legality of selling shop manuals?

7 replies to this topic
  • FlyByWire

Posted January 13, 2004 - 08:04 PM


Hey guys, qucik question for those who may know. Ive got a copy of the shop manual that I made into a PDF file. Is it illegal to sell these copies on ebay? I have seen them sold as "backups as long as you have a hard copy.." (yeah right!!) I basicly just want to build my ebay feedback.. but not if i'll get in trouble..

  • smashinz2002

Posted January 13, 2004 - 08:19 PM


To answer your question, yes, it is illegal to sell COPIES of the Honda Shop Manual because it is copyrighted material.

  • FlyByWire

Posted January 13, 2004 - 08:25 PM


What I figured... Saw people doing it, figure I'd ask.

  • drex

Posted January 13, 2004 - 09:56 PM


Yeah, that clown on e-bay is risking the wrath of Honda. I sent him an e-mail a few months ago but he keeps going.


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  • FlyByWire

Posted January 13, 2004 - 10:03 PM


I sent him an e-mail myself, he said something to the effect that he hasnt gotten caught yet.... I know where you can get the manual for free online (pdf), wonder how he is making sales.

  • irondude

Posted January 13, 2004 - 10:56 PM


I saw that to. Why would anyone pay for one on ebay, when free electronic copies are so readily available from links found on the XR650 Yahoo site, and at
Makes no sense.... :)

  • qadsan

Posted January 13, 2004 - 11:02 PM


Makes no sense....

There's a sucker born every minute :)

  • nonferrousdude

Posted January 14, 2004 - 10:15 AM


I don't know much about BRPs, but I can relate the following about copyrights...

When you buy a copy of a book, CD, DVD, or other media, you own the physical media. You also get a personnel license to the copyrights in the work. Because you own the physical media, you can resell it, rent it (like video stores do), lend it, etc. And, under the "first sale doctrine," the law gives you the right to transfer your personnel copyright license along with that single copy of the physical media. However, the law does not give you permission to generate more copies of the copyrighted work -- for that, you need permission from the copyright holder. In sum, you can't make copies for sale. There is some wiggle room for making personnel "back-up" copies, but this is the subject of a lot of current legislation, and may apply to the specific media involved (read "special interests at work").

Companies hate the "first sale doctrine" (recognized in Europe as well as the US) because it essentially legalizes the "grey market" for copyrighted works (regardless of the license terms they would like to impose, e.g., "not for sale or transfer").

My last tangent -- given the rulings in the Napster case, I'm sure EBay is concerned about permitting a market for infringing works.

Next topic is, "violation of a constitutional right under color of authority," useful north of the border for unwelcome/unwarranted traffic stops or prison officials. Fun to say, at the least...

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