The Manufacturers of medical equipment, including x-ray, CT Scanners, MRI and much more, all copyright their service manuals. Then they refuse to sell them to the end users. They prevent the distribution of their manuals between users who have legitimate reasons and needs for them. The effect of this is that many (most?) hospitals must rely on the original manufacturers to provide service and repairs. The manufacturers charge up to $1,000 per HOUR for labor, and sell repair parts at excessively high prices. They may also mandate the exchange of expensive sub-modules for costs of up to $30,000.00 instead of repairing the $5.00 component inside that caused the problem. If those of us in the hospitals had the manuals, we could replace the $5.00 part and avoid the multi-thousand dollar costs.
We need a Fair-Use exemption in the copyright law to allow the free exchange of service manuals and other necessary documentation between end users.
I have started a parallel website/blog for medical equipment manufacturers Dirt. We fight a daily battle for the extremely high service dollars. Man8ufacturers try every means available (and make up a few) to keep us (the hospital employees) from maintaining our own equipment. I would love to share ideas with the rest of the tech world. Feel free to use anything from my blog, if it applies.
Medical Equipment Repairers have been fighting a long war with manufacturers who will not release service manuals, error codes, passwords and other needed information so that they can protect their very lucrative service revenues (up to $1000.00 per hour). They often cite FDA limitations (Bulls---!) and copyright laws. We need a medical device service literature exemption.
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