Please continue your search for an expert to answer my question. If more details from me would be helpful, please let me know.
10.45 a.m. 27 January 2015.
On 10 June 2014 I posted a law question to Justanswer. The answer was provided by Alex J. The question I posted on 21 January 2015 is similar to my earlier question. So I suggest that you contact Alex J, and ask him to reply to my current question.
Regards, ***** *****
1. Please explain briefly the rules on limitation.
2. Professor D claims that the frame copy he made in 1984, was based on information from B. But B had nothing to do with the Mk 2 version of the aircraft. A was the chief designer of Mk 2, and he did not supply professor D with any drawings. The purported copy by Prof. D was grossly inaccurate, and non - functional.
The following statements will hopefully clarify the position;
1. The aircraft consists of a wooden airframe, and a metal frame for the pilot.
2. Prof. D made a non-functional and inaccurate copy of the metal frame only. He put it in the Mk 2 airframe, and transferred the combination to museum X, without A's permission.
3. There is no patent on any aspect of the Mk 1 or Mk 2 design.
4. A is the chief designer of Mk 2. He holds the copyright in the engineering drawings to which it was built. A has a full set of the drawings.
5. Prof. D has retired. He refuses to state to University U, or to A;
- what he did, and when.
- why he considered himself entitled to act as he did.
6. The student team was entirely independent of University U. No member of the University staff made any technical or financial contribution to the project.
7. University U has no ownership rights in the aircraft. Mk 2 was not donated to them, or to Prof. D. Prof. D has falsely claimed ownership - is that not theft ?
8. Prof. D is not doing anything with his version of the metal frame. The aircraft is currently on display at museum Y, containing his unauthorized copy of the frame.
I look forward to your response, in the light of the above information.
Reply to Justanswer on 31 January 2015.
Thank you for your comments dated 30 January 2015.
1. The aircraft display at museum Y has been photographed, containing the unauthorized version of the Mk 2 frame, due to Prof. D.
2. An engineering analysis has been made, of the differences between the genuine and false versions of the Mk 2 frame.
3. There are letters written by Prof. D, which confirm beyond doubt, that he modified Mk 2 and transferred it to museum X, without A’s permission.
4. There are also documents which show that the director E, of museum Y, described the aircraft in the 1980’s, as being on “extended loan “. Currently museum Y claims to be the “ owner “ of the aircraft. They cannot produce any evidence of a loan or donation by A, B, and C.
5. Presumably this is the evidence which the police would require.
6. The main focus is on the ownership of the aircraft. The key questions about Prof. D, museum X, and museum Y, are;
- what were they entitled/not entitled to do, in their respective circumstances ?
- has there been collusion between the three parties, to try to steal the aircraft from A, B, & C ?
7. The owners A, B, and C believe that the best solution is to;
( a ) inform D, X, and Y, that they acted unlawfully.
( b ) undertake not to pursue them with legal action, provided that the airframe is returned to A, to enable a restoration of the complete aircraft.
8. Please provide a brief explanation of “ limitation “, as it applies in this case.
Reply to Justanswer on 4th February 2015
1. Thank you for your query, dated 3 February 2015.
2. I have copies of the following documents;
2.1 A letter written by the director E, of museum Y, in which he says “ I managed to get the
aircraft on extended loan from the Science Museum “. The letter is dated 6 November 1984.
Note that the Science Museum “ took responsibility “ for the aircraft from museum X,
without reference to A, B, and C.
2.2 An entry dated April 2007 in the National Aviation Heritage Register. It says that the
“ owner “ is the Science Museum ( false ) and that the current aircraft location is at museum
Y ( true ).
2.3 An entry dated January 2015 in the Register, which describes museum Y as the aircraft
“ owner “ ( false ). The Science Museum is not mentioned.
3. Museum Y has never been given any custodial or ownership rights with respect to the aircraft, by A, B, and C. Does not the change in description, from “ loan “ to “ ownership “, amount to
attempted theft, by museum Y ?
4. Please state your legal opinion, about what each of the parties was and was not entitled to do.
The parties were professor D, museum X, the Science Museum, and museum Y.
Thank you for your comments of 4 February.
1. A, B, and C designed and built the aircraft. An archive exists which contains hundred of engineering drawings and photos. So it is easy to prove ownership of the aircraft. No document exists, which transfers ownership to University U, or to professor D.
2. The same person has been the director of museum Y since 1984. He wrote the letter about “ extended loan “from the Science Museum. Both museum Y and the Science Museum are aware of the history of the aircraft. They have supplied documents, about their role in that history, to University U. University U has copied them to A.
3. It was professor D who transferred the aircraft to museum X, in 1966. They in turn transferred it to the Science Museum in 1983. The third move was to museum Y in 1984.
4. Everything that professor D did, was done without the knowledge and consent of A, the owner and designer of Mk 2. A is the appointed representative of B and C, in all matters concerning the aircraft.
5. Can you state what crimes relating to ownership and copyright were committed by professor D ?
What was and is the relevant legislation ?
6. The owners want to retrieve the aircraft from museum Y, in order to carry out a complete restoration on it.
Thank you for your reply of 24 February.
Professor D made arrangements in 1966 with museum X, to display the aircraft there.
He did this without being given the permission of A, B, and C. He entered into a written
agreement with museum X about it. Unfortunately museum X cannot supply a copy of the
letter he refers to the agreement made in 1966, and he says;
“ I was custodian of the aircraft before I arranged with museum X for them to take
over its custody. However it was clearly part of those arrangements that should museum X
dispose of the aircraft in any way whatsoever, the ownership of the aircraft should revert to me. “
Professor D was never appointed custodian of the aircraft, by A, B, and C. In my view,
the statement about ownership, in his 1983 letter, amounts to a “ smoking gun “. Is he not guilty of the theft of the aircraft, by claiming custody, and then ownership ? Both claims are false.
A, B, and C did create the design drawings for the aircraft, and these survive. As you say, at no point did they part with ownership or title to the aircraft which they built. Museum X, the Science Museum, and museum Y have all made arrangements with respect to the loan and display of the aircraft, without reference to A, B, and C. A letter written by the director of museum Y in 1984 says;
“ The Science Museum had taken responsibility for the aircraft, and I felt that its real home should be in museum Y. I managed to get the aircraft on extended loan from the Science Museum “.
This is evidence that the loan occurred, without either party being entitled to make the arrangement.
The metal frame which professor D produced was a grossly inaccurate copy of the genuine frame. He inserted it into the aircraft without A’s permission, and it has been on display in that condition since 1984, at museum Y. Museum Y charges visitors for admission, so this amounts to commercial use of the aircraft. Professor D and Museum Y are knowingly responsible for;
1. Derogatory treatment of a copyright work.
2. False attribution of professor D’s design, to the actual designers.
3. Dealing commercially in an infringing copy of the metal frame.
I look forward to receiving your views, in the light of the above information.
Thank you for your reply of 26th February 2015.
In response to your queries, I have summarized the surviving documentary evidence about the roles of professor D and museum Y. You are the legal expert, and I seek your opinion as to whether they are responsible for the theft of the wooden airframe. If they are, what is the relevant legislation ?
Professor D was employed by university U when he carried out his actions with respect to the aircraft. I hold them jointly responsible for the present situation of the aircraft. I have supplied university U with extensive documentation about the project, which proves that A, B, and C were the designers and constructors of the aircraft in 1961, and that therefore they are the owners and copyright holders today.
The remedy I seek is the return of the wooden airframe, so that an authentic restoration can be carried out. I prefer to do this, by persuading the three parties involved that they were not entitled to act as they did. A necessary part of this process, is to draw their attention to the numerous ways in which they have acted illegally, and infringed the rights of A, B, and C. Hopefully, it would then not be necessary to sue university U, professor D, and museum Y.
I look forward to your reply.
26th February 2015.
Thank you for your reply today.
Professor D is responsible for more than one letter describing his actions re the wooden airframe He tried to steal an insurance payment due to me, by writing to the company without my knowledge. He also tried to steal the metal frame from its storage location, again without my knowledge. Both attempts were unsuccessful. I have not mentioned these aspects before, because they would considerably lengthen the account of the aircraft’s history. The basic point is that there are several documents, which prove his intention to steal, on three separate occasions.
In 1984, the director of museum Y stated that the aircraft was on “ extended loan “. In 2015, he is stating that museum Y is the “ owner “ of the wooden airframe. In my view, this is a claim which makes him a party to the theft process begun by professor D.
A, B, and C were not commissioned to design the aircraft. It was a personal undertaking, wholly independent of university U. Professor D took up his post at the university three years later. He had nothing to do with any aspect of the project. He did not leave the airframe in the custody of the university, and they had no role in lending it to three museums. It was professor D alone who took the initiative, in arranging the transfer of the airframe to museum X.
My understanding of the situation, is that professor D and the director of museum Y are key figures in a multi-stage process, whereby they are trying to retain the aircraft illegally, and to profit from its display. Both are aware that it belongs to A, B, and C, and that no-one else has any ownership rights in it. Do you agree with this summary ?
I look forward to your response.
3rd March 2015.
Thank you for your reply of 2nd March.
I have copies of the following incriminating letters, written by or referring to professor D;
1. The aircraft crashed on a test flight in November 1965. The aircraft was insured, and the premium was paid by A. Professor D contacted the insurance company, without A’s knowledge or consent. His letter ( now lost ) claimed that the insurance payment should go to the society S which provided the aircraft construction grant. The company told A about professor D’s intervention, in a letter which survives. They told professor D that he had no role in the matter. The company proceeded to pay A, according to the terms of the policy. Professor D’s attempt to divert the insurance payment was unsuccessful.
2. Letter from professor D to museum X, dated 21st February 1983. He said that he was the “ custodian “ of the aircraft. This is a role which he assumed, without obtaining the agreement of A, B, and C. He also referred to an earlier agreement with museum X ( now lost ) which said that if museum X disposed of the aircraft, then ownership of the aircraft would revert to him. He was not entitled to make this claim, because he made no contribution whatsoever to the project, and he was not given any rights by the aircraft owners.
3. Letter to museum Y, dated 4th January 1985. Professor D said that the aircraft metal frame was stored in a named location. He wrote “ We could easily obtain it, and present it to museum Y, to go along with the wooden airframe which is currently on display “. Professor D sent someone to try take the metal frame, without the knowledge and consent of A. The keeper of the frame on A’s behalf refused, and the attempted theft was unsuccessful.
In addition, there are three published sources, which contain Professor D’s false claim to have supervised the design of the aircraft, by A, B, and C. In fact, professor D came to university U three years after the design and construction of the aircraft.
Please provide details of the legislation which applies to professor D’s unauthorized and illegal activities.
I look forward to your reply.
20 March, 2015.
Thank you for your reply of 3 March. I have not enquired about your progress
in preparing a reply since then, due to illness.
Please review our interaction to date, focusing particularly on the roles of
applies to their false claims and unauthorized activities. I plan to meet the museum
director, and to request the return of the wooden airframe, as the appointed
representative of the designers, constructors, and owners of the aircraft. If he
resists, I will recite the details of the illegality of his position, based on the
information which you provide. If he still resists, I will tell him that I will go to the
police, to report a case of attempted theft.
I look forward to your reply.
I'm unable to respond to Aj recently for two reasons:
1 .I was ill in march, I've been on several weeks in the hospital2. has not been able to access justanswer, bec. of repeated failure of the internet connection