Author Topic: Keysight Scary Letter  (Read 31409 times)

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Offline jjoonathan

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Keysight Scary Letter
« 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!
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 10:33:56 am by jjoonathan »
 

Offline wraper

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #1 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.
 

Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #2 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.
 

Online Bud

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2019, 01:56:52 am »
Was it a generic type of equipment?
 

Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2019, 02:00:11 am »
It was an HP8562A spectrum analyzer.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 02:01:43 am by jjoonathan »
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #5 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?
 

Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #6 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?
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 02:13:21 am by jjoonathan »
 

Online rsjsouza

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #7 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).
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Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #8 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.
 
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Offline Marco

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #9 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.
 

Online taydin

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #10 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.
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Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #11 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.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 02:49:13 am by jjoonathan »
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #12 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?
 

Offline Keysight DanielBogdanoff

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #13 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.
 
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Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2019, 03:04:42 am »
Will do, thanks.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #15 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.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online vtwin@cox.net

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #16 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.
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Online Qw3rtzuiop

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #17 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.
 
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Offline JDubU

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #18 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
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #19 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
 

Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2019, 03:33:14 am »
Ok guys, you're right, I should chill until I know what's going on.
 

Offline tsman

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #21 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.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #22 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.
 

Offline 0culus

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #23 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

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.
 
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #24 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
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #25 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.
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #26 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

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:
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #27 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  :)
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #28 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.
 

Offline 0culus

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #29 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.
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: Keysight IP Intimidation
« Reply #30 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.
 
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Offline PedroDaGr8

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #31 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.

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Offline DaJMasta

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #32 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.
 

Offline ArthurDent

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #33 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!
 
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Online AndyC_772

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #34 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].
 
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Offline duak

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #35 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!

 

Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #36 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.
 
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Offline glarsson

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #37 on: January 26, 2019, 05:40:22 am »
Why point 3? No need to know and will only make the deal more difficult.
 

Offline 0culus

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #38 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.
 

Offline DaJMasta

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #39 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.
 

Offline tsman

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #40 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:
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #41 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.
 
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Offline PedroDaGr8

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #42 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:
  • 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.).
  • The inherent risks of acquiring a different used instrument. The one you have works well, but that doesn't mean another one will. This is a risk that has a dollar value and you should be compensated for it.
  • The time it would take for you to find an acceptable replacement instrument, which means you are deprived of the use of the previous instrument.
  • The value of your willingness (saving Keysight the court costs and bad PR)

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.
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Offline 0culus

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #43 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.
 

Offline duak

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #44 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,


 

Offline james_s

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #45 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #46 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.


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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #47 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."
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #48 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.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #49 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.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 09:19:10 am by Mr. Scram »
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #50 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.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #51 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...
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #52 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #53 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]
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #54 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.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 11:06:18 am by EEVblog »
 
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #55 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
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #56 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).
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 11:04:25 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #57 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #58 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.
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #59 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
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #60 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.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 11:22:37 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #61 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.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #62 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.
 
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Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #63 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

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.
 
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #64 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.
 

Online Brumby

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #65 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.
 
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Online Brumby

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #66 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?
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #67 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 ;) 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.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #68 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #69 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&

But again, I'm not sure why this is Keysights concern?
Why would Keysight be offering to "make good" on this financially?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 05:03:45 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline maginnovision

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #70 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&

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?
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #71 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?
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #72 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.
 

Offline 0culus

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #73 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.
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #74 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?
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline 0culus

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #75 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.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #76 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.
 
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Online Mechatrommer

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #77 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.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline bson

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #78 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.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 08:17:08 pm by bson »
 

Offline swingbyte1

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #79 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

 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #80 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.



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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.
 

Online 1Ghz

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #81 on: January 27, 2019, 10:11:40 pm »
Maybe, it's...

Quote
... Opt T01 TEMPEST compliant (HP 8562A only) ...
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #82 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.
 

Online bd139

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #83 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!
 

Online 1Ghz

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #84 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.
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #85 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #86 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.
 

Online Jwalling

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #87 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.  :-//
Jay

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Offline MadTux

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #88 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?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 11:51:04 pm by MadTux »
 

Offline jjoonathan

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #89 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.
 
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Online Jwalling

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #90 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.
Jay

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Offline 0culus

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #91 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #92 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...
 
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Offline coppercone2

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #93 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.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 02:36:31 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline KaneTW

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #94 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?
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #95 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.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #96 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)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 02:43:27 am by coppercone2 »
 

Online bd139

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #97 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.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 03:05:27 am by bd139 »
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #98 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.
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #99 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.


There are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who can count and those who can not.
 

Offline Miti

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #100 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.
That big spark at power up was by design!
 

Offline JonM

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #101 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.
 

Offline Neomys Sapiens

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #102 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.
 

Offline bernie79

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #103 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.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 06:22:25 am by bernie79 »
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #104 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

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
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Offline Stray Electron

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #105 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. 
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #106 on: January 29, 2019, 01:22:22 pm »
MOD NOTE: All gun related talk removed.
 
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Online IDEngineer

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #107 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).
My political litmus test: I will vote for any candidate, regardless of party affiliation or positions on other issues, who promises to abolish the TSA.
 
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #108 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/
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 10:32:34 am by Mr. Scram »
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #109 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.
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Online Brumby

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #110 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.
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #111 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.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #112 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.
 

Offline gnavigator1007

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #113 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?
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #114 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #115 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #116 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.

« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 01:05:23 pm by ataradov »
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Offline openloop

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #117 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

 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #118 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.
 
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Offline 0culus

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #119 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.
 

Offline GlowingGhoul

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #120 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

"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."
 

Online Brumby

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #121 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?
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #122 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.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 09:59:07 pm by mikeselectricstuff »
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #123 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.
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #124 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?
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #125 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.
 

Offline eKretz

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #126 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.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 04:05:48 am by eKretz »
 

Online RoGeorge

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #127 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?

Online Jwalling

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #128 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.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 04:51:17 am by Jwalling »
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #129 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #130 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.   
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Online Jwalling

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #131 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.
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Online Jwalling

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #132 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:
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Offline bson

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #133 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.
 
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Online rsjsouza

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #134 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.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 01:25:44 pm by rsjsouza »
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Offline factory

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #135 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.  :--

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Online joeqsmith

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #136 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/

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Offline Carl_Smith

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #137 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/

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."

 
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #138 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.
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #139 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.
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #140 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.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 03:56:47 am by Mr. Scram »
 

Online joeqsmith

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #141 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! 
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Offline Fraser

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #142 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
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 04:14:47 am by Fraser »
 
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #143 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
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 04:19:39 am by IDEngineer »
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #144 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

 
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #145 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.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 10:21:37 am by Mr. Scram »
 

Offline Fraser

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #146 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
 
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #147 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.
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #148 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.
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Offline Stray Electron

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #149 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #150 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?

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #151 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.
 

Offline gnavigator1007

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #152 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
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #153 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. 
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #154 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?
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #155 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. 
 

Offline Stray Electron

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #156 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.
 

Offline gnavigator1007

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #157 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.
 

Offline openloop

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #158 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.
 

Offline gnavigator1007

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #159 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
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #160 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!
 
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #161 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #162 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
 

Offline CatInTheHatKnowsAboutThat

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #163 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #164 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #165 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.
 
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #166 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #167 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  :)
M0UAW
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #168 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.
Jay

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #169 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.
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #170 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.

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #171 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...
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #172 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.
 
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Offline MadTux

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #173 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #174 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.
 

Offline analogRF

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #175 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
 

Offline eKretz

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #176 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.
 

Offline chriswebb

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #177 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.
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Offline philpem

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #178 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...
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #179 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #180 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 ?
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Offline openloop

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #181 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #182 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.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online IDEngineer

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #183 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!
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #184 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
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 10:41:06 am by radiolistener »
 

Offline Carl_Smith

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #185 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.
 
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Offline Keysight DanielBogdanoff

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #186 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.
 
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Offline tautech

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #187 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.
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Offline 0culus

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #188 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.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 11:34:26 am by 0culus »
 
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Offline langwadt

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #189 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
 

Online Bud

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #190 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:
 

Offline gnavigator1007

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #191 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
 

Offline 0culus

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #192 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...
 

Offline openloop

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #193 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:
 

Online Brumby

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #194 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.
 
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #195 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #196 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
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #197 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.
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Offline Psi

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #198 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.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 01:47:10 pm by Psi »
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Online IDEngineer

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #199 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"?
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Offline coppercone2

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THE TEST EQUIPMENT MUST FLOW!!!!!!!!
« Reply #200 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.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 03:56:47 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Online Brumby

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #201 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.
 
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Offline coppercone2

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #202 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??
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 04:14:33 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline Electro Detective

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #203 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  :-+





 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #204 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/

I guess the cat's out of the bag...
Jay

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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #205 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.
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #206 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.
Jay

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Online Brumby

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #207 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.
 
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Offline CJay

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #208 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.
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Offline Top Gun

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #209 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 .   
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #210 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.
 

Offline LapTop006

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #211 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.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #212 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.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline KaneTW

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #213 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.
 

Offline Johnboy

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #214 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.
 
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #215 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.
 
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Offline Johnboy

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #216 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.
 

Offline KaneTW

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #217 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #218 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
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Offline KaneTW

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #219 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #220 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?

A hollow voice says 'PLUGH'.
 
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Online ataradov

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #221 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.
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #222 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.
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #223 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*
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #224 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.
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #225 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.
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #226 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.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 04:33:17 am by mikeselectricstuff »
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Online vtwin@cox.net

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #227 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.
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #228 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 ?

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Offline coppercone2

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #229 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.
 

Offline KaneTW

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #230 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.
 
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #231 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....
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #232 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".
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Offline langwadt

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #233 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....



 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #234 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.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #235 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!
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Offline coppercone2

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #236 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
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 06:56:44 am by coppercone2 »
 

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #237 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.
Alex
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #238 on: February 06, 2019, 07:02:53 am »
Software is software. No matter what form it is in.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 07:05:02 am by nctnico »
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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #239 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. 


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Offline Jr460

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #240 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.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 07:11:01 am by Jr460 »
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #241 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.
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #242 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.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 07:12:37 am by Mr. Scram »
 

Offline tinhead

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #243 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.
I don't want to be human! I want to see gamma rays, I want to hear X-rays, and I want to smell dark matter ...
I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws and feel the solar wind of a supernova flowing over me.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #244 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.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online Towger

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #245 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.

 
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Online RoGeorge

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #246 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

Offline KaneTW

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #247 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.
 
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #248 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.
 

Online Towger

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #249 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.
 

Offline mark03

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #250 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.
 

Offline gnavigator1007

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #251 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.
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #252 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.

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Offline gnavigator1007

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #253 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.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #254 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.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #255 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.
 

Online sokoloff

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #256 on: February 06, 2019, 09:58:06 am »
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #257 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

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.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #258 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?
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Keysight Scary Letter
« Reply #259 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?