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Products => Test Equipment => Topic started by: jjoonathan on January 26, 2019, 01:46:31 am

Title: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jjoonathan on January 26, 2019, 01:46:31 am
I just received what appears to be a letter originating from Keysight (via an auction house) demanding that I take a HP 8562A spectrum analyzer off the market on account of intellectual property it contains.

What the hell? Is this for real?

EDIT: added specific model
EDIT: added letter
EDIT: made title less interprative
EDIT: I have been in touch with Keysight. As the cooler heads in this thread guessed, this has nothing to do with Keysight using bogus IP claims to go after the used SA market. It's a one-off SNAFU. Keep calm and ebay on!
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: wraper on January 26, 2019, 01:48:28 am
Quote
What the hell? Is this for real?
Without actually posting what and from whom you have received it, your question is useless.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: jjoonathan on January 26, 2019, 01:52:57 am
I may just get to the point of posting the actual letter, but it contains PII that I have to remove.

I am really asking if other people have received similar letters, if this is a tactic the community has seen them deploy before (against buyers of old equipment -- afaik that's the extent of the relationship here), or, since their representatives visit this forum, if they would like to comment on the situation.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: Bud on January 26, 2019, 01:56:52 am
Was it a generic type of equipment?
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: jjoonathan on January 26, 2019, 02:00:11 am
It was an HP8562A spectrum analyzer.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 26, 2019, 02:02:13 am
Did you use logos or texts in the ad which may be construed as coming officially from Keysight?
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: jjoonathan on January 26, 2019, 02:03:05 am
I was the customer. I never sold or attempted to sell the SA.

EDIT: and if the auction house I purchased it from used copy or logos that (to a lawyer) might be construed as coming directly from Keysight, I most certainly did not construe them that way. Since I sometimes sell old HP equipment (but not, as of yet, the equipment under discussion), I would be interested in learning exactly what they want us to avoid. For instance, is putting "HP" in the listing forbidden? Is putting "HP/Agilent/Keysight" in the listing forbidden?
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: rsjsouza on January 26, 2019, 02:12:57 am
That is indeed odd. I can only speculate, but I wonder if this SpecAn is ITAR controlled and your name is somehow linked to an embargoed country or somehow matches a list of bad actors - these lists exist but are full of flaws. Or this letter is sent to anyone that purchases these equipments from a more established company (i.e., not eBay, for example).
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: jjoonathan on January 26, 2019, 02:18:13 am
I'm a US citizen several generations deep. The nearest foreign cousins are in the Netherlands and, as far as I know, there are no terrorists sharing my last name. I have shipped equipment to Australia and Canada before, but nothing apart from that.

As you say, the lists are imperfect, but I don't think this is that.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: Marco on January 26, 2019, 02:23:38 am
Just reply that unless they can provide some rationale why first sale doctrine doesn't apply they should kindly fuck off.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: taydin on January 26, 2019, 02:30:33 am
I think the answer to your question is in your question. You said the letter came from an auction house. Most likely the auction house wants this unit to be bought by their customer and wants YOU to retract your offer.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: jjoonathan on January 26, 2019, 02:33:01 am
The letter is signed by a lawyer from Keysight and CC'd to a keysight address. I don't think it's a spoof.

Also, the SA in question has been sitting on my desk for a year. It's not an active listing.

EDIT: the CC isn't to a keysight address, it's to a law firm.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: Marco on January 26, 2019, 02:45:17 am
Maybe they sold off some SA's with government only upgrades, noticed it way late and panicked?
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on January 26, 2019, 02:59:29 am
I'm not familiar with this situation, but have worked with Marc before and can confirm he's Keysight. I'd highly encourage you to give him a quick call and figure it out.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: jjoonathan on January 26, 2019, 03:04:42 am
Will do, thanks.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: nctnico on January 26, 2019, 03:09:10 am
I was the customer. I never sold or attempted to sell the SA.

EDIT: and if the auction house I purchased it from used copy or logos that (to a lawyer) might be construed as coming directly from Keysight, I most certainly did not construe them that way. Since I sometimes sell old HP equipment (but not, as of yet, the equipment under discussion), I would be interested in learning exactly what they want us to avoid. For instance, is putting "HP" in the listing forbidden? Is putting "HP/Agilent/Keysight" in the listing forbidden?
I think that the term 'taken off the market' means that the equipment must be returned to Keysight. I suspect this piece of equipment was used for something related to the military and/or national security and has to be destroyed for legal reasons. Keysight basically offers to buy it back. I'd give the guy from Keysight a call and see if you can trade it in for something similar.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: vtwin@cox.net on January 26, 2019, 03:10:11 am
I take it you purchased the item from Outback Trading Company.

It sounds like the piece of equipment contained some proprietary software and shouldn't have been consigned to Outback for resale. So they're tracing the equipment forward -- e.g. they probably contacted the person who gave it to outback, who told them "i gave it to outback", outback told them they sold it to you, and now you're getting the letter.

I'm not familiar enough with IP law to say whether or not they have a leg to stand on, but my guess is the original purchaser probably had a contractual agreement that the device would be returned or destroyed and not resold.... in which case, an argument could be made that the OP didn't have clear title to the equipment to 'resell' or consign it to Outback for sale. This may have been a complete oversight on part of the OP -- e.g. if an employee acquired the equipment with the restriction, left the company, and the company then unknowing of the restriction liquidated the item.

I would offer to give it back to them in exchange for a brand-new spectrum analyzer meeting the specifications of the one you have. It's a win-win for them -- they get their IP back and you get a brand new SA. Far cheaper for them too, in terms of litigation.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: Qw3rtzuiop on January 26, 2019, 03:16:15 am
We have some rf stuff at work were we signed an end-user certificate. This could be the case here.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: JDubU on January 26, 2019, 03:25:02 am
...
I would offer to give it back to them in exchange for a brand-new spectrum analyzer meeting the specifications of the one you have. It's a win-win for them -- they get their IP back and you get a brand new SA. Far cheaper for them too, in terms of litigation.

Take a look at the box ("A replacement for this product is available:...") at the upper right corner of this web page:

https://www.keysight.com/en/pd-8562A%3Aepsg%3Apro-pn-8562A/9-khz-22-ghz-spectrum-analyzer?cc=US&lc=eng (https://www.keysight.com/en/pd-8562A%3Aepsg%3Apro-pn-8562A/9-khz-22-ghz-spectrum-analyzer?cc=US&lc=eng)
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 26, 2019, 03:27:42 am
If I understand correctly Keysight is trying to hold of a unit OP purchased fair and square from a third party? I don't think they have any legal leverage here. Even if there is some super secret technology in that device, it'd be a matter for the relevant agencies and not Keysight.

Did they share what the problem is? I would be hesitant to make any move before they clarify their motivation. Apparently you have some very special equipment there. ;D
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jjoonathan on January 26, 2019, 03:33:14 am
Ok guys, you're right, I should chill until I know what's going on.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: tsman on January 26, 2019, 03:45:55 am
If I understand correctly Keysight is trying to hold of a unit OP purchased fair and square from a third party? I don't think they have any legal leverage here.
It would depend on if the original seller had the right to sell it. It could be something like this SA was on loan from Keysight and was liquidated at auction by mistake. It is still Keysight's property even though OP bought it.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: Marco on January 26, 2019, 03:55:02 am
We have some rf stuff at work were we signed an end-user certificate. This could be the case here.
Just curious, does that certificate say you have loaned the object or that you obligate yourself to not sell it on?

If it's a loan and you resell it any way the producer might be able to reclaim it depending on the laws in your country (in my country if you buy goods from a non auctioneer second hand goods shop it's yours for instance, where it came from is not your problem). If it's your property and you resell it then the breach of contract is entirely your problem, not the person who bough it.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: 0culus on January 26, 2019, 03:59:28 am
...
I would offer to give it back to them in exchange for a brand-new spectrum analyzer meeting the specifications of the one you have. It's a win-win for them -- they get their IP back and you get a brand new SA. Far cheaper for them too, in terms of litigation.

Take a look at the box ("A replacement for this product is available:...") at the upper right corner of this web page:

https://www.keysight.com/en/pd-8562A%3Aepsg%3Apro-pn-8562A/9-khz-22-ghz-spectrum-analyzer?cc=US&lc=eng (https://www.keysight.com/en/pd-8562A%3Aepsg%3Apro-pn-8562A/9-khz-22-ghz-spectrum-analyzer?cc=US&lc=eng)

I would take this approach as well. If the unit you have is indeed in need of being traced and potentially destroyed, that's inconveniencing you and your lab (doesn't matter if you're a hobbyist or a professional IMO). They should provide you with the modern replacement free of charge.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 26, 2019, 04:00:52 am
I would take this approach as well. If the unit you have is indeed in need of being traced and potentially destroyed, that's inconveniencing you and your lab (doesn't matter if you're a hobbyist or a professional IMO). They should provide you with the modern replacement free of charge.
Don't forget the super secret special abilities of the device OP now has to live without. ;D
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on January 26, 2019, 04:01:59 am
If I understand correctly Keysight is trying to hold of a unit OP purchased fair and square from a third party? I don't think they have any legal leverage here.
It would depend on if the original seller had the right to sell it. It could be something like this SA was on loan from Keysight and was liquidated at auction by mistake. It is still Keysight's property even though OP bought it.
But you'd at least have a claim against the auction house.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on January 26, 2019, 04:02:57 am
...
I would offer to give it back to them in exchange for a brand-new spectrum analyzer meeting the specifications of the one you have. It's a win-win for them -- they get their IP back and you get a brand new SA. Far cheaper for them too, in terms of litigation.

Take a look at the box ("A replacement for this product is available:...") at the upper right corner of this web page:

https://www.keysight.com/en/pd-8562A%3Aepsg%3Apro-pn-8562A/9-khz-22-ghz-spectrum-analyzer?cc=US&lc=eng (https://www.keysight.com/en/pd-8562A%3Aepsg%3Apro-pn-8562A/9-khz-22-ghz-spectrum-analyzer?cc=US&lc=eng)

I would take this approach as well. If the unit you have is indeed in need of being traced and potentially destroyed, that's inconveniencing you and your lab (doesn't matter if you're a hobbyist or a professional IMO). They should provide you with the modern replacement free of charge.

Or ask them to make you an offer  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on January 26, 2019, 04:06:15 am
Assuming it's actually HP vintage, it's hard to see what could be so valuable - does it appear to have any nonstandard options ?
Maybe they've lost the sourcecode and need a ROM image as all theirs have bit-rotted  :)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 26, 2019, 04:07:56 am
Assuming it's actually HP vintage, it's hard to see what could be so valuable - does it appear to have any nonstandard options ?
Maybe they've lost the sourcecode and need a ROM image as all theirs have bit-rotted  :)
This is what I'm interested in too. What makes this unit so special? Keysight will need to explain to show their claim is valid.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: 0culus on January 26, 2019, 04:24:43 am
I am skeptical of the national security angle, because if there really was something classified in the unit the OP owns, he probably would have been visited at his house by feds to grab it and secure it.
Title: Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
Post by: NANDBlog on January 26, 2019, 04:43:06 am
It was an HP8562A spectrum analyzer.
Tell them that the company name doesn't match, so it is none of their business. Maybe they stop changing names every decade.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: PedroDaGr8 on January 26, 2019, 04:50:32 am
Honestly, the letter is strong but not scary. It's strong because a strongly written letter is there most effective

The key points are:

1. They don't want to sue you.
2. They want the instrument back.
3. They know you paid money for this item and will expect to be made whole again.

Based on the department, my guess is it contains a preproduction or custom firmware and/or hardware. Possibly unencrypted test firmware, custom options, or something like that; we may never know specifically why.

Keep in mind, made whole means compensated not just for the physical instrument but for the time you are unable to utilize it or a replacement. In a business setting, the latter can be a substantial amount; for a home hobbyist not so much. Also, you should be compensated for any and all time used to package up the item and ship it (if they don't use a service to get it). Lastly, by cooperating with them, you are also doing them a favor, lawsuits are expensive! Don't let them make you think they are only doing you a favor by not suing.

Sent from my LG-LS998 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: DaJMasta on January 26, 2019, 04:51:07 am
My guess is the unit in question has some non-standard modification or software that wasn't supposed to be released.... but it's so long out of date I hardly believe that would be relevant.  Maybe if it was former military/R&D lab and they forgot to delete internal memory or something (but damn, that would be stupid).


Aside from being sold when it wasn't theirs to sell.... yeah I don't know what it could be.  It's a long-obsolete product that was sold to a broad market, I can't imagine an IP claim can be made for anything but non-standard hardware or software specific to the unit.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: ArthurDent on January 26, 2019, 05:28:33 am
I once bought a Trimble Trimpack military GPS and checked the saved locations to see where it was used and it was from the west coast. Most of the spots were nondescript locations in the desert but the one that stood out wasn't a super-secret location but Joe's Bar and Grill. It's always 5 o'clock somewhere!
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: AndyC_772 on January 26, 2019, 05:29:47 am
I'd reply with a proposal along these lines...

Re: your letter concerning my spectrum analyser.

I confirm that I am the owner of the named instrument and that it is in working condition and regular use.

I recognise your concern and propose three options.

1) You provide a brand new replacement instrument of equivalent specification. My spectrum analyser will be made available for collection by you within 7 days of receipt of its replacement. All shipping charges, taxes, duties and other costs will be paid for by you.

2) We agree that this matter is closed, to the full and final satisfaction of both parties. You acknowledge that I will be under no obligation to retain ownership of the instrument, nor any record of its subsequent whereabouts should it leave my possession for any reason.

3) You explain clearly, specifically and in detail:

- the exact nature of the IP in question
- whether my instrument is unique or special in any way compared to other similar models which are generally available
- the nature of any contract between us which you believe binds me in any way regarding this instrument. Be sure to include its exact wording, the way in which it was made available to me, and the means by which you believe I indicated agreement to it.

I hope you agree that option (1) is the only option which guarantees a satisfactory outcome for both parties, as well as being the lowest risk, and probably the lowest cost all round.

[What a shame you're not in the EU, or I'd be asking very probing questions about GDPR and how they got your name and address too. It's not at all clear to me that anyone in possession of your contact details had any business passing them on without your consent].
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: duak on January 26, 2019, 05:36:35 am
It's got a working flux capacitor coupled to a dilithium crystal.  Who knows how much energy could be liberated if you crack the easter egg!  :o)

I once made a presentation to a representative of the US Goverment about a product we had developed.  This fellow's business card had the US Goverment's logo and his name but nothing else.  No agency name or phone number.  He listened, asked a few questions and left.  I don't know what if any follow up occured.  We joked that he was from one of he spook shops but we never knew.  A few years later, I was talking with an FAE from a company that supported our product in the US.  He said that they had received a tape drive from one of the agencies for repair.  The agency had removed all the EPROM and RAM memory to make sure no sensitive data could have been spirited out.  Unfortunately, they forgot to eject the tape cartridge that may have actually contained sensitive data.  Apparently, they had to lock the cartridge and a security guard into their safe until the agency could get someone out to retrieve it.

Just a guess, but I'll bet there's nothing special about the SA.  It was probably just used at a secure facility and when it was disposed of, they didn't follow the right procedure.  It's a pisser that it'll be ground into little pieces.  I know that one large company had a policy of shovelling everything they were done with into the incinerator, including the 500 Kg unit we sent them for evaluation.

Cheers,

PS. no need to invoke conspiracy when sloppiness explains so much!

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jjoonathan on January 26, 2019, 05:38:31 am
Ok, they got in touch. No national security secret-sauce, not that they will admit to anyway, but it sounds like the situation is otherwise almost exactly what you guys guessed: a contractor was supposed to destroy the unit but sold it instead and eventually it wound up on my desk. Next steps TBD.

It's *not* a case of Keysight blanketing the used SA market with BS IP claims, thankfully.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: glarsson on January 26, 2019, 05:40:22 am
Why point 3? No need to know and will only make the deal more difficult.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: 0culus on January 26, 2019, 05:41:49 am
Ok, they got in touch. No national security secret-sauce, not that they will admit to anyway, but it sounds like the situation is otherwise almost exactly what you guys guessed: a contractor was supposed to destroy the unit but sold it instead and eventually it wound up on my desk. Next steps TBD.

It's *not* a case of Keysight blanketing the used SA market with BS IP claims, thankfully.

Sounds like you may have a good case to ask for a new replacement, then.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: DaJMasta on January 26, 2019, 05:46:35 am
Ok, they got in touch. No national security secret-sauce, not that they will admit to anyway, but it sounds like the situation is otherwise almost exactly what you guys guessed: a contractor was supposed to destroy the unit but sold it instead and eventually it wound up on my desk. Next steps TBD.

It's *not* a case of Keysight blanketing the used SA market with BS IP claims, thankfully.

For what it's worth, they probably wouldn't tell you straight up if it was something sensitive - that's why the letter was so vaguely worded - because if you knew, you could just extract it before returning it.  Would be nice if you could give it to someone to sanitize it and get your SA back.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: tsman on January 26, 2019, 05:56:25 am
A few years later, I was talking with an FAE from a company that supported our product in the US.  He said that they had received a tape drive from one of the agencies for repair.  The agency had removed all the EPROM and RAM memory to make sure no sensitive data could have been spirited out.  Unfortunately, they forgot to eject the tape cartridge that may have actually contained sensitive data.
Ouch. Somebody must have received an absolutely collossal shouting at for that one  :o

Apparently, they had to lock the cartridge and a security guard into their safe until the agency could get someone out to retrieve it.
I hope they had some ventilation in that safe  :scared:
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on January 26, 2019, 05:58:42 am

[What a shame you're not in the EU, or I'd be asking very probing questions about GDPR and how they got your name and address too. It's not at all clear to me that anyone in possession of your contact details had any business passing them on without your consent].
The way this should be done is that KS send a letter to the auctioneer to forward to the buyer, so no info is shared.
 
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: PedroDaGr8 on January 26, 2019, 06:00:18 am
Ok, they got in touch. No national security secret-sauce, not that they will admit to anyway, but it sounds like the situation is otherwise almost exactly what you guys guessed: a contractor was supposed to destroy the unit but sold it instead and eventually it wound up on my desk. Next steps TBD.

It's *not* a case of Keysight blanketing the used SA market with BS IP claims, thankfully.

This is good news for you, they have a legal need to get this back in their hands and destroy it. As for being made whole, keep in mind the aspects I mentioned before. Namely, being made whole means:

I think a new, not used, instrument would not be an unreasonable request (especially keeping in mind BOM cost and your cost are two different topics). Another avenue to be made whole would be a newer used instrument, or even the same instrument, with a certain number of years of service/calibration (mitigates the risk of you getting a bum instrument and left holding the bag). Other areas of possible compensation would be accessories, options, etc.

As for your worry about BS IP claims, Keysight has shown themselves so far to not be that kind of company. They have been QUITE tolerant of things like aftermarket modification and the like. This could change in the future, but for the time being that's why they get the benefit of the doubt from me.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: 0culus on January 26, 2019, 06:08:03 am
Ok, they got in touch. No national security secret-sauce, not that they will admit to anyway, but it sounds like the situation is otherwise almost exactly what you guys guessed: a contractor was supposed to destroy the unit but sold it instead and eventually it wound up on my desk. Next steps TBD.

It's *not* a case of Keysight blanketing the used SA market with BS IP claims, thankfully.

For what it's worth, they probably wouldn't tell you straight up if it was something sensitive - that's why the letter was so vaguely worded - because if you knew, you could just extract it before returning it.  Would be nice if you could give it to someone to sanitize it and get your SA back.

Unfortunately, in these situations, the problem is often satisfying some sort of compliance organization, and they are famously uncompliant with common sense. If they say it needs to be destroyed, it probably does.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: duak on January 27, 2019, 05:47:47 am
It's said that possession is 9/10 of the law.  OTOH, possession of stolen goods is a crime.  Not being a legal eagle, I can't say what justification they might use, but it would be something like this.  Do you know a lawyer? I'd at least ask one to see how much of this is bluffing.

I'd like to know what "making whole" means.  I'm going to bet it covers verifiable expenses and maybe a bit of goodwill, but doesn't cover expectations.  The downside for Keysight and the vendor are probably fines and loss of goodwill with the previous owner.  Someone will be raked over the coals.  It seems to me, the vendor should provide you with an equivalent SA.

Best o' luck,


Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: james_s on January 27, 2019, 06:11:57 am
I would do one of two things:

Keep it, tell them the instrument has been scrapped and no longer exists or was sold to an unknown private party, etc. You bought it, you own it, not your problem. Lawyers are good at writing scary sounding letters, doesn't mean they can do anything if you tell them to kindly f&*% off.

Demand full market value compensation, or a comparable unit in exchange. In the meantime dump/clone any memory devices in the unit so you can look around later and figure out what was so special about that particular unit. Personally I would do the latter part whether I kept the instrument or not, nothing like this sort of reaction to make me curious enough to start digging around.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: dr.diesel on January 27, 2019, 06:21:21 am
They don't have any legal right to it.  However if they really want it, they should be willing to trade you for a nicer/newer model, which is fair anyhow. 

Too bad they didn't start with that approach.

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on January 27, 2019, 08:52:26 am
My reply would be along the lines of :
"You know as well as I do that you have no.legal claim, and it is clear from your approach that the item is of much more than market value to you.
Make me an offer."
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: nctnico on January 27, 2019, 09:00:37 am
They don't have any legal right to it.
I wouldn't be so sure about that. The OP is from the US so what if they start to operate by some national security 'law' and just make life hard on the OP? After all we don't know the reason behind Keysight wanting the device back and personally I wouldn't want to find out how far they are willing to go legally to get it back.

It makes sense the OP receives compensation but I don't think it is fair to demand a brand new device. This is a typical 'don't push your luck' situation.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 27, 2019, 09:16:48 am
I wouldn't be so sure about that. The OP is from the US so what if they start to operate by some national security 'law' and just make life hard on the OP? After all we don't know the reason behind Keysight wanting the device back and personally I wouldn't want to find out how far they are willing to go legally to get it back.

It makes sense the OP receives compensation but I don't think it is fair to demand a brand new device. This is a typical 'don't push your luck' situation.
It's not fair to expect someone to go out and spend the time and effort to find another good deal, while not being able to use the device either. Compensating just the price of purchase isn't fair or realistic. There's a perfectly functional unit on the desk right now and any new situation would have to be fairly equivalent.

Besides, Keysight is the one causing trouble here regardless of the how and why. It makes sense for them not to be skimpy. If they offer OP a deal which makes him feel he won, both parties can walk away happy. Playing hardball isn't really smart when you want something from someone who can do anything he wants with his equipment, including things like dumping the firmware and posting it online and literally throwing the unit in a pond never to be seen by anyone again.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 27, 2019, 09:20:21 am
I would do one of two things:

Keep it, tell them the instrument has been scrapped and no longer exists or was sold to an unknown private party, etc. You bought it, you own it, not your problem. Lawyers are good at writing scary sounding letters, doesn't mean they can do anything if you tell them to kindly f&*% off.

Demand full market value compensation, or a comparable unit in exchange. In the meantime dump/clone any memory devices in the unit so you can look around later and figure out what was so special about that particular unit. Personally I would do the latter part whether I kept the instrument or not, nothing like this sort of reaction to make me curious enough to start digging around.
It certainly piques the interest, yes.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: nctnico on January 27, 2019, 09:38:35 am
I wouldn't be so sure about that. The OP is from the US so what if they start to operate by some national security 'law' and just make life hard on the OP? After all we don't know the reason behind Keysight wanting the device back and personally I wouldn't want to find out how far they are willing to go legally to get it back.

It makes sense the OP receives compensation but I don't think it is fair to demand a brand new device. This is a typical 'don't push your luck' situation.
It's not fair to expect someone to go out and spend the time and effort to find another good deal, while not being able to use the device either. Compensating just the price of purchase isn't fair or realistic. There's a perfectly functional unit on the desk right now and any new situation would have to be fairly equivalent.

Besides, Keysight is the one causing trouble here regardless of the how and why. It makes sense for them not to be skimpy. If they offer OP a deal which makes him feel he won, both parties can walk away happy. Playing hardball isn't really smart when you want something from someone who can do anything he wants with his equipment, including things like dumping the firmware and posting it online and literally throwing the unit in a pond never to be seen by anyone again.
I'd be very wary to do the latter without knowing why the piece of equipment is so special. And yes, it piques my interest too but I'm afraid we'll never ever know. Maybe Daniel from Keysight can make some enquiries...
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 27, 2019, 09:49:43 am
I'd be very wary to do the latter without knowing why the piece of equipment is so special. And yes, it piques my interest too but I'm afraid we'll never ever know. Maybe Daniel from Keysight can make some enquiries...
Exactly, we don't know why Keysight thinks it has a claim. So instead of making threats, Keysight would better explain itself or play real nice. You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar and that vinegar might just splash back in your eyes.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: EEVblog on January 27, 2019, 10:40:55 am
This is good news for you, they have a legal need to get this back in their hands and destroy it. As for being made whole, keep in mind the aspects I mentioned before. Namely, being made whole means:
  • The cost for you to get an identical instrument (not necessarily the price you paid). Keep in mind features of the instrument you have (LO/IF ports, frequency ranges, etc.).

Yep, tell me you are happy to give it back if they send you a shiny new model.[/list]
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: EEVblog on January 27, 2019, 10:46:36 am
It makes sense the OP receives compensation but I don't think it is fair to demand a brand new device. This is a typical 'don't push your luck' situation.

I think it more than fair to demand a new device. Remember, a new device is cost price to Keysight.
If they want this particular unit back so bad then they have to pony up and make the legal owner happy.
They even say as much in the letter.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: EEVblog on January 27, 2019, 10:49:25 am
I see 5 listed on on ebay, and another 6 already sold in the last few months. If there is something special about this model are they going after them too?

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.XHP+8562A.TRS0&_nkw=HP+8562A&_sacat=0 (https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.XHP+8562A.TRS0&_nkw=HP+8562A&_sacat=0)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: nctnico on January 27, 2019, 11:01:31 am
It makes sense the OP receives compensation but I don't think it is fair to demand a brand new device. This is a typical 'don't push your luck' situation.
I think it more than fair to demand a new device. Remember, a new device is cost price to Keysight.
If they want this particular unit back so bad then they have to pony up and make the legal owner happy.
Well that depends on how you define legal owner. Mind you the OP is the US where having something which has been stolen is a crime even if you bought it in good faith. You never know who is driving Keysight to retrieve the item. Maybe Keysight is much more forgiving to deal with -up to some point- compared to who is driving the retrieval operation. IOW: the OP may not be the legal owner at all for some legal reason (theft is just an example here; there may be other reasons).
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: EEVblog on January 27, 2019, 11:09:15 am
It makes sense the OP receives compensation but I don't think it is fair to demand a brand new device. This is a typical 'don't push your luck' situation.
I think it more than fair to demand a new device. Remember, a new device is cost price to Keysight.
If they want this particular unit back so bad then they have to pony up and make the legal owner happy.
Well that depends on how you define legal owner. Mind you the OP is the US where having something which has been stolen is a crime even if you bought it in good faith. You never know who is driving Keysight to retrieve the item. Maybe Keysight is much more forgiving to deal with -up to some point- compared to who is driving the retrieval operation. IOW: the OP may not be the legal owner at all for some legal reason (theft is just an example here; there may be other reasons).

In the letter it says they will make the costs "whole". To me that includes the functionality of the unit currently being utilised by the owner. They should pony up a new one or bugger off.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: EEVblog on January 27, 2019, 11:11:28 am
You never know who is driving Keysight to retrieve the item.

I suspect this is the key here. It can't just be an ordinary unit, that just doesn't make sense. So it likely came from some government or contractor that had some sort of obligation to destroy/erase the unit before decomissioning. There are even regulations regarding this, and a lot of new gear same secure erasure built in to facilitate this. Although if that's the case it is kinda strange that Keysight is doing to asking here.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 27, 2019, 11:15:44 am
Well that depends on how you define legal owner. Mind you the OP is the US where having something which has been stolen is a crime even if you bought it in good faith. You never know who is driving Keysight to retrieve the item. Maybe Keysight is much more forgiving to deal with -up to some point- compared to who is driving the retrieval operation. IOW: the OP may not be the legal owner at all for some legal reason (theft is just an example here; there may be other reasons).
I don't think making things up is helping the conversation. Possession is illegal if you knew the goods were stolen. Ownership may be tricky if they were even if bought in good faith, but that's not the same as committing a crime by possessing goods. That being said, they'd most likely go an entirely different route if that were the case. They wouldn't send you a letter, but more likely call the police to have the device recovered. They wouldn't argue IP protection. They may not even attempt to recover such an ancient device in the case of theft.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Possession_of_stolen_goods
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: nctnico on January 27, 2019, 11:18:35 am
I don't think making things up is helping the conversation. Possession is illegal if you knew the goods were stolen. Ownership may be tricky if they were even if bought in good faith, but that's not the same as committing a crime by possessing goods. That being said, they'd most likely go an entirely different route if that were the case. They wouldn't send you a letter, but more likely call the police to have the device recovered. They wouldn't argue IP protection. They may not even attempt to recover such an ancient device in the case of theft.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Possession_of_stolen_goods
:palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: It says right there in your link: If the person did not know the property was stolen at the time she received it but found out after receiving possession, the crime is possession of stolen property. And as I wrote before: theft is just an example for how an item you bought in good faith might not be yours in the US. Don't take the theft part too literal because you'll get stuck in details which don't matter. It just goes to show that the OP might have less rights then everyone is assuming.

We don't know the reasoning. Maybe it is less hassle to politely ask the owner to send the device back. Maybe Keysight doesn't want to create a lot of fuzz trying to prevent they have to clarify who and why the equipment should be returned.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 27, 2019, 11:47:14 am
:palm: :palm: :palm: :palm: It says right there in your link: If the person did not know the property was stolen at the time she received it but found out after receiving possession, the crime is possession of stolen property. And as I wrote before: theft is just an example for how an item you bought in good faith might not be yours in the US. Don't take the theft part too literal because you'll get stuck in details which don't matter. It just goes to show that the OP might have less rights then everyone is assuming.

We don't know the reasoning. Maybe it is less hassle to politely ask the owner to send the device back. Maybe Keysight doesn't want to create a lot of fuzz trying to prevent they have to clarify who and why the equipment should be returned.
Let's keep the discussion civil and without emoticons and bolding, please. The sentence after the one you quoted is "The state must prove that the defendant received or possessed the property for a dishonest purpose." There is no dishonest purpose here, so there is no crime. That's reasonable too, because it'd be silly and entirely impractical for people to be considered committing a crime at the moment they're told they've bought stolen goods.

Note that the crime of possessing stolen goods and the matter of ownership are two separate things legally and practically. It's entirely possible for stolen goods to remain the property of the original owner, while owning them after buying them in good faith isn't a crime. It'd just mean the goods aren't yours to keep. But again, Keysight isn't playing the stolen goods angle in any way. I'm not sure why we're discussing it. They claim an IP issue, but so far haven't produced any evidence which supports their claim to the device.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: james_s on January 27, 2019, 12:43:28 pm
If they plan to destroy it then I I would tell them to piss off and just keep it as a matter of principal. I have zero tolerance for destroying something solely to keep it out of the hands of someone else. You bought it, you own it, whatever you do, look through it very carefully for any interesting data.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jjoonathan on January 27, 2019, 01:09:08 pm
I see 5 listed on on ebay, and another 6 already sold in the last few months. If there is something special about this model are they going after them too?

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.XHP+8562A.TRS0&_nkw=HP+8562A&_sacat=0 (https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.XHP+8562A.TRS0&_nkw=HP+8562A&_sacat=0)

It's not the model that they are going after. I always knew my unit was "special" but I assumed a supremely boring explanation, of which there could have been many.

I purchased the unit in "for parts" condition and have since repaired it -- there was a YTO unlock problem and a HV supply dropout problem -- so I politely counter-proposed the "functional replacement" angle. I didn't want to get too greedy (Gordon Gecko forgive me) so I let them know that I would be happy either with (list of functional specs) or with any functioning SA that has 26.5GHz of bandwidth and a USB port. If they wind up going that route, hopefully that gives us enough latitude to work within the tax implications. As much as I'd love the 50GHz N9030B beast that their website recommends as a replacement for my unit, I wouldn't love to mortgage my house to pay taxes on it.

I didn't push my luck by asking for anything extra on account of the emotional trauma I will suffer from someone shoveling my poor project unit into a furnace, but I did ask them to not tell me if that's what they were planning to do. As far as I want to know, this thing is headed to a farm upstate, where it can live out the rest of its days happily measuring signals as they hop and play through the spectrum.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 27, 2019, 01:15:08 pm

It's not the model that they are going after. I always knew my unit was "special" but I assumed a supremely boring explanation, of which there could have been many.

I purchased the unit in "for parts" condition and have since repaired it -- there was a YTO unlock problem and a HV supply dropout problem -- so I politely counter-proposed the "functional replacement" angle. I didn't want to get too greedy (Gordon Gecko forgive me) so I let them know that I would be happy either with (list of functional specs) or with any functioning SA that has 26.5GHz of bandwidth and a USB port. If they wind up going that route, hopefully that gives us enough latitude to work within the tax implications. As much as I'd love the 50GHz N9030B beast that their website recommends as a replacement for my unit, I wouldn't love to mortgage my house to pay taxes on it.

I didn't push my luck by asking for anything extra on account of the emotional trauma I will suffer from someone shoveling my poor project unit into a furnace, but I did ask them to not tell me if that's what they were planning to do. As far as I want to know, this thing is headed to a farm upstate, where it can live out the rest of its days happily measuring signals as they hop and play through the spectrum.
What taxes would have to be paid? It's not a prize. Besides, any costs arising from the transaction would be for Keysight. You have a functioning device on your desk. It's up to them to suggest an equivalent or better situation.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on January 27, 2019, 02:49:13 pm
The OP has taken a fair and reasonable approach IMHO.  Maintaining a courteous line of communication is the sensible thing to do at this point.  If you make it easy for Keysight to achieve their goal quickly and without fuss, then as well as the speed of resolution of their problem which will no doubt be well received by whoever is driving this chase, there is an economic incentive for them to be more generous in providing a replacement product.

All these attitudes of "stuff you" are simply silly.  Digging in your heels "on principle" for a situation like this just sounds like somebody being a stubborn old goat for no good reason.  It's not as if the equipment was part of grandpa's lab and had irreplaceable sentimental value.

If what is offered to the OP to "make whole" is something they would be happy with, then why be an asshole?  Besides, if you do make an enemy of a big corporation that has the resources to pursue with greater intensity, you could find yourself in a world of hurt, especially if there are some national security implications.


Let's see what Keysight's response will be.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on January 27, 2019, 02:58:05 pm
If they wind up going that route, hopefully that gives us enough latitude to work within the tax implications. As much as I'd love the 50GHz N9030B beast that their website recommends as a replacement for my unit, I wouldn't love to mortgage my house to pay taxes on it.

I don't know what take the IRS would have on this - if any - but a thought crossed my mind:

One might ask what the value of your SA actually is - considering it is so special...?  (Not that I'd expect an answer.)  If it was considerably more than a replacement SA, would you be able to claim a net loss on your taxes from such an exchange?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mechatrommer on January 27, 2019, 03:37:13 pm
I'm a US citizen several generations deep. The nearest foreign cousins are in the Netherlands and, as far as I know, there are no terrorists sharing my last name.
be careful there regardless of last name or not... https://www.ocala.com/news/20180912/jonathan-beese-target-of-ocala-terror-probe-gets-15-years-in-prison-life-probation (https://www.ocala.com/news/20180912/jonathan-beese-target-of-ocala-terror-probe-gets-15-years-in-prison-life-probation) ;) anyway, now you can state your ransom price. old SA = $ + IP = $$$... i think if Keysight keep quiet about this, the IP will simply buried in oblivion, along with its last owner. now they know, but even this got into the eye of a terrorist, he will not give a sheet on any spectrum analyzer, semiconductor, any programmed ROM nor whatever, they only care about more black powder, and more.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: EEVblog on January 27, 2019, 04:58:39 pm
What taxes would have to be paid? It's not a prize. Besides, any costs arising from the transaction would be for Keysight. You have a functioning device on your desk. It's up to them to suggest an equivalent or better situation.

Agreed, I don't see the problem, it's a like-for-like replacement of a faulty unit purchased legally on which no taxes weer owing.
If you are really concerned in some way, get them to offer a used unit. Keysight have tons of used gear.
Only a fool would tell the tax department anyway.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: EEVblog on January 27, 2019, 05:01:59 pm
It's not the model that they are going after. I always knew my unit was "special" but I assumed a supremely boring explanation, of which there could have been many.

What made you feel it was "special"?

Quote
I purchased the unit in "for parts" condition and have since repaired it -- there was a YTO unlock problem and a HV supply dropout problem -- so I politely counter-proposed the "functional replacement" angle.

Good move.
There are plenty on their ebay store.
http://www.ebaystores.com/Keysight/?_fsub=7036579011& (http://www.ebaystores.com/Keysight/?_fsub=7036579011&)

But again, I'm not sure why this is Keysights concern?
Why would Keysight be offering to "make good" on this financially?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: maginnovision on January 27, 2019, 05:08:23 pm
It's not the model that they are going after. I always knew my unit was "special" but I assumed a supremely boring explanation, of which there could have been many.

What made you feel it was "special"?

Quote
I purchased the unit in "for parts" condition and have since repaired it -- there was a YTO unlock problem and a HV supply dropout problem -- so I politely counter-proposed the "functional replacement" angle.

Good move.
There are plenty on their ebay store.
http://www.ebaystores.com/Keysight/?_fsub=7036579011& (http://www.ebaystores.com/Keysight/?_fsub=7036579011&)

But again, I'm not sure why this is Keysights concern?
Why would Keysight be offering to "make good" on this financially?

Maybe they were the ones to guarantee how the instruments life would end?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Richard Crowley on January 27, 2019, 05:14:44 pm
Is it possible that the gear covers "forbidden frequency bands"?  i.e. in the US, cell phone bands are forbidden to "receive" except by authorized (carrier or government/military) users.

Or else this is just some kind of government contract thing where a contract prohibited selling as surplus/redundant into the public?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: EEVblog on January 27, 2019, 05:19:43 pm
Is it possible that the gear covers "forbidden frequency bands"?  i.e. in the US, cell phone bands are forbidden to "receive" except by authorized (carrier or government/military) users.
Or else this is just some kind of government contract thing where a contract prohibited selling as surplus/redundant into the public?

Either of those is possible. But again, why would this be Keysight's problem and not the original owners?
There are certainly laws about on-selling gear like this (for example, no one in Australia is allowed to legally sell me or anyone else non-approved an xray machine), but it's never the problem on the manufacturer after they have sold it, it becomes the responsibility of the owner to dispose of it correctly.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: 0culus on January 27, 2019, 05:20:14 pm
Is it possible that the gear covers "forbidden frequency bands"?  i.e. in the US, cell phone bands are forbidden to "receive" except by authorized (carrier or government/military) users.

Or else this is just some kind of government contract thing where a contract prohibited selling as surplus/redundant into the public?

I'd guess the latter. Pretty much any spectrum analyzer that has more than a GHz bandwidth can receive a lot of cellular bands. Any microwave analyzer such as the OPs will be able to receive all of them with the right antenna setup.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mechatrommer on January 27, 2019, 05:46:34 pm
does it have an earphone included? why is it so hard hacking something thats already for listening to tune to forbidden band?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: 0culus on January 27, 2019, 05:52:38 pm
Besides, I seriously doubt that analyzer in the OP is capable of demodulation of wideband signals like that.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: james_s on January 27, 2019, 06:11:41 pm
Is it possible that the gear covers "forbidden frequency bands"?  i.e. in the US, cell phone bands are forbidden to "receive" except by authorized (carrier or government/military) users.

Or else this is just some kind of government contract thing where a contract prohibited selling as surplus/redundant into the public?

Such a pointless law too, pushed through by mobile phone companies in the analog days. Scanners were all required to have those bands locked out, but I don't think I ever worked on a Radio Shack Pro 2004, 2005 or 2006 scanner that hadn't had the cellular mod done. Clip a couple of diodes and it was fully unlocked.

My view on the matter has always been if you don't want me receiving your signals, keep them off my property.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mechatrommer on January 27, 2019, 07:57:51 pm
My view on the matter has always been if you don't want me receiving your signals, keep them off my property.
ditto!!! just as if you dont want some of your parts get stared, get that well covered, we got eyes.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bson on January 27, 2019, 08:14:55 pm
Is it possible that the gear covers "forbidden frequency bands"?  i.e. in the US, cell phone bands are forbidden to "receive" except by authorized (carrier or government/military) users.
I think this is a good line of thought.  The mobile bands are licensed not by user but by equipment; so you can transmit and receive on them with licensed equipment.  Maybe this SA is a licensed piece of equipment, meaning it can legally be used on cell bands.  It getting out would be a major headache to Keysight as I'm sure the FCC would not be happy to see it circulating on eBay and elsewhere.  I'm sure specially licensed T&M equipment like this needs to be very strictly controlled and tracked or the FCC is going to have a major hissy fit.  It could make it far more difficult for Keysight to sell such equipment in the future.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: swingbyte1 on January 27, 2019, 08:26:54 pm
A's fun as conspiracy theories are the reason they probably want it returned is more boring. Equipment used on certain defence projects is prohibited from sales to hide the nature of the projects. I know it seems senseless but it provides deniability. If I work on one of those projects and you asked me something about it's technology even if the same thing was used for some innocent commercial application, I can't tell you anything as that allows you to speculate on what I might be able to do. So all sorts of ancient equipment is destroyed even though it is obsolete to obscure the projects.



Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 27, 2019, 08:30:27 pm
A's fun as conspiracy theories are the reason they probably want it returned is more boring. Equipment used on certain defence projects is prohibited from sales to hide the nature of the projects. I know it seems senseless but it provides deniability. If I work on one of those projects and you asked me something about it's technology even if the same thing was used for some innocent commercial application, I can't tell you anything as that allows you to speculate on what I might be able to do. So all sorts of ancient equipment is destroyed even though it is obsolete to obscure the projects.



Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
In that case they really, really didn't think this through. It's a classic case of the Streisand Effect where everyone is speculation over something that would have passed without much notice.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: 1Ghz on January 27, 2019, 10:11:40 pm
Maybe, it's...

Quote
... Opt T01 TEMPEST compliant (HP 8562A only) ...
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 27, 2019, 10:17:33 pm
Maybe, it's...
So they can't spy on your wibbly lines? Not really a big deal.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on January 27, 2019, 10:29:57 pm
Might actually be able to shed some light here having worked in the test gear department of a defence contractor. There is nothing special about this SA. This is all a stupid charade for a defence contractor somewhere. They are extremely fussy about supply chain and disposals. Anything with non volatile memory has to be shredded basically to tick a box on a bit of paper. What happened here is pretty damn normal and that is someone decided "fuck shredding that - I'm going to make some moolah". Now they're chasing the paper trail because a 3rd party auditor couldn't prove that the item was destroyed and it was legitimately sold on. I used to, along with half the engineering team, lift gear out of the aforementioned contractor's disposals skip. Regularly this caused problems because the SN's didn't appear at the disposer's incoming audit.

Now the depressing thing you tend to see in these scenarios is that perfectly fine kit is destroyed for no good reason. The worst thing I saw was a 9 month old fully stacked Sun 1000E worth £400,000 at purchase time get chucked in a grinder. Then a couple of storage arrays of unknown value (£300k+) join it. No one gave a fuck even if you could buy three big houses with that money at the time. Sickens me.

Alternatively what happened was someone sent it away for calibration to a 3rd party cal lab, the calibration lab went under and the disposal company got their hands on it and it ended up on the open market and Keysight want it back so they can give it to the customer. Seen that happen before!
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: 1Ghz on January 27, 2019, 10:32:12 pm
So they can't spy on your wibbly lines? Not really a big deal.

Anti-TEMPEST (or Anti-Anti-TEMPEST) device developer will be happy, if he can get TEMPEST compliant device.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 27, 2019, 10:36:27 pm
Anti-TEMPEST (or Anti-Anti-TEMPEST) device developer will be happy, if he can get TEMPEST compliant device.
If you need an ancient SA for that, you're doing it wrong.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on January 27, 2019, 10:38:20 pm
They build the labs with anti-TEMPEST, not the equipment. I worked in AMSG 720B facility in fuck off great big lined sub buildings. Even the cables were on dampers.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Jwalling on January 27, 2019, 11:03:08 pm
Yep, I got one last month from two Agilent scopes I purchased from Outback.

I replied to Mr. Harrington via email and told him that I always re-initialize or replace the drives in equipment I get to how it shipped originally from the factory.
I told him that I don't trust any Windows based disk drives and always assume that there could be a virus or malware on the drives.
I sent him pictures of five drives that I still had in my parts bin that may have come from the scopes mentioned.
The MSO8104A in question got a new SSD (solid state disk). I looked at the drives offline on a USB to SATA adapter and found the one that came from the MSO8104A. I could tell it was the one because the pagefile.sys file had the exact same date as the day I purchased the scope of Feb 28th 2018; Outback must have powered it up one last time to verify that it still booted.

He never bothered to respond to the email, but I knew that he read it as I sent the email with a return receipt requested which his email client honored.  :-//
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: MadTux on January 27, 2019, 11:47:57 pm
Is this an attempt to use "copyright" and "intelectual property" buzzwords to get rid of the high end used equipment market?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jjoonathan on January 28, 2019, 01:29:42 am
Yes, people are dramatically overshooting reality when it comes to guessing what I meant by "special." It was probably just a way to flag the instrument as needing disposal. Or a complete coincidence. I'm being coy to avoid encouraging an easter egg hunt.

> There is nothing special about this SA. This is all a stupid charade for a defence contractor somewhere.

That'd be my guess. In lieu of shredding, they Indiana-Jonesed it into a warehouse and years later it got accidentally liquidated. Oops.

> Is this an attempt to use "copyright" and "intelectual property" buzzwords to get rid of the high end used equipment market?

That was my knee-jerk reaction and the reason why my first move was "tweet it" (EDIT: not literal twitter) rather than "lawyer up." Shockingly, that was probably the wrong move. Not because it got me in hot water, but because I was probably wrong and it was therefore a dick move. Opening with a ridiculous IP claim was also a dick move, though. Fortunately, as we know, two dick moves make... err...

Regardless, I've cooled off. Even if I'm in a position to, I'm not looking to "soak 'em for what they're worth." I don't consider failure to extract maximum possible value from the situation a loss. There's still a big, reasonable middle ground here that makes both of us happy, and a very real likelihood that if I'm unreasonable they can make me unhappy. That's why I'm angling for "reasonable." Perhaps that's naive, but it's what it is.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Jwalling on January 28, 2019, 01:35:08 am

That'd be my guess. In lieu of shredding, they Indiana-Jonesed it into a warehouse and years later it got accidentally liquidated. Oops.


By any chance, did you try contacting Scott Mallery at Outback?
Back in December, the thought crossed my mind, but I never did.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: 0culus on January 28, 2019, 01:48:21 am
Seems to me that if this Outback and Keysight seem to be so tight with each other they ought to be doing a better job of screening products before they go on sale. It seems especially ridiculous to be coming back on the buyer for HP branded equipment of all things.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on January 28, 2019, 02:13:54 am
There’s a dumbass in every supply chain somewhere. I occasionally see current issue military stuff appear on eBay that shouldn’t be on there! It gets duly reported.

Imagine if someone picks up a coded IFF interrogator...
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: coppercone2 on January 28, 2019, 02:20:06 am
do a firmware dump :popcorn:

must discourage legal thugs

few things shit me as far as the military trying to control the fucking EM spectrum LOL. go play with a tank boys and leave the fucking scientists alone. Literary everything can effect a products reliability and performance. All factors should be measured. Cost and time are the only limits. This is dark age thinking. You are not selling refined weapons plutonium.  |O

It's not even a transmitter.

Also never respond to this crap and delete the email as junk because you thought it was spam. Sounds like another corporate spectrum analyzer datamining sweep stakes giveaway right? Just fill out some form so you have a 1/10000 chance to get harassed by a sales rep and possibly get some test equipment, your not interested  ;) :-DD

I delete all 99% of emails from companies without reading them. time is money friend.

Suggest watching the movie 'war dogs'. These people are jokers through and through. The shadiest shit ends up happening at high levels anyway. You are NOTHING to them.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: KaneTW on January 28, 2019, 02:34:23 am
Is it possible that the gear covers "forbidden frequency bands"?  i.e. in the US, cell phone bands are forbidden to "receive" except by authorized (carrier or government/military) users.

Or else this is just some kind of government contract thing where a contract prohibited selling as surplus/redundant into the public?

That is a very silly restriction. Doesn't that make every SDR on the market illegal?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 28, 2019, 02:36:24 am
There’s a dumbass in every supply chain somewhere. I occasionally see current issue military stuff appear on eBay that shouldn’t be on there! It gets duly reported.

Imagine if someone picks up a coded IFF interrogator...
That's only interesting during a conflict and the equivalent of proper key management should make that a non-issue.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: coppercone2 on January 28, 2019, 02:37:42 am
they will have a man with a suit cased attached to his arm update all of that if there is even a hint that a fly might land on the freaking plane. Its BS. They will fly him in first class too.

The military is nuts, try talking to someone during a military exhibition during a parade or something. They won't tell you the most simple things about ancient declassified gear that's hardly in use anymore (try asking about frequencies!!). You can find it with a smart phone in like 15 seconds standing next to them. But they will turn around and talk when there is a bunch of machine guns on the ground you can interact with lol.... I saw a situation once where if you waited around long enough someone can prob walk away with a heavy machine gun when the grunts get bored.

But hey, no one wants that dirty piece of shit anyway  8)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on January 28, 2019, 03:02:57 am

There’s a dumbass in every supply chain somewhere. I occasionally see current issue military stuff appear on eBay that shouldn’t be on there! It gets duly reported.

Imagine if someone picks up a coded IFF interrogator...
That's only interesting during a conflict and the equivalent of proper key management should make that a non-issue.

There’s always a conflict. Also key management - don’t even go there. Total mess that.

They dropped SA on GPS not for commercial reasons as an example.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 28, 2019, 03:07:35 am
There’s always a conflict. Also key management - don’t even go there. Total mess that.

Main thing is the firmware is valuable.
I see two problems which can and should be solved from the bottom up, not top down. The latter is a desperate last resort.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: HighVoltage on January 28, 2019, 03:08:30 am
How old is this HP 8562A spectrum analyzer?
Probably more than 20 years!

This all seems to be very ridicules !
What if the eBay buyer would have sold it again, without knowing about the "specialty" of this equipment.

I never heard of such thing in Germany.
And I buy used German military equipment all the time on eBay Germany.


Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Miti on January 28, 2019, 03:22:57 am
I never heard of such thing in Germany.
And I buy used German military equipment all the time on eBay Germany.

Welcome to America! Population - 327M.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: JonM on January 28, 2019, 12:17:05 pm
...

Now the depressing thing you tend to see in these scenarios is that perfectly fine kit is destroyed for no good reason. The worst thing I saw was a 9 month old fully stacked Sun 1000E worth £400,000 at purchase time get chucked in a grinder. Then a couple of storage arrays of unknown value (£300k+) join it. No one gave a fuck even if you could buy three big houses with that money at the time. Sickens me.

...

Back in the early 1980's my thesis adviser and I would go to a Naval Research location (oddly located in the midwest of the US) to acquire surplus equipment for our university lab. We got a lot of good stuff including a very large Faraday cage / shielded room that is still in use. On one trip we spotted a Spectra-Physics Krypton ion laser in an outdoor pile. When we asked if we could have it we were informed that it had been used in classified research and would have to be crushed. It's unlikely that it had been modified, it probably just shot a beam into a classified experiment. It was an off the shelf commercial laser that looked just like an Argon ion laser that we already had in the lab.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Neomys Sapiens on January 28, 2019, 02:06:31 pm
How old is this HP 8562A spectrum analyzer?
Probably more than 20 years!

This all seems to be very ridicules !
What if the eBay buyer would have sold it again, without knowing about the "specialty" of this equipment.

I never heard of such thing in Germany.
And I buy used German military equipment all the time on eBay Germany.

Same for me. But I have experienced an interesting HP story with a device that I bought.
It is an optical detector with a fast and  a precision channel. I found absolutely no information about it.
When I called Böblingen, they did not agree that it's theirs, until I spoke to their calibration lab.
Then they suddenly were like 'where did you buy that? You are not allowed to have that blah blah...
Turns out it is internal T&M gear which should never have been on the open market.
They can't do much, although. They were content with me telling them that it will stay here.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bernie79 on January 29, 2019, 06:20:23 am
I never heard of such thing in Germany.
And I buy used German military equipment all the time on eBay Germany.

Welcome to America! Population - 327M.
If you find this cazy, imagine this:
until around 2008 there where many repair service partners across europe. Every radioshack, every electronics store, even mobile phone dealers could be repair partner, if they comply to some things. Okay, in most cases they got an authorisation for changing nothing more that the customer can (and will be paid by the manufacturer with a small fee). More advanced partners could do more, but usual have to put up an "end test device" which was a  BTS-simulator together with a small antenna, to test basic phone functionality.
Even "ghost town, popl 5" had such store somewhere.

As Siemens, Motorola, Nokia and Ericsson closed their repair service "franchise" program, all these test devices where on sale. On ebay. And still are.
You can read about this even here in the EEV-Forum, talking about R+S CMU200, or CMD55, Wavetek 4202,... everyone of them can be modded into an fakeBTS or even an IMSI-Cachter (yes the famous device agencies use to track down or intercept your phone from nearby).
Not that I ever heard of such modding, but there is not even the reciever to recieve celluar phone signals, but also the sending side, Moreover: all neccessary decoding stuff is also there - all in one package - with a nice handle to carry around 8)
And what happens?Nothing. No police is hunting this devices, no agencies take a closer look, no government shouts "alarm!" :-//
Because all of the owners use them as intended, does no harm to the networks, and nobody gets spied. And yes its a licensed band.
But I havent heard  of a case of trouble, no police swat team raid, no agency alerts, no national security :-DD
Maybe its because the cell phone signal is encrypted and none of the owners has a real working key (despite the test SIMcard in the 00101 network for test repair purposes).

I don't know why the yankees are making such a fuss. On the other side, they sell guns to everyone who can't run away fast enough.. strange people. ???    But this can discussed best with some beer.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on January 29, 2019, 07:40:00 am
Sort-of related story in the Times today - storage company used by a defence contractor folds, contents to be auctioned

Paywalled link : https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/security-fears-over-auction-of-sensitive-military-tech-k25v0vwpc (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/security-fears-over-auction-of-sensitive-military-tech-k25v0vwpc)

Clip from paper in attatched image
This is the auction - annoyingly light on detail
https://auction.hazell.co.uk/lots/auction/ues-and-s-ltd-in-liquidation (https://auction.hazell.co.uk/lots/auction/ues-and-s-ltd-in-liquidation)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Stray Electron on January 29, 2019, 12:21:16 pm
   We got the same letter today regarding an HP 54540C scope that we bought from Outback.  Has anyone figured out if this is a SCAM or not?  I find it very peculiar that no one was contacted directly by Outback, Ebay or PayPal about this and also that the letter itself never says what the item was or when it was purchased.  Yes, I know it's in the attachment, but I would expect that any professional business person, lawyer, clerk or typist would include that rather important detail in the original letter and not on a separate page.  Even a modest text editor like WordStar/DataStar could insert that into a letter automatically.   

    FWIW, the scope that we bought obviously came almost directly from HP and included all of the original probes, manuals, accessories, most of them still factory sealed, and also included a letter showing where it had been send from one division of HP to another division for repair and recalibration. There are no property stickers from anyone else on it so I'm reasonably certain that it was never owned or used outside of HP.

   My opinion at this point is that someone got into Outback's sale records and are now trying to con the buyers out of their purchases. 
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: EEVblog on January 29, 2019, 01:22:22 pm
MOD NOTE: All gun related talk removed.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: IDEngineer on January 29, 2019, 02:19:26 pm
On one trip we spotted a Spectra-Physics Krypton ion laser in an outdoor pile. When we asked if we could have it we were informed that it had been used in classified research and would have to be crushed.
Wow, what a loss. I used those exact ion lasers, with both krypton and argon, to put on laser light shows in the 70's. The power supply had this enormous heat sink panel with (IIRC) seven rows of seven columns of 2N3055's, and the panel was water cooled. Needless to say, ion lasers are very inefficient... for all that energy in, we got about 1W optical power from krypton and about 5W optical power out of argon. That's still very formidable, enough to ignite plywood (don't ask how we learned that).
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 02, 2019, 10:28:10 am
I accidentally deleted my previous message instead of quoting it, but it seems more and more people are reporting equipment being recovered. What on Earth is going on here?

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/ebays-outback6-lawyered-up-and-is-attempting-to-claw-back-equipment-they-sold/ (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/ebays-outback6-lawyered-up-and-is-attempting-to-claw-back-equipment-they-sold/)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: HighVoltage on February 02, 2019, 11:16:04 am
So, it is not an isolated case of one special item?

Then may be Keysight should explain here, what is going on with this strange behavior.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 02, 2019, 11:26:34 am
Depending on the specific reason, you might find them guarded or reluctant to give much detail.  Even some cursory information such as: Is it a genuine action? (which it seems to be).  Is it a one-off or does this sort of thing occur frequently? ... would be helpful.

While we are rather curious, I don't think we really expect any disclosure of classified or privileged information, but it would be nice to get a feel for what's going on, so we can get an idea of actions that may come our way or sources of equipment that we might be well to tread around carefully.


 - but I agree, it is a curiosity.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 02, 2019, 11:35:29 am
Depending on the specific reason, you might find them guarded or reluctant to give much detail.  Even some cursory information such as: Is it a genuine action? (which it seems to be).  Is it a one-off or does this sort of thing occur frequently?

While we are rather curious, I don't think we really expect any disclosure of classified or privileged information, but it would be nice to get a feel for what's going on, so we can get an idea of actions that may come our way or sources of equipment that we might be well to tread around carefully.


 - but I agree, it is a curiosity.
The problem for Keysight is that the more vague they are, the more they're hurting the chances of people cooperating. Right now they're causing trouble for people and the IP story doesn't seem to hold up, as they're apparently recalling bog standard equipment. It's only fair people want a real and somewhat decent reason if Keysight is going to cost them time and effort.

The long story short is that if you want something from people, you'd do best not to belittle them with vague or nonsensical stories.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: EEVblog on February 02, 2019, 11:58:16 am
I've heard from someone who supposedly knows what's going that Keysight isn't bad actor here. But I don't know the details myself.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: gnavigator1007 on February 02, 2019, 12:11:24 pm
Has anybody been keeping count how many forum members have posted about receiving one of these letters? Figure I may have missed some other threads. This many this close together originating from same ebay seller, I kinda expect all kit from the same facility. Anybody get one of these letters that didn't buy from Outback?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 02, 2019, 12:36:26 pm
This many this close together originating from same ebay seller, I kinda expect all kit from the same facility.

I am inclined to agree.

This may be one detail that Keysight might be able to confirm - probably without identifying the facility.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 02, 2019, 12:50:43 pm
The problem for Keysight is that the more vague they are, the more they're hurting the chances of people cooperating. Right now they're causing trouble for people and the IP story doesn't seem to hold up, as they're apparently recalling bog standard equipment. It's only fair people want a real and somewhat decent reason if Keysight is going to cost them time and effort.

The long story short is that if you want something from people, you'd do best not to belittle them with vague or nonsensical stories.

There may well be a bigger problem than that.  I could easily imagine a scenario where the one facility involved (which seems likely) operated under some rather strict secrecy requirements and that even obfuscation of the facts was inadequate, which might require an invented reason.  I know this doesn't sit well with a lot of people - which I can understand - but there comes a point where security needs can be more important.

Further, it may well be that the equipment involved is not special in any way, nor was used for any super secret stuff - but that it was used by an organisation that does get into such work and has a blanket policy for decommissioned equipment to make sure there is NO way for ANY device to legitimately find its way out into the public arena.  If there were to be any exceptions made to such a rule, then the security would have a hole in it you could driver a Hummer through.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: ataradov on February 02, 2019, 12:54:24 pm
but there comes a point where security needs can be more important.
In that case, just eat the cost and offer everyone a new replacement. People will be happy instead of scared, and who knows how many would even share this information.

And after that send scary legal letters to distributors that screwed up, not the customers.

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: openloop on February 02, 2019, 01:04:27 pm
Quote
I've heard from someone who supposedly knows what's going that Keysight isn't bad actor here. But I don't know the details myself.
That settles it. Not too many entities can lean on Keysight...  ;)

In my case - all items they "ask" back were purchased only from Outback and only in January 2018.

Somebody, who's not as lazy as me, probably can go through eBay's history and enumerate all the things Outback sold around that time.   >:D

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 02, 2019, 01:13:50 pm
There may well be a bigger problem than that.  I could easily imagine a scenario where the one facility involved (which seems likely) operated under some rather strict secrecy requirements and that even obfuscation of the facts was inadequate, which might require an invented reason.  I know this doesn't sit well with a lot of people - which I can understand - but there comes a point where security needs can be more important.

Further, it may well be that the equipment involved is not special in any way, nor was used for any super secret stuff - but that it was used by an organisation that does get into such work and has a blanket policy for decommissioned equipment to make sure there is NO way for ANY device to legitimately find its way out into the public arena.  If there were to be any exceptions made to such a rule, then the security would have a hole in it you could driver a Hummer through.
The problem with that story is that by being vague the equipment is less likely to return, which makes the hole bigger and not smaller. It's also a case of the Streisand Effect, where not wanting to draw attention to something draws it even more. If such a policy is indeed the reason for this whole endeavour, it has already failed. Things which shouldn't be in the real world are in the real world. By going on a hunt which raises all sorts of questions you're not going to put that genie back into the bottle. You suck at being super secret, and super secret stuff is no backsies.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: 0culus on February 02, 2019, 01:34:08 pm
Yeah, no one is putting the cat back into this bag. Enterprising people will probably be able to figure out where the stuff came from originally via OSINT. Not a hard thing to do if you know what you're doing.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: GlowingGhoul on February 02, 2019, 01:53:41 pm
I never heard of such thing in Germany.
And I buy used German military equipment all the time on eBay Germany.

Welcome to America! Population - 327M.


In Germany they just seize apartments instead: https://www.abendblatt.de/hamburg/article210438879/Bezirk-Mitte-fuehrt-erstmals-Zwangsvermietung-durch.html (https://www.abendblatt.de/hamburg/article210438879/Bezirk-Mitte-fuehrt-erstmals-Zwangsvermietung-durch.html)

"In an unprecedented move, Hamburg authorities recently confiscated six residential units in the Hamm district near the city center. The units, which are owned by a private landlord, are in need of repair and have been vacant since 2012. A trustee appointed by the city is now renovating the properties and will rent them — against the will of the owner — to tenants chosen by the city. District spokeswoman Sorina Weiland said that all renovation costs will be billed to the owner of the properties.
The expropriation is authorized by the Hamburg Housing Protection Act (Hamburger Wohnraumschutzgesetz), a 1982 law that was updated by the city's Socialist government in May 2013 to enable the city to seize any residential property unit that has been vacant for more than four months."
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 02, 2019, 01:57:55 pm
I understand the effects this approach has brought into play - but there may be no other option than the super secret approach.

If equipment is governed by contract and that contract has super secret conditions included, then whoever is involved in the chasing down may have no choice but to obfuscate.  Keysight might have said to the powers that be that the approach that has been taken wouldn't fly very well, but I can imagine a bureaucrat just pointing to a line in a contract and standing firm.


but there comes a point where security needs can be more important.
In that case, just eat the cost and offer everyone a new replacement. People will be happy instead of scared, and who knows how many would even share this information.

That would be ideal - but then you could come up against some who would see this as an admission of fault and try to push for something more than "make whole".  The intimidation element might be "required" phrasing and/or a means to temper any haggling.

Quote
And after that send scary legal letters to distributors that screwed up, not the customers.
How do you know that hasn't happened already - and that the customers' letters are round 2?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 02, 2019, 09:36:08 pm
IMO they would have had a much better chance of getting kit back quietly by saying that they want some specific versions of some gear to keep a big customer's test system running, and making an above-market offer, or replacement newer kit for it.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 02, 2019, 10:00:15 pm
Another interesting approach might be to relist the gear on ebay and invite KS to bid on it.
Get a friend to bid against them to see how badly they want it.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: HighVoltage on February 02, 2019, 11:58:42 pm
May be it is not a conspiracy and they just want the old HP instruments for a new museum.

Did not one of their old buildings burned down in the California fires last year?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: EEVblog on February 03, 2019, 12:55:52 am
In my case - all items they "ask" back were purchased only from Outback and only in January 2018.
Somebody, who's not as lazy as me, probably can go through eBay's history and enumerate all the things Outback sold around that time.   >:D

Or try and figure out where Outback buy their gear from. Likely from a larger auction house by the pallet load.
In Australia for example, the Australian military use Mannheim auction house to get rid of their test gear in bulk.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: eKretz on February 03, 2019, 04:03:41 am
Further, it may well be that the equipment involved is not special in any way, nor was used for any super secret stuff - but that it was used by an organisation that does get into such work and has a blanket policy for decommissioned equipment to make sure there is NO way for ANY device to legitimately find its way out into the public arena.  If there were to be any exceptions made to such a rule, then the security would have a hole in it you could driver a Hummer through.

Eh, it seems to me that the Hummer has already left the building. Major security lapse has already happened. If this stuff has gotten out, other stuff probably has too. This is the kind of situation that is never supposed to happen if it's related to national security. If that's what this is, somebody's ass will be in the wringer.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: RoGeorge on February 03, 2019, 04:22:40 am
Just curious how Keysight wants to compensate the current owners.

Does they offer a functionally equivalent instrument, or are they talking about reimbursing the auction money payed by the buyer?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Jwalling on February 03, 2019, 04:48:48 am
Just curious how Keysight wants to compensate the current owners.

Does they offer a functionally equivalent instrument, or are they talking about reimbursing the auction money payed by the buyer?

Reimbursing the auction money would suck, if you bought the equipment defective (cheap), then repaired it. Which was the case in both scopes that I purchased.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: linux-works on February 03, 2019, 05:16:14 am
IANAL, but it seems that if you have the item, its now in YOUR control, not theirs.  its up to them to meet YOUR price.  you can name any price since its now YOUR property.

I'd ask 10x the selling price, to start with.  their mistake: they pay for it.  full stop.

but to be honest, I'm not even sure I'd play ball with them.  if I bought something and repaired it, then some vendor wanted it back, I'd tell them to go pound sand.  unless guys with guns showed up at my door, they have no actual leverage that I can see.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: joeqsmith on February 03, 2019, 05:28:23 am
I have a friend who purchased a used car here in the USA.  The car was purpose built and there is no title or VIN.   After paying for the car and owning it for some time, the police show up.  It turns out, the car was stolen some time ago and they had been tracking it. 

The actual owner did not pay out everyone who had owned the car.  Just  the opposite.  He unknowingly bought a stolen car and was out the money he had spent on it.   I am not sure if he tried to recover his funds.  Doubt it would have been worth the cost and time.   
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Jwalling on February 03, 2019, 05:42:24 am
I have a friend who purchased a used car here in the USA.  The car was purpose built and there is no title or VIN.   After paying for the car and owning it for some time, the police show up.  It turns out, the car was stolen some time ago and they had been tracking it. 

The actual owner did not pay out everyone who had owned the car.  Just  the opposite.  He unknowingly bought a stolen car and was out the money he had spent on it.   I am not sure if he tried to recover his funds.  Doubt it would have been worth the cost and time.

Yeah, but I don't think this equipment was stolen, which I think would be a different thing altogether.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Jwalling on February 03, 2019, 05:49:52 am
It just occurred to me. If someone out there gets one of these letters about a Tektronix instrument made in the last 25 years or so, it would be possible to find out who the equipment was originally sold to. You can look up that info on their website. That would be very interesting...  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bson on February 03, 2019, 06:46:52 am
I have a friend who purchased a used car here in the USA.  The car was purpose built and there is no title or VIN.   After paying for the car and owning it for some time, the police show up.  It turns out, the car was stolen some time ago and they had been tracking it. 

The actual owner did not pay out everyone who had owned the car.  Just  the opposite.  He unknowingly bought a stolen car and was out the money he had spent on it.   I am not sure if he tried to recover his funds.  Doubt it would have been worth the cost and time.
Cars are a little different though; there are official title documents that change hands with them that prove ownership and a clear title.  If there's no title it needs to be established before a motor vehicle can be sold (for example a salvage title).  At least in CA the certificate of title document has a section to mail in to register any change of title when sold.  On destruction, like you scrap it, you likewise mail it in to let the DMV know so they can mark it as such.  If you have a lien on the car the CA DMV won't provide a title document until the lien is removed (for example a loan paid off, or traffic fines paid) to explicitly prevent you from selling it.

Buying a vehicle without proof of clean title... that's a self-inflicted problem.  Don't ever do that!

This is also why stolen cars are chopped and sold for parts; it's almost impossible to sell a stolen car.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: rsjsouza on February 03, 2019, 10:32:24 am
I find it interesting to think about the other end of the rope - i.e., from Keysight's perspective. If this is the case that an agreement/contract was broken or if the unit was simply loaned (thus did not actually belong to the liquidated company), then what would be a fair price to get this unit back? It is not Keysight's fault either the selling of this unit was improper/invalid. Sure, they have deep pockets and an image to preserve, but I would be cautious (just like the OP is) to get a fair price, even if it was repaired after the sale.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: factory on February 03, 2019, 10:54:46 am
Another interesting approach might be to relist the gear on ebay and invite KS to bid on it.
Get a friend to bid against them to see how badly they want it.

I'm sure they would just have it taken down, leaving the seller with any listing fees incurred and the second part of your suggestion is shill-bidding.  :--

David
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: joeqsmith on February 03, 2019, 12:53:40 pm
I have a friend who purchased a used car here in the USA.  The car was purpose built and there is no title or VIN.   After paying for the car and owning it for some time, the police show up.  It turns out, the car was stolen some time ago and they had been tracking it. 

The actual owner did not pay out everyone who had owned the car.  Just  the opposite.  He unknowingly bought a stolen car and was out the money he had spent on it.   I am not sure if he tried to recover his funds.  Doubt it would have been worth the cost and time.
Cars are a little different though; there are official title documents that change hands with them that prove ownership and a clear title.  If there's no title it needs to be established before a motor vehicle can be sold (for example a salvage title).  At least in CA the certificate of title document has a section to mail in to register any change of title when sold.  On destruction, like you scrap it, you likewise mail it in to let the DMV know so they can mark it as such.  If you have a lien on the car the CA DMV won't provide a title document until the lien is removed (for example a loan paid off, or traffic fines paid) to explicitly prevent you from selling it.

Buying a vehicle without proof of clean title... that's a self-inflicted problem.  Don't ever do that!

This is also why stolen cars are chopped and sold for parts; it's almost impossible to sell a stolen car.
It's common to scratch build purpose built cars (and motorcycles) for racing.  Custom built cars like these are not driven normally on public roads and have no VIN or title.   Have a look to get a better idea:

http://www.carvermuseum.org/drag-car-frame/ (http://www.carvermuseum.org/drag-car-frame/)

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Carl_Smith on February 03, 2019, 02:35:42 pm
I have a friend who purchased a used car here in the USA.  The car was purpose built and there is no title or VIN.   After paying for the car and owning it for some time, the police show up.  It turns out, the car was stolen some time ago and they had been tracking it. 

The actual owner did not pay out everyone who had owned the car.  Just  the opposite.  He unknowingly bought a stolen car and was out the money he had spent on it.   I am not sure if he tried to recover his funds.  Doubt it would have been worth the cost and time.
Cars are a little different though; there are official title documents that change hands with them that prove ownership and a clear title.  If there's no title it needs to be established before a motor vehicle can be sold (for example a salvage title).  At least in CA the certificate of title document has a section to mail in to register any change of title when sold.  On destruction, like you scrap it, you likewise mail it in to let the DMV know so they can mark it as such.  If you have a lien on the car the CA DMV won't provide a title document until the lien is removed (for example a loan paid off, or traffic fines paid) to explicitly prevent you from selling it.

Buying a vehicle without proof of clean title... that's a self-inflicted problem.  Don't ever do that!

This is also why stolen cars are chopped and sold for parts; it's almost impossible to sell a stolen car.
It's common to scratch build purpose built cars (and motorcycles) for racing.  Custom built cars like these are not driven normally on public roads and have no VIN or title.   Have a look to get a better idea:

http://www.carvermuseum.org/drag-car-frame/ (http://www.carvermuseum.org/drag-car-frame/)

It probably varies from state to state, and I don't know how many hoops you have to jump through, but at least in my area you can get titles and registration for a purpose built car.  There are probably certain requirements for being roadworthy and safe and having required things like turn signals. 

I occasionally go to a local monthly summer car show and a couple times there was a guy there with a car he called the "hot rod manure spreader."  He basically put an engine from a Grand Prix in the back, a seat in the middle, and a sawed off section of dash board in the front.  He had a registration card on display that said 'Make: Hand Built" and "Model: Hot Rod Manure Spreader."

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: vtwin@cox.net on February 03, 2019, 09:41:58 pm
It probably varies from state to state, and I don't know how many hoops you have to jump through, but at least in my area you can get titles and registration for a purpose built car.  There are probably certain requirements for being roadworthy and safe and having required things like turn signals. 

In the US, any self-propelled vehicle registered must have a vin. Even some non-self-propellled vehicles must have one. There's a process in each state for you to go through to obtain a vin for a custom-built vehicle. The exact requirements may vary slightly from state to state. Even replacing an engine (which is stamped with a vin) in a vehicle can be a nightmare.

I once built a homemade trailer with a 5k axle i had laying around. Of course the trailer frame wouldn't support 5K in weight, but the axle was free so I used what I had. When I went to register it I was asked for its axle rating, which I honestly said was 5k. The woman at the DMV told me I would have to apply for a VIN even though there was no way trailer would ever haul 5k. She gave me the paperwork and I left. On the way home, I stopped at another DMV branch and, when asked what the axle rating was, I lied and said 2k. No VIN necessary.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 04, 2019, 02:56:20 am
May be it is not a conspiracy and they just want the old HP instruments for a new museum.

Did not one of their old buildings burned down in the California fires last year?
That would be a conspiracy, to be honest. You'd employ dishonest stories and scare tactics to gain ownership of devices you don't have any right to.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 04, 2019, 02:59:03 am
Reimbursing the auction money would suck, if you bought the equipment defective (cheap), then repaired it. Which was the case in both scopes that I purchased.
Even if it's functional equipment it would suck. My lab is full of items I've bought for a good price and which I wouldn't be able to easily replace with something equivalent when given the same money for it. Right now it's on the bench, and finding a new one by waiting around for a couple of months and putting time and effort into searching auction sites isn't a trivial expense. Especially when projects depend on that specific tool being present. That it's not money out of my pocket doesn't mean it doesn't represent a significant value.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: joeqsmith on February 04, 2019, 03:34:01 am
I occasionally go to a local monthly summer car show and a couple times there was a guy there with a car he called the "hot rod manure spreader."  He basically put an engine from a Grand Prix in the back, a seat in the middle, and a sawed off section of dash board in the front.  He had a registration card on display that said 'Make: Hand Built" and "Model: Hot Rod Manure Spreader."

I've seen some pretty strange things show up at the local shows as well but never a manure spreader.  Funny! 
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Fraser on February 04, 2019, 04:07:03 am
This thread is an interesting read  :-+


The COTS technical equipment used for sensitive activities often becomes sensitive in itself as it often contains memory devices. Most OEM’s for such kit provide data sanitisation instructions to aid the disposal process. These guides detail what data is held and where it is in the equipment. Decommissioning usually removes these data repositories or leads to complete destruction of an equipment. In the world of secrets it is not a good idea to take chances with data leakage. Humans are fallible so there are often strict regulations on disposal of sensitive equipment and they are enforced.

If the equipment involved in this “recall” is covered by strict disposal regulations, it may be considered outside normal consumer law or what people see as “fair”. If there is a Government connection to the equipment, you will not be told of such as that would, in itself, be a security breach.

The equipment involved in this matter may well be of little threat to ‘national security’ but the very fact that Keysight have put their name to this embarrassing recovery process makes me think that it is a high stakes game at play. It would appear that someone made the mistake of seeing COTS test equipment and disposed of it without checking its disposal requirements. As I have said, the kit is likely not truly sensitive any more, but the very fact that it is possibly covered by strict disposal regulations could mean that it cannot be sold and must be destroyed.

To hobbyists this may seem very irrational and unfair. To those who work in Sensitive development labs it is totally logical and a requirement to avoid information leakage via the disposal channels.

So what should happen ? In a perfect World the equipment would be recovered and a replacement “non-sensitive” equipment or compensation provided. The compensation route can get complicated as, in truth, the buyer is likely to receive only market value or the amount paid, whichever is greater. Special consideration would be given to lost income and repairs carried out etc.

Can the equipment be recovered by force, like compulsory purchase ? That very much depends upon the situation and it’s implications. If the Government are involved, they have the power to enact compulsory purchase for the greater good. I personally would wish to avoid finding myself in that position as negotiating a fair compensation is likely a better deal.

Can a person ignore the recall ? Again this depends upon the seriousness of the situation and what is at stake. In some cases the actor behind the recall will avoid escalation in order to avoid publicity. In other, more serious, cases the countries Police (Special Branch in the UK) may be engaged in an attempt to recover the equipment through discussion rather than intimidation. Again, I would wish to avoid this situation as no one likes being part of a Police investigation.

You have to ask yourself why a large and well known company has embarked on this potentially embarrassing path of equipment recovery with Outback. It is not something that is likely to stay quiet for long, as this thread proves. Such a decision is likely driven by some serious ‘clout’ from outside Keysight.

My personal recommendation is to comply with the recall in a non confrontational manner and negotiate terms. Keysight will be well aware that the people it has contacted will be upset over this matter. They will want to keep negotiation amicable but trying to blackmail or gouge them for massive profit is doomed to failure and loses mutual respect. Better to discuss options in a sensible manner and possibly come away with a very good deal. My dealings with Keysight in the past have shown them to employ very decent and personable staff. They are not stupid and will know that the recovery process will likely incur anger from the persons effected. Surprise them by being friendly and work together for a solution.

Just my thoughts on the matter. Others will have a different view but think about what works for you in your particular situation. Advice from strangers is just advice. Make your own decisions based on facts and your moral compass.

Fraser
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: IDEngineer on February 04, 2019, 04:13:38 am
Custom built cars like these are not driven normally on public roads and have no VIN or title.
An interesting and related point: You do not require a driver's license, nor a vehicle license, to operate a motor vehicle on private property. If you don't drive on the public roads, you absolutely do not require a driver's license.

This is a very useful fact to raise when people attempt to justify "licensing" of certain other non-sentient objects which appear to be verboten to discuss on this site. At least in the States, it's very common to hear folks say "To own a [object] you should have to get a license like a driver's license, with required training and tests". Yet the only additional ability a driver's license yields is the ability to operate a motor vehicle on PUBLIC roads. Ironically, in most States there ALREADY exists a government-issued license to "operate" a [object] in public. Without one, you are limited to "operating" your [object] on private property. In other words, the condition these folks desire already exists!

Please note I am not advocating any particular position on the question of [object] ownership. I'm only pointing out that arguing for [object] licensing modeled after driver's licensing is in some cases exactly the opposite of what those folks think they want. Similar to the way a vehicle driven on public roads must have its operator licensed, whereas on private property that is totally unnecessary.

Separately: At least in the States, the government wants its money so quickly that they stock vehicle license plates at car dealerships and the dealer collects the fees and taxes at time of purchase. I have tried to declin this "service" by telling the dealer that I will obtain the license myself, to which they respond that they are "required" to collect the money and install the plate. Hmm... there are a lot of trucks (for example) purchased by farmers and ranchers that never leave their property and thus never need a license. I wonder what would happen if you showed up with a trailer and declined the license plates, since you then have a means by which to depart with the new car without operating it on public roads. I know, I know, sometimes I'm a rabble rouser.  >:D
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Fraser on February 04, 2019, 04:54:02 am
In case anyone is wondering, I have experienced a similar case first hand.

I legitmately purchased a COTS thermal camera via eBay.

It was modern so I followed my usual process of contacting the manufacturer to check that it was not registered stolen...... it wasn’t. End of story normally, but not this time.

The US OEM asked the UK agent to make contact with me. When I received an email asking me to ‘discus’ my camera with the UK Agent I knew trouble was headed my way :(

I phoned the chap in the UK.

Without going into too much detail I had a very special thermal camera in my possession. It was not for public release as it contained special firmware that gave it enhanced capabilities. The UK agent made it clear that someone had made a huge mistake selling the camera and he needed to recover it if possible. I was not threatened in any way but I knew the camera was Sold without the OEM’s authority, so could be deemed still the property of the OEM. My strong moral compass lead to the camera being collected from me in person by the UK Agent the next day.

Would I have been pursued if I had refused to co-operate ? Likely not. But I could not be certain and I was, in effect, in possession of a camera that had serious restrictions on its ownership. Morally I did not feel I could keep it.

Did I get compensated ? Yes, the UK agent paid me what the camera owed me, including the cost of some accessories that I had purchased, but no more. Was I disappointed with that, in truth yes. The camera had a very high market value in standard form and this unit was a very special, more capable type.

I miss owning that camera but my conscience is clear and I moved on from those events. No one can ever accuse me of owning a camera that is not legitimately my property and I am content with that situation  :)

Fraser

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 04, 2019, 04:58:22 am
In case anyone is wondering, I have experienced a similar case first hand.

I legitmately purchased a COTS thermal camera via eBay.

It was modern so I followed my usual process of contacting the manufacturer to check that it was not registered stolen...... it wasn’t. End of story normally, but not this time.

The US OEM asked the UK agent to make contact with me. When I received an email asking me to ‘discus’ my camera with the UK Agent I knew trouble was headed my way :(

I phoned the chap in the UK.

Without going into too much detail I had a very special thermal camera in my possession. It was not for public release as it contained special firmware that gave it enhanced capabilities. The UK agent made it clear that someone had made a huge mistake selling the camera and he needed to recover it if possible. I was not threatened in any way but I knew the camera was Sold without the OEM’s authority, so could be deemed still the property of the OEM. My strong moral compass lead to the camera being collected from me in person by the UK Agent the next day.

Would I have been pursued if I had refused to co-operate ? Likely not. But I could not be certain and I was, in effect, in possession of a camera that had serious restrictions on its ownership. Morally I did not feel I could keep it.

Did I get compensated ? Yes, the UK agent paid me what the camera owed me, including the cost of some accessories that I had purchased, but no more. Was I disappointed with that, in truth yes. The camera had a very high market value in standard form and this unit was a very special, more capable type.

I miss owning that camera but my conscience is clear and I moved on from those events. No one can ever accuse me of owning a camera that is not legitimately my property and I am content with that situation  :)

Fraser
One major difference would be that they didn't beat around the bush with some story about IP. They told you what's what and why they wanted that camera out of circulation. You weighed the arguments, were reasonable and returned the camera. That's how it should be done in my book, on both ends. Maybe you should have been compensated somewhat better, but it's reasonably close to an optimal scenario.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Fraser on February 04, 2019, 05:25:54 am
Mr Scram,

Agreed.

If I had been at Outback or Keysight, my approach would have been different.

I would have advised the new owner of the equipment that a human error had occurred and the equipment was not supposed to have been sold. I would state that recovery of the equipment was desired on a voluntary basis and that the owner would be compensated with either the full purchase cost plus additional compensation, to be discussed, or equivalent equipment.

Such a letter would be phase 1 of the recovery process and would likely sit well with most buyers. For those owners unwilling to respond in a positive manner, a second, phase 2 letter would be drafted that detailed the legal situation concerning  the equipments recovery and a request to accept the terms of ten first letter to avoid any legal escalation.

For the hard core owners who steadfastly refuse to return the equipment under any circumstances a third, phase 3, letter could be drafted with input from the legal team to detail the way forwards from the companies perspective, be that legal of further negotiations.

Equipment recovery requires a gentle and friendly approach that only ‘hardens’ to legal comment for those who need such ‘encouragement’ . Whether a company chooses to go to stage 3 very much depends upon the seriousness of the situation.

Fraser
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: joeqsmith on February 04, 2019, 06:15:23 am
Custom built cars like these are not driven normally on public roads and have no VIN or title.
An interesting and related point: You do not require a driver's license, nor a vehicle license, to operate a motor vehicle on private property. If you don't drive on the public roads, you absolutely do not require a driver's license.

...

 I wonder what would happen if you showed up with a trailer and declined the license plates, since you then have a means by which to depart with the new car without operating it on public roads. I know, I know, sometimes I'm a rabble rouser.  >:D

I would assume that is still perfectly legal.  Personally, I don't see anything wrong with it.   Now days though, someone may point you to social services for child endangerment.   :palm:       

For drag racing, kids are allowed to race at a fairly young age but there are strict rules for them.   There are also different organizations and depending what tracks you run at, they may have different license requirements.   I would assume some of this has to do with the track's insurance.    For myself, getting a license was fairly straightforward.  I have a friend who wanted to drive a more exotic vehicle.  I was amazed at the testing they do.  Safety first.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: rsjsouza on February 04, 2019, 09:10:09 am
I would have advised the new owner of the equipment that a human error had occurred and the equipment was not supposed to have been sold. I would state that recovery of the equipment was desired on a voluntary basis and that the owner would be compensated with either the full purchase cost plus additional compensation, to be discussed, or equivalent equipment.

Such a letter would be phase 1 of the recovery process and would likely sit well with most buyers. For those owners unwilling to respond in a positive manner, a second, phase 2 letter would be drafted that detailed the legal situation concerning  the equipments recovery and a request to accept the terms of ten first letter to avoid any legal escalation.

For the hard core owners who steadfastly refuse to return the equipment under any circumstances a third, phase 3, letter could be drafted with input from the legal team to detail the way forwards from the companies perspective, be that legal of further negotiations.

Equipment recovery requires a gentle and friendly approach that only ‘hardens’ to legal comment for those who need such ‘encouragement’ . Whether a company chooses to go to stage 3 very much depends upon the seriousness of the situation.
Exactly. The trouble in this particular case is that the task of phase 1 was (most probably) given to legal and not to field sales, applications engineering or market relations teams. They crafted the letter using what they know best, and not what it would be most suited to the target audience of the letter. Now it is up to the aforementioned teams (sales, application or market relations) to clear up the air. Oh well, such is life.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Stray Electron on February 04, 2019, 10:56:04 am
  rsjsouze and Fraser,

   You're overlooking the fact that at least one person here has already contacted HP regarding this over a month ago and that HP has failed to respond.  I would call that very odd since all the letters have demanded the return of the items within mere days of the time that the letter was sent. My case they demanded the returned within one day of the time that the letter was received.

  I wish the rest of you would take your car discussions elsewhere, these items are not a car and you don't have to licensed to own or operate this equipment and it is not required to be titled with any government agency.  And there may be security aspects to these cases, again unlike owning an unregistered car, so nothing that you've brought up regarding car ownership is applicable here.

    I think that if we were were dealing with stolen equipment here, HP's letters would have said so; so I'm sensing a SCAM or possibly something far more serious.  I too have dealt with um, "misplaced" .GOV items,  in every case that I know of FED agents from the DOD came looking for it. Usually they won't even tell you what they're looking for, they just look around and if they don't find what they're looking for then they just say "thank you for your time" and leave and that's the end of it.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: RoGeorge on February 04, 2019, 11:14:38 am
Did anybody contacted Keysight using official channels other than the link or phone suggested in that strange letter?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 04, 2019, 11:16:15 am
Did anybody contacted Keysight using official channels other than the link or phone suggested in that strange letter?
Yes, that's standard protocol with these kinds of things. I'd also ask Outback about what they know about it.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: gnavigator1007 on February 04, 2019, 11:16:56 am
Daniel had replied saying the guy was legit tho he was unaware of the situation. Wish he'd comment further here
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: joeqsmith on February 04, 2019, 11:20:32 am
  I wish the rest of you would take your car discussions elsewhere, these items are not a car and you don't have to licensed to own or operate this equipment and it is not required to be titled with any government agency.  And there may be security aspects to these cases, again unlike owning an unregistered car, so nothing that you've brought up regarding car ownership is applicable here.

I wish a lot of things as well but it's a public site.    Again, I brought it up as an example of buying stolen property and loss of payment. 
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 04, 2019, 11:31:37 am
Daniel had replied saying the guy was legit tho he was unaware of the situation. Wish he'd comment further here
Daniel confirmed the name was an actual colleague, but did they ever confirm the letter was actually sent by him?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: openloop on February 04, 2019, 11:58:16 am
Quote
You're overlooking the fact that at least one person here has already contacted HP regarding this over a month ago and that HP has failed to respond.  I would call that very odd since all the letters have demanded the return of the items within mere days of the time that the letter was sent. My case they demanded the returned within one day of the time that the letter was received.

Actually no, they do not demand items immediately returned. They ask for "withdrawal of the equipment from the market" by that date.

My understanding is that currently they are in the tracking phase. Considering substantial amount of equipment involved it's too early for them to decide on how to proceed with transactions.

Of course, a conspiracy theorist in me says that it might be some kind of ITAR related bullshit. 
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Stray Electron on February 04, 2019, 12:10:18 pm
Quote
Of course, a conspiracy theorist in me says that it might be some kind of ITAR related bullshit.

   I thought about that too but I don't think so in this case, they're still continuing to sell the same models on E-bay (AFIK with no export restrictions) and I THINK all of the buyers on this forum that have received a letter are located in the US. We all seem to be end users and not resellers so there's little chance that we're going to export the items that we have.  Someone can go look but I think HP as been selling the same models world wide since they introduced them.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: gnavigator1007 on February 04, 2019, 12:12:29 pm
Daniel confirmed the name was an actual colleague, but did they ever confirm the letter was actually sent by him?
Not that I've seen. The OP has been in contact now with Keysight, but they did not say if it was thru the contact info in the letter or thru some other avenue. I'm looking forward to reading about the resolution of this issue, provided they are able to talk about it.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: openloop on February 04, 2019, 12:22:07 pm
I just sent a message to Outback via eBay for them to confirm legitimacy of The Letter. I assume that Outback is still in control of that particular line of communication.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: gnavigator1007 on February 04, 2019, 12:29:34 pm
Just realised that in the OP's letter no actual Keysight contact info is given for Marc Mayer. Contact is c/o Vincent Harrington, Durie Tangri LLP. The phone number and email address at least match the firm's website info.
 https://durietangri.com/staff/vincent-harrington
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 04, 2019, 06:36:03 pm
Hi everyone, sorry for going silent for a while.

I still can't really talk about details and don't know the entire situation. I spoke with Marc, who I've worked closely with on many projects, and he confirmed this was all legit.

As soon as I can say more, I will post it here!

Essentially, though, this gear was never supposed to be available or sold for various reasons. If you have some of it and received a letter/correspondence, please respond. We're not going to do anything crazy or insane.

Thanks for your patience!
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 04, 2019, 06:57:46 pm
Thank you Daniel.  Now we are very clear on this as a legitimate exercise.

We will certainly be very interested in any details that can be disclosed - but I suspect the circumstances are going to include some rather immutable restrictions on just how much can be divulged.  Personally, I'm not expecting that we will be given much more then we could surmise.

While we may not get to know any details about what went wrong, there has been some curiosity and interest already expressed about the recovery process, in particular the "made whole" phrase.  Some explanation on what that might look like would be welcome, I'm sure.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: CatInTheHatKnowsAboutThat on February 04, 2019, 07:46:45 pm
I have seen these letters and I consider them to be highly illegal. These letters are really an attempt at "restraint of trade" disguised as "intellectual property" rights. The letter i saw was talking about and old HP 8349B (1991) instrument obsoleted in 2003 by Keysight; the predecessor to the HP 8349B was the HP 8349A (1984) - so we are talking about 28 to 35 year old equipment. Keysight alleges "intellectual property" rights as the reason for dictating that anyone who has the equipment cannot sell it "because Keysight did not give its permission" and that the basis for this request is that Keysight is "protecting its intellectual property rights". This is an utterly an insane argument. The letter is signed by a paralegal of the Durie Tangri LLP law firm in San Francisco; a paralegal rather than an attorney ! If Keysight was worried about their "intellectual property rights" then why even sell the units to begin with; why wait till now ? The letter asserts that Keysight didn't give its permission for resale...what the hell !? That position is the same as saying that GM or Ford or Toyota has to give its permission before you can re-sell your car because of "intellectual property rights"; that is utterly nuts ! My belief is that Keysight is attempting to force old equipment out of the market so they can sell new equipment. The car manufacturers have a similar problem - the main competition for "new" cars are "old" cars. If this Keysight legal bluff stands then you can bet you won't be able to sell "old model year" cars in the future. My advice is to report your letters to the California Attorney General's office using their on-line complaint form. I suspect there will be a class-action lawsuit against Keysight in the near future. Use this link to get to the Calif. State Attorney General's on-line complaint form : https://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: CatInTheHatKnowsAboutThat on February 04, 2019, 08:04:41 pm
My advice is to contact the Calif. State Attorney's office (https://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company) and let's just see whether this is a legitimate request; I highly suspect that it is not a legitimate request and that meek compliance is absolutely NOT the answer here. The right to operate without restraint of trade from powerful, competitive bullies and freedom is at stake.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 04, 2019, 08:18:39 pm
A valid complaint for sure.

I'd like to see the full nature of the issue out in the open rather than this somewhat opaque wall in front of it and some vague assurances.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 04, 2019, 08:25:28 pm
I'd like to see the full nature of the issue out in the open rather than this somewhat opaque wall in front of it and some vague assurances.

We'd all like to see that - but if there are confidentiality clauses encased in a contract, then no matter how much one party might want to disclose, they will be bound to silence.

This is something that we must expect and that we must respect - no matter how much some won't like it.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 04, 2019, 08:32:42 pm
They can expand on the nature of the complaint without breaking confidentiality. The mechanism is rarely bound by confidentially but the parties are.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: CJay on February 04, 2019, 10:12:25 pm
I could imagine and understand Keysight getting its collective pants in a bunch if someone sold a bunch of development or otherwise embargoed gear, I hold the opinion that they're a decent company* to deal with and will make things right so it'll be interesting to watch and see how this unfolds, if the reasons come out in public

*despite them not wanting to sell me a stand for my LCR meter for a reasonable price but that's another matter entirely  :)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Jwalling on February 04, 2019, 10:14:11 pm
If you have some of it and received a letter/correspondence, please respond. We're not going to do anything crazy or insane.

Thanks for your patience!

I have, and yet I received no response at all from Mr. Harrington.
Looking through my sent emails, there were two; On 12/20/18 and 12/26/2018. I only got read receipts from his email client (which I saved just in case.)

I'm going to send a third email to him this morning.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: OwO on February 04, 2019, 10:31:49 pm
Might be better to just ignore the email, mark it as unread (if you haven't read it yet, don't click it), and pretend you never saw it.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Gandalf_Sr on February 04, 2019, 10:32:10 pm
Ohhh, this is exciting; maybe the used Keysight test gear I just bought may have been used to test the zero point energy power system for an alien reproduction vehicle but Daniel can't tell us about it until there's official disclosure that we are not alone, and the fossil fuel industry is all a scam because energy is essentially free.

Why is there a black helicopter hovering over my house?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: glarsson on February 04, 2019, 10:38:21 pm
Might be better to just ignore the email, mark it as unread (if you haven't read it yet, don't click it), and pretend you never saw it.
And then everyone who replied got brand new instruments while the non repliers had their instruments taken away by men in black helicopters...
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: eKretz on February 05, 2019, 02:12:24 am
I have seen these letters and I consider them to be highly illegal. These letters are really an attempt at "restraint of trade" disguised as "intellectual property" rights. The letter i saw was talking about and old HP 8349B (1991) instrument obsoleted in 2003 by Keysight; the predecessor to the HP 8349B was the HP 8349A (1984) - so we are talking about 28 to 35 year old equipment. Keysight alleges "intellectual property" rights as the reason for dictating that anyone who has the equipment cannot sell it "because Keysight did not give its permission" and that the basis for this request is that Keysight is "protecting its intellectual property rights". This is an utterly an insane argument. The letter is signed by a paralegal of the Durie Tangri LLP law firm in San Francisco; a paralegal rather than an attorney ! If Keysight was worried about their "intellectual property rights" then why even sell the units to begin with; why wait till now ? The letter asserts that Keysight didn't give its permission for resale...what the hell !? That position is the same as saying that GM or Ford or Toyota has to give its permission before you can re-sell your car because of "intellectual property rights"; that is utterly nuts ! My belief is that Keysight is attempting to force old equipment out of the market so they can sell new equipment. The car manufacturers have a similar problem - the main competition for "new" cars are "old" cars. If this Keysight legal bluff stands then you can bet you won't be able to sell "old model year" cars in the future. My advice is to report your letters to the California Attorney General's office using their on-line complaint form. I suspect there will be a class-action lawsuit against Keysight in the near future. Use this link to get to the Calif. State Attorney General's on-line complaint form : https://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company

You don't seem to understand the way the law works very well with respect to sensitive items and contracts, might want to take off that tinfoil hat a minute...

If this is indeed a national security or other similar issue, there will have been a SIGNED LEGAL CONTRACT specifying the way the equipment MUST be disposed of. Signatories to such a contract are BOUND BY LAW to do as the contract says as long as there are no illegal terms... This is nowhere near akin to buying and selling a car or other benign piece of property.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: MadTux on February 05, 2019, 02:57:38 am
You don't seem to understand the way the law works very well with respect to sensitive items and contracts, might want to take off that tinfoil hat a minute...

If this is indeed a national security or other similar issue, there will have been a SIGNED LEGAL CONTRACT specifying the way the equipment MUST be disposed of. Signatories to such a contract are BOUND BY LAW to do as the contract says as long as there are no illegal terms... This is nowhere near akin to buying and selling a car or other benign piece of property.

Good luck getting it back, if the buyer lives in a country that isn't in bed with the US of A. Such as China, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria etc.
Here in Switzerland, I would tell them to fuck off. USA has nothing to say over here.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 05, 2019, 03:15:01 am
You don't seem to understand the way the law works very well with respect to sensitive items and contracts, might want to take off that tinfoil hat a minute...

If this is indeed a national security or other similar issue, there will have been a SIGNED LEGAL CONTRACT specifying the way the equipment MUST be disposed of. Signatories to such a contract are BOUND BY LAW to do as the contract says as long as there are no illegal terms... This is nowhere near akin to buying and selling a car or other benign piece of property.

Not necessarily the case. Formal government issued requisition order would be required otherwise it is just standard property. The issue is likely between the contract parties unless the goods are stolen which they are not but this is likely a hole in the party's contracts. I did a bit of work in this space in the past when dealing with the politics of moving defence kit from US to UK. We had to get the UK home office and DoD senior staff involved in it to give you an idea how high it had to be escalated before anyone gave a fuck.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: analogRF on February 05, 2019, 03:33:46 am
I know it has been confirmed by now that the request is legit and comes from Keysight. But still I would have expected the letter refer to a specific instrument by S/N or something. It seems to me they are not referring to a specific instrument by S/N. In case of Jwalling, the letter only refers to some order number and they don't even know the exact date of purchase.

It seems to me that Outback acquired a batch of equipment in an auction (probably a government auction) which they were not supposed to for whatever reason, perhaps that batch of equipment should not have been liquidated in the way they were because of contractual agreements or national security requirements. And now that agency which owned those equipment (and made the mistake of auctioning them) is pushing Keysight to recover them without revealing their identity. So they are going after all the buyers of that batch of equipment whether it was an oscilloscope or a torque wrench
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: eKretz on February 05, 2019, 06:22:23 am
You don't seem to understand the way the law works very well with respect to sensitive items and contracts, might want to take off that tinfoil hat a minute...

If this is indeed a national security or other similar issue, there will have been a SIGNED LEGAL CONTRACT specifying the way the equipment MUST be disposed of. Signatories to such a contract are BOUND BY LAW to do as the contract says as long as there are no illegal terms... This is nowhere near akin to buying and selling a car or other benign piece of property.

Not necessarily the case. Formal government issued requisition order would be required otherwise it is just standard property. The issue is likely between the contract parties unless the goods are stolen which they are not but this is likely a hole in the party's contracts. I did a bit of work in this space in the past when dealing with the politics of moving defence kit from US to UK. We had to get the UK home office and DoD senior staff involved in it to give you an idea how high it had to be escalated before anyone gave a fuck.

You're not saying anything contrary to what I wrote. The consequences of the contract being broken (if that is even what happened, we don't have all the information here) fall on the signatory. The people who unkowingly bought the equipment are not likely to face any consequences that I can think of. At worst, they will be compelled to give it back if the government gets involved - though that probably won't be enforceable to anything shipped outside the U.S. as noted by another fellow.

I tend to agree with Fraser's approach... I would at least communicate with Keysight and see what they're offering before getting in a huge huff.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: chriswebb on February 05, 2019, 07:56:38 am
I too was caught up in this kerfuffle. Would very much like to hear what the root cause is, and I am definitely unwilling to just get a refund of my purchase price because the equipment is worth far more to me than the money.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: philpem on February 05, 2019, 08:04:24 am
Seems like the best bet would be to give them a ring and offer equivalent exchange.. but I'm  :horse:  a bit as several people have said this now...!

Definitely hope Keysight / Outback make a like-for-like offer privately with those involved...
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Kleinstein on February 05, 2019, 08:15:13 am
You don't seem to understand the way the law works very well with respect to sensitive items and contracts, might want to take off that tinfoil hat a minute...

If this is indeed a national security or other similar issue, there will have been a SIGNED LEGAL CONTRACT specifying the way the equipment MUST be disposed of. Signatories to such a contract are BOUND BY LAW to do as the contract says as long as there are no illegal terms... This is nowhere near akin to buying and selling a car or other benign piece of property.

Good luck getting it back, if the buyer lives in a country that isn't in bed with the US of A. Such as China, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria etc.
Here in Switzerland, I would tell them to fuck off. USA has nothing to say over here.

The ones that responded here where still in the US. Not sure if they would even send this letter to outside the US and maybe Canada. Due to the high weight of old RF instruments it is not that likely they would be send out so fast.

Reselling computers with software can be more complicated. Especially with more special software there may be separate software licenses that do no permit resale. However this restriction may not be valid in all cases - especially if there is no real paper contract on this.
However I would be surprised if such a restriction would apply to a relatively normal scope. Restrictions on resale due to special pricing (e.g. for government / military) could be another issue - though this might more effect the original sellers pocket and less the one who in good faith bought the unit.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: tautech on February 05, 2019, 08:23:48 am
Just what could the sensitive IP be that these units in question contain ?

Military Coms decoders ?

Can anyone outline a list ?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: openloop on February 05, 2019, 08:42:56 am
Quote
Just what could the sensitive IP be that these units in question contain ?

Nothing. In my case it's just a humble 34401A

Only thing valuable for them here are serial numbers on the back.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: tggzzz on February 05, 2019, 09:02:05 am
I too was caught up in this kerfuffle. Would very much like to hear what the root cause is, and I am definitely unwilling to just get a refund of my purchase price because the equipment is worth far more to me than the money.

Was that what was offered?

I suspect my attitude would be to attempt, in good faith, to re-sell the item to a prospective purchaser at a price that is acceptable to me and the prospective purchaser.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: IDEngineer on February 05, 2019, 09:13:52 am
Quote
Just what could the sensitive IP be that these units in question contain ?
Nothing. In my case it's just a humble 34401A. Only thing valuable for them here are serial numbers on the back.
And the serial numbers may be enough to make it matter.

Here's how the law really shakes out on this. If the original seller and original buyer contractually agreed to dispose of some object in some specific way, and that didn't happen, the problem rests with that original buyer. THEY are the ones who subsequently sold/discarded/etc. the item in question differently that contractually required. The only way this would be different in normal commerce is if the original buyer somehow made the next possessor a party to the original contract terms. An example of this might be a subcontractor on a project; say McDonnell Douglas has the top-level contract but they sub out the avionics to Garmin. Garmin might have a legitimate need for the "special" test equipment, so McDD would include provisions in their subcontract with Garmin making it very clear to Garmin that the equipment either had to be returned or provably disposed in some traceable manner, so McDD could then prove to their customer that the terms of the original contract had been followed.

If the above didn't occur, then the responsibility for compliance rests with the original party to the original contract. The problem for THEM is that, if the equipment in question was sold outside the terms of the original contract, they still possess the obligation to perform. And if that performance is linked to specific serial numbers, then they literally have to get the original devices back or be able to conclusively prove that the equipment was lost or destroyed beyond their ability to recover it (accidents do happen). They can't just shrug their shoulders, and they can't get someone like Outback6 or the eBay purchaser to perjure themselves and say "it's lost". They're stuck with the liability and have to fix it.

On the eBay buyer's side: If the equipment was stolen and then sold on eBay, the eBay buyer may be out of luck legally. You have no right to stolen property since the property rights were not properly assigned by the original buyer. The eBay buyer might be able to recover their money from the eBay seller, but that is entirely separate from the question of possession and legal ownership of the item itself.

If the original buyer mistakenly transferred the item to the eBay seller, then the eBay buyer could be in a weird place. You could argue that there is a paper trail proving transfer of ownership, but remember that you cannot assign rights that you do not possess. If the original buyer did not have the legal right to transfer ownership of the item, the fact that they wrote and signed a document saying otherwise doesn't mean it's legitimate. They are still on the hook for compliance with the original agreement unless the other party to the original agreement releases them from that requirement. Doesn't sound like that's the case here!
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: radiolistener on February 05, 2019, 10:38:33 am
May be the problem is HP logo on the device :)

One people who worked in the company which was acquired by HP told me that they used special stickers in order to hide non HP logo on the working notebooks, because all these notebooks should have been destroyed and not allowed to resell (just because it was not HP brand). But they didn't had replacement in time and were forced to use non HP equipment with stickers to hide non HP logos   :-DD
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Carl_Smith on February 05, 2019, 10:57:12 am
My belief is that Keysight is attempting to force old equipment out of the market so they can sell new equipment.

That, in my opinion, is ridiculous, and makes no sense at all, for several reasons.

1. They offered to "make whole" the people who have the equipment they are seeking return on.  So it's going to cost them money for every unit returned, not create replacement sales.

2. The number of units they are seeking are nothing compared to the amount of used equipment still in use.  So again, this will not generate significant replacement sales, even if the people in possession of this equipment did have to buy a replacement.

3. And last but not least, this is generating a lot of negative PR for them, which is far more damaging to the company than any gain they might get by selling some new replacement test equipment.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 05, 2019, 10:59:37 am
My belief is that Keysight is attempting to force old equipment out of the market so they can sell new equipment.

Definitely not the case. It's totally fine to resell equipment on the market, and we'd never try to stop that. The concern is around these specific instruments.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: tautech on February 05, 2019, 11:03:25 am
The concern is around these specific instruments.
Really, which ones ?

Even these:
Quote
Just what could the sensitive IP be that these units in question contain ?

Nothing. In my case it's just a humble 34401A

Only thing valuable for them here are serial numbers on the back.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: 0culus on February 05, 2019, 11:32:35 am
The only explanation that makes sense given what we have seen is the scenario that's been beaten to death where someone was either contractually obligated to destroy some instruments for whatever legal reason (and they failed to do so) or they were used for classified work and were not to be resold period. There is no sensical reason why an HP spectrum analyzer that's from the early-mid 90s still has sensitive IP in it.

I personally think that the former is more likely...if these instruments really were part of a classified lab these buyers probably would have been visited by federal agents for retrieval.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: langwadt on February 05, 2019, 11:49:38 am
The only explanation that makes sense given what we have seen is the scenario that's been beaten to death where someone was either contractually obligated to destroy some instruments for whatever legal reason (and they failed to do so) or they were used for classified work and were not to be resold period. There is no sensical reason why an HP spectrum analyzer that's from the early-mid 90s still has sensitive IP in it.

I personally think that the former is more likely...if these instruments really were part of a classified lab these buyers probably would have been visited by federal agents for retrieval.

reminded me of this old story of buying a used jet engine, https://maps.roadtrippers.com/stories/art-arfons
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Bud on February 05, 2019, 11:51:18 am
Could it be that the equipment was contaminated or had a risk of  being contaminated in some form ..?  :scared:
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: gnavigator1007 on February 05, 2019, 11:55:13 am
Could it be that the equipment was contaminated or had a risk of  being contaminated in some form ..?  :scared:

Contaminated by IP  :-DD
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: 0culus on February 05, 2019, 11:55:45 am
You'd hope that if that was the case they would let the people who bought the stuff know...
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: openloop on February 05, 2019, 12:20:34 pm
Quote
Could it be that the equipment was contaminated or had a risk of  being contaminated in some form ..?

I've dusted off my Geiger as soon as I finished reading my copy of The Letter.
All clear - nothing but background...   :phew:
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 05, 2019, 12:44:23 pm
Could it be that the equipment was contaminated or had a risk of  being contaminated in some form ..?  :scared:
Hardly.  If that were to be the case, I would expect a much more active campaign.


Look - I and others have described a much more plausible scenario ... that the equipment being chased down was under some contractual requirement that expressly forbade any of it from getting out in the wild.

Simple.  No conspiracy.  No special versions of equipment.  Nothing that would compromise national security.  Just a clause in a contract - and if that clause required a perfectly good, stock standard 34401A to be ground into dust, then it has to be ground into dust.  Scream and wail all you like at the savagery and waste (I'll be one of those) - but it's what has to be done.

In truth, there is probably no real risk of anything greater than a signatory of the contract getting a huge kick up the bum for failing to adhere to the terms - and that having one of these bits of kit on your bench will cause no other issues - other than it needs to be acquired, so that the terms of the contract can be fulfilled.


This is such a simple concept, I find it hard to comprehend how some people have trouble understanding it.

As for those wanting "to stick it to the man", then I feel sorry for you.  Aside from being a rather anarchical  attitude, it's just going to make the whole process that much more laborious.  Personally, I'd be interested in what was being offered in compensation before deciding a response.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: sokoloff on February 05, 2019, 12:49:34 pm
I too have dealt with um, "misplaced" .GOV items,  in every case that I know of FED agents from the DOD came looking for it. Usually they won't even tell you what they're looking for, they just look around and if they don't find what they're looking for then they just say "thank you for your time" and leave and that's the end of it.
The search warrant will detail the place(s) they are authorized to search and the item(s) they are looking for. They're not snooping around without one.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: sokoloff on February 05, 2019, 12:56:16 pm
Is there anyone here who wouldn't accept new or factory refurb equipment with a current cal certificate in exchange for whatever random level of functionality is characterized by a typical auction purchase?  :-//

Hey Keysight, I've got 3 3458As, 2 3456s, and a couple of 34401As that just might be part of this Area 51 operation. You're more than invited to replace them with new if you like.  :-DD
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: nctnico on February 05, 2019, 01:13:44 pm
If the original buyer mistakenly transferred the item to the eBay seller, then the eBay buyer could be in a weird place. You could argue that there is a paper trail proving transfer of ownership, but remember that you cannot assign rights that you do not possess.
That depends entirely on the local law. In the Netherlands for example: if you buy a stolen item for a reasonable price and had no indication that it was stolen it is yours. The original owner can not claim it. Everyone is supposed to have insurance against theft and it limits the number of victims of a crime.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Psi on February 05, 2019, 01:38:22 pm
The only explanation that makes sense given what we have seen is the scenario that's been beaten to death where someone was either contractually obligated to destroy some instruments for whatever legal reason (and they failed to do so) or they were used for classified work and were not to be resold period. There is no sensical reason why an HP spectrum analyzer that's from the early-mid 90s still has sensitive IP in it.

It may have customized firmware on it, with features intended for military/medical/aerospace testing.
Or it could just be firmware that was collaborated on by HP and a 3rd party.
The extra features may not be anything we would consider special in today's market and other off-the-shelf equipment may have the same features.
The issue likely comes from the firmware containing IP that was restricted at the time it was written and/or still under contracts that forbid its distribution.

It could also be that a shipment of test gear was supplied under contract and some of it was customized.
The contract may not have differentiated between which equipment in the shipment was custom and which was standard. Hence the contract restricting sale applies to the whole shipment.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: IDEngineer on February 05, 2019, 02:53:12 pm
In the Netherlands for example: if you buy a stolen item for a reasonable price and had no indication that it was stolen it is yours. The original owner can not claim it.
Seriously? That's amazing. Can't say I agree with that theory since it basically rewards (or at least tolerates) criminal behavior. I'm sure the thief would still be charged if caught, but I can't believe the government would knowingly allow a downstream buyer to benefit from the fruit of a poisoned tree. It's a wedding ring, a family heirloom, been in the family for generations... the police caught the thief and know where the ring is... but too bad for the totally innocent victim? The victim did absolutely nothing wrong, and everyone knows where this irreplacable family heirloom is, yet the innocent victim has no recourse?!?

Even better: The object was stolen from the government itself. They can't force its retrieval if you bought it "in good faith"?
Title: THE TEST EQUIPMENT MUST FLOW!!!!!!!!
Post by: coppercone2 on February 05, 2019, 03:45:32 pm
yo just say you sold it out of a van in some bad neighborhood close to your house

I have 0 understanding why you people did not delete the inane emails immediately without even reading them ????

even if someone came to my house I would just claim I was john magnamus or something unless it was some serious FBI shit. Like if they ambushed me going to take out the trash or something. Otherwise why open the door or letter?

none of the middle men care either, the postal service wants the business and so does eBay.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 05, 2019, 03:59:16 pm
I can just see your reaction when everyone who cooperated got brand new kit as compensation (if that is something they would do) - and you got stuck with a second hand unit you couldn't tell anyone about or even send it out for calibration or repair.

This "up yours" attitude seem so unnecessary - and silly.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: coppercone2 on February 05, 2019, 04:11:52 pm
what are they gonna do, buy everything on eBay? just sell it as normal.

good hunting

you wanna risk being on corporate 'good will' compensation lol??
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Electro Detective on February 05, 2019, 09:00:52 pm

Is there anyone here who wouldn't accept new or factory refurb equipment with a current cal certificate in exchange for whatever random level of functionality is characterized by a typical auction purchase?  :-//

Hey Keysight, I've got 3 3458As, 2 3456s, and a couple of 34401As that just might be part of this Area 51 operation. You're more than invited to replace them with new if you like.  :-DD




I find it hard to digest why this has not happened already  :-//

is it too simply complicated ?   

or is it some bully boy corporat b!tchiness or buck stop denial game at play here ? :palm:

 
Another option is to roll with advice from the The King  :-+


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PU5xxh5UX4U (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PU5xxh5UX4U)


Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Jwalling on February 05, 2019, 09:05:28 pm
If you have some of it and received a letter/correspondence, please respond. We're not going to do anything crazy or insane.

Thanks for your patience!

I have, and yet I received no response at all from Mr. Harrington.
Looking through my sent emails, there were two; On 12/20/18 and 12/26/2018. I only got read receipts from his email client (which I saved just in case.)

I'm going to send a third email to him this morning.

Another email, and another read receipt with no response. I guess they're not that serious about resolving their issue.
I wrote:
Quote
Mr. Harrington,

It's now been over a month since I responded to this issue and yet I've received nothing back from you other than your email clients read receipt, which means you probably read them.
Why no response?

Can you tell me more about this issue?
Apparently, this is not the only equipment that Keysight is trying to retrieve. This is causing quite a stir on EEVblog:
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/keysight-ip-intimidation/ (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/keysight-ip-intimidation/)

I guess the cat's out of the bag...
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 05, 2019, 09:06:14 pm
It seems pretty stupid that nobody has done a formal categorisation of equipment types to seperate things that can contain sensitive info from those that can't.
There is no way that a few stored setups or readings in a DMM could be any use to anyone, as there would be no context to interpret what the data represented.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Jwalling on February 05, 2019, 09:13:29 pm
It seems pretty stupid that nobody has done a formal categorisation of equipment types to seperate things that can contain sensitive info from those that can't.
There is no way that a few stored setups or readings in a DMM could be any use to anyone, as there would be no context to interpret what the data represented.

Somebody mentioned custom firmware, which could be a possibility.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 05, 2019, 10:22:31 pm
It seems pretty stupid that nobody has done a formal categorisation of equipment types to seperate things that can contain sensitive info from those that can't.
There is no way that a few stored setups or readings in a DMM could be any use to anyone, as there would be no context to interpret what the data represented.

Somebody mentioned custom firmware, which could be a possibility.

I don't think there is any real issue with there being some "secret sauce" or confidential data involved here.  Certainly, it may be possible - but my money is on something much more mundane.  As I said elsewhere...

Look - I and others have described a much more plausible scenario ... that the equipment being chased down was under some contractual requirement that expressly forbade any of it from getting out in the wild.

Simple.  No conspiracy.  No special versions of equipment.  Nothing that would compromise national security.  Just a clause in a contract - and if that clause required a perfectly good, stock standard 34401A to be ground into dust, then it has to be ground into dust.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: CJay on February 05, 2019, 11:40:47 pm
It seems pretty stupid that nobody has done a formal categorisation of equipment types to seperate things that can contain sensitive info from those that can't.
There is no way that a few stored setups or readings in a DMM could be any use to anyone, as there would be no context to interpret what the data represented.

Somebody mentioned custom firmware, which could be a possibility.

I don't think there is any real issue with there being some "secret sauce" or confidential data involved here.  Certainly, it may be possible - but my money is on something much more mundane.  As I said elsewhere...

Look - I and others have described a much more plausible scenario ... that the equipment being chased down was under some contractual requirement that expressly forbade any of it from getting out in the wild.

Simple.  No conspiracy.  No special versions of equipment.  Nothing that would compromise national security.  Just a clause in a contract - and if that clause required a perfectly good, stock standard 34401A to be ground into dust, then it has to be ground into dust.

That's where my money goes too, one site has certain kit here that has to be shredded, we aren't allowed to recycle components from it, it doesn't matter that the RAM or CPUs have been powered off for months, it gets shredded.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Top Gun on February 05, 2019, 11:53:15 pm
I thought it would be illegal to contact EBAY customers offline . So If you bought something off EBAY your info cannot be used off EBAY .
 So since Keysight and Outback are threatening EBAY customers without EBAYS authority EBAY will step in . Its really seems that Keysight and Outback
 do not understand the use of EBAY's policys and legal stipulations . So Ebay might be telling Keysight and Outback to stop this . HUMM the Big Boys get in trouble
 with the BIGGER BOY !!! This will be very interesting to see what happens .
 Just my Humble observation on this .   
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Towger on February 06, 2019, 12:17:35 am
In the outside world, eBay's rules are not worth the paper they are written on.  Now European data protection laws are another story and sharing personal data with another 3rd party can get a company in a whole load of expensive trouble.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: LapTop006 on February 06, 2019, 12:53:23 am
It seems pretty stupid that nobody has done a formal categorisation of equipment types to seperate things that can contain sensitive info from those that can't.
There is no way that a few stored setups or readings in a DMM could be any use to anyone, as there would be no context to interpret what the data represented.

Even if that were the case, assuming it's a known leaky firmware or custom mods on *some* of the instruments in the batch perhaps Keysight simply don't want to leak which ones should get a deeper look?

I'm almost disappointed that the only thing I've bought from Outback in the last few years was a BROWN-era Keithley DMM.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: nctnico on February 06, 2019, 01:28:11 am
It seems pretty stupid that nobody has done a formal categorisation of equipment types to seperate things that can contain sensitive info from those that can't.
There is no way that a few stored setups or readings in a DMM could be any use to anyone, as there would be no context to interpret what the data represented.
That is not how it works. In a distant past I also worked in a secure environment. Simple stuff like a pipe fitting had to be destroyed because it was used in conjuction with a military vehicle. The combination of equipment used can hint towards what was done with it.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: KaneTW on February 06, 2019, 01:29:38 am
I thought it would be illegal to contact EBAY customers offline . So If you bought something off EBAY your info cannot be used off EBAY .
 So since Keysight and Outback are threatening EBAY customers without EBAYS authority EBAY will step in . Its really seems that Keysight and Outback
 do not understand the use of EBAY's policys and legal stipulations . So Ebay might be telling Keysight and Outback to stop this . HUMM the Big Boys get in trouble
 with the BIGGER BOY !!! This will be very interesting to see what happens .
 Just my Humble observation on this .

It's neither illegal nor a breach of eBay's policy. And if you seriously think eBay's policies matter, I have a bridge to sell you.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Johnboy on February 06, 2019, 02:27:27 am
At the point of nine pages of this, my observation is that much has been made of whether these companies can force a buyer to return equipment purchased from them, not whether it's advantageous to the buyer to do so. Regardless of the reasons for wanting the return of the gear, it seems fairly obvious that the companies have no real incentive to genuinely chase the buyer around with threats of legal action, nor would they fail to compensate the buyer for a mistake made by someone else. Either path would be a public relations nightmare for such companies.

While I wholly understand why the OP posted this for the eevblog forum community to raise awareness of unusual activity, I don't see anything particularly scary about the correspondence we've seen here. It's obviously a form letter, and it's just as obvious that the equipment they want back isn't special in its own right but the serial number attached to it is. This prolonged speculation regarding potentially nefarious motivations (or "super-meters" available for purchase only by shadowy figures) is just the sort of embarrassment most companies would prefer to avoid. I think the wording of the form letter tends to obfuscate this, and I also believe it's intentional. Lawyers tend to just allege things, and broadly, to get stuff done; they don't have to offer details that could potentially put their client at a disadvantage in some way.

I'd just give it back. You'd likely be better off in the long run, as has been broadly hinted. The David vs. Goliath approach seems sort of over the top to me. I just don't see a credible "threat" here.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 06, 2019, 02:30:12 am
I think the credible threat is a forced reduction in buying power. If you have purchased something in good faith and it is taken from you and only the initial capital returned then the replacement may cost more.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Johnboy on February 06, 2019, 02:46:53 am
I think the credible threat is a forced reduction in buying power. If you have purchased something in good faith and it is taken from you and only the initial capital returned then the replacement may cost more.

Yes, if only the initial capital is returned... and especially so in the case of what feels like an involuntary surrender of property.

Yet the gamble one takes by voluntarily helping one entity to clean up another entity's mess is just that, a gamble. Good faith tends to reward good faith. It is no guarantee of anything, of course.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: KaneTW on February 06, 2019, 03:29:35 am
It's your decision as to what's sufficient compensation to return the device. Talking with them certainly won't hurt.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 06, 2019, 03:39:23 am
Quote

I'd just give it back. You'd li4kely be better off in the long run, as has been broadly hinted. The David vs. Goliath approach seems sort of over the top to me. I just don't see a credible "threat" here.
Why would you just give it back if you see no credible threat?
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by asking them what they will offer in exchange.

Worst case you are in the same position
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: KaneTW on February 06, 2019, 03:45:06 am
Don't just give it back, that's silly. You have a device and it has a specific worth to you, either in functional requirements or money. If you get those fulfilled by whatever you get back, sure, go for it.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: vtwin@cox.net on February 06, 2019, 04:06:38 am
This "up yours" attitude seem so unnecessary - and silly.

I agree.

Sadly, I really have to question the intellect of some of these posters. It seems they live for unnecessary drama. It isn't as if Keysight is telling them "you have to give us the equipment back and we're not giving you anything in return, tough luck".

I just do not get people. Granted, we do not know what Keysight is offering yet (and in all probability we will never know, they will likely require some form of non-disclosure agreement under terms of their settlements) but if I could get a newer, better, more modern piece of equipment out of the deal that is worth more money, why the hell wouldn't I?

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: ataradov on February 06, 2019, 04:14:28 am
Sadly, I really have to question the intellect of some of these posters. It seems they live for unnecessary drama. It isn't as if Keysight is telling them "you have to give us the equipment back and we're not giving you anything in return, tough luck".
That comes from the expectation to be screwed by corporations. Unfortunately it is the reality here.

but if I could get a newer, better, more modern piece of equipment out of the deal that is worth more money, why the hell wouldn't I?
Because that is not the expectation of what will happen. The reality is that they will unleash the lawyers and you will either loose the property, or will be in for a legal battle.

Remember, they have started the conversation with lawyers, not offers to replace the equipment. This kind of sets the tone of the conversation.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 06, 2019, 04:21:54 am
Indeed.

Personally I wouldn't even respond until I've seen an outcome from someone else. You have no obligation to do so.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: vtwin@cox.net on February 06, 2019, 04:23:43 am
That comes from the expectation to be screwed by corporations. Unfortunately it is the reality here.

Because that is not the expectation of what will happen. The reality is that they will unleash the lawyers and you will either loose the property, or will be in for a legal battle.

Acting like a jackass is far more likely to cause the scenario you suggest. Or, as my parents taught be... you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.


By all means, tell Keysight "up yours!" Just do not be surprised to find yourself on the receiving end of a subpoena or a summary judgement, and a lot of unnecessary expensive legal costs. They have much deeper pockets.


And all this over a piece of equipment older than my children.

*shrug*
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: ataradov on February 06, 2019, 04:25:55 am
There is no need to be confrontational, for sure, I agree here.

But not responding at all is a valid course of action. Especially given that they don't seem to respond back.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: vtwin@cox.net on February 06, 2019, 04:26:11 am
Indeed.

Personally I wouldn't even respond until I've seen an outcome from someone else. You have no obligation to do so.

You're not likely to ever see such a thing. Any settlement is (very likely) going to be protected by a non-disclosure agreement. If Keysight agreed, for example, to give you a brand new spiffy top-of-the-line ITEM X in exchange for your 20 year old version, they probably do not want the word to get around too much, since the next person might be willing to take a 10 year old Item X in exchange rather than a spiffy brand new one.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 06, 2019, 04:29:56 am
The reality is that they will unleash the lawyers and you will either loose the property, or will be in for a legal battle.
No, because they have no legal claim. if they had, they would have said so in the original letter. All they are doing is asking you not to sell it on.
You are quite entitled to ignore their request, and they have not indicated any legal repercussions of you doing so. 

They also have no way to prove that you still had the equipmnent when you received the letter.

If they did try to persue it all you need to do is tell them you no longer have it. They would have nothing to gain by going any further.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: vtwin@cox.net on February 06, 2019, 04:33:07 am
But not responding at all is a valid course of action. Especially given that they don't seem to respond back.

Like health-related issues, ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 06, 2019, 04:36:26 am
Indeed.

Personally I wouldn't even respond until I've seen an outcome from someone else. You have no obligation to do so.

You're not likely to ever see such a thing. Any settlement is (very likely) going to be protected by a non-disclosure agreement. If Keysight agreed, for example, to give you a brand new spiffy top-of-the-line ITEM X in exchange for your 20 year old version, they probably do not want the word to get around too much, since the next person might be willing to take a 10 year old Item X in exchange rather than a spiffy brand new one.
But even a recipent under an NDA could simply say that it had been worth their time in talking to them.

The lack of any reported response leads me to suspect they are initially waiting to see what respnse they get before considering if it's worth doing anything at all. Whatever the initial reason, if they can only be sure of recovering, say 20% of the gear, is that any worse than none of it ?

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: coppercone2 on February 06, 2019, 04:51:53 am
But not responding at all is a valid course of action. Especially given that they don't seem to respond back.

Like health-related issues, ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away.

This is horse shit. Its nothing like a medical issue. Its a harassment issue.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: KaneTW on February 06, 2019, 04:58:47 am
The worst case would be that Keysight or the original owner drags you in an extensive legal battle, which you will lose even if you win simply by legal costs.

Stop stirring up drama. Or do you think that a lawsuit will go away if you just ignore it? Try to prevent escalation, instead of being a hotheaded child.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: vtwin@cox.net on February 06, 2019, 05:13:57 am

But even a recipent under an NDA could simply say that it had been worth their time in talking to them.

Maybe. You may not be allowed to speak about it at all, depending on the terms.

Quote
The lack of any reported response leads me to suspect they are initially waiting to see what respnse they get before considering if it's worth doing anything at all. Whatever the initial reason, if they can only be sure of recovering, say 20% of the gear, is that any worse than none of it ?

I do agree that is odd.

Of course you could always respond "I sold it for cash on craigslist and have no idea who the buyer was" and then keep it. Such a response isn't made under pains and penalties of perjury, so unless you're asked to sign an affidavit to that effect....
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: vtwin@cox.net on February 06, 2019, 05:18:35 am
This is horse shit. Its nothing like a medical issue. Its a harassment issue.

I understand that such a childish outburst may be emotionally satisfying, but, as they say, actions have consequences, and perhaps it would be wise to take a moment to analyze the potential consequences.

Having a deputy sheriff or constable show up one evening at your door with a summons to appear in district court is unlikely to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling the evening it happens. Naturally, you could likewise ignore it as well, but the consequences of those actions usually involves the terms "summary judgement" or "bench warrant".
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: langwadt on February 06, 2019, 05:20:05 am

But even a recipent under an NDA could simply say that it had been worth their time in talking to them.

Maybe. You may not be allowed to speak about it at all, depending on the terms.

Quote
The lack of any reported response leads me to suspect they are initially waiting to see what respnse they get before considering if it's worth doing anything at all. Whatever the initial reason, if they can only be sure of recovering, say 20% of the gear, is that any worse than none of it ?

I do agree that is odd.

Of course you could always respond "I sold it for cash on craigslist and have no idea who the buyer was" and then keep it. Such a response isn't made under pains and penalties of perjury, so unless you're asked to sign an affidavit to that effect....

(https://i.imgur.com/YjrSdzl.jpg)

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 06, 2019, 06:35:38 am
Like health-related issues, ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away.
I know how to make it go away. Considering Keysight hasn't given any valid or reasonable argument for their actions the items can still be freely traded on the open market. IP isn't something that concerns anyone but the company itself. As they're taking the legal approach they do seem prepared to cause people all kinds of trouble, so I don't mind taking any of this equipment off people's hands. I'll give you a statement to prove you don't own the equipment any more and we'll get it transported outside of Keysight's legal reach. Problem solved.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: nctnico on February 06, 2019, 06:50:13 am
Like health-related issues, ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away.
I know how to make it go away. Considering Keysight hasn't given any valid or reasonable argument for their actions the items can still be freely traded on the open market. IP isn't something that concerns anyone but the company itself. As they're taking the legal approach they do seem prepared to cause people all kinds of trouble, so I don't mind taking any of this equipment off people's hands. I'll give you a statement to prove you don't own the equipment any more and we'll get it transported outside of Keysight's legal reach. Problem solved.
Well copyright pretty much reaches world-wide. You have to realise that most of these devices run some kind of firmware. When it comes to software you receive a license to use the software by the copyright owner. The copyright owner can revoke that license. In theory Keysight can require you to send the copies of their software back (and rendering the equipment useless). IMHO this is why the lawyers choose to go the intellectual property route. You can own the hardware but you can never own the software!
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: coppercone2 on February 06, 2019, 06:54:04 am
This is horse shit. Its nothing like a medical issue. Its a harassment issue.

I understand that such a childish outburst may be emotionally satisfying, but, as they say, actions have consequences, and perhaps it would be wise to take a moment to analyze the potential consequences.

Having a deputy sheriff or constable show up one evening at your door with a summons to appear in district court is unlikely to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling the evening it happens. Naturally, you could likewise ignore it as well, but the consequences of those actions usually involves the terms "summary judgement" or "bench warrant".
]

your not pablo escobar man, thats what I mean they are harassing you to make you feel like your a criminal if you don't comply with some ridiclous shit. Nothing is gonna happen like that, you just tell the sheriff I never checked my mail sorry be polite.. its not the gestapo.

Don't be so scared of law enforcement. And that won't happen. That's serious methhead thinking man. You think some guy is gonna get info off ebay to deal with some crazy shit to make the police come to your house??  :-DD
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: ataradov on February 06, 2019, 06:55:19 am
Well copyright pretty much reaches world-wide. You have to realise that most of these devices run some kind of firmware. When it comes to software you receive a license to use the software by the copyright owner. The copyright owner can revoke that license. In theory Keysight can require you to send the copies of their software back (and rendering the equipment useless). IMHO this is why the lawyers choose to go the intellectual property route. You can own the hardware but you can never own the software!
For sure. Can you describe the procedure of returning that software? I would gladly do so.

I don't think this copyright logic applies to embedded software like this. It makes no sense, and I don't think there is any precedent here.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: nctnico on February 06, 2019, 07:02:53 am
Software is software. No matter what form it is in.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 06, 2019, 07:06:38 am
The worst case would be that Keysight or the original owner drags you in an extensive legal battle, which you will lose even if you win simply by legal costs.
So unlikely it's a non-issue.
They would need to present some evidence - probably the only way would be if it was stolen, in which case they have already stated that was the case.
If they did get legal, returning the equipment would be the end of it. That is the
 worst-case outcome.

Any attempt to get "heavy" would have massive publicity repercussions.

Never gonna happen, based on the total lack of any legalesd in their initial letter. 


Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Jr460 on February 06, 2019, 07:07:39 am
Been following this for bit.

Do have any old HP/KS test gear personally, no.   So I have not gotten a letter.

I suspect something like this happened.   Gear was used a high controlled area.   

The rules are like a RAID Roach Motel, they check-in and never check-out.   Gear, papers, things can go in.   Nothing comes out without being shredded  or completely destroyed.   Even when it is ground down, it gets mixed with more metal from non highly controlled areas.   Then that whole bit is melted down and then sold as scrape metal.

Someone goofed up and removed the gear and didn't follow the right process.   It was sent to DMRO and they sold it in a large lot.  That company sorted things out and tossed real junk, and sold the rest on eBay.

Now someone at the facility realized the mistake.   Where is serial number XYZ, what pile of metal dust is it?  Think, think, don't want to tell the new owner what is up.   Let's see if we can pay KS to "swap" them units and we get back they one that should have been melted down, and we can close that out of the inventory system once we have it back and correctly scrape it.

Ebay seller is helping by giving names of people they sold the things to, KS is helping and getting paid to help recover the gear.   Neither makes the rules, they are just doing their part to get the gear back.

HP/KS has delt with this type of thing before.   If you have gear on a maint contract in a special area, there is a standard up charge for them not getting back defective parts to refurbish.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 06, 2019, 07:08:24 am
Software is software. No matter what form it is in.
Copyright is irrelevant here as you did not sign any license agreement. By posessing equipment you are not committing any copyright infringement.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 06, 2019, 07:08:42 am
Software is software. No matter what form it is in.
I'd love for Keysight to show us the signed terms of our agreement. Hell, I'd even settle for proof I ticked a box with "I agree". That tactic isn't going to fly in most of the world, where EULA aren't worth the bits it's stored with. Get the equipment there and the problem is gone.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: tinhead on February 06, 2019, 07:21:57 am
oh my gosh … all this is why i tend to buy old gears from israelian sellers. Sure, sometimes one get still bit radioactive units, but there are no issues at all with customs or any kind of scary letters, as these gears didn't exists at all.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: nctnico on February 06, 2019, 07:23:07 am
Software is software. No matter what form it is in.
Copyright is irrelevant here as you did not sign any license agreement. By posessing equipment you are not committing any copyright infringement.
Sorry, but that is not how copyright works. The copyright owner always has full control over the work. Even if you didn't sign some kind of agreement it is implied. Please read more about how copyright works and how much power a copyright owner -legally- has.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Towger on February 06, 2019, 07:26:28 am
Having a deputy sheriff or constable show up one evening at your door with a summons to appear in district court is unlikely to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling the evening it happens.

That is a very expensive option for them, in both reputation and legal costs.  It would be far cheaper to have the local sales agent arrive at your door with the latest model of your item and offer a swap.

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: RoGeorge on February 06, 2019, 07:29:42 am
Chill down guys, you are all at the Candid Camera.  ;D

A company (otherwise nice enough to organize giveaways with tons of top notch equipment for makers and engineers every year) was just curious how people will (over)react to such a letter.
Nobody wants that lot anyway, it was heavily contaminated!  :-DD
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: KaneTW on February 06, 2019, 07:29:48 am
Having a deputy sheriff or constable show up one evening at your door with a summons to appear in district court is unlikely to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling the evening it happens.

That is a very expensive option for them, in both reputation and legal costs.  It would be far cheaper to have the local sales agent arrive at your door with the latest model of your item and offer a swap.

That's presumably what they're trying to do. But some people think that digging your heels in even before hearing an offer is a good idea.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 06, 2019, 07:38:49 am
Sorry, but that is not how copyright works. The copyright owner always has full control over the work. Even if you didn't sign some kind of agreement it is implied. Please read more about how copyright works and how much power a copyright owner -legally- has.
That really isn't how copyright works. You don't retain control over a work after it's sold, unless this is agreed upon by both parties. That'd be unworkable and ridiculous, which is itself means it's void in many places.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Towger on February 06, 2019, 07:40:09 am
Please read more about how copyright works and how much power a copyright owner -legally- has.

Far less than you think. What is says in books and reality are two different things.  'We' have taken cases and won, it costs about +50k a go.  Winning and getting any money are two different things.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mark03 on February 06, 2019, 07:40:30 am
Sadly, I really have to question the intellect of some of these posters. It seems they live for unnecessary drama. It isn't as if Keysight is telling them "you have to give us the equipment back and we're not giving you anything in return, tough luck".
That comes from the expectation to be screwed by corporations. Unfortunately it is the reality here.
When relying on corporate customer service, then yes, I agree.  But this could be an opportunity to harness the power of corporate risk aversion, an almost limitless resource, potentially operating in your favor :-DD
All I can think, reading this thread, is wow, I wish that were me!  Time will tell, which view is correct.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: gnavigator1007 on February 06, 2019, 07:41:18 am
Did the letter(s) received reference specific serial number or did they only refer to the units by model number? Just curious.

I'm definitely not understanding the level of freakout going on here now. Daniel has said they're not going to do anything crazy. His reputation has been pretty solid. The OP has even edited their first post after being in touch with Keysight. Some of the language in the original letter was poorly chosen and I think contributed to some of the conspiracy theorizing here. Overall, I'd say it was pretty non threatening.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 06, 2019, 07:45:10 am
That's presumably what they're trying to do. But some people think that digging your heels in even before hearing an offer is a good idea.
No, that's not what they're trying to do. They're coming up with a very incomplete and not quite sensible story and a vaguely threatening attitude, while not even acknowledging the message of people who are willing to hear them out. If someone walks up to your door and tells you you'll need to cooperate with them but can't explain why and is somewhat threatening about it, you obviously tell them to take a hike. People aren't trying to be smart, dicks or are digging in their heels. They're just expecting to be treated with some decency.

I'd love to have a "most wanted" 34401A on the bench. ;D
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: gnavigator1007 on February 06, 2019, 08:07:05 am
They're coming up with a very incomplete and not quite sensible story and a vaguely threatening attitude,

I agree that Keysight is not divulging much, but i just don't see the threatening attitude in the letter. Not saying I wouldn't have been a bit worried if I'd received one of those letters, but they specifically say they prefer a cooperative approach (though the way it is worded does seem to leave the door open to legal measures if they don't get the cooperation they'd otherwise prefer) and also acknowledge the recipients' costs, indicating Keysight's willingness to compensate. Doesn't seem like they even know what they are going to do with any of the equipment yet. Looks like they are trying to figure out what exactly is out there and where it's gone. This is why I was asking earlier if they mention specific serial numbers or are only referencing model numbers that were known to have been sold by Outback.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: nctnico on February 06, 2019, 08:15:53 am
Sorry, but that is not how copyright works. The copyright owner always has full control over the work. Even if you didn't sign some kind of agreement it is implied. Please read more about how copyright works and how much power a copyright owner -legally- has.
That really isn't how copyright works. You don't retain control over a work after it's sold, unless this is agreed upon by both parties. That'd be unworkable and ridiculous, which is itself means it's void in many places.
Just not true. Again: read more about it. When becoming self employed I dug deep into how copyright works. One of the things I learned is that even when a customer pays me to write software I still own the copyright by default. This seems very counter intuitive to most people. However getting the copyright (legal) part right in my term & conditions has helped me enourmously getting paid when one of my customers went belly-up. Copyright has to be transferred explicity from the creator to another party. OTOH licenses can be implied and don't need a seperate contract. After all you don't need to sign a license agreement when you buy a music or movies. This doesn't mean you can do with the work as you like (for example upload it on internet).

Please read more about how copyright works and how much power a copyright owner -legally- has.
Far less than you think. What is says in books and reality are two different things.  'We' have taken cases and won, it costs about +50k a go.  Winning and getting any money are two different things.
True but this thread isn't about getting money. It is about getting equipment back. The fact a law firm is already involved shows some people are willing to throw some serious cash at this problem.

Anyway, I find the IP (copyright) claim an interesting angle from a legal point of view because there isn't much else they can work with to reclaim ownership of the equipment.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 06, 2019, 08:25:53 am
Just not true. Again: read more about it. When becoming self employed I dug deep into how copyright works. One of the things I learned is that even when a customer pays me to write software I still own the copyright by default. This seems very counter intuitive to most people. However getting the copyright (legal) part right in my term & conditions has helped me enourmously getting paid when one of my customers went belly-up. Copyright has to be transferred explicity from the creator to another party. OTOH licenses can be implied and don't need a seperate contract. After all you don't need to sign a license agreement when you buy a music or movies. This doesn't mean you can do with the work as you like (for example upload it on internet).

True but this thread isn't about getting money. It is about getting equipment back. The fact a law firm is already involved shows some people are willing to throw some serious cash at this problem.
You're correct that Keysight retains the copyright over their software, but that doesn't mean they retain full control or ownership over every copy they sold. The latter is a misinterpretation of the law. The creator retaining copyright means the new owner cannot duplicate or distribute the software he finds in the device without the device itself. It doesn't mean Keysight gets to control the ownership of the device, unless both parties agree to this.

Your music comparison is apt. You can buy a CD without signing a license, because the musician or record company doesn't have a say in what you do with the physical CD. You cannot make copies and distribute them, as that's prohibited by copyright law. You can play, destroy, sell or give away the CD as you wish. Unless you sign an agreement not to do these things, of course.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: sokoloff on February 06, 2019, 09:58:06 am
Agree with Scram. Google "first sale doctrine"

https://www.justice.gov/jm/criminal-resource-manual-1854-copyright-infringement-first-sale-doctrine (https://www.justice.gov/jm/criminal-resource-manual-1854-copyright-infringement-first-sale-doctrine)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: nctnico on February 06, 2019, 10:34:35 am
Agree with Scram. Google "first sale doctrine"

https://www.justice.gov/jm/criminal-resource-manual-1854-copyright-infringement-first-sale-doctrine (https://www.justice.gov/jm/criminal-resource-manual-1854-copyright-infringement-first-sale-doctrine)

Don't argue with me, just think about why the law firm Keysight hired is specialised in IP and copyright. They are very aware of how copyright laws work and wouldn't go this route if it was useless.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 06, 2019, 10:38:43 am
Don't argue with me, just think about why the law firm Keysight hired is specialised in IP and copyright. They are very aware of how copyright laws work and wouldn't go this route if it was useless.
It's not as if companies ever use scare tactics when they know they don't have any legal standing, right?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: nctnico on February 06, 2019, 10:53:35 am
Don't argue with me, just think about why the law firm Keysight hired is specialised in IP and copyright. They are very aware of how copyright laws work and wouldn't go this route if it was useless.
It's not as if companies ever use scare tactics when they know they don't have any legal standing, right?
That is just pure speculation on your part. Their exact claim is unknown at this point so it is better to assume they have a valid one.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 06, 2019, 11:08:21 am
That is just pure speculation on your part. Their exact claim is unknown at this point so it is better to assume they have a valid one.
Everything about that argument is backwards. "These people are causing me trouble for reasons they refuse to properly define, nor reply to my communications. I'd better give them exactly what they want!" Assume they're talking out of their ass until they've proven otherwise. The worst case scenario is that you make the device go "poof".
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: nctnico on February 06, 2019, 11:24:51 am
That is just pure speculation on your part. Their exact claim is unknown at this point so it is better to assume they have a valid one.
Everything about that argument is backwards. "These people are causing me trouble for reasons they refuse to properly define, nor reply to my communications. I'd better give them exactly what they want!" Assume they're talking out of their ass until they've proven otherwise.
Which could burn the bridge to the road which leads to a good deal. The sensible thing to do is to take any claim seriously and investigate its validity. Digging your heels into the sand and/or ignoring a claim isn't going to make things better. In most cases a timely reply to a claim makes all the difference.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 06, 2019, 11:35:59 am
Which could burn the bridge to the road which leads to a good deal. The sensible thing to do is to take any claim seriously and investigate its validity. Digging your heels into the sand and/or ignoring a claim isn't going to make things better.
That's the point. People are doing neither. People are trying to assess validity, but nothing to go on is provided and attempts to establish the somewhat forcefully requested contact remain unanswered. If you're after further cooperation, that's not a very good way of securing it.

Besides, if Keysight is determined to resolve whatever issue they see, not jumping to conclusions based on vague statements isn't going to burn bridges.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: gnavigator1007 on February 06, 2019, 11:56:27 am
This is timely

https://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2019/02/navy-needs-2-tons-storage-devices-burned-ash/154629/ (https://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2019/02/navy-needs-2-tons-storage-devices-burned-ash/154629/)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Yansi on February 06, 2019, 12:17:35 pm
Very interesting thread.  Read through all of 11 pages. Interested what will come up next.  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 06, 2019, 12:32:11 pm
Some points:
(A)  I would like to suggest we don't get too wrapped up in the reason (or pretext, depending on your standing) for the approach that has been used.  It may be a legitimate claim, but it is certainly a mechanism for opening a conversation.  Yes, it may be curious, questionable, obscure or even laughable (as some have indicated), but there has to be some sort of contact to get the ball rolling.  I would not be at all surprised if the fundamental secrecy framework that governed the equipment involved extends to these communications and that, as a result, these communications are constrained to such a degree that they end up feeling contrived, or even "lame".

(B)  Having a legal practice involved from the get-go is nothing to get up in arms about, IMO.  That would be the preferred choice in my book to be involved in this sort of a campaign.  However, that does present the idea that further legal avenues may be exercised.  Some might call that intimidation, but I would consider that label a bit too harsh at this point.

(C)  Why have there been no reports of "offers" forthcoming?  To me, it's really very simple.  For any given item, the first thing that has to be done is to locate it.  Nobody is going to make any offers until they have confirmation they have found the current owner.  Until then, don't expect any more than the hint already given: "made whole".  If someone who is approached does not confirm they have the item, then I can't see any offers forthcoming.  Doesn't make sense to offer something to someone who may not have the item.

If someone has confirmed ownership and received an offer, it is entirely likely that the details will be subject to a confidentiality agreement.  In fact, I couldn't see it happening any other way.  While any other legal angles may be tenuous, breaking such an explicit agreement would be a pretty straightforward lawsuit.

(D)  Considering there would seem to be an obvious element of secrecy, there is another factor involved - and this is one the conspiracy theorists would love to grab hold of - minimising the visibility of the stuff-up to the public.  There are a dozen reasons/excuses you could roll out here.  Whether they are legitimate or not is irrelevant.  The fact is, the desire for secrecy is real - and while we will have anarchists out there that want to call it out, the powers that be will be aiming for the lowest profile possible.  Whether you like this sort of thing or not, it's a fact of life.  You can either fight it, or roll with it - and the ones likely to fight it will be the ones who aren't involved and have nothing to gain, other than having been seen on their soapbox.

(E)  From the evidence available, the approach taken indicates a desire for an amicable resolution.  This is simple courtesy - as nobody involved in this campaign has done anything wrong.  It would seem logical to explore the alternatives in the same vein.

(F)  Also, remember, someone will be paying the bill for all this - and it will be their desire for the total to be as low as possible, so IF the approach is to offer a new product (with a $1,000 hit on the bill) in exchange to resolve a given situation, it's going to be cheaper than getting lawyers involved.

(G)  Keysight's involvement here seems pretty obvious to me.  It would seem all the equipment involved is Keysight gear.  A logical situation - a bulk purchase from one vendor to kit out some project.  This gear got out in the wild and now they need to get it back - but what would be the best way?  The people that acquired the gear would have done so because of the functionality each item can provide - so they aren't going to be happy if that is lost from their workshop.  An exchange would seem to have a far better chance of a happy result ... and if you're going to exchange your Keysight (or Agilent or HP) gear for something else, then offering Keysight kit is going to go down a lot better.  Where better to source Keysight gear, than direct from Keysight.  Also, Keysight are going to want to cooperate, since they have a vested interest in being seen as a cooperative partner.  Helping out in a situation like this is going to support their corporate presence and maintain a positive image in the eyes of those approving the spend on future equipment purchases.  In fact, Keysight would be hard pressed to say no.  At the end, I have little doubt that Keysight will submit a bill to the campaign manager for their contribution.

(H)  IANAL - but, if all else fails, I would be wondering on the legal avenues available - and that's where the original secrecy elements that gave rise to this whole situation would seem to present an angle.  Can anyone comment on this hypothesis:  If the project for which all this equipment was purchased was covered under some national security classification, could the argument be made that since its eventual destruction was mandated under such an umbrella, that is continued existence represents a risk to national security**, resulting in a seizure order of some sort?  Could this also be sufficient for a search warrant?

Edit:
** In principle.  The fact that an item like a DMM you could buy as an individual is no practical risk being irrelevant.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bicycleguy on February 06, 2019, 03:44:07 pm
If you have some of it and received a letter/correspondence, please respond. We're not going to do anything crazy or insane.

Thanks for your patience!

I have, and yet I received no response at all from Mr. Harrington.
Looking through my sent emails, there were two; On 12/20/18 and 12/26/2018. I only got read receipts from his email client (which I saved just in case.)

I'm going to send a third email to him this morning.

Perhaps a quicker response would come from a letter like this:
Dear sir,
Owning this instrument under the present circumstances is causing me undo stress.  Baring further communication, I will be putting the instrument up for sale on fleabay to the highest bidder ASAP.
thank you
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 06, 2019, 03:56:19 pm
I have to agree that the lack of acknowledgement of those communications that have been sent is not very professional.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 06, 2019, 06:57:05 pm
If it was some sort of national security thing they wouldn't have sent out a letter to give people any notice.
If they had any legal claim they would have had to say that at the outset. There is no indication in the initial letter that there would be any consequences of selling on the equipment. All they have done is made a request.
Again, if they were prepared to take legal action they would need to have said so at the outset.
IANAL but the lack of any legal claim in the initial letter, or suggestion that it was stolen would  seem to negate any possibility of action if the equipment was sold on.


Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: RoGeorge on February 06, 2019, 07:20:21 pm
Most probably the lot should have been destroyed, but instead it was sold at an action, by mistake.

The bureaucracy still need the "destroyed" confirmation papers, so that's why the letters.  The instruments are needed in order to be destroyed, in order to stamp some papers, in order to store the stamped papers in a nice file, in order to be there just in case someone will ever bother to check those papers.  There is no secret "Recipe of Immortality" in those instruments' firmware, or something.

IMO, blanket national security laws (combined with bureaucracy) is the only explanation that makes sense.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Fungus on February 06, 2019, 07:26:50 pm
Here in Switzerland, I would tell them to fuck off. USA has nothing to say over here.

Really? Would you tell them to fuck off if they offered you a replacement item+your money back?

That tells me something about the Swiss.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Fungus on February 06, 2019, 07:39:46 pm
(C)  Why have there been no reports of "offers" forthcoming?  To me, it's really very simple.  For any given item, the first thing that has to be done is to locate it.  Nobody is going to make any offers until they have confirmation they have found the current owner.  Until then, don't expect any more than the hint already given: "made whole".  If someone who is approached does not confirm they have the item, then I can't see any offers forthcoming.  Doesn't make sense to offer something to someone who may not have the item.

a) It's probably not been formally decided yet.
b) They probably don't want people posting about offers here.

I doubt you're going to get rich by 'holding out' though. Keysight will already have assumed they're not going to get all of them back so what's one more device? Offers will be reasonable (eg. money back+an equivalent device) so that Keysight can prove to the MIB that they made an effort. That's it.

ie. You're much more likely to end up on the no-fly list than make money.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 06, 2019, 08:21:46 pm
(C)  Why have there been no reports of "offers" forthcoming?  To me, it's really very simple.  For any given item, the first thing that has to be done is to locate it.  Nobody is going to make any offers until they have confirmation they have found the current owner.  Until then, don't expect any more than the hint already given: "made whole".  If someone who is approached does not confirm they have the item, then I can't see any offers forthcoming.  Doesn't make sense to offer something to someone who may not have the item.

a) It's probably not been formally decided yet.
b) They probably don't want people posting about offers here.
Those points - and one or two others - were on my mind as well, but I'd waffled on enough as it was.


Quote
I doubt you're going to get rich by 'holding out' though.
Agreed.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Jwalling on February 06, 2019, 10:05:50 pm
Did the letter(s) received reference specific serial number or did they only refer to the units by model number? Just curious.

As you can see from the letter I posted here: http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/keysight-ip-intimidation/msg2153944/#msg2153944 (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/keysight-ip-intimidation/msg2153944/#msg2153944)
There were no serial numbers given to me.

The complete text from my email:
Quote
Hello Mr. Harrington,

I did not hear back from you from an email I sent on 12/20/2018, so I'm assuming I am dealing with you on this matter.

If you could supply me with the serial numbers of the equipment in question, I could see if I am still in possession of either of them.
I am assuming that the issue involves software on the hard disk drives; the rest of the equipment is just a number of circuit boards / hardware.

It is important to note that these two instruments in question both run Microsoft Windows XP. Because of that, I always assume that there is the potential of a virus or malware on the disk drives from the previous owner(s).
Knowing this, I always remove the hard drives on these and replace them with brand new solid-state disk drives (SSDs).
I then re-image the new replacement SSD drive from an as-shipped-from Agilent Symantec Ghost recovery image that is located in a hidden FAT-32 partition.
In essence, the makes the software on the instrument back to how it originally shipped from Agilent.

I still have 5 of the disk drives in my possession (Please see the attached picture) Typically, I use these in other applications and equipment after re-imaging them.
I don't know whether any of these came from the instruments in question, nor do I have any way of telling.

Please advise what you would like to do.
Thank you.


A week or two after I sent that email, curiosity got the better of me, and I did take a look at the drives that I still had and found the one belonging to the MSO scope. The pagefile.sys had a date stamp that matched the date of shipment.

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Yansi on February 06, 2019, 10:12:13 pm
Here in Switzerland, I would tell them to fuck off. USA has nothing to say over here.

Really? Would you tell them to fuck off if they offered you a replacement item+your money back?

That tells me something about the Swiss.

I am no Swiss, but not far from there. As also a proud owner of some rather cheaply acquired old  rusty HP/Agilent instruments imported from the US of A,  I would have though of the same, but probably told them a bit more calmly.  Any replacement sent in would cost me half my year's earnings on taxes, when would such (new expensive) instrument got imported.

Hence also why I can't and don't participate in any of those "free giving" competitions. I could not just pay the taxes. The state would rob me of of my money.  But that's just how it works here.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 06, 2019, 10:13:24 pm
No different here. If keysight turned up and personally gave me a VNA it would be a taxable gain.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 06, 2019, 10:47:44 pm
No different here. If keysight turned up and personally gave me a VNA it would be a taxable gain.
How would HMRC find out that Keysight gave you a VNA?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: vtwin@cox.net on February 06, 2019, 11:05:41 pm
your not pablo escobar man, thats what I mean they are harassing you to make you feel like your a criminal if you don't comply with some ridiclous shit. Nothing is gonna happen like that, you just tell the sheriff I never checked my mail sorry be polite.. its not the gestapo.

Don't be so scared of law enforcement. And that won't happen. That's serious methhead thinking man. You think some guy is gonna get info off ebay to deal with some crazy shit to make the police come to your house??  :-DD

This methhead is a constable who has served his fair share of summons, subpoenas, notices of summary judgement, and "escorted" numerous "guests of the court" from their homes to a holding cell on a bench warrant.

The sheriff doesn't care if you checked your mail or not. You may think you're being creative, coming up with a unique excuse. We've heard them all before.

So, go ahead and play ostrich. Just don't drop the soap.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 06, 2019, 11:22:02 pm
No different here. If keysight turned up and personally gave me a VNA it would be a taxable gain.
How would HMRC find out that Keysight gave you a VNA?

I got a tax audit a couple of years back. They will ask what it is when they turn up and where the receipt is.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 06, 2019, 11:25:46 pm
No different here. If keysight turned up and personally gave me a VNA it would be a taxable gain.
How would HMRC find out that Keysight gave you a VNA?

I got a tax audit a couple of years back. They will ask what it is when they turn up and where the receipt is.
So make sure it's not there when they show up.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 06, 2019, 11:31:02 pm
They are psychic. They'll ask what was there and where did you hide it and where the receipt is.  :-DD

I get your point but it only takes one mistake to get thoroughly reamed.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 06, 2019, 11:38:41 pm
They are psychic. They'll ask what was there and where did you hide it and where the receipt is.  :-DD

I get your point but it only takes one mistake to get thoroughly reamed.
"On loan from client..."
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 07, 2019, 12:00:09 am
I got a tax audit a couple of years back. They will ask what it is when they turn up and where the receipt is.
Sorry, what? They go through your house, point out various items you own and you have to produce a watertight paper trail for it?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 07, 2019, 12:01:36 am
Most probably the lot should have been destroyed, but instead it was sold at an action, by mistake.

The bureaucracy still need the "destroyed" confirmation papers, so that's why the letters.  The instruments are needed in order to be destroyed, in order to stamp some papers, in order to store the stamped papers in a nice file, in order to be there just in case someone will ever bother to check those papers.  There is no secret "Recipe of Immortality" in those instruments' firmware, or something.

IMO, blanket national security laws (combined with bureaucracy) is the only explanation that makes sense.
If it's a matter of paperwork, simply write a note stating "the device has been disposed of in suitable manner" and everyone can live on happily ever after.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 07, 2019, 12:11:56 am
I got a tax audit a couple of years back. They will ask what it is when they turn up and where the receipt is.
Sorry, what? They go through your house, point out various items you own and you have to produce a watertight paper trail for it?

Apparently they can choose to do it at the registered business address or the auditors office. When they got me in 2011 (sorry was a few years earlier than I remembered it) it was done at the business address which was my home. My business address is now the accountant so I’m fine  :-+

Had an on site interview and then I was sent a letter a month later asking for receipts for the equipment I had that wasn’t on account (it was my own). They had written everything down in the room that didn’t look like it was household.

Imagine my workbench now...
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Yansi on February 07, 2019, 01:00:23 am
No different here. If keysight turned up and personally gave me a VNA it would be a taxable gain.
How would HMRC find out that Keysight gave you a VNA?

Quite easily here, in fact. Anything that crosses a border and has your address written on it is a taxable item. 
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 07, 2019, 01:21:11 am
We have a keysight office here so it'd be internal. However if it was imported, it is tied directly to you: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/chief-trader-import-and-export-processing-system (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/chief-trader-import-and-export-processing-system)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: rsjsouza on February 07, 2019, 05:24:11 am
I don't know how it is in the UK, but if it comes from a company, they must declare it to the IRS as a gift with some sort of value. They can cross check with the recipient and see if it was declared in the person's tax return.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: glarsson on February 07, 2019, 05:32:17 am
But it's not a gift. It's just swapped with a similar thing with equal values.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: chriswebb on February 07, 2019, 06:31:10 am
Yea I am not exactly willing to have the extra tax liability from a new piece of gear, nor lose the options that the item was sent came with.

The newest comparable model of the piece of gear that keysight wants doesn't even have a price listed on their site, and I am fairly confident that I got a pretty good deal on my item. It is not a spectrum analyzer or a simple DMM. So they are in quite a pickle if they really want to make me whole.  As I said before, the item that I have is worth much more to me than the money that I paid for it, and if I were to respond, it wouldn't be without getting in touch with a lawyer on my side, because I don't really care for the legal advice offered by those in this thread.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Yansi on February 07, 2019, 06:34:40 am
Not that sure, but I think that would not prevent them from making you paying the taxes for the replacement.  Simple rules? Yes.Stupid rules? Also, probably. But that's how it is. Gift or not, both are taxable (VAT). Not sure about additional import fees, but I think it will be the same anyway.

And yes, contacting local lawyer would be a wise thing - if you can afford one. I can't and neither could many others.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 07, 2019, 07:06:38 am
But it's not a gift. It's just swapped with a similar thing with equal values.

They don’t care the nature of the transaction but your capital gain. If you went “hey thanks”, sold it, pocketed the difference then you’re liable for the gain.

And yes it sucks. This is one reason I use old crap. My gains are wedged with share income already. Have to cram excess is SIPP.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: tggzzz on February 07, 2019, 07:15:25 am
But it's not a gift. It's just swapped with a similar thing with equal values.

They don’t care the nature of the transaction but your capital gain. If you went “hey thanks”, sold it, pocketed the difference then you’re liable for the gain.

And yes it sucks. This is one reason I use old crap. My gains are wedged with share income already. Have to cram excess is SIPP.

HP, for it was them, once gave many of their UK employees a very large CGT bill despite their not having made a capital gain. Most tax inspectors thought that was impossible.

My suspicion is that there were high level negotiations between HP and HMRC as to whether it would be CGT liability or an income tax liability. CGT was preferable.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 07, 2019, 07:23:22 am
Saved HP a lot of money that did. What wankers.

CGT should be eliminated TBH. Those who can afford to pay it don’t care or know a workaround. Those who can’t it hurts.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: tggzzz on February 07, 2019, 07:35:56 am
Saved HP a lot of money that did. What wankers.

No, it didn't save them a penny, neither in the UK nor in the US.

They split the company but split the shares at a different time. Timing was irrelevant in the US, but not here.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Gregg on February 07, 2019, 07:43:07 am
If Keysight is really serious about getting devices returned, they should issue an “Extended Warranty” for certain models with certain serial numbers.  Then replace them with similar and/or better “Under Warranty” because of a “Defect”.  The defect being that they shouldn’t have been sold to the general public. 
If you send a kitchen appliance back to the manufacturer under warranty and they replace it with a slightly newer model are you on the hook for added tax? You have the same functionality with the new appliance and you haven’t spent more money and you aren’t in the business of reselling the replacement appliance for profit; in common law parlance, you have been made whole.   
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 07, 2019, 07:45:38 am
Saved HP a lot of money that did. What wankers.

No, it didn't save them a penny, neither in the UK nor in the US.

They split the company but split the shares at a different time. Timing was irrelevant in the US, but not here.

Gotcha. That makes sense now.

Incidentally the only time I’ve actually ever got tax right is immediately after I got it wrong (usually after hiring a supposedly reputable tax advisor). Whole shebang is a joke here. Same is true in US.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 07, 2019, 07:48:24 am
If Keysight is really serious about getting devices returned, they should issue an “Extended Warranty” for certain models with certain serial numbers.  Then replace them with similar and/or better “Under Warranty” because of a “Defect”.  The defect being that they shouldn’t have been sold to the general public. 
If you send a kitchen appliance back to the manufacturer under warranty and they replace it with a slightly newer model are you on the hook for added tax? You have the same functionality with the new appliance and you haven’t spent more money and you aren’t in the business of reselling the replacement appliance for profit; in common law parlance, you have been made whole.

As mentioned earlier the method of obtaining the asset doesn’t change the asset class or the liability. Think that applies both in UK and US.

This comes from the old “back of a lorry” transactions being audited.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 07, 2019, 08:07:40 am
But cgt is only payable as & when you sell. And you can write down the value every year you own it.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: tggzzz on February 07, 2019, 08:45:52 am
But cgt is only payable as & when you sell. And you can write down the value every year you own it.

Does depreciation matter if you sell it? In my innocence I'd have thought the CGT payable was based on (sale-purchase) price (modulo the standard frig factors).
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 07, 2019, 08:59:32 am
Yes it is only payable when you sell.  But that assumes you want to keep it. A lot of large test gear purchases on the second hand market are "single job" purchases (same in IT) to solve a specific problem and then it gets tossed. If you throw £1000 on something and someone replaces it with something worth £8000, then you've got a problem.

If you dispose of it, it affects your CGT liability on other investment incomes so for example if you want to liquidate share capital up to your limit you end up getting shafted for higher rate (20%) CGT just by disposing of this in the same financial year.

If you leave it sitting around, you're down your initial £1000 capital in the short term which was fair to expect a quick return on.

The best outcome here is if they buy it back off you for the initial capital and lease you an equivalent piece of kit for a trivial amount of a month for 3 years, then they dispose of it.

This is why the test gear leasing industry is pretty good. The financial (and maintenance) liability is pretty bad on large bits of expensive stuff.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: tggzzz on February 07, 2019, 10:34:58 am
Yes it is only payable when you sell.  But that assumes you want to keep it. A lot of large test gear purchases on the second hand market are "single job" purchases (same in IT) to solve a specific problem and then it gets tossed. If you throw £1000 on something and someone replaces it with something worth £8000, then you've got a problem.

If you dispose of it, it affects your CGT liability on other investment incomes so for example if you want to liquidate share capital up to your limit you end up getting shafted for higher rate (20%) CGT just by disposing of this in the same financial year.

If you leave it sitting around, you're down your initial £1000 capital in the short term which was fair to expect a quick return on.

The best outcome here is if they buy it back off you for the initial capital and lease you an equivalent piece of kit for a trivial amount of a month for 3 years, then they dispose of it.

This is why the test gear leasing industry is pretty good. The financial (and maintenance) liability is pretty bad on large bits of expensive stuff.

Understood and accepted.

My ignorant quibble was with the concept that if (in your example) you depreciated the asset to zero and then sold it for £8000, the depreciation was irrelevant w.r.t. CGT. Accountancy tricks like depreciation may be useful for other purposes, of course.

A classic example of the latter was that "Thatcher" noticed that the electricity plant and grid had depreciated to near zero in value (and hence would need replacing), and sold it for that amount. The purchasers looked at the actual condition, saw that it was good for a few more decades with minimal investment, and sniggered amongst themselves at the foolishness of the sale.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Stray Electron on February 07, 2019, 12:30:51 pm
Did the letter(s) received reference specific serial number or did they only refer to the units by model number? Just curious.

   I'm about 4 pages behind so someone may have already answered this but I can tell you that at least three of the letters contained an addendum on a 2nd sheet of paper that listed the model and serial number of the item(s) that they wanted back.  This is not an attempt to re-acquire every 34401a out there. It is a number of different models and types of TE and very specific serial numbers. Most of you are out of luck or off the hook, depending on your viewpoint.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: openloop on February 07, 2019, 02:26:41 pm
Quote
but I can tell you that at least three of the letters contained an addendum on a 2nd sheet of paper that listed the model and serial number of the item(s) that they wanted back

No serial numbers in mine. My addendum lists only items, purchase dates and lot numbers. Lot numbers are Outback's inventory thing (as I understand).

E.g. a fresh listing from them:  "G157040 Siemens Simatic bla-bla-bla"  - the number I'm talking about is G157040 here.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: analogRF on February 07, 2019, 02:41:25 pm
Did the letter(s) received reference specific serial number or did they only refer to the units by model number? Just curious.

   I'm about 4 pages behind so someone may have already answered this but I can tell you that at least three of the letters contained an addendum on a 2nd sheet of paper that listed the model and serial number of the item(s) that they wanted back.  This is not an attempt to re-acquire every 34401a out there. It is a number of different models and types of TE and very specific serial numbers. Most of you are out of luck or off the hook, depending on your viewpoint.

Did the letter(s) received reference specific serial number or did they only refer to the units by model number? Just curious.

   I'm about 4 pages behind so someone may have already answered this but I can tell you that at least three of the letters contained an addendum on a 2nd sheet of paper that listed the model and serial number of the item(s) that they wanted back.  This is not an attempt to re-acquire every 34401a out there. It is a number of different models and types of TE and very specific serial numbers. Most of you are out of luck or off the hook, depending on your viewpoint.

also the letter posted on page 4 does not refer to any specific serial number. Just an order number from outback I guess.

most of the letter only tells the buyer not to resell it and if he did, to tell them who the buyer was by that date (in bold letters). That seems to be their main concern. Maybe trying to stop the item being sold to other countries where they will not have a chance of getting it back.

They don't actually say anything about how they are going to retrieve the item. There is no specific demand for sending it back to anywhere. They only mention this in the first line saying help us to retrieve but it doesn't say how and when or what is the deadline for that.

They do also say the item includes "trade secret information"..."which keysight didn;t authorize for sale"
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: gnavigator1007 on February 07, 2019, 03:13:53 pm
Quote
but I can tell you that at least three of the letters contained an addendum on a 2nd sheet of paper that listed the model and serial number of the item(s) that they wanted back

Not in mine. My addendum lists only items, purchase dates and lot numbers. Lot numbers are Outback's inventory thing (as I understand).

E.g. a fresh listing from them:  "G157040 Siemens Simatic bla-bla-bla"  - the number I'm talking about is G157040 here.

Pretty much what I was expecting. They did mention they were seeking assistance in tracing and retrieving, not just retrieving. Would seem to indicate that they don't know exactly what they're looking for if some people's purchases are being specified by serial number while others they only mention model number. Kind of shocking if Outback didn't maintain records of the acquisition and sales of specific serial numbers. Gear could be all mixed up from multiple acquisitions of hpak equipment from multiple sources. I don't envy anyone involved in this whole ordeal. Gotta wonder if Outback had sold everything that Keysight is now trying to trace/retrieve or if they had to hand over unsold things still sitting on shelves and are being compensated. I'd hope they're at least getting something for their customer's contact info since that stuff is big money these days  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 07, 2019, 05:17:36 pm
It is a specific list of equipment, and it's entirely possible that not all equipment we're trying to get back has a serial number.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Yansi on February 07, 2019, 05:19:46 pm
I never heard of some expensive test equipment to be "without serial numbers". Or does it just mean that Keysight (or the other party) does not know the serial numbers (i.e. does no t even know what exact pieces they are looking for)?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 07, 2019, 06:24:26 pm
The list may include some items which are not "expensive" that don't have serial numbers - or some of the items may not have had their serial numbers recorded.  That doesn't mean they cannot be recovered.  There is a paper trail and that should be enough to be able to track the items down.  Having serial numbers would be ideal as that would immediately confirm the identity of a specific device, but I wouldn't call it essential.  Then there is the possibility of secondary identification mechanisms - such as a programmed asset number, engraving on the case or some other identifying feature.

Someone is going to have fun.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 07, 2019, 06:45:13 pm
My ignorant quibble was with the concept that if (in your example) you depreciated the asset to zero and then sold it for £8000, the depreciation was irrelevant w.r.t. CGT. Accountancy tricks like depreciation may be useful for other purposes, of course.

A classic example of the latter was that "Thatcher" noticed that the electricity plant and grid had depreciated to near zero in value (and hence would need replacing), and sold it for that amount. The purchasers looked at the actual condition, saw that it was good for a few more decades with minimal investment, and sniggered amongst themselves at the foolishness of the sale.

You can depreciate it to zero and sell it for £8000 but you better make sure there was no paper trail for it and that £8k gets used on non asset purchases like food, restaurants and incidentals. If you accidentally chuck it on the street after depreciation, then your other personality drags it in and sells it on eBay using a personal account, HMRC will be on you like a seagull on chips.  HMRC have access to eBay for ref.

Depreciation officially only works if it’s a business assets as well. If you bought something for personal interest and it wasn’t used in the line of work then depreciating is not allowed. You pay the gains on the sold value. There are exceptions on some items (cars mainly)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: tggzzz on February 07, 2019, 06:55:03 pm
My ignorant quibble was with the concept that if (in your example) you depreciated the asset to zero and then sold it for £8000, the depreciation was irrelevant w.r.t. CGT. Accountancy tricks like depreciation may be useful for other purposes, of course.

A classic example of the latter was that "Thatcher" noticed that the electricity plant and grid had depreciated to near zero in value (and hence would need replacing), and sold it for that amount. The purchasers looked at the actual condition, saw that it was good for a few more decades with minimal investment, and sniggered amongst themselves at the foolishness of the sale.

You can depreciate it to zero and sell it for £8000 but you better make sure there was no paper trail for it and that £8k gets used on non asset purchases like food, restaurants and incidentals. If you accidentally chuck it on the street after depreciation, then your other personality drags it in and sells it on eBay using a personal account, HMRC will be on you like a seagull on chips.  HMRC have access to eBay for ref.

All sane, and matches what I would expect.

If you want to be mean to someone, get the police on their backs.
If you want to be thoroughly unpleasant to someone, get HMRC on their backs. HMRC have far more powers of entry than the police, dating back to when revenue men on horseback had to gain entry in the middle of the night.

Quote
Depreciation officially only works if it’s a business assets as well. If you bought something for personal interest and it wasn’t used in the line of work then depreciating is not allowed. You pay the gains on the sold value. There are exceptions on some items (cars mainly)

Yup, and your main residence, of course.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 07, 2019, 07:13:03 pm
Indeed. You just get buggered for inheritance tax instead (this is a battle I have already fought once)

A good reference to HMRC is the dystopian state in the film “Brazil”
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: tggzzz on February 07, 2019, 08:52:59 pm
Indeed. You just get buggered for inheritance tax instead (this is a battle I have already fought once)

A good reference to HMRC is the dystopian state in the film “Brazil”

Trying to prove "gifts" came from "income" not "savings" takes a lot of work. A long, exhaustive submission to HMRC seemed to exhaust them into submission. Fortunately the next time that won't be necessary, since >7 years have elapsed.

Brazil is in my bucket list.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 07, 2019, 08:59:10 pm
It is a specific list of equipment, and it's entirely possible that not all equipment we're trying to get back has a serial number.
Internal use/prototype equipment perhaps? Firmware that includes debug symbols might come under the "IP" or "Trade secret" category.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: LapTop006 on February 07, 2019, 10:14:21 pm
It is a specific list of equipment, and it's entirely possible that not all equipment we're trying to get back has a serial number.
Internal use/prototype equipment perhaps? Firmware that includes debug symbols might come under the "IP" or "Trade secret" category.

I wonder if they (or a customer trusted with such things, which is more likely a higher end chip / RF vendor than a defence type customer) shut down a lab and didn't control the equipment removal tightly enough.

Or possibly even one of the other shards of the original HP had an old lab that got cleaned out, not knowing that much of the equipment would be prototypes.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: openloop on February 08, 2019, 03:58:24 am
There is a simple explanation for missing serial numbers.

Of course Keysight knows them. What they don't know is for items of the same model which eBay customer got which.

For example: Let's say the batch they concerned with had three 34401A DMMs in it. They know I've got one  (:P), but they don't know which of those 3. Thus they cannot provide me with the serial number.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Fraser on February 08, 2019, 04:24:11 am
Wow this thread keeps growing !

I am thinking Keysight have ‘dropped the ball’ here. You should only send out equipment recovery notices when you have ‘all your ducks in a row’ and are ready to respond to affected persons queries in a meaningful way. The current situation appears most unsatisfactory and almost amateur. This is not the first time I have read of Keysight recovering test equipment and I thought they were pretty prompt at resolving the situation to the ‘customers’ satisfaction.

I have to wonder if Keysight have found themselves in a difficult position where they are effectively acting on behalf of another party who are less well equipped for fast decisions and approvals. This mess is not looking good for Keysight but if it is not of their making, I feel sorry for those having to handle the fallout.

There is no excuse for not replying to communications from an affected customer though.

Fraser
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: openloop on February 08, 2019, 08:10:08 am
Quote
There is no excuse for not replying to communications from an affected customer though.

Outback's Scott Mallery responded right away to my inquest on the subject.

Of course, he wouldn't be able to clear the air about happenings on the Keysight's side.

 
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: zitt on February 08, 2019, 09:15:36 am
Going to say I got one of these letters via email which was promptly deleted.
It wasn't even for Keysight-branded equipment.

I don't care about what they were trying to accomplish by sending me an email... Email isn't secure... and is inundated with "fraud" attempts.
This was immediately classified as a fraud attempt and deleted.

Now; if they want to send me a court summons... then sure; it's legit. But that needs to be served to me by a court appointed officer.

IF Keysight really is in the right here... they need to be more forthcoming via legitimate means. IE Have Ebay, my local police department, and/or the seller contact me. As it stands now; they can go pound sand.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Fraser on February 08, 2019, 10:04:03 am
I think the back story to this situation is very simple........

All the kit they are trying to recover came from a warehouse in ‘AREA 51’ and now the little green men want it back. Ooooops, best not P off the little green men ..... such could lead to Armageddon  :-DD

Sorry, a frivolous moment from me to break the monotony of this thread  ;D

Fraser
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Yansi on February 08, 2019, 10:13:36 am
There is a simple explanation for missing serial numbers.

Of course Keysight knows them. What they don't know is for items of the same model which eBay customer got which.

For example: Let's say the batch they concerned with had three 34401A DMMs in it. They know I've got one  (:P), but they don't know which of those 3. Thus they cannot provide me with the serial number.

Why couldn't they provide it? As simple as writing, if your instrument has ID of ##### then we need, otherwide it is fine, thanks.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Yansi on February 08, 2019, 10:14:57 am
It is a specific list of equipment, and it's entirely possible that not all equipment we're trying to get back has a serial number.
Internal use/prototype equipment perhaps? Firmware that includes debug symbols might come under the "IP" or "Trade secret" category.

Just nothing more than wild speculations.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: zitt on February 08, 2019, 10:36:51 am
I contacted "outback" seller on ebay via their messaging system:
Quote
What the hell is going on?!?!

I got (and deleted) a letter from ?you? via email that this item is being " seek your assistance with the tracing and retrieval of certain equipment that contains Keysight intellectual property"

I'm laughing because how does a BK instrument have Keysight IP?

I don't know what the hell you're trying to pull; do I need to report you to ebay?
Or is this another fraud attempt?


Admittedly frustrated; and their reply was less than helpful.
Quote
Sorry for any inconvenience this is causing you. We are cooperating with Keysight in an attempt to locate some material that was sent to us to sell by one of our suppliers. If you could respond to Keysight, and let them know if you still have the item in question, that would be much appreciated. I understand that it is not a Keysight system, but they are still inquiring about it.

Yeah; sorry... I've already spent more time the I needed to get that response.
I also replied to the paralegal... telling them "Sorry; what?"

Simply put; nothing here makes me think this is legit as *I* had to contact them and nothing has been provided as evidence.
Not my issue. Not my problem.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: artag on February 08, 2019, 11:53:12 am
This is timely

https://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2019/02/navy-needs-2-tons-storage-devices-burned-ash/154629/ (https://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2019/02/navy-needs-2-tons-storage-devices-burned-ash/154629/)

Can't help laughing that a MISSILE RANGE needs a subcontractor to 'burn devices to ash'.
Why don't they just use them for target practice ?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 08, 2019, 12:42:07 pm
I contacted "outback" seller on ebay via their messaging system:
Quote
What the hell is going on?!?!

I got (and deleted) a letter from ?you? via email that this item is being " seek your assistance with the tracing and retrieval of certain equipment that contains Keysight intellectual property"

I'm laughing because how does a BK instrument have Keysight IP?

I don't know what the hell you're trying to pull; do I need to report you to ebay?
Or is this another fraud attempt?


Admittedly frustrated; and their reply was less than helpful.
Quote
Sorry for any inconvenience this is causing you. We are cooperating with Keysight in an attempt to locate some material that was sent to us to sell by one of our suppliers. If you could respond to Keysight, and let them know if you still have the item in question, that would be much appreciated. I understand that it is not a Keysight system, but they are still inquiring about it.

Yeah; sorry... I've already spent more time the I needed to get that response.
I also replied to the paralegal... telling them "Sorry; what?"

Simply put; nothing here makes me think this is legit as *I* had to contact them and nothing has been provided as evidence.

I understand your scepticism and scam concerns - but having had a clear response to your independent inquiry, I would suggest that you have to consider the recovery campaign as being genuine - unless you think Outback is the one trying to run the scam ... but, then, that cannot be the case, since we have had Daniel Bogdanoff from Keysight tell us here that there is a list and that Keysight people he knows are involved.  Even Outback asked you to contact Keysight.

Ergo, the recovery campaign is real.

As for the IP claim, that may be true or it may be an excuse to open a conversation.  It may also be that under whatever blanket of security is in place, that may be the only story that was sanctioned.  Secret Squirrel stuff can get weird - but that doesn't mean it's not real, but if you want some real evidence, I suggest you contact the coordinator (Keysight) and not simply be dismissive because of the messenger (Outback).

If you are of the opinion that somebody operating under an obvious umbrella of security is going to volunteer information when you haven't even been identified as the owner of an item of interest, then you really don't have a practical understanding of how these things work.  You should never expect to understand anything more than somebody wants the item you have and what the "made whole" aspect will mean to you.

Do not expect to know what went wrong, how big the problem was, the type of equipment involved, who was using it, who stuffed up or how any other owners are dealt with.  You're only going to get minimal information - which might be way less than would make you feel comfortable or give you understanding, but those are unnecessary luxuries.  All you need is to know the campaign is genuine (which has been demonstrated), what you will get out of any compensation and that it is fulfilled.


Quote
Not my issue. Not my problem.

Aren't you just a little curious what you might get out of this campaign?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Jr460 on February 08, 2019, 01:31:39 pm
Just reading along.

As others have said, you will not get the real story.   The IP angle is just something that sounds legit.  If they could have made it a "safety" issue, some bad parts you could get a nasty shock or explode/fire, we want it out of the public, that might have been the story.   Even if you have the right clearance, if you are not in the middle of working on it, you don't have a need to know.


I regards to KS wanting other things back that don't have a serial number....   well, line cords, low end probes, adapters, all that little stuff also needs to be disposed of correctly.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 08, 2019, 01:46:42 pm
Even if you have the right clearance, if you are not in the middle of working on it, you don't have a need to know.
Ah yes, the "Need to know" paradigm.

It is a real thing and what we are currently seeing is exactly what this would look like.

Edit:
I daresay even Keysight won't know all the details!
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: zitt on February 08, 2019, 02:49:45 pm
If you are of the opinion that somebody operating under an obvious umbrella of security is going to volunteer information when you haven't even been identified as the owner of an item of interest, then you really don't have a practical understanding of how these things work.  You should never expect to understand anything more than somebody wants the item you have and what the "made whole" aspect will mean to you.

I have the item I want. That's why I won the bid.
Seriously; I don't give a rats arse about what Keysight and Outback want.
If they have a legit reason for wanting this equipment...and it "stolen" goods; then they need to file issue with ebay and have ebay contact me. That simple.


Quote
Aren't you just a little curious what you might get out of this campaign?
Maybe a tad. but again - it's already in stupid world. handled like sh*t... bad pr... ect.
In what world is an *EMAIL* a legal process? stupid.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Towger on February 08, 2019, 04:13:42 pm


I suggest you contact the coordinator (Keysight) and not simply be dismissive because of the messenger (Outback).

The problem is people have as requested contacted Keysight, but they have not bothered to reply back.

The only Keysight response is from Daniel.  Who is probably thinking those legal clowns have created a huge unprofessional PR mess.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 08, 2019, 06:02:18 pm
If they have a legit reason for wanting this equipment...and it "stolen" goods; then they need to file issue with ebay and have ebay contact me. That simple.
I think it curious that you feel eBay is a necessary path for communication.  EBay proclaims that it is just a venue and that the transaction is between the Seller and the Buyer.  If anything, the communication from Outback would carry the authority, not from eBay - at least that's how I see it.


Quote
In what world is an *EMAIL* a legal process? stupid.
The same world that accepts a fax as a legal document - and has done for many, many years.  Do you have any bills sent to you via email?  Does the date of those count as official notification?  I kinda think so.


You are entitled to act in whatever manner you see fit - but I question the wisdom of this attitude.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 08, 2019, 06:50:10 pm
It’s a good point.

eBay explicitly make it so you have the contract of sale with them. That’s part of the service they offer. Thus the transaction is between them and you if you paid via their service or escrow.

Email is useless for legal documents because there’s no verifiable source and no signing (and no one knows about or cares about PGP). I work in financial services and it’s paper and electronic signing only.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 08, 2019, 07:07:26 pm
The problem is people have as requested contacted Keysight, but they have not bothered to reply back.

Yeah - That's dropping the ball - badly.  It will be enough to put people off which will make their job even harder.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bitwelder on February 08, 2019, 08:46:29 pm
What if some owner answers to KS that s/he OK with returning the instrument, but because of own 'internal policy' s/he first has to take a precautionary backup dump of every non-volatile storage device included in the instrument?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 08, 2019, 08:56:43 pm
No one cares about that really. This is merely bureaucratic soul reaping (for lack of a better term)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jjoonathan on February 08, 2019, 10:31:17 pm
In what world is an *EMAIL* a legal process? stupid.

I assumed that the email was a courtesy and that the legally important document was the (identical) registered letter I received two days later.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: gnavigator1007 on February 08, 2019, 10:44:03 pm
In what world is an *EMAIL* a legal process? stupid.

I assumed that the email was a courtesy and that the legally important document was the (identical) registered letter I received two days later.

The letter reads like they're covering their legal bases and at this time they're only asking for your assistance, going so far as to say, "Keysight prefers to follow a cooperative approach to that end, rather than a formal legal approach, and it hopes  that you will cooperate with this effort." To me, it doesn't seem like a bad thing to have a reputable test equipment company effectively owing me a favor.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jjoonathan on February 08, 2019, 10:46:58 pm
Right.

The problem is people have as requested contacted Keysight, but they have not bothered to reply back.

Yeah - That's dropping the ball - badly.  It will be enough to put people off which will make their job even harder.
I was able to get in touch with both Outback and Vincent Harrington at Durie Tangrie (representing Keysight) by phone on relatively short notice, but they did not return my emails. I suspect a legal/organizational constraint where all "outgoing opposition communication" has to be be signed off by Marc Mayer or something. The original letter has his very literal signature on it.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 08, 2019, 11:20:47 pm
In what world is an *EMAIL* a legal process? stupid.

I assumed that the email was a courtesy and that the legally important document was the (identical) registered letter I received two days later.
Where was this sent from -  Keysight ( or their lawyer)  or Outback?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 08, 2019, 11:26:38 pm
In what world is an *EMAIL* a legal process? stupid.

I assumed that the email was a courtesy and that the legally important document was the (identical) registered letter I received two days later.

That's a rather sensible thing to do.  Issue an immediate notification via email while you get the formal letters off.  Those extra days could have seen some of the gear change hands, adding to the challenge of recovery.

At least there's no question about the validity of the campaign now.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 08, 2019, 11:28:14 pm
In what world is an *EMAIL* a legal process? stupid.

I assumed that the email was a courtesy and that the legally important document was the (identical) registered letter I received two days later.
Where was this sent from -  Keysight ( or their lawyer)  or Outback?

My guess is Keysight (or their lawyer).  They are the logical party (as I see it) plus they are more likely to have better security clearance.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: soldar on February 08, 2019, 11:28:36 pm
eBay explicitly make it so you have the contract of sale with them. That’s part of the service they offer. Thus the transaction is between them and you if you paid via their service or escrow.
This phrasing is very ambiguous because "them" could be ebay, the seller, or that guy crossing the street over there. So, it could be true, it could be false, it could be true and false at the same time, it could be a little bit true...

At any rate, the way I understand it the transaction is between buyer and seller and ebay is not the seller or dealer but is brokering the transaction. They may offer additional services like escrow, payment processing, insurance, etc. but ultimately the purchase transaction is between buyer and seller.

So "them" is the "seller". Although I guess it ultimately depends on what the meaning of "is" is. :)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 08, 2019, 11:38:40 pm
eBay terms are very clear. They hire lawyers and everything...
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 08, 2019, 11:52:02 pm
In what world is an *EMAIL* a legal process? stupid.

I assumed that the email was a courtesy and that the legally important document was the (identical) registered letter I received two days later.
Where was this sent from -  Keysight ( or their lawyer)  or Outback?

My guess is Keysight (or their lawyer).  They are the logical party (as I see it) plus they are more likely to have better security clearance.
In which case Outback, probably illegally, gave them the buyer's address and info on what they purchased.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: soldar on February 09, 2019, 12:10:05 am
eBay terms are very clear.
Unlike your posts. What is that supposed to mean? We can all agree eBay's terms are very clear. That is not the question being asked though. The question being asked if the seller is eBay or the listing seller. So eBay's terms are very clear. OK. What are they? Can somebody link and cite? Because saying "Ebay's terms are very clear and the seller is "them" is pretty much meaningless. Who is "them"? Really, are we trying to communicate or to obfuscate? Can we have a link to eBay's page explaining who "them" is?

OK, I went searching myself:
Quote
https://www.ebay.com/help/policies/member-behaviour-policies/user-agreement?id=4259 (https://www.ebay.com/help/policies/member-behaviour-policies/user-agreement?id=4259)

eBay is a marketplace that allows users to offer, sell and buy just about anything in a variety of pricing formats and locations. The actual contract for sale is directly between the seller and buyer.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Stray Electron on February 09, 2019, 12:54:49 am
This is timely

https://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2019/02/navy-needs-2-tons-storage-devices-burned-ash/154629/ (https://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2019/02/navy-needs-2-tons-storage-devices-burned-ash/154629/)

Can't help laughing that a MISSILE RANGE needs a subcontractor to 'burn devices to ash'.
Why don't they just use them for target practice ?

   Just as a side note, one of my friends owns a large gun shop.  When they wanted to upgrade their old computer they needed to complete destroy their hard drive to be sure that no one could possibly recover the data off of it.  I advised them to take the drive out and chop it up with an axe.  The owner called a few days later and thanked me for that advice, she said that she was able to rid her herself all all of her frustrations that she's ever had with that computer while smashing the hard drive to itty bitty pieces!  Perhaps the USN should just line up all of those hard drives on the rifle range and give everyone a gun and let them use them for target practice.  Of if the navy can't handle that take them over to a USMC base. I KNOW that they could handle it, they LOVE to destroy things.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 09, 2019, 01:14:37 am
eBay terms are very clear.
Unlike your posts. What is that supposed to mean? We can all agree eBay's terms are very clear. That is not the question being asked though. The question being asked if the seller is eBay or the listing seller. So eBay's terms are very clear. OK. What are they? Can somebody link and cite? Because saying "Ebay's terms are very clear and the seller is "them" is pretty much meaningless. Who is "them"? Really, are we trying to communicate or to obfuscate? Can we have a link to eBay's page explaining who "them" is?

OK, I went searching myself:
Quote
https://www.ebay.com/help/policies/member-behaviour-policies/user-agreement?id=4259 (https://www.ebay.com/help/policies/member-behaviour-policies/user-agreement?id=4259)

eBay is a marketplace that allows users to offer, sell and buy just about anything in a variety of pricing formats and locations. The actual contract for sale is directly between the seller and buyer.

That’s only the case if it’s a C2C transaction and that can be disputed on the basis that the seller may be masking a business. B2C/B2B, they are a facilitator, much as amazon are, and are required to proxy consumer protection laws. It turns into a four party agreement in some cases which is difficult.  Note that eBay user agreement does not change statutory law and they know that. It says that in our local terms. Have you noticed how the buyer is always right? That’s because they don’t want to risk that liability even if they disclaim it.

Fundamentally buck stops at eBay. But the easiest ride is at the credit card company or Paypal.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Stray Electron on February 09, 2019, 01:36:45 am

At least there's no question about the validity of the campaign now.


   I completely disagree. The complete lack of any follow up response from HP or their attorney even after buyers have contacted them greatly disturbs me and makes me think all the more that this is some kind of scam.  Daniel has said that he knows the HP rep that's named on the letter but won't say any more than that so again, the complete lack of any details makes me deeply suspicious.

   One more thing,  I've been in many situations where I was promised "to be made whole" but I've always been short changed in the process (taxes weren't paid, my time complying with their documentation wasn't paid for, lost money of exchange rates, etc etc).   So I'm highly skeptical that if I turned anything over to "them", that I would be provided with a suitable replacement.  Most likely they would only pay what I paid for the basic item and nothing more.  So I would be out all of the time that I searched for the item, my expenses purchasing it and having it shipped to me, the cost of cleaning and repairing and calibrating it, the costs of manuals and probes, the time that I invested in learning how to use it, etc etc. In short, I see NO benefit to cooperating with this inquiry.  One of the things that greatly concerns me is that even if they gave me a new piece of gear, I seriously doubt that it would be built to the quality standards that my old HP gear was. Also my old gear uses many off the shelf parts and there is at least some technical documentation so it is MOL repairable.  The new HP gear?  No, when it fails throw it in the trash or spend a fortune to send it back to HP for (board-lever replacement only) repair. I purposely buy the older HP (and other) Test Equipment and not the new stuff because it IS repairable and has real technical manuals. I've looked at the new HP gear and yes it has better specifications but nothing that I need and as far as I'm concerned the lack of repairability and maintainability outweighs the increase in performance so I'm not interested even if they offered a NEW piece of TE in exchange.

  My $0.02 worth.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: soldar on February 09, 2019, 01:45:26 am
That’s only the case if it’s a C2C transaction and that can be disputed on the basis that the seller may be masking a business. B2C/B2B, they are a facilitator, much as amazon are, and are required to proxy consumer protection laws. It turns into a four party agreement in some cases which is difficult.  Note that eBay user agreement does not change statutory law and they know that. It says that in our local terms. Have you noticed how the buyer is always right? That’s because they don’t want to risk that liability even if they disclaim it.

Fundamentally buck stops at eBay. But the easiest ride is at the credit card company or Paypal.
I am sure you have plenty of cites supporting this view. Can we see one or two?  I would like to see a court ruling that says eBay is considered to be the seller and is responsible for the sale. Otherwise it's just your unsupported opinion. Let us see a citation.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 09, 2019, 02:08:36 am
It’s basic commercial law. Go looky go findy. I’m not your consultant.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Fraser on February 09, 2019, 02:23:01 am
I have personal experience of dealing with eBay on a matter that ended up in the hands of the Police. Here is what I learnt during a very unpleasant situation with an absolute nut case of a seller who threatened GBH against myself and my family.

1. EBay is a platform that brings seller and buyer together.
2. EBay have rules by which seller and buyers must abide to remain on the platform.
3. EBay at no time guarantees or underwrites the provision of an item from a seller. They are only a conduit of communication and referee in disputes.
4. EBay has the power to warn a seller or buyer of wrongdoing and the ultimate sanction is cancellation of a persons account. They may also choose to use other Sources of information to prevent the barred person opening a new account. Various sources of intelligence are available to them.
5. A seller who refuses to ship an item will be warned about their breach of the rules but not normally subject to cancellation of their account unless a habiltual offender.
6. EBay do not like cancelling sellers or buyers accounts for obvious reasons ..... money !
7. EBay have a dedicated security team who engage in matters involving stolen or counterfeit items. They will co-operate with the Police if asked for an account owners details and sales/purchase history.
8. EBay has no powers beyond a civilian company and any illegal activity is normally referred to the Police either by them or the Person making a complaint. It is normally the latter in most cases, as in mine.
9. EBay take a fee for auctions and sales but take no responsibility for what is sold on their platform beyond prohibiting certain items like animals, firearms and swords etc. If a deal goes bad or is illegal EBay will work on behalf of a a buyer to recover the buyers funds. That is the limit of their responsibility beyond warning an account owner of unacceptable behaviour.
10. EBay made it very clear to me that I needed to engage the Police in my case but they were also clear that they are just a platform with no great powers and very reliant on the good morals of the account holders. Punitive action is therefore very limited and they take no responsibility for the behaviour of account holders.

In my case, the seller was immediately banned for life with a full EBay internal investigation started and all possible means used to detect if the seller ever tries to open an EBay account again. The Seller was facing 2 years in prison and a criminal record so it was a very serious matter. As I have stated, EBay is just a communications platform that has internal rules and will co-operate with the Police of the host country.

Hope this help a little to understand what EBay is, and is not :)

Fraser
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: soldar on February 09, 2019, 02:26:50 am
It’s basic commercial law. Go looky go findy. I’m not your consultant.

Of course, of course. First it was "eBay terms are clear and they even have lawyers" and now it's "eBay's terms are not worth the paper they are written on because it is basic commercial law".  And I guess now they don't have lawyers. Of course.

Forgive me if I find your arguments somewhat weak and not convincing. Unless you can find some good citations I am going with what eBay says.

E.T.A.: What Fraser said.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jjoonathan on February 09, 2019, 02:29:16 am

At least there's no question about the validity of the campaign now.


   I completely disagree. The complete lack of any follow up response from HP or their attorney
Complete lack of any followup? I was able to get in touch with both Outback and Durie Tangrie by phone within hours, and they told me not to expect formal next steps until they had finished the "track down equipment" phase.

We have an upper bound on how long they expect the "track down equipment" phase to take: I promised to keep the equipment off the market for 6 months as a courtesy and asked if that jibed with their schedule. They expected it to be more than enough.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 09, 2019, 02:37:45 am
Replying to both Fraser and soldar...

That was handled how it should have been. Any threats, police.

However I’ve had eBay directly cough up themselves immediately after quoting CRA 2015 at them to the tune of £300 over the last couple of years. Firstly because in a four party agreement, one party (Argos) failed and they were not subcontracted by me but the intermediatory (eBay). Secondly because the seller did not respond and provided a fake tracking ID. They were not responsive to my complaints suggesting I take it up with the seller. A letter headed reminder from the legal firm I was working for at the time was sent to them and they responded within 24 hours with a complete refund.

The problem is regardless of what eBay say they are, their entire business swings on ignorance of legislation designed to protect the buyer. And they know that very well. A contract can be written which is contrary to statutory law but that doesn’t mean that it is applicable, just people who read it think it is. That’s SOP in 2018. Apple do it with their warranty claims process as well. Their lawyers know this. The terms are clear. But that doesn’t affect your rights (unless you live somewhere with poor consumer rights)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: soldar on February 09, 2019, 03:36:05 am
You ever heard of Preponderance of the Evidence? Good, because I just talked to her and she told me she ain't pointing in your direction.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 09, 2019, 03:58:04 am
This isn’t a trial so that’s not an issue ;)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Stray Electron on February 09, 2019, 08:02:46 am

At least there's no question about the validity of the campaign now.


   I completely disagree. The complete lack of any follow up response from HP or their attorney
Complete lack of any followup? I was able to get in touch with both Outback and Durie Tangrie by phone within hours, and they told me not to expect formal next steps until they had finished the "track down equipment" phase.

We have an upper bound on how long they expect the "track down equipment" phase to take: I promised to keep the equipment off the market for 6 months as a courtesy and asked if that jibed with their schedule. They expected it to be more than enough.

   AND, you're the first person that has come on this forum and said that they actually got some kind of response from HP or their "representative".  This discussion has been going on for weeks and no one has told the buyers anything beyond what was in the initial letter.  That's a huge failure on HP's part IMO.  Also the last post on here regarding contact with Outback was they they said "Contact HP" and nothing else.

   You may be willing to wait and I have no plans to sell any equipment but OTOH I'd not going to have my hands tied for the next six? months while waiting for HP or their representatives to get their act together.  That should have been done before they contacted anyone.  Again that shows a total lack of professionalism IMO. 
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: zitt on February 09, 2019, 09:35:45 am
I think it curious that you feel eBay is a necessary path for communication.  EBay proclaims that it is just a venue and that the transaction is between the Seller and the Buyer.  If anything, the communication from Outback would carry the authority, not from eBay - at least that's how I see it.
If it's a seller on Ebay; Ebay is the ONLY method of communication - Not 100% sure but I'd be surprised if Ebay didn't state that in their TOS.

Quote
The same world that accepts a fax as a legal document - and has done for many, many years.  Do you have any bills sent to you via email?  Does the date of those count as official notification?  I kinda think so.

You are entitled to act in whatever manner you see fit - but I question the wisdom of this attitude.

No; all of my bills are paper. (old fashioned)
With all the princes in Nigeria wanting to give me a million dollars; Email is *not* a legal document. Are you really surprised by this attitude or are you just nieve? Up until this thread I didn't even know whom "outback" was... I now know they are the sellers of the BK instrument I bought. So; yeah, I'm more than a little surprised and question the "validity" of getting a legal sounding email (without physical letter followup) form a "lawyer" claiming to be part of Keysight. There's more than enough WTF to go around here.=

No; I haven't gotten any registered letter from these jokers.
So I would be out all of the time that I searched for the item, my expenses purchasing it and having it shipped to me, the cost of cleaning and repairing and calibrating it, the costs of manuals and probes, the time that I invested in learning how to use it, etc etc. In short, I see NO benefit to cooperating with this inquiry

This guy gets it.
More importantly; I'm not going to admit I have something or that I won't sell it to the next person. Why would I do that? I'm not going to do the leg work for something they haven't even bothered to send a physical letter on. Now that I find out the communication is a black hole.

Maybe I should call them from a blocked cell phone... or my IP phone... to have a short verbal discussion with them. 
Curiosity is definitely interesting to me now... but I just feel like it's a lot of time that is going to end up being nothing other than an eventual sales call.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 09, 2019, 11:10:34 am

So I would be out all of the time that I searched for the item, my expenses purchasing it and having it shipped to me, the cost of cleaning and repairing and calibrating it, the costs of manuals and probes, the time that I invested in learning how to use it, etc etc. In short, I see NO benefit to cooperating with this inquiry

This guy gets it.
There's one big assumption in there - that compensation will be less than the value (to them) represented by the bit of kit they acquired.  Sure, the concept of "made whole" is a bit nebulous until a firm offer is put on the table, but I think dismissing this purely on speculation is dumb.  I know I'd like to know what was on offer before digging in my heels.

There is one aspect which I can understand, though: Making good on the promise.  An attractive offer can be made, but if it isn't delivered, then that would be painful.  The good news is - if that were to happen, then you could share that fact here.  That would not be one bit of PR that Keysight would like in the slightest - and I just can't imagine Keysight letting it go that far in the first place.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Miti on February 09, 2019, 01:03:10 pm
I wasn't expecting this show to last this long. I'm almost out of popcorn... :popcorn:
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: plurn on February 09, 2019, 03:49:33 pm
... When they wanted to upgrade their old computer they needed to complete destroy their hard drive to be sure that no one could possibly recover the data off of it.  I advised them to take the drive out and chop it up with an axe.  The owner called a few days later and thanked me for that advice, she said that she was able to rid her herself all all of her frustrations that she's ever had with that computer while smashing the hard drive to itty bitty pieces! ...

Helping you out since you neglected to include the obligatory link to the office space printer scene. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9wsjroVlu8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9wsjroVlu8)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 09, 2019, 09:29:32 pm

There is one aspect which I can understand, though: Making good on the promise.  An attractive offer can be made, but if it isn't delivered, then that would be painful.  The good news is - if that were to happen, then you could share that fact here.  That would not be one bit of PR that Keysight would like in the slightest - and I just can't imagine Keysight letting it go that far in the first place.
That's simple - state that you will consider any offer a legally binding contract, so if they don't follow through you have legal recourse.
Or make any exchange via a 3rd-party escrow.

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 09, 2019, 10:11:22 pm
That's simple - state that you will consider any offer a legally binding contract, so if they don't follow through you have legal recourse.
Or make any exchange via a 3rd-party escrow.
The cynics might say that's easier said than done.  Indeed, getting such things in writing is one hurdle.  Chasing them up afterwards if they do not perform is another.

One might expect any such offers from Keysight would be honoured without necessitating enforcement actions - but I will admit such a belief is my personal expectation.  I have no actual examples to cite.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Neomys Sapiens on February 10, 2019, 11:37:34 am
Indeed. You just get buggered for inheritance tax instead (this is a battle I have already fought once)

A good reference to HMRC is the dystopian state in the film “Brazil”
Nowadays, not many days pass without that film coming to my mind at least once.
I only say 'beauty parlor'.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jsantoro on February 11, 2019, 06:17:43 am
I just received the same letter for a HP3561 I purchased a year ago. I sold it this past spring. I am not a vendor and keep no records of sales.  And that's what I will tell Keysight or the lawyers if they call me. This thing is 30 years old, must be some contract thing they are trying to check the boxes on.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: zitt on February 12, 2019, 08:29:05 am
Update:
I just got the physical letter... sent from CA on Feb 6th... with the letter stating a response requested by Feb 7th.
Of course; it was a stamped letter; not certified.

Keystone cops I tell ya.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Yansi on February 12, 2019, 08:52:01 am
Haha, then in your replay, give them also a response request by a date and give them the same time, as the gave you.

AS seen from this topic, they are playing a dead bug and not responding.


Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 12, 2019, 09:49:19 am
AS seen from this topic, they are playing a dead bug and not responding.

I just don't have anything I can add at this point...

We're not going to go crazy on people, it won't hurt you to respond. But, it could definitely help!
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: nctnico on February 12, 2019, 09:55:35 am
@Daniel: just wondering how many pieces of equipment need to be traced... 10? 100? 1000? If it is several hundred pieces or more I can imagine it will take time to get a response out to individual people.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: tggzzz on February 12, 2019, 10:08:49 am
AS seen from this topic, they are playing a dead bug and not responding.

I just don't have anything I can add at this point...

We're not going to go crazy on people, it won't hurt you to respond. But, it could definitely help!

Caveat: I don't know anything of this situation.

When Bill and Dave were around,  doing then right thing for customers was embedded in the HP way. That kind of corporate culture is extremely difficult to change,. Unless there is a solid reason to believe otherwise, I would take Keysight's statements at face value.

Now I am only too aware that princess Fiorina deleted the HPWay and replaced it with the incomprehensible Rules of the Garage, but there was an old saying "The real HP is alive and well , and is called Agilent".
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 12, 2019, 10:55:33 am
I don't think we can expect Daniel to provide a whole lot of information.  I'm sure he is aware of some facts - but possibly not a big picture - that "need to know" thing.  Whatever he does know is quite probably locked behind a razor wire fence of confidentiality.

I think the best way to look at the situation is to think of the gear as coming from some DoD contractor on a super secret project (I have no idea if this is true - but it's a useful viewpoint).  In such a case, the powers that be are probably uncomfortable that the campaign is even being discussed here and that Daniel has probably only been "cleared" to confirm the campaign is real in order to help it achieve its goal.  I have little doubt there will be someone monitoring the EEVblog forum - not to facilitate the campaign, but to ensure no breaches of security are made.

Certainly, the response time leaves much to be desired - but who of us that have worked with large corporate and/or government entities haven't seen some processes run at such a speed that it makes glacial movement look like white water rafting?  Certainly if the number of items is large, then that could help explain things - but so, too, could the process itself if there were specific checks and balances.  I would not be at all surprised if each letter and email sent out were reviewed by a censor before release - and if that means reading dozens of identical form letters, then that's what will happen.


The simple fact of the matter is if you want a concrete understanding of what's going on - then that's not going to happen ... here or anywhere else.  You can't get too precious about secrecy - it exists for a reason.  My guess is, if you want to know what sort of deal the "make whole" offer is all about, then you are going to have to be one of the people who have been approached - and - you will have to respond to Keysight.  Also, I would not be at all surprised that those who do make contact and receive an offer will be required to keep any details confidential - so the rest of us aren't going to find out.  I can live with that - even though I'm as curious as the next person.

Why I would follow through:
 1. The fact that people have been approached means that they have some leverage in this situation
 2. It's been said more than once that the effort will be worth it and if I were presented with an opportunity which resulted in a net increase in the value of my position, then passing it up doesn't sound smart
 3. There will have been a budget set, apportioned across all the equipment.  I would like the portion for my bit of kit (if I had any) to be weighted towards the "make whole" section of the balance sheet, rather than the "chasing the bastard down" section
 4. I'd be interested in getting my offer earlier than later
 5. I'd rather find out what the deal was than to dig my heels in, which would, in effect, be cutting off my nose to spite my face
 6. I'd still be concerned that things might escalate if I were to be stubborn


For those of you who may think I'm a Keysight fan boy - I'm not.  Yes, I don't mind their gear (not that I have any) but I am ambivalent about the corporate side.  My only interest in posting here is to present a perspective that might encourage some people to participate in the campaign so they can benefit.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 12, 2019, 11:05:18 am
Thanks tggzzz. The official HP Way was before my time, but I feel that it's still very much a part of our DNA.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 12, 2019, 11:09:00 am
@Brumby, thanks!

I'm very hopeful that I can share the situation on here at some point soon-ish, but don't want to make any enemies in our legal dept  :-DD.

For now, it's  :popcorn: and  :horse: for me but I will be fighting to get more info out as soon as I can. I'll also say that, in general, it's not a big federal security issue. I believe the feds could just show up and take stuff if that were the case. I'm not ruling out the secret federal side of things, but to my knowledge that's not the main concern.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Yansi on February 12, 2019, 11:11:52 am
When I wrote "playing dead bug not responding", I didn't mean Daniel, of course, but those folks from whom the scary letters go.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 12, 2019, 11:32:04 am
Sounds like I may have overstated the secrecy element.  Cool.

It would be nice to have some details - even just for a nosy parker like me.  ;D   ... but, yeah, don't cross the legal department.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: rsjsouza on February 12, 2019, 02:31:36 pm
Brumby, that is an excellent summary of all the points that were already beaten to death throughout this thread.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: gnavigator1007 on February 12, 2019, 02:48:32 pm
Feel bad that Daniel has been stuck dealing with the fallout of this on the forum when this would appear to not be his area otherwise. Not sure that it would help with some of the more rigid members that have received this letter, but it might not be a bad idea for Marc Mayer to respond personally here.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jjoonathan on February 12, 2019, 03:35:31 pm
Feel bad that Daniel has been stuck dealing with the fallout of this on the forum
You and me both.

Quote
Not sure that it would help with some of the more rigid members that have received this letter, but it might not be a bad idea for Marc Mayer to respond personally here.

If someone has already decided to ignore registered mail with his signature on it why would that change their mind?

Quote
When I wrote "playing dead bug not responding", I didn't mean Daniel, of course, but those folks from whom the scary letters go.
Use. Your. Telephone.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jjoonathan on February 12, 2019, 03:56:37 pm
NOTE: This message has been deleted by the forum moderator Simon for being against the forum rules and/or at the discretion of the moderator as being in the best interests of the forum community and the nature of the thread.
If you believe this to be in error, please contact the moderator involved.
An optional additional explanation is:
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bitseeker on February 12, 2019, 04:36:02 pm
This is the first time I've seen an incident like this with old gear. Following along to see how it all turns out.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Simon on February 12, 2019, 06:31:10 pm
Replying to both Fraser and soldar...

That was handled how it should have been. Any threats, police.

However I’ve had eBay directly cough up themselves immediately after quoting CRA 2015 at them to the tune of £300 over the last couple of years. Firstly because in a four party agreement, one party (Argos) failed and they were not subcontracted by me but the intermediatory (eBay). Secondly because the seller did not respond and provided a fake tracking ID. They were not responsive to my complaints suggesting I take it up with the seller. A letter headed reminder from the legal firm I was working for at the time was sent to them and they responded within 24 hours with a complete refund.

The problem is regardless of what eBay say they are, their entire business swings on ignorance of legislation designed to protect the buyer. And they know that very well. A contract can be written which is contrary to statutory law but that doesn’t mean that it is applicable, just people who read it think it is. That’s SOP in 2018. Apple do it with their warranty claims process as well. Their lawyers know this. The terms are clear. But that doesn’t affect your rights (unless you live somewhere with poor consumer rights)

Ebay I have found write their own terms ignorant of law and other peoples terms, they over rule GDPR law and they have terms that contradict the terms of other companies that aroe the deciding factor like resolution times for undelivered goods that cannot yet be claimed as lost by the couriers terms. I avoid them and those that want to do business with me through them have to pay a premium.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 12, 2019, 06:48:55 pm
Feel bad that Daniel has been stuck dealing with the fallout of this on the forum when this would appear to not be his area otherwise. Not sure that it would help with some of the more rigid members that have received this letter, but it might not be a bad idea for Marc Mayer to respond personally here.

You're too kind, I sort of enjoy it in some sick way  :-DD. Anything on the forum has pseudo become my area - they say possession is 9/10 of the law!

I'll mention it to Marc, but odds are I'll act as a sort of spokesman in this situation since I have the history here. I've personally talked with him about this thread, so any facts/info that I've given is coming from him. I've not asked for a full rundown on the plan at this point because there's nothing I could do with that info, but I'm aware of the situation we're trying to fix. My understanding is that things are still a bit in flux, but we're definitely not going to do anything malicious or what Marc would consider to be aggressive towards people with the equipment in question.

In my limited experience, that letter seems to be a pretty benign one. However, it's very easy to perceive any sort of action like that as hostile just because it's coming from lawyers.

Thank you everyone for your patience!
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Towger on February 12, 2019, 07:11:18 pm
Yet, Marc is not replying to his requested email.  This annoys customers.   A more professional approach is thanking customers for responding to the emails/letters and informing them of the current state of play.  Even if it is to inform them of a delay.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: HighVoltage on February 12, 2019, 07:16:14 pm

Thank you everyone for your patience!
Thanks Daniel

Can you say, if this is limited to the USA or North American market?
Or can we expect anything like this also in the European market.

Also:
I am constantly buying older Agilent / HP gear on eBay in Europe.
What to watch out for, so we will not end up in this legal spiral?
 
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: zucca on February 12, 2019, 07:30:47 pm
A letter headed reminder from the legal firm I was working for at the time was sent to them and they responded within 24 hours with a complete refund.

I wish to have a lawyer in my relatives circles.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 12, 2019, 07:35:51 pm
You can just pay one to write what the hell you want on a bit of paper.

So can keysight for reference...
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 12, 2019, 11:11:18 pm
Also:
I am constantly buying older Agilent / HP gear on eBay in Europe.
What to watch out for, so we will not end up in this legal spiral?

I'm going to jump in on this one:  I believe you won't have anything you can check.  It will just be a random event as far as anyone buying second hand gear is concerned.

My suggestion is to just buy whatever seems reasonable - or don't buy anything.  Keep some basic records of what you bought and from whom and if sold on, who bought it.

If people get too paranoid, then the second hand market is going to die with a whimper.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: analogRF on February 12, 2019, 11:24:32 pm

Thank you everyone for your patience!
Thanks Daniel

Can you say, if this is limited to the USA or North American market?
Or can we expect anything like this also in the European market.

Also:
I am constantly buying older Agilent / HP gear on eBay in Europe.
What to watch out for, so we will not end up in this legal spiral?

one person had a BK Precision equipment and received the letter from Keysight a few pages back...
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 12, 2019, 11:27:43 pm
... I sort of enjoy it in some sick way  :-DD.
OK.  You belong here - and deserve everything you get  ;)

Quote
My understanding is that things are still a bit in flux
I suspect the initial contact was a knee jerk reaction - possibly to get the word out sooner than later in order to pin gear down before it gets sold on.  Then people sat down to work out how to proceed.  This explains exactly what we are seeing right now.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mnementh on February 13, 2019, 12:29:49 am
(http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x462/mnemennth/relax-weareallcrazy.jpg)

mnem
 :popcorn:
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Towger on February 13, 2019, 04:49:52 am
Can you say, if this is limited to the USA or North American market?
Or can we expect anything like this also in the European market.

GDPR...
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: MadTux on February 13, 2019, 05:04:07 am
GDPR...

But what if I accidentally "lost" the equipment, sold it or or gave it to some friend, whose name I forgot ;D
Or the serial number plate fell off?
And I've heard that there might be some cheap "serial number carriers" available from Israel, that otherwise have little use, because the equipment is totally rusted inside, because of spending years in a salt desert. Might be useful for trade in.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 13, 2019, 05:30:41 am
My understanding is that it will be mostly US/North America, but can't say definitively that there won't be any in other parts of the world.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: zitt on February 13, 2019, 06:45:57 pm
one person had a BK Precision equipment and received the letter from Keysight a few pages back...

Yeap. That would be me.
And Nothing from the email address whom sent the "suspect" letter... but admittedly I was less than helpful.
I'm still firmly in the camp of not my problem. These yahoos aren't making this easy with all the cloak and dagger, no response black-hole crap.
I honestly have better things to do than pick up the phone - and really don't have the time with the day job an such.
Not to mention for them to have a legal voice record of what was said on that call. I mean; I'm stupid... but not that stupid.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 13, 2019, 11:21:47 pm
And Nothing from the email address whom sent the "suspect" letter... but admittedly I was less than helpful.
Somehow, I think you won't be the only one.  If they have any feel for how different people react, then it shouldn't be too much of a problem for them to take it on the chin.

Quote
I'm still firmly in the camp of not my problem. These yahoos aren't making this easy with all the cloak and dagger, no response black-hole crap.
While I do believe there is an element of confidentiality involved, I am getting the feeling that the lack of response is simply part of the bureaucratic process.  Knee jerk reaction - send out notifications ASAP (so as to limit the further dispersal of equipment) followed by sitting down to actually organise how the process will actually work.  Unprofessional? - maybe, but that makes a whole lot of sense to me.

My suggestion: Give them some time to sort themselves out and see what is said when they do.  In the mean time, just forget about them.  I'd also suggest not selling the item.  I get the feeling they may make it worth your while.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mrt12 on February 14, 2019, 08:24:09 am
Hey Guys,

I just got the exact same letter for some network analyzer equipment I bought over one year ago.
This is silly, because the thing is from 1988.

Besides that, I do live in the EU, GDPR comes to my mind as well... but anyways, what was the solution to the problem? they ask me to confirm withdrawal of this device from the market. For sure it is withdrawn because it stays in my home lab? And besides that, how could I proof withdrawal of such things? (by the way, I bought the device as being "untested", and indeed, it was not working properly, so I repaired it.)

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: langwadt on February 14, 2019, 08:45:45 am
Hey Guys,

I just got the exact same letter for some network analyzer equipment I bought over one year ago.
This is silly, because the thing is from 1988.

Besides that, I do live in the EU, GDPR comes to my mind as well... but anyways, what was the solution to the problem? they ask me to confirm withdrawal of this device from the market. For sure it is withdrawn because it stays in my home lab? And besides that, how could I proof withdrawal of such things? (by the way, I bought the device as being "untested", and indeed, it was not working properly, so I repaired it.)


it is yours, they have no right to ask for anything. if they want it off the market they'll have to buy it
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: sokoloff on February 14, 2019, 08:48:58 am
but anyways, what was the solution to the problem? they ask me to confirm withdrawal of this device from the market. For sure it is withdrawn because it stays in my home lab? And besides that, how could I proof withdrawal of such things? (by the way, I bought the device as being "untested", and indeed, it was not working properly, so I repaired it.)
If you have a device that you are able to sell and Keysight expects you to agree not to sell it, they can either pay you a sum of money to agree to not sell it or they can buy it from you. The fact that you don't currently intend to sell it is largely irrelevant; they're asking you to give up your option to sell it at some point in the future and convincing you into giving up that option is going to cost money.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: MadTux on February 14, 2019, 09:08:06 am
And sure, I got a silly letter as well.
An old HP-3335A, even older than 1988 and not so well maintained as well.
And if it's only about reselling, no problem btw, that thing will stay at me forever and I certainly won't trade it in.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 14, 2019, 09:24:02 am
Hey Guys,

I just got the exact same letter for some network analyzer equipment I bought over one year ago.
This is silly, because the thing is from 1988.
Yes, it may seem silly - but we have all figured out that there must have been some equipment that was not meant to be sold and that this is a recovery campaign to try and get it back.  The reason - bureaucracy.  We are guessing (with high confidence) that it is simply a clause in a contract that governed the end of life of this equipment.

Quote
Besides that, I do live in the EU, GDPR comes to my mind as well... but anyways, what was the solution to the problem? they ask me to confirm withdrawal of this device from the market.
This is first contact.  They just want to make sure they don't have to chase it any further.  Nothing more.

Quote
For sure it is withdrawn because it stays in my home lab? And besides that, how could I proof withdrawal of such things? (by the way, I bought the device as being "untested", and indeed, it was not working properly, so I repaired it.)
Just reply and tell them exactly that.  Then wait for further communications.

We are guessing this might take a few weeks, since the first contact was probably a rush job to try and minimise the time where gear could be sold on - and that the organisation of what happens next is still being sorted out.

From what has been said, it would seem participating in this campaign is going to be worth your time.  Our best guess is there might be some exchange of equipment and/or possibly some cash consideration ... but our guessing suggests the value of the item won't be what you paid for it - but will represent it's current condition - so if you've repaired it, then its value will be consistent with a functional device, not what you paid.

As I said, these are just guesses since there haven't been any formal offers made that we know of - but it fits the 'vibe' that these letters have presented.

Some members have expressed their intention to "dig their heels in" and/or misdirect the campaign operators.  Whether this is from fear of losing out or just "sticking it to the man", I think doing so would result in them missing out.


My suggestion is: Let them know, hang on to the gear - and wait for further contact.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 14, 2019, 09:31:06 am
And sure, I got a silly letter as well.
An old HP-3335A, even older than 1988 and not so well maintained as well.
And if it's only about reselling, no problem btw, that thing will stay at me forever and I certainly won't trade it in.
Yep - I can see how you feel about the situation being silly - but, as I said above, it's going to be because of some bureaucratic bungle where a certain box HAS to be ticked. 

Bureaucracy has no bounds when it comes to silliness.

I am fairly certain you will get further communication and that it will lead to an offer which will probably be appealing.  Somebody has goofed - not you - but you might want to see what they bring to the table...
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: MadTux on February 14, 2019, 10:35:33 am
Over at some German forum, someone bought repair parts for an VNA.
There, they argue that the seller was not supposed/allowed to sell these parts. Since these parts had no EPROMs inside, the vague copyright argument doesn't work there.
So the copyright stuff is only farce to get stuff back/off the market.
Thereby the "instruments from NSA/CIA/other secret organization" theory get more and more plausible
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: MaxFrister on February 14, 2019, 11:48:54 am
I wonder if we could learn something of the history of the equipment.  Often old equipment comes with multiple stickers identifying the calibration lab, last cal. date, and sometimes even an asset tag that identifies the company.

To those of you who have received the "letter", was there any identifying information on the machines? 

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Stray Electron on February 14, 2019, 02:21:07 pm
  Not on the one(s) that I dealt with.  I'm very familiar with those stickers and I know how hard they are to get off. This one(s) never had any stickers.  One piece came with a letter showing where it had been repaired by HP and returned to another HP division.  It doesn't look like it was ever taken out of the box again except to photograph it.  It included all of the cables, manuals, disk, adapters, etc and everything was still factory sealed except one probe. No dust on it anywhere or in the fan vent, no wear or grime on the buttons, etc.  Except for the one opened cable, it looked factory new.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 14, 2019, 05:39:40 pm
Good news everyone! I can finally clear this up a bit, here's the official statement.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 14, 2019, 05:40:23 pm
Recently, Keysight contacted a number of people who bought Keysight Technologies (Keysight), Agilent Technologies (Agilent), and Hewlett Packard (HP) branded equipment from Outback Equipment Company (Outback) or downstream resellers.  Some of the letters were from both Keysight and Outback.  There has been speculation about the reason behind the letters so we would like to clarify the situation.   

Keysight traces its electronic measurement roots back through Agilent to the 1939 founding of HP.  Over the years, we have collected many pieces of equipment that were never meant for resale, including units that have gone through some potentially destructive mechanical, environmental, and electrical test procedures, development test beds, alpha/beta units in some cases with customer or Keysight IP, defective units used for failure analysis, counterfeit units and the like.  When we became Keysight, much of this not-for-sale equipment was moved to our headquarters in Santa Rosa. 

In October 2017, Keysight’s headquarters buildings were severely damaged by wildfires. You can see video evidence here:  https://abc7news.com/keysight-technologies-buildings-destroyed-by-north-bay-fire/2513582/.  As a result, the equipment sustained additional smoke damage and Keysight felt it needed to be destroyed.  We hired a company to destroy it, received certificates of destruction & recycling, and believed the destruction was complete.  Unfortunately, the equipment was not destroyed and somehow made its way to the used market.  If you received a letter from us, you have one of these units.

Keysight, with the cooperation of Outback, is trying to get the equipment back so it can be destroyed as it should have been in the first place.  Keysight is not trying to get the equipment back to sell it, nor are we attempting to stifle the secondhand market for our equipment.  If it had not been for the fires, and the subsequent failure of Keysight’s contractor to destroy the equipment, the equipment would not be in circulation at all. 

We know our equipment is valued on the secondhand market in large part because of our reputation for building precise, high-quality, and highly reliable equipment.  We take pride in this reputation.  For the many reasons listed, the equipment we chose to destroy was not intended for sale and has the potential to damage our hard-earned reputation.

If you have received such a letter, we will be in touch shortly.  In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact:

Vincent Harrington, Durie Tangri LLP, vharrington@durietangri.com

Thank you for your understanding.


Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 14, 2019, 05:43:45 pm
I recognize that the above statement doesn't speak to what we will offer to people who receive the letter and help out, but I stand by my earlier statement that we won't "go crazy or anything like that."

I don't know any specifics but am confident that if you got a letter it won't be a bad thing to respond.

This should also help explain why some of the equipment in question isn't HPAK - we often acquire other vendor's gear for various reasons. You should see my bench  >:D
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: zitt on February 14, 2019, 05:51:12 pm
Well. Well. Well. This just changed my mind. A little bit of communication goes a long way to disuade the F.U.D, I had.
Now to find some time to actually respond.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: maginnovision on February 14, 2019, 05:58:21 pm
At least now(maybe) the paranoia will die down. The absolute  :scared: of it was really giving me a headache reading the conspiracies.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mrt12 on February 14, 2019, 06:00:03 pm
From what has been said, it would seem participating in this campaign is going to be worth your time.  Our best guess is there might be some exchange of equipment and/or possibly some cash consideration ... but our guessing suggests the value of the item won't be what you paid for it - but will represent it's current condition - so if you've repaired it, then its value will be consistent with a functional device, not what you paid.

I even believe that they are planning for some refund or so, but I am not interested in any money. I collect old HP equipment because my hobby is to build/repair various electronic projects, I am a radio amateur. If I send them my repaired item back, I probably get refunded with 100$ or so - and with this money I cannot do anything, because a similar device would cost probably more and they are rare (and remember I was lucky enough to find a defective device and was able to repair it). Further, since the device is no longer in production or support, Keysight is not even able to give me a replacement - I would be surprised if they give away some of their brand new VNAs / SAs / whatever in exchange for a 30 yrs old box.

I wonder if we could learn something of the history of the equipment.  Often old equipment comes with multiple stickers identifying the calibration lab, last cal. date, and sometimes even an asset tag that identifies the company.

To those of you who have received the "letter", was there any identifying information on the machines? 


No ID tag or so on my box. But it was in quite bad shape (ugly, dirty, scratches all over the place and such). I cleaned it carefully, restored some of the painting and other stuff - was quite a bit of work :-). I want my equipment to look like it is brand new.

Recently, Keysight contacted a number of people who bought Keysight Technologies (Keysight), Agilent Technologies (Agilent), and Hewlett Packard (HP) branded equipment from Outback Equipment Company (Outback) or downstream resellers.  Some of the letters were from both Keysight and Outback.  There has been speculation about the reason behind the letters so we would like to clarify the situation.   

Keysight traces its electronic measurement roots back through Agilent to the 1939 founding of HP.  Over the years, we have collected many pieces of equipment that were never meant for resale, including units that have gone through some potentially destructive mechanical, environmental, and electrical test procedures, development test beds, alpha/beta units in some cases with customer or Keysight IP, defective units used for failure analysis, counterfeit units and the like.  When we became Keysight, much of this not-for-sale equipment was moved to our headquarters in Santa Rosa. 

In October 2017, Keysight’s headquarters buildings were severely damaged by wildfires. You can see video evidence here:  https://abc7news.com/keysight-technologies-buildings-destroyed-by-north-bay-fire/2513582/.  As a result, the equipment sustained additional smoke damage and Keysight felt it needed to be destroyed.  We hired a company to destroy it, received certificates of destruction & recycling, and believed the destruction was complete.  Unfortunately, the equipment was not destroyed and somehow made its way to the used market.  If you received a letter from us, you have one of these units.

Keysight, with the cooperation of Outback, is trying to get the equipment back so it can be destroyed as it should have been in the first place.  Keysight is not trying to get the equipment back to sell it, nor are we attempting to stifle the secondhand market for our equipment.  If it had not been for the fires, and the subsequent failure of Keysight’s contractor to destroy the equipment, the equipment would not be in circulation at all. 

We know our equipment is valued on the secondhand market in large part because of our reputation for building precise, high-quality, and highly reliable equipment.  We take pride in this reputation.  For the many reasons listed, the equipment we chose to destroy was not intended for sale and has the potential to damage our hard-earned reputation.

If you have received such a letter, we will be in touch shortly.  In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact:

Vincent Harrington, Durie Tangri LLP, vharrington@durietangri.com

Thank you for your understanding.



Sorry Daniel, but I cannot believe you for 100%. Instead I simply have the feeling that Keysight wants the old HP gear off the market to sell their new stuff.

I recognize that the above statement doesn't speak to what we will offer to people who receive the letter and help out, but I stand by my earlier statement that we won't "go crazy or anything like that."

I don't know any specifics but am confident that if you got a letter it won't be a bad thing to respond.

How can we be sure that replying to the Email won't bring further troubles?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bitseeker on February 14, 2019, 06:18:02 pm
Recently, Keysight contacted a number of people who bought Keysight Technologies (Keysight), Agilent Technologies (Agilent), and Hewlett Packard (HP) branded equipment from Outback Equipment Company (Outback) or downstream resellers.  Some of the letters were from both Keysight and Outback.  There has been speculation about the reason behind the letters so we would like to clarify the situation.   

...

In October 2017, Keysight’s headquarters buildings were severely damaged by wildfires. You can see video evidence here:  https://abc7news.com/keysight-technologies-buildings-destroyed-by-north-bay-fire/2513582/. (https://abc7news.com/keysight-technologies-buildings-destroyed-by-north-bay-fire/2513582/.)  As a result, the equipment sustained additional smoke damage and Keysight felt it needed to be destroyed.  We hired a company to destroy it, received certificates of destruction & recycling, and believed the destruction was complete.  Unfortunately, the equipment was not destroyed and somehow made its way to the used market.

...

Yes, I remember the fires. There were also historical artifacts lost. A sad day, indeed.

Well, this turned out more interesting than I was expecting. Thanks for gathering the info and, as always, for being a great spokesperson for Keysight, even when it's not about 'scopes.

This should also help explain why some of the equipment in question isn't HPAK - we often acquire other vendor's gear for various reasons. You should see my bench  >:D

Bonus points for self-referencing as HPAK.

Meanwhile, I await your pics in the Whats your Work-Bench/lab look like? Post some pictures of your Lab (http://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/whats-your-work-benchlab-look-like-post-some-pictures-of-your-lab/new/#new) thread!
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: TheSteve on February 14, 2019, 06:21:54 pm
I came across this great article which speaks to what kind of company Keysight is internally.
https://www.pressdemocrat.com/business/8213147-181/wildfire-recovery-well-under-way?sba=AAS (https://www.pressdemocrat.com/business/8213147-181/wildfire-recovery-well-under-way?sba=AAS)

After such a horrible event the equipment not being destroyed properly was just another kick in the pants.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: MadTux on February 14, 2019, 07:01:46 pm
What about sending everyone a big nice aluminium "HP internal prototype, potentially damaged by wildfire, not for serious use" tag?
I will happily rivet that tag on the back of my instrument and everyone knows what's up with the instrument and not to use it for very important tasks.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mrt12 on February 14, 2019, 08:07:05 pm
Are here any people outside the US who got that eMail? did you respond?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: djnz on February 14, 2019, 09:02:26 pm
I am a little surprised by the "we are doing this to protect our reputation" explanation.

If I were to have an old HPAK item that I bought on ebay and I found that it did not perform according to specs or expectations, I'd probably suspect that there was some kind of failure happening in _my_ unit, and would not consider Keysight's hard earned reputation as damaged. Would other people think differently?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: HighVoltage on February 14, 2019, 09:08:45 pm

In October 2017, Keysight’s headquarters buildings were severely damaged by wildfires.

So, my earlier guess that it had to do with the fire was not far off.

Thanks for a great statement.
I will continue to buy your used test gear with confidence now and no worries to receive a letter from a Keysight attorney.

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: LapTop006 on February 14, 2019, 11:48:59 pm
This should also help explain why some of the equipment in question isn't HPAK - we often acquire other vendor's gear for various reasons. You should see my bench  >:D

(https://www.rooshvforum.com/images/smilies/new/thumb_thisthreadisworthlesswithoutp.gif)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: sokoloff on February 14, 2019, 11:58:22 pm
Thanks for the update, Daniel!  :clap:
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: sokoloff on February 14, 2019, 11:59:38 pm
I am a little surprised by the "we are doing this to protect our reputation" explanation.
I'm not. It makes sense to me.
If I were to have an old HPAK item that I bought on ebay and I found that it did not perform according to specs or expectations, I'd probably suspect that there was some kind of failure happening in _my_ unit, and would not consider Keysight's hard earned reputation as damaged. Would other people think differently?
I would think the same way, but let's think about why we would assume that's the case?

Because in general, HPAK has a well-earned reputation for putting out solid products that are supportable and supported for many, many years after sale.

How did they get that reputation? In large part by not letting crap or sub-standard products out the back door as "fell off the truck" merchandise.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: sokoloff on February 15, 2019, 12:03:33 am
It's also the case that it costs them less than it would cost you or I to destroy some marginal equipment rather than refurb and resell or cross-fingers and resell, because of the chance that, by destroying that equipment, they'll make one more new product sale than they otherwise would.

None of that has any bearing on whether they first attempted to do the right thing (destroy old, possibly fire/smoke damaged equipment) or whether they're trying to do the right thing now by offering to retire that equipment in exchange for some compensation that's acceptable to the current owner. That owner is still entitled to keep the equipment (IMO, but IANAL) with the full knowledge of its history, or negotiate for whatever compensation is mutually acceptable.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 15, 2019, 12:29:43 am
Seems a lot of effort to get rid of some possibly substandard equipment in the used market, howver I suspect the bill for all this, whatever it comes to,  may end up with the company that were supposed to destroy the equipment.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: sokoloff on February 15, 2019, 12:55:57 am
Given what responsible e-waste companies charge for their services, I won’t shed a tear for them. If the facts are as laid out above, it’s 100% their fault.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: rhodges on February 15, 2019, 01:20:45 am
If I were to have an old HPAK item that I bought on ebay and I found that it did not perform according to specs or expectations, I'd probably suspect that there was some kind of failure happening in _my_ unit, and would not consider Keysight's hard earned reputation as damaged. Would other people think differently?
I do. In the early 1990's, I had my only experience with HP scopes. They were crap. The triggers were bad, and probably other things. They were unusable.

Fortunately, I got a Tek 544 for a song, and my boss agreed to let me bring it in. The Tek scope worked beautifully. Later, I got a Tek 465, and later yet, a 2465. All did exactly what they should.

Even two and a half decades later, my bad experience left scorch marks on my brain. HP == CRAP.  (The scopes, that is. I still love my HP calculators!)

So yes, this is a real thing and I understand why they would guard their reputation by removing suspect units.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 15, 2019, 03:05:34 am
If I were to have an old HPAK item that I bought on ebay and I found that it did not perform according to specs or expectations, I'd probably suspect that there was some kind of failure happening in _my_ unit, and would not consider Keysight's hard earned reputation as damaged. Would other people think differently?
I do. In the early 1990's, I had my only experience with HP scopes. They were crap. The triggers were bad, and probably other things. They were unusable.
HP scopes prior to the first Mixed-signal model and similar variants were terrible, and it took them many years for people to notice, meanwhile Tek got away with selling terrible outdated stuff for a long time,
.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: eKretz on February 15, 2019, 03:26:27 am

Recently, Keysight contacted a number of people who bought Keysight Technologies (Keysight), Agilent Technologies (Agilent), and Hewlett Packard (HP) branded equipment from Outback Equipment Company (Outback) or downstream resellers.  Some of the letters were from both Keysight and Outback.  There has been speculation about the reason behind the letters so we would like to clarify the situation.   

Keysight traces its electronic measurement roots back through Agilent to the 1939 founding of HP.  Over the years, we have collected many pieces of equipment that were never meant for resale, including units that have gone through some potentially destructive mechanical, environmental, and electrical test procedures, development test beds, alpha/beta units in some cases with customer or Keysight IP, defective units used for failure analysis, counterfeit units and the like.  When we became Keysight, much of this not-for-sale equipment was moved to our headquarters in Santa Rosa. 

In October 2017, Keysight’s headquarters buildings were severely damaged by wildfires. You can see video evidence here:  https://abc7news.com/keysight-technologies-buildings-destroyed-by-north-bay-fire/2513582/.  As a result, the equipment sustained additional smoke damage and Keysight felt it needed to be destroyed.  We hired a company to destroy it, received certificates of destruction & recycling, and believed the destruction was complete.  Unfortunately, the equipment was not destroyed and somehow made its way to the used market.  If you received a letter from us, you have one of these units.

Keysight, with the cooperation of Outback, is trying to get the equipment back so it can be destroyed as it should have been in the first place.  Keysight is not trying to get the equipment back to sell it, nor are we attempting to stifle the secondhand market for our equipment.  If it had not been for the fires, and the subsequent failure of Keysight’s contractor to destroy the equipment, the equipment would not be in circulation at all. 

We know our equipment is valued on the secondhand market in large part because of our reputation for building precise, high-quality, and highly reliable equipment.  We take pride in this reputation.  For the many reasons listed, the equipment we chose to destroy was not intended for sale and has the potential to damage our hard-earned reputation.

Sorry Daniel, but I cannot believe you for 100%. Instead I simply have the feeling that Keysight wants the old HP gear off the market to sell their new stuff.

OMG, this site seriously needs a *forehead smack* emoti-smiley. Do you really think they're expecting hobbyists to pony up for their new equipment? Come on... Many companies might have a hard time affording it. I believe the explanation given by Daniel is plausible, AND reasonable. I'm guessing they would like to get the equipment back and destroyed for the exact reasons he stated. If some folks would rather keep the gear with the full realization that it might be damaged goods I'm guessing they will have you sign a letter releasing then from liability or some such thing. Just in case the equipment could have a defect that could cause a fire in your home! Or electrocute you or a child in your home! Now do you maybe see why they might want these items destroyed? Sheesh, take off the tinfoil hat!
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Bicurico on February 15, 2019, 03:29:47 am
Some months ago I visited a customer. I cannot reveal the name and it doesn't matter.

I entered the premisses through the workers entrance, because they where constructing new buildings.
As I got picked up by my contact person at security, we had to walk across part of the campus and on the side of one of the buildings there was a cage and it immediatly caught my attention:

The cage was full of Rohde&Schwarz equipment - audio measurment test equipment. These are sold on European eBay for 500-1.500 Euro a piece.
I was looking at >20 devices piled up. There was other test equipment, too. All devices where in a good shape - after cleaning they would look as new and for sure they were not broken.

I asked what that cage was - it was kind of protected from the weather, but never the less outside.
I was told it was the dumpster!

So I asked right away: "Can I take one?", then I said "Can I take them all?". But next my overloaded mind realized I could not fit the whole lot in my car, so I asked again "Can I load as much as I can in my car?".

The answer to all those questions was "NO".

I was explained that this company had a contract with a scrap yard. They would come in and pick up the stuff.

So I asked what scrap yard, in order to contact the scrap yard.

At this moment, my interest was not reselling these devices for profit, but to actually own one and offer another for free to a friend who develops valve based audiophile amplifiers.

So I insisted and our contact person promised he would ask for permission for me to have a unit or to pick one up at the scrap yard.

A month later he called me and told me that there was no exception for me.

He explained that there was a contract for the scrap yard to DESTROY all units.

I asked why and he explained the best he could:

1) The company does not want to risk employees to take such device home and repair it by stealing parts/components of test equipment used in production. --> Makes sense to me.
2) The company does not want to risk former devices ending up at any competition or being used on side work by employees (working at home for third parties). --> Makes sense to me.
3) The company has to comply with tax law and those devices are written off and hence have to be legally destroyed in order to comply with the law. --> Hard to accept, but makes sense.

After some cold-minded reasoning, I can add a two more reasons:

1) The equipment was sold/leased by Rohde&Schwarz (or other TE producer) under certain terms that prohibit the resale of the equipment. I don't know if this is the case, but it is quite possible that you can purchase an equipment at a cheaper price if you submit to a contract that forbids you to resell the equipment.
2) The equipment may have had custom parameters, macros, routines, software or firmware loaded, which has intellectual property that may not be used by third parties.

Anyway, I still think of it with pain: a whole dumpster/metallic cage with >20 Rohde&Schwarz audio test devices... (not mentioning the exact model on purpose).

These were not broken: they were simply replaced by newer models.

I can imagine that the scrap yard would be in real trouble if they sold me one unit - they might risk their profitable scrapping deal and there may even be fines in the contract.

Because of this experience I have been following this thread with interest.

I still dream of this dumpster and being able to load the whole trunk of my car with them...

Regards,
Vitor
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jjoonathan on February 15, 2019, 03:33:35 am
This is the explanation I heard when I contacted Vince Harrington by phone, and it's the reason why I kept badgering people to do that. It does an excellent job of assuaging my fears. The broad strokes sound entirely plausible and the details hold reason to be optimistic. I see two possibilities:

1. The statement is largely truthful about HPAK's motivation. In this case, coercive clawbacks (e.g. of repaired equipment for purchase price) are unlikely, because they would undermine the purpose of the whole exercise.

2. The statement understates HPAK's motivation somewhat (e.g. they have DoD equipment destruction obligations to fulfill). In this case, coercive clawbacks are still somewhat unlikely because they would undermine the cover narrative.

Either way, it suggests I have a decent chance of getting out of this with my repaired spectrum analyzer still on my desk or with a capability preserving replacement, and that makes me happy.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 15, 2019, 06:57:40 am
I'd like to reaffirm that at least 90% of this isn't just "spin." This is the situation.

We honestly don't care too much about the used equipment market, especially the vintage and legacy products. I personally am glad it exists, but from a corporate standpoint it doesn't affect our business. There's not much upside and a lot of downside for Keysight in trying to affect that market.

If you ended up with that dream piece of vintage gear you've been searching for, you may or may not want to respond. The idea of a "clawback" is almost zero for that type of gear. And, it's highly unlikely for all of this equipment overall. I'm advocating internally to work on gear replacement strategies instead of buyback strategies, but legal is a funny world.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: rsjsouza on February 15, 2019, 07:33:40 am
Sorry Daniel, but I cannot believe you for 100%. Instead I simply have the feeling that Keysight wants the old HP gear off the market to sell their new stuff.

OMG, this site seriously needs a *forehead smack* emoti-smiley. Do you really think they're expecting hobbyists to pony up for their new equipment? Come on... Many companies might have a hard time affording it. I believe the explanation given by Daniel is plausible, AND reasonable. I'm guessing they would like to get the equipment back and destroyed for the exact reasons he stated. If some folks would rather keep the gear with the full realization that it might be damaged goods I'm guessing they will have you sign a letter releasing then from liability or some such thing. Just in case the equipment could have a defect that could cause a fire in your home! Or electrocute you or a child in your home! Now do you maybe see why they might want these items destroyed? Sheesh, take off the tinfoil hat!
I have to agree with that. The used market is usually the only way the basic hobbyist is able to tap into quality test gear from HPAK, Fluke, Keithley, Tek, LeCroy, Advantest, Anritsu... The list is immense.

I am 100% sure the companies would rather have hobbyists buying their used products instead of brand new ones from far east. At least the branding will be alive in their heads, especially if/when they go to the professional market.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: tggzzz on February 15, 2019, 08:13:24 am
We know our equipment is valued on the secondhand market in large part because of our reputation for building precise, high-quality, and highly reliable equipment.  We take pride in this reputation.  For the many reasons listed, the equipment we chose to destroy was not intended for sale and has the potential to damage our hard-earned reputation.

Sorry Daniel, but I cannot believe you for 100%. Instead I simply have the feeling that Keysight wants the old HP gear off the market to sell their new stuff.

I can believe HPAK 100%; their reputation is unparalleled and worth a lot. Just as "no IT manager was fired for buying IBM", so "no electronic engineer was fired for buying HP(AK)".

Let me tell one of the many "Bill and Dave" anecdotes that was used to instill The HP Way in all employees...

The HP3000 computer was introduced to meet a deadline, and didn't meet its performance specifications. When Dave (Packard) got to hear about it, he sent the manager (Paul Ely) an effective short memo: "In future, please ensure that the equipment we ship meets its specification". That was regarded as a stinging rebuke.

Paul Ely demonstrated the HP Way by framing that memo and putting it on his office wall - and went on to have a successful career in HP.

Quote
How can we be sure that replying to the Email won't bring further troubles?

For the same reason you can be sure you won't die tomorrow. (I.e. you can't)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mrt12 on February 15, 2019, 08:50:41 am
If you ended up with that dream piece of vintage gear you've been searching for, you may or may not want to respond. The idea of a "clawback" is almost zero for that type of gear. And, it's highly unlikely for all of this equipment overall. I'm advocating internally to work on gear replacement strategies instead of buyback strategies, but legal is a funny world.

In my situation: no I didn't end up with the absolute dream vintage equipment. Its just something that I know works well because it's HP, and because it is old I can afford it. Of course I would be interested in a replacement - obviously, since this box I have here has already caused me some troubles, therefore I would love to give it back IF and only IF I receive a replacement. But I think Keysight is not able to replace the item I bought, because this item is no longer manufactured, and it is totally clear that Keysight will not exchange a almost 30 yrs old box with a brand new piece of equipment - the only thing they can do is give me the money back, and this is basically useless - because in this case I have no gear at all, and it's unlikely that I will soon find a similar good deal for buying the same instrument a second time.

But what worries me even a bit more is that Outback just gave out the home addresses and eMail addresses of his customers. I am not amused about this fact. I replied to the Keysight eMail, and told them about GDPR. And I will not give any information to nobody as long as I don't know what is going to happen.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 15, 2019, 09:04:38 am
Just a point on reputation; it takes 20 years to get a good reputation and one poor decision or uttered word to burn it all to the ground. Always base your approach to a problem on the basis that tomorrow it will have burned and you won’t go wrong.

I know that sounds cynical but I’ve been contracting to businesses with extremely good reputations on paper for years and there are a lot of bad eggs and stupid decisions made even unknowingly by distributing a problem among a lot of people.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: ataradov on February 15, 2019, 09:46:15 am
So why did the original letters mention IP? Do lawyers just lie and threaten because they can?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jjoonathan on February 15, 2019, 10:31:51 am
Lawyers know better than any of us what they can get away with. That's their superpower.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Stray Electron on February 15, 2019, 10:44:12 am
So why did the original letters mention IP? Do lawyers just lie and threaten because they can?

  X2.   It would have been far easier if HP would have told the truth to start with.  Assuming that the story they're telling now is the truth.  Having lawyers send letters isn't cheap.  A short explanation in a trade magazine or on the internet with an offer to replace the equipment in question would have been sufficient and would have gained them a lot of respect.  This course of action didn't.

    I for one would like to know why HP thinks that  30+ year old possibly fire damaged equipment would harm their reputation any more than any other 30+ year old damaged or failed equipment.  If HP had sold the possibly fire damaged equipment themselves or if it had been sold as New then that's one thing but since this was Used equipment sold on Flea-Bay by a used equipment dealer then no one could reasonably expect the items to be 100% perfect.

    Explanation does not compute! It sounds more like Plan B to me.

  PS but this at least confirm that HP is involved in this so that's a plus.  Thanks Daniel.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: ataradov on February 15, 2019, 10:46:30 am
Explanation does not compute! It sounds more like Plan B to me.
My thought exactly.

Can any of the owners detect any sort of smoke/fire damage?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Stray Electron on February 15, 2019, 10:54:48 am
  Nope,  and I've owned fire damaged equipment so I know what kind of damage it causes.  FYI,  I have an HP-67 that went through a house fire (in it's plastic case) and it survived.  HP builds GOOD stuff! That's why we like it. That's also why this letter is more than a little disturbing.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 15, 2019, 11:07:15 am
I'm glad we now have a clear picture of the situation - and I, for one, can completely understand the protective attitude of a reputation.  I recently acquired a HP5381A - a basic 80MHz frequency counter - which wasn't working and that reputation is the single greatest motivation for me to fix it (if I can get the parts).

I'm advocating internally to work on gear replacement strategies instead of buyback strategies, but legal is a funny world.
Replacement strategies are a lot more likely to support a positive PR response (which I'm sure you already know, Daniel) - even for someone like Mrt12 who seems to be making a lot of pessimistic assumptions.  There is a lot of passion for HPAK gear because of that very reputation they are trying to protect.

Please tell the legal department that, for the limited scope of equipment involved in this one-off situation, the cost factor would not represent any sort of trade-off benefit and replacement would produce, by far, the better PR outcome - and that any legal considerations be resolved in support of that.

If they are worried about setting a precedent, then I would simply take this situation, including the overall cost of rectification and use it in future contracts and/or disposal agreements to reinforce the potential impact for such a service if they do not perform.

Seems a lot of effort to get rid of some possibly substandard equipment in the used market, howver I suspect the bill for all this, whatever it comes to,  may end up with the company that were supposed to destroy the equipment.
I would agree.  After all, it was this company's error that gave rise to the situation.  I have no qualms about billing them $3k for a replacement spectrum analyser that they got $300 by selling the old one.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 15, 2019, 11:15:03 am
So why did the original letters mention IP? Do lawyers just lie and threaten because they can?

  X2.   It would have been far easier if HP would have told the truth to start with.  Assuming that the story they're telling now is the truth.  Having lawyers send letters isn't cheap.
I get the feeling the legal department stepped in with their "superior knowledge" in how to deal with such situations.  Either that or someone tried to come up with some plausible cover story that didn't give the situation away - because they were in a panic.

While it's not the sort of thing I would encourage in any way, I can write off such an episode as someone's less than elegant goof.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jjoonathan on February 15, 2019, 11:27:20 am
Quote
While it's not the sort of thing I would encourage in any way, I can write off such an episode as someone's less than elegant goof.
Ditto.

If you ended up with that dream piece of vintage gear you've been searching for, you may or may not want to respond. The idea of a "clawback" is almost zero for that type of gear. And, it's highly unlikely for all of this equipment overall. I'm advocating internally to work on gear replacement strategies instead of buyback strategies, but legal is a funny world.
you da real mvp

But I think Keysight is not able to replace the item I bought, because this item is no longer manufactured, and it is totally clear that Keysight will not exchange a almost 30 yrs old box with a brand new piece of equipment - the only thing they can do is give me the money back

Let's let them be the ones to say what they will or won't do. Remember, things look very different from their angle: equipment prices are lower (cost, not price) and dealing with illiquid+crazy ebay is much more expensive. On that note, it's important to focus on preservation of capability. Refunding the price I waited years to pay on a bucket of broken parts does not preserve my measurement capabilities. Fair Market Value as assessed by the last sale of a similar model does not preserve my capabilities. There's nothing to buy at those prices. Perhaps there will be, but there isn't right now, and if they want my equipment right now, they have to help me square that circle. My "counteroffer":

0. Let me keep my analyzer and call it good.

1. 26.5GHz and a USB port. This makes me so happy I don't sweat the small stuff. New, used, refurb, last gen -- it's all good.

2. Cost of a mostly identical replacement. None to be found on ebay.

3. Cost of the nearest functional superset on ebay. No, I didn't name a figure, because ebay is illiquid and crazy, and by the time they got back it would have changed.

I could easily see #3 being more expensive than #1 for Keysight even if you don't factor in goodwill.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 15, 2019, 11:32:54 am
In my situation: no I didn't end up with the absolute dream vintage equipment. Its just something that I know works well because it's HP, and because it is old I can afford it. Of course I would be interested in a replacement - obviously, since this box I have here has already caused me some troubles, therefore I would love to give it back IF and only IF I receive a replacement.
Completely understandable.  I think most of us would be the same.

Quote
But I think Keysight is not able to replace the item I bought, because this item is no longer manufactured, and it is totally clear that Keysight will not exchange a almost 30 yrs old box with a brand new piece of equipment - the only thing they can do is give me the money back,
What makes you say that?  Do you have any evidence, or it is only out of fear?  Remember, this is not a normal situation.  Keysight have the ability to swap gear and the cost of doing so is likely going to land in the lap of someone who breached a contract.  You are in a good position here.  I suggest you wait for an actual offer to be presented before you embark on any more doom and gloom.

Quote
and this is basically useless - because in this case I have no gear at all, and it's unlikely that I will soon find a similar good deal for buying the same instrument a second time.
We ALL understand that one!!

Quote
But what worries me even a bit more is that Outback just gave out the home addresses and eMail addresses of his customers. I am not amused about this fact.
Before getting too wound up over this, I'd check the facts.  ALL privacy statements I've read have provisions for sharing your information which always include law enforcement and may also include affiliates and partners.

Quote
I replied to the Keysight eMail, and told them about GDPR. And I will not give any information to nobody as long as I don't know what is going to happen.
Lawful basis for processing

Unless a data subject has provided informed consent to data processing for one or more purposes, personal data may not be processed unless there is at least one legal basis to do so. According to Article 6, the lawful purposes are:[8]

(a) If the data subject has given consent to the processing of his or her personal data;
(b) To fulfill contractual obligations with a data subject, or for tasks at the request of a data subject who is in the process of entering into a contract;
(c) To comply with a data controller's legal obligations;
(d) To protect the vital interests of a data subject or another individual;
(e) To perform a task in the public interest or in official authority;
(f) For the legitimate interests of a data controller or a third party, unless these interests are overridden by interests of the data subject or her or his rights according to the Charter of Fundamental Rights (especially in the case of children).
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 15, 2019, 05:47:05 pm
More comments :)

You may or may not find smoke damage on the equipment. I suspect it was cleaned first? Also, part of the decision to scrap gear was also based on the presence of firefighting chemicals and/or water. It wasn't exclusively heat/smoke/flame damage.

I'm not sure of the GDPR implications for Outback nor am I a GDPR expert, but I believe this would probably qualify as some sort of recall-type activity or safety activity and be exempt/have different rules. Again, I don't know and this probably isn't the place to work it out. If you have concerns, please work with Outback + Marc/Keysight legal directly.

Plan B? Nah. I'll admit that the letter looks intimidating, but this isn't a pivot. Maybe just a misstep in tone/communication on the original letter.

Finally, I of course won't contradict/nullify our official statement. But, you folks know how to cut the corporate BS and get to the heart of an issue. It's going to be darn hard for old used HP gear to hurt Keysight's reputation. If it has a Keysight logo on it that's a different story.

We're not trying to hide anything here, and we really do want the best outcome for everyone. Besides all that, isn't even the chance of new replacement gear worth responding to the letter?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: ataradov on February 15, 2019, 05:53:06 pm
Besides all that, isn't even the chance of new replacement gear worth responding to the letter?
Or a chance of a stronger followup letter from lawyers and a lawsuit.

It is not "intimidating", it is pure BS with false IP claims. Pretty typical of huge corporations nowadays.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 15, 2019, 05:56:31 pm
Need to cut all the marketing bullshit and put an offer on the table in plain sight of everyone.

Chance is not a game you play with lawyers, unless you’re rich or stupid.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 15, 2019, 07:21:51 pm
Besides all that, isn't even the chance of new replacement gear worth responding to the letter?
Or a chance of a stronger followup letter from lawyers and a lawsuit.
.... Or a chance of seizure order
.... Or a chance of the law rocking up and arresting you
.... Or a chance of black helicopters overhead with a special services assault team rappelling onto your roof, making a forced entry and disappearing into the night with your beloved power supply...?

You could go on ad inifinitum with conjecture - but I think our understanding is pretty clearly moving towards a much more amiable interaction, so I don't see how continuing the panic is even warranted.

Quote
It is not "intimidating", it is pure BS with false IP claims. Pretty typical of huge corporations nowadays.
How about "clumsy".  I've seen many bureaucratic exercises where someone has had a brain fart and acted before thinking it through.



We're not trying to hide anything here, and we really do want the best outcome for everyone. Besides all that, isn't even the chance of new replacement gear worth responding to the letter?
There is one word there that caught my attention .... "new".

We know where Daniel's thinking lies, so I would be really interested in seeing what sort of offer is put on the table.

I can't overstate how really interested I would be!!
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: HighVoltage on February 15, 2019, 08:35:47 pm

We know where Daniel's thinking lies, so I would be really interested in seeing what sort of offer is put on the table.

I can't overstate how really interested I would be!!
After the perfect explanation, I don't get the fuss !
I would contact Keysight in a heartbeat !
What an opportunity.


Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 15, 2019, 09:21:47 pm
Besides all that, isn't even the chance of new replacement gear worth responding to the letter?
Or a chance of a stronger followup letter from lawyers and a lawsuit.
.... Or a chance of seizure order
.... Or a chance of the law rocking up and arresting you

[/quote]
We've already pretty much figured out there is no legal basis for this. If there was they wouldn't have given the heads-up via the latter

Seem some people here just want to see malice where there is none.
Or are just paranoid.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Top Gun on February 16, 2019, 01:30:16 am
Well I will be interested in what Keysight offers as compensation for said equipment .Will Keysight have a list of equipment and SN# for us to look out for ?
Or will this be a HUSH HUSH thing ? Will there be some older equipment from Outback that they dont really care about ? Was some Newer Models released ?
Just would like Keysight to come forward with a list of Model Numbers and SN# that they are looking for , and also offer a viable compensation package of return of said equipment
 that is in question . Im sure some of this equipment has made its way to CHINA and is ITAR regulated stuff , Im sure some parts hit the market that should have not hit the market .

 Will Keysight Please provide a list of all these Model # and Sn # and parts that are important to you for recovery .

 Just my Humble thoughts , and what I would like to see to help hunt down this equipment  , if I come across them in the USED test equipment world or Repair World .

 But It seems it is too HUSH HUSH , but I think all when come out eventually , to the surprise of all .
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 16, 2019, 01:38:46 am
Well I will be interested in what Keysight offers as compensation for said equipment .Will Keysight have a list of equipment and SN# for us to look out for ?
Or will this be a HUSH HUSH thing ? Will there be some older equipment from Outback that they dont really care about ? Was some Newer Models released ?
Just would like Keysight to come forward with a list of Model Numbers and SN# that they are looking for , and also offer a viable compensation package of return of said equipment
 that is in question . Im sure some of this equipment has made its way to CHINA and is ITAR regulated stuff , Im sure some parts hit the market that should have not hit the market .

 Will Keysight Please provide a list of all these Model # and Sn # and parts that are important to you for recovery .

 Just my Humble thoughts , and what I would like to see to help hunt down this equipment  , if I come across them in the USED test equipment world or Repair World .

 But It seems it is too HUSH HUSH , but I think all when come out eventually , to the surprise of all .

Much of what you have posted is answered in this thread.

For starters, Keysight already have a list of who bought what - so why should they publish a list?  Completely unnecessary.  I can understand you wanting to know out of curiosity - but there's no benefit to the campaign by doing so.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bitseeker on February 16, 2019, 03:15:55 am
Besides all that, isn't even the chance of new replacement gear worth responding to the letter?

It sure is. Unfortunately, despite having much HPAK gear, I apparently don't have any qualifying equipment. ::)

Seem some people here just want to see malice where there is none.
Or are just paranoid.

Yes, it's quite fascinating.

If anyone finds owning contraband and having to interact with Keysight to be too much of a burden, PM me to discuss potential gear trading. ;D
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Jwalling on February 16, 2019, 04:09:26 am
Besides all that, isn't even the chance of new replacement gear worth responding to the letter?

It sure is. Unfortunately, despite having much HPAK gear, I apparently don't have any qualifying equipment. ::)

Seem some people here just want to see malice where there is none.
Or are just paranoid.

Yes, it's quite fascinating.

If anyone finds owning contraband and having to interact with Keysight to be too much of a burden, PM me to discuss potential gear trading. ;D


Just for the record, I finally got a response from Mr. Harrington on 2/13/2019:

Quote
Please forgive me for my delayed response. First, allow me to give you some background on the issue. Keysight Technologies was in possession of equipment that was scheduled to be destroyed, however the contractor charged with destroying the equipment did not do so. Instead, the equipment was somehow diverted and ended up for sale on eBay by Outback Equipment. We have been contacting buyers of products identified by Keysight as having been scheduled for destruction from a list of transactions furnished by Outback for the purpose of identifying where the equipment ended up and whether some pieces are still available for sale.

In sum, we are asking buyers a) if they ordered the equipment listed on Exhibit A to the correspondence; b) if the items they received match those listed on Exhibit A; and c) if they are still in possession of the items listed on Exhibit A. Unfortunately, I do not have any more information on the equipment beyond what is included on Exhibit A, but I have made note of your response, specifically regarding the reimaging of the drives, and I will discuss this with our team to see if we need anything further. Again, I apologize for the late response to your emails. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions on this matter.

Thanks,

Vince Harrington | Paralegal | Durie Tangri LLP | 415-362-6666

I was able to find the 54831B I purchased, and I let him know via email. Just waiting for him to get back to me. I'd gladly trade for an DSOX3054A  ;D
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 16, 2019, 08:07:15 am
It sure is. Unfortunately, despite having much HPAK gear, I apparently don't have any qualifying equipment. ::)

Yes, it's quite fascinating.

If anyone finds owning contraband and having to interact with Keysight to be too much of a burden, PM me to discuss potential gear trading. ;D
Great minds think alike, that's what I offered to do earlier. I'll provide the service of taking ownership of the troublesome equipment, and moving them to a place outside of Keysight's legal reach if necessary.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: maginnovision on February 16, 2019, 09:26:33 am
It sure is. Unfortunately, despite having much HPAK gear, I apparently don't have any qualifying equipment. ::)

Yes, it's quite fascinating.

If anyone finds owning contraband and having to interact with Keysight to be too much of a burden, PM me to discuss potential gear trading. ;D
Great minds think alike, that's what I offered to do earlier. I'll provide the service of taking ownership of the troublesome equipment, and moving them to a place outside of Keysight's legal reach if necessary.

I think his idea was that he'd deal with keysight instead, reaping any benefits possible. Where you seem to be afraid they're going to break your door down and steal it.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bitseeker on February 16, 2019, 02:48:41 pm
Ding! Ding! Ding! maginnovision got it right.  :clap:

I've interacted with Keysight on many occasions for warranty claims, debugging hardware issues, buying parts, giving feedback on pre-release software, etc. I don't mind talking to them. When my U1252B went bad, they even hand delivered a replacement. :-+
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Miti on February 16, 2019, 03:13:36 pm
If Keysight cares about their reputation, they better replace the instruments with equivalent ones. You could be considered one of their customer since you own one of the instruments they built. The care for their reputation and for the customers needs go hand in hand.

Edit: This could be considered a recall.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mnementh on February 16, 2019, 04:25:09 pm
Since we're hosing the joint with conjecture, let me add some to the rain.  >:D

HPAK had a fire in which important equipment, including developmental test subjects, were involved. These test subjects, by definition, are HPAK IP, hence the wording of the letters written by... lawyers.  :palm:

I'm going to try and read between the lines A LITTLE here... not too far from reality, but a good "educated guess", as I've worked with a few such e-Cycler operations in the past here in Texas.

I suspect that also involved was some documentation regarding which of those equipment were experimental and which were merely old may have been involved, even destroyed. So rather than risk any of this gear exposing anyone to any of a dozen different types of potential hazard; by having been modified so they no longer passed their electrical certifications (ANY change in the UI, input or power supply sections can void these certifications; the restrictions of those certifications are by nature very... restrictive) as they were experimental gear, or by dint of possible fire-related chemical/hazardous material contamination, or possibility of both, they decided to clean house with a broad broom and destroy ALL OF IT.

Third-party contractor gets the job... some poor fool working there sees dozens of pieces of gear he can only dream of owning... not greed, but simply "knowing what it is" and cringing at the idea of sending it to its grave... decides to "rescue" a few pieces as if it were a dumpster dive.

This guy maybe then trades or sells away some pieces afterwards, and they find their way back into the regular service chain... units that were supposedly destroyed. Now EVERY UNIT on that list of destroyed goods is suspect... and if there is a potential hazmat contamination scenario, HP could seriously be in some deep doo-doo. But the kicker is... aside from that list, the documentation, particularly CoC, is not trustworthy.

Hence the drama as it is playing out right now, and the fact they can't say any more.

I also don't expect Daniel to conform or deny any of this "educated guess". Because he can't.

And I'm not going to pursue it any further, as it is entirely conjecture.

Have fun.  :-+

mnem
*tzzt*
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jjoonathan on February 16, 2019, 04:57:52 pm
4/5. No aliens.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mnementh on February 16, 2019, 05:51:58 pm
Narrated by a TinkerDwagon.  ;)

mnem
Alien anal probes? Where do I sign up?

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: tggzzz on February 16, 2019, 06:55:30 pm
I've interacted with Keysight on many occasions for warranty claims, debugging hardware issues, buying parts, giving feedback on pre-release software, etc. I don't mind talking to them. When my U1252B went bad, they even hand delivered a replacement. :-+

40 years ago (gulp) HP was like that even with equipment that was out of warranty. They lent my company a chart recorder, when it went wrong just before an exhibition - twice.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bitseeker on February 17, 2019, 11:32:55 am
Very cool. Times change, but all is not lost.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 17, 2019, 12:24:18 pm
I think his idea was that he'd deal with keysight instead, reaping any benefits possible. Where you seem to be afraid they're going to break your door down and steal it.
There's very little chance of that happening, but I'd pay for the privilege.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 20, 2019, 04:37:39 am
If Keysight cares about their reputation, they better replace the instruments with equivalent ones. You could be considered one of their customer since you own one of the instruments they built. The care for their reputation and for the customers needs go hand in hand.

Edit: This could be considered a recall.

I'm advocating for this approach, I think it would be best for everyone. However, for many of these items it's not necessarily a straightforward swap.

It's not a recall. Recalls are pretty well defined from a legal standpoint, both on what one is/isn't and what the recaller can/can't do or say.

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: metrologist on February 20, 2019, 07:25:25 am
Am I allowed to participate if I did not receive a letter? What's the secret handshake?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 20, 2019, 07:32:30 am
Am I allowed to participate if I did not receive a letter? What's the secret handshake?

I think you just have to go buy contraband test equipment :)
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: jjoonathan on February 20, 2019, 08:39:06 am
I appreciate your restraint, but I'm pretty sure that was a 95% fair opportunity to shill scope month  ;D
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 20, 2019, 09:11:32 am
I appreciate your restraint, but I'm pretty sure that was a 95% fair opportunity to shill scope month  ;D

You're right, it's like the marketing folks have taught me nothing!

I think you just have to go buy contraband test equipment :)

Sign up to win a free one! Much easier.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Yansi on February 20, 2019, 09:15:31 am
... and then pay the $1000 VAT.  :P  :P :P

For some of us, this is kind of hard unthinkable of, unfortunately.  :-\  (Not Keysights fault).

Still hoping for a happy end for those "contraband owners".
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: KaneTW on February 20, 2019, 04:09:09 pm
You don't pay VAT on free equipment. You don't pay any form of tax on it until you sell it.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Brumby on February 20, 2019, 04:27:27 pm
I wouldn't call it "free".  It is an exchange (if that's the route that will be taken).  You have to surrender one piece of equipment in order to receive the other.

I would suggest that, rather than speculate on the tax repercussions, you ask someone who would have the expertise to answer.

Edit: Note that the answer is likely going to be different for various parties, depending on their jurisdiction.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: EEVblog on February 20, 2019, 07:43:02 pm
Just for the record, I finally got a response from Mr. Harrington on 2/13/2019:

Quote
Please forgive me for my delayed response. First, allow me to give you some background on the issue. Keysight Technologies was in possession of equipment that was scheduled to be destroyed, however the contractor charged with destroying the equipment did not do so. Instead, the equipment was somehow diverted and ended up for sale on eBay by Outback Equipment. We have been contacting buyers of products identified by Keysight as having been scheduled for destruction from a list of transactions furnished by Outback for the purpose of identifying where the equipment ended up and whether some pieces are still available for sale.

In sum, we are asking buyers a) if they ordered the equipment listed on Exhibit A to the correspondence; b) if the items they received match those listed on Exhibit A; and c) if they are still in possession of the items listed on Exhibit A. Unfortunately, I do not have any more information on the equipment beyond what is included on Exhibit A, but I have made note of your response, specifically regarding the reimaging of the drives, and I will discuss this with our team to see if we need anything further. Again, I apologize for the late response to your emails. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions on this matter.

Ah, thanks, that finally explains the whole saga and why it's Keysight who's coping the financial hit for this.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bugi on February 20, 2019, 08:11:01 pm
You don't pay VAT on free equipment. You don't pay any form of tax on it until you sell it.
I guess it depends on a particular country, but IIRC, according to EU stuff, one does pay VAT when importing free gifts, unless the value (i.e. an estimated if it was bought -value) is low enough. There are a whole number of rules and steps how (EU) customs are supposed to calculate/estimate the VAT for a product that was declared free/gift (or with unrealistic low price). If the item is something currently being sold, the case is easy for them, but they might not find the cheapest seller, so better to provide a good example by oneself on the paperwork.

For example, in Finland gifts of value 45€ or more (per item) need to be declared and VAT paid (probably also customs fees). (And details details, for certain product types, taxes are paid even for lower price products.)

However, in this case, there could be some ways to at least reduce the VAT since it could be considered a swap/replacement; "value added tax", sort of when something of value goes out, getting something of higher value back i.e. added value, but I've not heard/read of examples of such interpretation.  E.g. direct warranty repairs/replacements to the same product naturally wouldn't pay any taxes for the incoming replacement, but even that needs some extra paperwork with customs, etc.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: FERCSA on February 20, 2019, 09:36:43 pm
However, in this case, there could be some ways to at least reduce the VAT since it could be considered a swap/replacement; "value added tax", sort of when something of value goes out, getting something of higher value back i.e. added value, but I've not heard/read of examples of such interpretation.  E.g. direct warranty repairs/replacements to the same product naturally wouldn't pay any taxes for the incoming replacement, but even that needs some extra paperwork with customs, etc.

That's right for warranty replacement/repair you don't have to pay any tax or import duty (no one mentioned it before). There is a specified section for it on the form, at least here. Including that you get a newer replacement, but you'll need a proof like the original invoice for custom processing.

Also don't forget Keysight has offices in the EU, like in Amsterdam or Les Ulis(Paris) for example. They can take care of your VAT or at least the custom's paperwork if needed, then you have to pay them afterward. They took care of mine in a different case and I didn't have to wrestle with the local authorities, I'm thankful for that.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bd139 on February 20, 2019, 10:06:28 pm
Just a point with HMRC here. Usually they charge you anyway and you have to claim it back. This is because whoever sends it NEVER uses the correct HS codes and fills the declaration out wrong. This is a big PITA
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Jwalling on February 20, 2019, 11:23:04 pm
Here's another interesting thing or two.

I found the original Ebay listing and grabbed a picture of the rear. The serial # is blacked out. Also, note the lack of an XP COA on the rear of the unit. The COA is actually on the top cover which I've never seen done before - and I've seen a LOT of these over the last 10 years or so...

The first picture shows the picture on Ebay. The second two are pictures I just took now. I highlighted the ding/chipped paint which matches the original Ebay picture, as well as the unusual placement of a sticker on the GPIB cards bayonet.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Nusa on February 21, 2019, 01:19:31 am
Blacking out the serial number is a fail if one doesn't also black out the bar code version of it.

But it does suggest that the seller knew that unit wasn't supposed to be sold.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Fraser on February 21, 2019, 01:20:24 am
It would be interesting to check whether the eBay seller always blacks out the serial number on equipment for reasons best known to themselves, or whether it was just the ‘dodgy’ kit. If the latter, it suggests the seller was well aware that the kit should not be sold and was hiding the serial numbers from potentially interested parties. I get a little suspicious when I see serial numbers removed or covered on a single item listing. I am aware that on multi item listings sellers are worried about people demanding to receive the pictured item with its appropriate serial number.

Unusual COA and other ID label positions are what I have come to expect on equipment that is Pre-production. At that point in the development/design process the final label location plan for the production line may not have been created. A classic example is FCC approval labelling. Sometimes the FCC want the label placed in a certain location or a different size.

I would have expected a ‘special’ or pre production equipment to have been appropriately labelled and possibly an unusual ‘R&D’ serial number assigned to it, rather than production labelling and serial numbering. Such kit often has OEM specific asset tags as well but these may have been removed upon disposal as part of the cradle to grave tracking.

I do not disbelieve the Keysight Fire story but I remain a little bemused as to why all this old, redundant kit was kept all these years. Storage costs money and unless they were Museum artefacts would normally go to scrap at an agreed point in time. If they were intended as some sort of Museum artefacts, then why sanction their destruction due to a bit of smoke and foaming agent damage ..... that would be part of their history. All very weird and not what I would expect of HPAK. In my job we got internally charged for each cubic metre of holding stores we used as someone had to manage and operate the storage facility. Why waste expensive storage on ‘junk’ ?

Fraser
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: metrologist on February 21, 2019, 02:42:20 am
Blacking out the serial number is a fail if one doesn't also black out the bar code version of it.

But it does suggest that the seller knew that unit wasn't supposed to be sold.

LoL, there were some smarties on the CB radio, they used to call each other on the phone and put their friends "on the band" to talk more stuff. It was great knowing you could decode the phone numbers from the tones, and then you could just call them up for clarification, cuz, ya know, you were only hittin me with 1S.  :box:
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Keysight DanielBogdanoff on February 21, 2019, 09:23:29 am
@Frasier, we don't usually schedule scrap dates for things, I have a number of HP test gear in my possession that was made in the building and has probably never left it. People definitely have their stashes of gear - at least they do at the Colorado Springs location.

I believe we do get internally charged for storage & cube space, but we generally don't think too much about it.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: usagi on February 21, 2019, 05:57:10 pm
if the initial letter had included an offer for a 1:1 functional new replacement it is likely this thread would have never got to this point.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Fraser on February 21, 2019, 07:47:52 pm
@Daniel,

I know all about old equipment ‘stashes’ ...... whilst I was an instructor for 5 years I had a store room that was all mine and for only my use. I filled it with all manner of interesting and useful kit that had been declared ‘scrap’ but saved from the skip by me under my Training School equipment reallocation authority. I am an awful ‘squirrel’ when it comes to hoarding interesting equipment  ;D On several occasions I was approached by sections on the off chance I had saved a piece of equipment that they wish they had not scrapped. On every occasion I had saved their precious kit and they were overjoyed. I hoarded the ‘unusual’, and sadly that was what people accidentally disposed of as they were often new to a section and did not understand its use or high operational value...... as an old timer in the company, I did  ;D

When I left my employer, an important repository of unusual and very specialist equipment ceased to exist and the safety net for such equipment in the disposal process was lost. It was so common for sections to have a ‘clear out’ and the younger staff often did not know the history or operational use of some exotic equipment.

So I can totally understand some stashes of equipment by individuals within HPAK, but I was surprised that a large accumulation of equipment that was considered ‘beyond use’ was stored when such storage space has a real financial cost associated with it.

I always remember receiving a memo that stated that my section was being charged £XX per cubic metre of shelf storage we used in our holding stores. I was horrified at the total cost. That day we moved most of our stored equipment into a room that we ‘owned’ and that became our store room. It’s cost was actually lower than the cost of using the official storage as the overheads were lower. It was at that point that I realised some equipment was not actually worth the cost of its storage and would have to be disposed of. A lesson for me in financial accountability and the modern world in which I was working.

Even as a manager in my later career, I still had a stash of ‘useful equipment’ and the obligatory box of useful cables and small items stashed under my desk ! Once a ‘Packrat’,  always a ‘Packrat’  ;D

Interesting times  :)

Fraser

Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: CJay on February 21, 2019, 11:48:18 pm
I am that packrat...

Defunct machines, accessories, cables etc.

Amazing how many times I've been told optical media is dead and no longer required only to be asked a month or two later if they can borrow my USB DVD Writer or if I've got such and such a cable...
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: gerryk on February 22, 2019, 10:44:29 pm
Any chance someone in posession of 'gear of interest; could hand it back. I keep revisiting the thread to see what, if any, reparation Keysight will make.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: bitseeker on February 23, 2019, 04:39:41 am
I'm not sure I understand your question, Gerry. Keysight wants the "gear of interest" back. If you were to just send it to them to get it out of your hair, I don't think they'd refuse. However, it may still take some time to make arrangements.

Are you one of the affected?
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: philpem on February 23, 2019, 02:14:16 pm
In re Fraser's comment about blacking out serial numbers -- I've seen this taken to weird extremes.

Laser power meter, all apparently legit and above board. Seller pulled the serial number and safety labels completely off the unit.

Of course it was still happy to show the SN on bootup. Challenged them about it, "we do this to all the equipment we sell to protect our sources".

Now I can't help but wonder if they'd been told to destroy it and decided to stick it on ebay instead...
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 23, 2019, 02:17:38 pm
In re Fraser's comment about blacking out serial numbers -- I've seen this taken to weird extremes.

Laser power meter, all apparently legit and above board. Seller pulled the serial number and safety labels completely off the unit.

Of course it was still happy to show the SN on bootup. Challenged them about it, "we do this to all the equipment we sell to protect our sources".

Now I can't help but wonder if they'd been told to destroy it and decided to stick it on ebay instead...
I've seen the same happen. It can be very annoying, as my unit had a defect and was part of a recall but couldn't participate due to the sticker missing. Unfortunately that device didn't have menu serials.
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on February 23, 2019, 09:45:19 pm
In re Fraser's comment about blacking out serial numbers -- I've seen this taken to weird extremes.

Laser power meter, all apparently legit and above board. Seller pulled the serial number and safety labels completely off the unit.

Of course it was still happy to show the SN on bootup. Challenged them about it, "we do this to all the equipment we sell to protect our sources".

Now I can't help but wonder if they'd been told to destroy it and decided to stick it on ebay instead...
.. or just making it harder to prove if it was stolen
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Fraser on February 24, 2019, 12:26:03 am
Having spoken with a few companies regarding high value products, it is common for them to ask for your serial number. The reasons for this are varied but include, Ownership / stolen list cross referencing, warranty status, licensing checks and equipment version checks in order to provide appropriate support. Without a serial number the OEM will often decline to provide any support, including drivers and manuals.

In my experience with thermal cameras, all support calls need to include a serial number as a version check, stolen equipment check and to ensure the camera is registered to the current owner. If I see a serial number has been removed, I think “Stolen property”.

Fraser
Title: Re: Keysight Scary Letter
Post by: Mr. Scram on February 24, 2019, 05:40:07 am
Having spoken with a few companies regarding high value products, it is common for them to ask for your serial number. The reasons for this are varied but include, Ownership / stolen list cross referencing, warranty status, licensing checks and equipment version checks in order to provide appropriate support. Without a serial number the OEM will often decline to provide any support, including drivers and manuals.

In my experience with thermal cameras, all support calls need to include a serial number as a version check, stolen equipment check and to ensure the camera is registered to the current owner. If I see a serial number has been removed, I think “Stolen property”.

Fraser
I've seen number removed by companies as the equipment is written off, so missing serials don't necessarily mean they're stolen goods.