, roadstar_na6 said:

It‘d help a lot if Kato would actually keep all their manuals online and not delete them after a few months and if Tomix would actually upload them somewhere 😄

That being said, is there any 3rd party website/blog that collects and stores those PDFs?

 

There was and it was posted here. An add on to a layout post by a Japanese modeler. But where?

Edited by bill937ca
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8 hours ago, cteno4 said:

you would think manufacturers would be fine with this sort of use out on the web but when we approached a couple about permission to repost marketing sheets (things you would think they would love to have everywhere) they were very hesitant and it really did not go anywhere. So this is why we don’t just assume they would be fine with us providing scans of their stuff here.

Thanks for info, really appreciate your insight here. You're right that I would think they would be fine with it 🤷‍♀️ I'll do it on my personal website then.

 

4 hours ago, bill937ca said:

I found it in the Inspirational Scenery & Layouts. it lists Tomix instruction sheets.

http://ngauge.blog/article/177856391.html

Actually this list is what inspired me. Manuals are hard to get on the internet and it's hard to order stuff from the other side of the world if you even don't know what the stuff does 🙂

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I'd be happy to scan my manuals at some point, I can maybe set up a google docs where people can upload the manual for various sets they own.  I wonder where would be a good place to host images from.

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Would something like the retired JNSWiki be a good place where to put manuals and some more info in English? Too bad it ceased to operate years ago..

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disturbman
1 hour ago, Kiha66 said:

I'd be happy to scan my manuals at some point, I can maybe set up a google docs where people can upload the manual for various sets they own.  I wonder where would be a good place to host images from.


A dedicated google drive should do the trick. It can then be organized in sub-categories and everything listed in a sheet with direct link. That would help searching. It could have a template with all basic info: Manufacture name, item number, release date, item name (Roman/Japanese), original company, region, link to manual/instructions. It could help replace HS as a search data base.

 

But @Martijn Meertshas been working on something a bit similar.

Edited by disturbman
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roadstar_na6

It‘d be quite cool if Martijn‘s database would allow the upload of PDF files, but I think there may be some legal issues if somebody for example just uploads one of the sheets Kato put in with their sets 😄 for new releases it‘d be the smartest to just save them from the Kato website then.

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disturbman

I don't understand how keeping an archive of manuals and user instructions could be legally problematic so long that you are not making any profit from them. It's not like you can't get the original sheets. People sell them separately on YAJ when they split the sets. They are websites that provide PDFs of old consumer products. It's very helpful.

Same with commercial materials and release posters, it would seem counterproductive to sue people for copyright issues. You want them to be spread around.

Edited by disturbman
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Martijn Meerts

The marketing posters and assy sheets / manuals are all copyrighted material. Whether or not you make a profit on having them available on a website makes no difference with regards to the copyright law. People selling them are more often than not selling the original manuals, not copies.

 

It is unlikely that most of the manufacturers will actively search the web for people posting manuals and spare parts sheets and such, but if they do decide they don't want their materials posted anywhere, they can sue yes. And if you're lucky, they'll send a cease and desist first to give you some time to remove the offending material.

 

With some of the new laws in Europe with regards to copyright, the site hosting copyrighted image will always be held responsible, even if other people upload it. File uploads is one of the biggest issues I have with the database project, because not only do you need the upload functionality, but also ways for people / companies to easily mark them as copyright infringements, and also things like bulk removing of items etc.

 

 

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Fair use starts to fall apart when you put the stuff public.

 

companies do get weird about controlling their materials even stuff you figure they would want spread everywhere. Really boils down to it’s their copyright and they can do what they want.

 

all this is why we decided a long time back to just keep things simple on the forum and only upload your own work and just link to others’ stuff elsewhere (outside of the services and copyright owners that allow external embedding of content and copyright owner control of embedding and those services also give proper credit to each item).

 

Cheers,

 

jeff

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On 1/23/2021 at 9:38 PM, Martijn Meerts said:

The marketing posters and assy sheets / manuals are all copyrighted material. Whether or not you make a profit on having them available on a website makes no difference with regards to the copyright law. People selling them are more often than not selling the original manuals, not copies.

 

It is unlikely that most of the manufacturers will actively search the web for people posting manuals and spare parts sheets and such, but if they do decide they don't want their materials posted anywhere, they can sue yes. And if you're lucky, they'll send a cease and desist first to give you some time to remove the offending material.

 

With some of the new laws in Europe with regards to copyright, the site hosting copyrighted image will always be held responsible, even if other people upload it. File uploads is one of the biggest issues I have with the database project, because not only do you need the upload functionality, but also ways for people / companies to easily mark them as copyright infringements, and also things like bulk removing of items etc.

 

 

Hi

 

Aren´t Forums like this or IGN too small for the "Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz"? I quote (in German):
"Anwendungsbereich
Das Gesetz gilt gem. § 1 Abs. 1 und Abs. 2 NetzDG für Betreiber sozialer Netzwerke, die im Inland mehr als zwei Millionen registrierte Nutzer haben, aber nicht für E-Mail- und Messenger-Dienste. Berufliche Netzwerke, Fachportale, Online-Spiele und Verkaufsplattformen sind ebenfalls nicht betroffen."

 

Easy translation: The social network platform has to have more then 2 Million registered users in the country (Germany in this case). Not included are e-mail and messenger services. Furthermore professional networks, professional, specialized portals (like this would be), online games and sale platforms are also not included.

Source: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz

 

bye, Tibor

 

P.S.: Of course have to be any copyright or personal rights considered. I think it would help to make an inquire at Kato, Tomytec, ect. if they mind publishing scanned or downloaded manuals.

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Martijn Meerts

I don't think that has anything to do with copyright, that's just to combat fake news by allowing the site / social network to delete / block content. It's also a German law, which wouldn't help us either way since the servers are hosted in the US.

 

Like I said, I doubt any of the manufacturers would really make an issue out of it if some manuals are available on a forum with a limited number of users. There's also several threads that have (parts of) a manual posted. But I don't think the forum is really the place to keep sort of a database of manuals 🙂

 

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Yeah it’s ok for a bit of a parts or assembly manual to be posted, especially if under discussion and I doubt any of the manufacturers would care. But having a wholesale catalog of full pdfs may cross a line for them. Plus the forum really is not a great structure to archive stuff like that. A simple website or Google docs folder would be better and probably attract less attention.

 

main thing is trying to chase down rights is a lot of work and it’s going to be very spotty on who would allow what (we checked into this some on product sheets and did not get a very warm reaction from Japanese manufacturers) and different countries, etc — it just gets very messy very fast, so we keep it clean and simple here on the forum. Totally fine for folks to do it with a Google account or their website and we can link to it and discuss about them freely here on the forum.

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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roadstar_na6

The Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz is mainly for tracking down and punishing hate speech within the internet and its various platforms, so it's got nothing to do with copyright and creator rights.

 

What I started to do was saving all available Assy-Part sheets from the Kato website in my cloud because after a while not only the link but also the file gets removed again from Kato's website. I did saw that they are also stored on S3-servers, tho 😄

For all the Assy sheets that aren't available anymore I guess I will have to scan them at some point and create my own PDFs from them. If there was a google docs spreadsheet somewhere where one could every sheet one has that might be a good help for some people. However that would also require permanent storage within multiple people's accounts and clouds unless somebody sets up a dedicated website up; that however would get us into the same position as before regarding mass publication and storage of these papers.

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Yeah if it’s off on a Google folder or a small independent website, it probably won’t get the SER that the forum does and if someone does go after it it just closes the site/folder, it won’t potentially take down the forum with it...

 

jeff

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Reading this post, I really realize two things

 

  1. Having manuals just in Japanese is a nonsense in 2021. Companies such as Kato / Tomix are selling their products abroad to non-japanese speaking customer. I do not require a maual in French, but at least in English. Relying on Google Translate is not a good way of working. There are several options for providing ASSY in English without killing the pace of release to the Japanese market. It could be delivered as separate download later on eg 1 month after the product has been made available to the market. 
  2. ASSY must be made available for a long time meaning being able to store them into an access-free repository, of course held and managed by the supplier (meaning Kato or Tomix in my example). 

 

I fully understand it's not the role a forum to do that but not coping with 1 & 2 will result in messy mavarick repository and frequently poor translation. This is very difficult for a French guy like me to share such a concern with Sales Dept from Kato / Tomix etc ... but I really don't understand why they don't do anything. Looking to the ASSY in every box, it's not expensive to provide a good Japanese <-> English translation. If a professional translation is too expensive, there are options thru Wiki (not Wikipedia, Wiki, the concept) to have a participative work. From an English version, it's easy for a native French speaker like me to issue a translation. Another option is - chat other brands are doing - offering a set in exchange of the translation. There are plenty of solutions, but I'm not sure those Japanese brand really want to make this info available / sell abroad (my 2 cents). 

 

About the Copyright, I agree with @cteno4 - violation of the Copyright can result in being banned from AWS and being sued in Japan unless you've an official clearance of those brands. I'm managing a website where I make available translations and tutorials for Flight Simulator addons, for each of them I requested the translator to obtain a written approval. 

 

 

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48 minutes ago, JR East said:

Reading this post, I really realize two things

 

  1. Having manuals just in Japanese is a nonsense in 2021. Companies such as Kato / Tomix are selling their products abroad to non-japanese speaking customer. I do not require a maual in French, but at least in English. Relying on Google Translate is not a good way of working. There are several options for providing ASSY in English without killing the pace of release to the Japanese market. It could be delivered as separate download later on eg 1 month after the product has been made available to the market. 

 

Unless the products are non-Japanese prototypes explicitly aimed at overseas markets, the vast majority of Kato and Tomix sales are to Japan, I suspect there's no incentive to incur additional costs (even if it's "just" the administrative effort of looking after "crowd sourced" work) by issuing translations for a vanishingly small share of the market. Might be different if say 20% of sales of Japanese prototypes went overseas, but I strongly suspect it's more like 0.2%. Happy to be corrected, of course.

 

That reminds me, I should go and download the ASSY PDFs for my recent purchases...

Edited by railsquid
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With technological advances, translation quality will only improve. Quality is already light years away from what it used to be a few years back. In a few years, there will absolutely no reason for us to want an official English translation.

As railsquid noted, the overseas market is too small for Kato and Tomix to translate their manuals into English. These items are made for the Japanese market. I don't think European manufacturers bother making their manuals available in Japanese. They also marginally sell their products there.

Anyway, having grown up when computer games were only available in English, and I had to play without understanding the language, I don't find the lack of official translations that much of an issue. We can always rely on the rest of the community to help out when needed.

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Perfect machine translation has always been "a few years away" for the last couple of decades ;).

 

Thinking about it a bit more, with the ASSY sheets what might be of use is a table of common words/phrases and their translations; together with the diagrams and the magic of services which can translate text OCR'd from images, that should cover a wide range of use-cases.

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3 hours ago, railsquid said:

 

Unless the products are non-Japanese prototypes explicitly aimed at overseas markets, the vast majority of Kato and Tomix sales are to Japan, I suspect there's no incentive to incur additional costs by issuing translations for a vanishingly small share of the market. Might be different if say 20% of sales of Japanese prototypes went overseas, but I strongly suspect it's more like 0.2%. Happy to be corrected, of course.

 

 

Your probably right, anyway, growing your market is what any CEO intend to promote. Japan is a 126,5 millions people country, where the population is getting older day after day, with a targeted 80-90 millions people in 2050, so that, expanding your market should be a must-do. 

 

Anyway, having an English documentation should also be a must-have.

 

 

 

Edited by JR East
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A few things.

 

First, Japan has supposedly millions of model railroaders. The largest group in any country, by far.

 

Second, model railroading is very geographically constrained in the sense that people prefer to model what they know, their countries railways. We -on JNS- are a fringe group.

 

Third, Kato has been doing just that, they expanded in the US and a bit in Europe. They are increasingly producing models of European trains.

Edited by disturbman
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