fwd Amateur boycott

Brian Carling af4k at EARTHLINK.NET
Sun Apr 4 17:23:32 EDT 1999

Al - by ANY chance did this message originate on APRIL 1st ???

I think SOMEONE may have got you on a piece of string with this one!

On  4 Apr 99 at 16:27, N5AIT wrote:

> I received this through a local radio net and thought it
> important enough to pass along here.  After all, you COULD be
> on two meters with a boatanchor!
>      73,  Al  N5AIT
>    modsteph at acs.eku.edu
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: [ARES-RACES] Amateur operators to boycott Swatch AG
> Date: Sat, 3 Apr 1999 21:25:57 -0500 (EST)
> From: Rob Carlson <rcarls2 at gl.umbc.edu>
> Reply-To: Rob Carlson <rcarls2 at gl.umbc.edu>
> Organization: University of Maryland Baltimore County
> To: 2m at qth.net, ares-races at qth.net
> Dear editors, Loop readers, list readers, and assorted amateur friends,
> Over the past week I have received an incredible response to my query in
> the Hudson Division's Hudson Loop newsletter about a curious
> advertisement on the Swatch web-site.  To help advertise their new brand
> of "Swatch time" watches, they appeared to be launching a satellite
> which would broadcast the voice messages of web readers into space and
> back to earth over radio on the frequencies from 145.800 to 146.000 MHz.
> Thanks to the excellent researching skills of Stephan Anderman, K2SMA,
> and Rick Lindquist, N1RL, I've discovered that Swatch in cooperation
> with the Russian space authorities have decided to use the two meter
> Amateur band for direct advertising via the "Beatnik" satellite (a
> mini-Sputnik and AMSAT-FR project formerly to be known as RS-19) across
> the entire world.
> According to AMSAT-France, during the construction of the satellite, the
> Russian space center had made a separate commercial contract with the
> Swatch watch company to put its messages on the satellite.  This was
> done in spite of AMSAT objections and contractual agreements with them
> not to put commercial advertising content in the digital messages.
> AMSAT-FR couldn't back out of their own contract and had to forward the
> parts on to the space center.
> Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, is doing his best to crack down on
> unlicensed
> and unbecoming operations within the jurisdiction of the FCC, but soon
> an egregious violation of the non-commercial status of amateur radio
> will begin taking place just a few miles above our heads when our two
> meter band is filled with advertisements for the latest Swatch watches.
> Bernard Pidoux, F6BVP, writes that we should do our best to ignore the
> satellite and not do anything to assist Swatch, such as tracking and
> publishing the Keplerian elements of this rogue mini-sat.  I completely
> agree, but I believe it's necessary to go even further than that.
> Just as we've successfully done in response to Little LEOs and APCO
> proposals in the past, it's time for amateur operators around the world
> to let Swatch AG and the Russian space program know just how precious
> our bands are to us.
> The first step is a comprehensive boycott of Swatch products.  If you
> were considering the purchase of a Swatch watch for you or someone else,
> please take a moment to consider some of the other watch manufacturers
> who are not stealing away ham frequencies.
> Next is to write a letter off to the Swatch company explaining why you
> made your purchase decision away from their products, and how you feel
> about this intrusion on the amateur bands.  Use this address from their
> web-site registration as a starting point.  If anyone knows the name of
> particular individuals within Swatch that the letters could be
> personally addressed to, please let me know.
> Swatch AG
>    Jakob-Stampfli-Strasse 94
>    2504 Bienne
>    CH
> As I understand it, the Russian space center will be able to upload
> voice data in ten message batches, so it's possible that under pressure
> from Swatch, they could "pull" these commercial advertisements off the
> ham bands at any time during the 30 day life, even while the satellite
> is still operational.  This is all the more reason to make it clear to
> Swatch how strongly the amateur community feels about this issue right
> now!
> Also, if you come across any amateur's page this month containing the
> Keplerian data or any mention of the Sputnik-99, let them know what
> Swatch is doing and encourage them to remove them as soon as possible.
> I'll be maintaining a web site concerning the latest news in this
> problem
> at http://rob.carlson.org/swatch-protest, which will start with this
> letter.  More news will be posted here and placed on the web site as I
> hear about it.  If you have any information, please feel free to e-mail
> me at rcarls2 at umbc.edu or kc2aei at amsat.org, or call me at (410) 455-3192
> at any time.
> Please forward this message as necessary so that we can inform as many
> amateur operators worldwide as possible about this problem.
> 73 and good luck,
> Rob Carlson, KC2AEI
> rcarls2 at umbc.edu
> --
> Rob Carlson, KC2AEI | rcarls2 at umbc.edu | http://rob.carlson.org
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