For some time now (since Jan 21, 2001) I've hosted scans of the Rodenstock large format lens literature on my website (at http://www.butzi.net/rodenstock/rodenstock.htm). Last year, I served up roughly 61,000 page views of the Rodenstock literature to something on the order of 10,000 different viewers at my own expense.
I went through the process of scanning the darn literature and putting it on the web out of my desire to pay back some of my debt to the online LF community, which I think is a great example of how technology can help us build communities which transcend geographical boundary, and which was pivotal in getting me started in LF way back when. Recently, Rodenstock have finally put the data online, in a less easily browsed format, and excluding some of the stuff on my site which is now of historical interest and useful to those buying used lenses rather than new ones. In other words, some of the stuff I'm hosting is not available elsewhere on the WWW.
Lately, HP Marketing Corp's (the US distributor of Rodenstock lenses) business practices regarding trademark, and now seeking to exclude equipment not purchased through them from being serviced in the US have penetrated my conciousness.
Now, I'm not interested in arguments about whether HP Marketing have the legal right to do what they've done (I believe that in some cases they have, and in other cases they haven't). I just think it's a fairly obnoxious practice, and I'm uncomfortable about supporting their business.
I'm also uncomfortable about just yanking what appears to be a needed and useful LF resource off the web just because I think the local distributor for the Rodenstock lens line are behaving badly. It seems a shame to punish, say, a LF enthusiast in Croatia or Malaysia (yes, really, both were represented in last year's logs for the Rodenstock stuff) just because the HP Marketing can't play with others.
On the other hand, it's galling that by providing that resource I'm lining the pockets of a company that I think is acting contrary to the interests of the larger LF community.
So, what do y'all think I should do? Leave it all as it is, and ignore my misgivings about helping HP Marketing? Add a disclaimer to all the pages, explaining my views? Pull the whole thing, period, replacing it with an explanation of why it's gone, and perhaps a pointer to the Rodenstock site? Pass it all off to someone who wants to take over as host and is willing to pay the bandwidth costs of hosting it?