There are two types of confidential RCA documents in the Von Campbell collection: licensee documents (Licensee Booklets, etc.) and the RCA Standardization Notices. Here is the statement one the title page of every licensee document:
These documents are over 60 years old; any patents that needed protection have long since expired. The technology is obsolete. The information here, though, is an important resource for researchers of the history of technology. As noted in the link about provenance, this documentation has passed through several hands quite legally, except for once: when Von Campbell took the documents home and didn't return them to GE upon retirement. Since he died in 2012, there is no recourse here.
The statement about the information falling within the Espionage Act was only stamped on standardizing notices during World War II. The secrecy and importance to the enemy of the information in these documents have long since expired. In fact, it is likely that RCA licensees in Germany and Japan probably made CRTs from these standardizing notices after the war!
Virtually none of the documents in the Von Campbell collection were copyrighted, rather they fell under trade secret rules. Any copyrighted documents that were published before 1964 and did not have their copyrights renewed are now in the public domain. My own research at the Library of Congress in Washington has shown very little copyright renewals for technical documentation, when it was copyrighted at all.
If an authorized representative of a company descended from RCA can show that the release of this information will harm their ongoing or future business interests, I will take down the offending documents. Otherwise they will remain available to the public.
- John Atwood