Herein I wish to discover how supposed to be esteemed Institutions of once Great Power violated my intellectual rights plagiarizing my PRW Nautical Tables. Well let us start from the beginning. Long time ago in 1969, I compiled and published The Nautical Tables PRW. The Tables were recorded in American Practical Navigator-Bowditch first time in 1977 on page 575 (Volume I). Furthermore, Navy Hydrographical Office, Split included, with my permission, my tables in their NautičkeTablice published 1984.

The Nautical Almanac, which is jointly published by Nautical Almanac Office, United States Naval Observatory, Washington, and Her Majesty’s Nautical Almanac Office, London, has printed on its pages from 1989 until present time so called NAO Sight Reduction Tables,  which in fact are my PRW Tables, slightly changed to comply with English language standards. However, the form and data (numbers) of NAO Tables are identical to PRW Tables. I wrote to the Editors and Publishers of The Nautical Almanac asking for explanation. In addition, I wrote to The Royal Institute of Navigation, whose member at that time I was, and asked them if they would have published a review of the two tables – my PRW and so called NAO Tables – in their publication The Journal of Navigation. Here I wish to point out that I used to write articles in scientific magazines including The Journal of Navigation.

They did not reply to tree registered latter which I wrote from 27 Feb 1996 to 30 Aug 1996, I advised them in my fourth letter that the next letter I would address to the Patron of The Royal Institute of Navigation to HRH the Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh. Probably it was too much for them to keep quite and finally they reply. The complete correspondence is herewith included. To see the correspondence with The Publishers click here and correspondence with Royal Institute of Navigation click here. The replays from both Institutions were altogether unacceptable. The Royal Institute of Navigation firstly did not answer my letters, then delayed and lingered playing with time, and probably hoping that I would give up. At last they wrote irrelevant text and made some irrelevant comparison. For details, see RINA correspondence. As far as the Publishers and Editors of The Nautical Almanac are concerned their attitude, knowledge, language, insolence and perfidy are unspeakable! Please do see their letter signed by certain Dr BD Yallop as well as my reply.

Let us see what says stipulating law – English copyright law, which is embodied in the Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988 and the earlier Copyright Act 1956 and International copyright laws stipulated by Universal Copyright Convention and Berne Copyright Convention. Copyright law is concerned with the reproduction of the form in which ideas are expressed, and not with the reproduction of the ideas themselves. No formalities are required for copyright to exist as the right is automatically created along with the work provided the work satisfies a number of qualifying conditions. My work does satisfy these conditions. The above means that the ideas cannot be protected by copyright, and methods of solution in legal terms are ideas. The form is the matter for copyrighting if it satisfies legal conditions. Now let us see the form of so called NAO Sight Reduction Tables: NAO Tables use same formulae as my PRW Tables. The formulae in legal terms are ideas therefore there are no breach of copyright laws so far. These formulae calculate just one table in which one enters twice with different arguments. I know about hundred Nautical Tables and they all consist of two or more Tables. Well, here one can start thinking about copying of the form. The Tables are arranged in three columns for each degree of latitude. All together there are 3 times 90 times 90 equals 24300 entries i.e. NAO Table contains 24300 number values identical to those of PRW Tables. The fact that the values of A/H and B/P in NAO Tables had been rounded to integral degree only means that the NAO Tables are less accurate then the PRW Tables. Comparing the two Tables (NAO and PRW) every impartial authority will see that the forms are identical. Well if not identical they differ just in few insignificant details, which I pointed out in my first letter to the Publishers.

Hereunder I shall present pages of the two tables so that everyone can see and compare them. From these correspondences one can follow my activities and endeavours undertaken to protect my intellectual rights. Also I attached in PDF format a page from my PRW Tables and a page from NAO tables for comparison. The two Tables overlap in parameters for degrees 18 to 20. One who compares the two tables will observe that the parameters are listed in three columns and that they are identical in value save for less accuracy for NAO Tables. Both PRW and NAO Tables have 24300 (90×90×3) numbers sorted in three columns for each degree, and they are identical in both tables. This means that the tables are identical in form. According governing law ideas cannot be protected by copyright but form, and indeed they copied the form of my tables. One might ask: “Why didn’t you sue them?” Well, I contacted a solicitors firm in Landon. They estimated the proceeding costs might reach 150.000 pounds! I think that I need not to tell you that I don’t have that money! Well, all the institutions in England keep together that’s sure, they do not give the foreigner a chance, and they do not want the shame and embarrassment for their “great” nation! The fact that The Nautical Almanac started to print NAO Sight Reduction Tables that looks like my PRW Nautical Tables was brought to my attention by my colleagues from the University. Boris Franusic, an eminent expert on astronomical navigation, wrote an article in the scientific periodical “Nase More” (ISSN 0469-6255) No. 1-2/96, in which he compared the two Tables – PRW Tables and so called NAO Tables. This is Summary of the Article I quote This paper has discovered that nautical Almanac has been publishing since 1989 the nautical tables identical to the PRW tables by Petar Cumbelic, edited in 1969. This has been discovered recently and this paper has given the professional comparison accompanied by solved solutions concluding that Cumbelic’s tables have been plagiarized without his consent what might cause an international nautical dispute. Unquote. In this text one will probably notice a translator lapses – one cannot plagiarize with one’s consent! However, it leaves no doubts what the Author wished to emphasize. The Article compares meticulously formulae, method, form, and instructions for use. It also gave the practical examples, solved with both tables, and made the conclusion (my translation from Croatian language) quote Publishers and editors of The Nautical Almanac wished to improve this publication giving it more practical value. They started to print a short and fast Nautical Tables. It is without doubt that the printed tables are the same one that Cumbelic published in 1969 in Dubrovnik. Cumbelic’s Tables have instructions for use in English and have been mentioned in American Practical Navigator (the best known text book on navigation in the world) under heading Z-Tables.  It means that most probably some expert on navigation in England or America knew of Cumbelic’s solution, changed the symbols and abbreviations in accordance with English language, rounded parameters to integral minute, and printed his Tables. The fact that in The Nautical Almanac there have been no indications of who the Author of the Tables might be, nor which formulae were used, leads even to reasonable doubts that those who decided to include sight reduction tables in the Nautical Almanac copied Cumbelic’s method and form of solution. P.Cumbelic lives in a small state Croatia that accepted all standards of western democratic word including those that govern authorship and copyright. It does not surprise that the editors of that renowned nautical publication grasped for such tables as the PRW Tables are one of the world’s smallest in volume and yet accurate as those tables with three entering arguments that usually comes in three volumes. Therefore it was easy to add the tables to the Almanac and offer them to the seamen in a single book.  However, what does surprise is the fact that they rounded parameters to integral minutes, introduced greater number of symbols and complicated rules for parameter’s signs.  They complicated the tables, made them less accurate then Cumbelic’s precise and clean solution, and made additional unnecessary confusion. Unquote. Furthermore Professor Franusic compares the instructions for use for both tables and concludes that they are identical. Well, I wouldn’t say identical but very similar as they follow step by step the instruction I gave for my tables sometimes changing the order and giving instructions for the signs which instruction were not needed in my tables. As Professor Franusic pointed out the rules for signs in so-called NAO Tables were unnecessary complicated? The editors and publishers not being able to improve they made the tables less accurate and less practical. However, the fact remains – they copied the form of my tables. Professor Franusic demonstrated in his article that they didn’t copy only the form and instructions for use of my tables but that they also copied the work pattern. In the article there are two solved examples as the proof that we deal with the same formulae, same form, and same algorithm or indeed with the same tables. However, the learned professionals from Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office, London, and from The Royal Institute of Navigation wouldn’t admit the facts, twisting them, pretentiously and arrogantly writing irrelevant text and even trying to accuse me for violating Napier’s intellectual right! Please see my correspondence with the above mentioned Institutions. As a conclusion I say that their arrogance and perfidy is infinite. It reminds me of the saying Perfidious Albion, because England is known to some as perfidious Albion, implying that it is not trustworthy in its dealings with foreigners
( I shall end this page with a Latin proverb Sic transit Gloria mundi!, which is applicable very much for the above mentioned Institutions.

Coming to the conclusion I wish to emphasize that to be objective I tried to stick to the facts and supplied the correspondence. Finally I will appreciate very much if the esteemed visitors of my web site e-mail their opinion and suggestions. Thank you very much indeed.


31.07.2015 15:34

Capt. K.Desin, master mariner

Prof. Cumbelic was my profesor while I was attending M.Navy school in Dubrovnik
1961-1965.highly respected respected by us students .

27.07.2015 16:51

Mićo Batalić

It is very impressive !!
What to say more than that perhaps for non informed people could be ranked as incredible story. Wishing author finally get full satisfactions. Good luck !!