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Re: [tekumel] Tekumel Foundation Website

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  • Alva Hardison
    David, excellent points! ________________________________ From: David Reese To: tekumel@yahoogroups.com Sent: Friday, March 29, 2013 9:04
    Message 1 of 108 , Mar 29, 2013
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      David, excellent points!

      From: David Reese <horus@...>
      To: tekumel@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, March 29, 2013 9:04 AM
      Subject: Re: [tekumel] Tekumel Foundation Website

      Wow... a lot of emotion clouds this issue, or so it seems to me.  From
      what little I know of the history, Professor Barker had some less than
      pleasant experiences with his intellectual property in the past.  This
      probably tempered his view during the time when the Foundation was
      established and its mission was defined.  I get that, and I don't think
      anyone here wants to take Tekumel from anyone else - it cuts both ways,
      though:  fans have the right to fair use just like the Foundation and
      the Professor's heirs have a right to and a vested interest in
      protecting his IP legacy.

      I tend to agree in large part with what Sauvagine has written,
      especially the analysis of the Foundation's legal position.  On balance,
      given the current state of IP law in the US, everything I've read from
      the Foundation seems in consonance with that law, and designed to
      protect the interests of the Foundation and the estate without unduly
      infringing on fannish rights to fair use.

      Should Tekumel be open sourced?  It's not a question we as a community
      can decide.  Should fannish material set in Tekumel be open sourced?
      That's up to the author of said material so long as it does not exceed
      the doctrine of fair use (i.e., does not include overmuch protected
      material in its construction).

      Folks need to get hold of their emotions on this one, calm down, and
      consider what is right, what is fair, what is reasonable, and what the
      Professor wished for his legacy.  It's obviously a legacy that means a
      lot to us all, else we wouldn't be so moved to expression on the subject.

      When I produce materials set in the milieu of a role-playing game I will
      either contact the holder of the IP before release or (if that proves
      impracticable)  include a disclaimer which acknowledges the holder's
      rights, and assures the holder of the IP in question of my intent not to
      infringe or otherwise lay incidental claim to their property.  It also
      affords the holder opportunity to contact me should they feel I have
      exceeded fair use.

      I could probably go on, but I think I've made the points I wanted to make...

      Later On,

      On 03/28/2013 08:01 PM, Sauvagine wrote:

      >      I think I'll join the de-lurkers.  Although I have opinions on
      > the points being made, there is something I'd like to point out.  A
      > lot of hysterics have been made over the "Nazi law" being used in the
      > IP protection.  Please understand - in United States law, it is
      > entirely up to the IP owner to protect his or her rights in it.  If
      > the owner does not police it, the owner loses its protection.  If the
      > IP owner gives license to someone to use their IP for some purpose and
      > does not, in the granting, reserve the right to revoke the license, he
      > does not have that right AND WILL NEVER HAVE IT.  (For those of you
      > who are aspiring authors of any kind, consider the implications of
      > that carefully before you allow someone else to write in your world.)
      >      Additionally, if an IP owner becomes aware of a misappropriation
      > and does nothing to attempt its correction (note - if it's out of your
      > reach, such as in Russia, there might be nothing you can do and the
      > American court will be sympathetic), he has consented to its use.
      > Because he consented through inaction, he never claimed the right to
      > revoke the license.
      >      Contrary to popular belief, the "Nazi law" your complaining about
      > is extraordinarily sympathetic to IP thieves, and keep in mind that
      > complaints about the "Gestapo tactics" are complaints in favor of IP
      > piracy.
      >      As for turning the IP "open source," absolutely.  Let everybody
      > and their brother add to the official Tekumel canon, because that's
      > the consequence of that action.  If the IP is open source, everybody
      > has access to it freely.  Fanwork often falls under "fair use," but
      > it's wonderfully distinct in that fair use doesn't reach back into the
      > IP.  (Because its fair use, obviously no license is given - the law
      > simply permits that action.)
      >      Finally, if you're going to make money using somebody else's
      > property, it is fundamentally astonishing to me that you would expect
      > not to have to pay the actual owner of that property.
      >      The remainder of my opinion on this argument will not be repeated
      > in public forum.
      > --
      > Edmund Wilfong
      > "In a little while you will be alone in shoreless space, to wander its
      > limitless solitudes without friend or comrade forever - for you will
      > remain a thought, the only existent thought, and by your nature
      > inextinguishable, indestructible.  [...T]here is no God, no universe,
      > no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell.  It is all a dream
      > - a grotesque and foolish dream.  Nothing exists but you.  And you are
      > but a thought - a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless
      > thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!"
      > -The Mysterious Stranger, Mark Twain
      > "Welcome to reality.  The paradise of repressed dreams."
      > -The Psychiatric Clinic for Abused Cuddly Toys


      > On Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 6:35 PM, Malcolm Heath <malcolmpdx@...
      > <mailto:malcolmpdx@...>> wrote:
      >    Oh, I know I shouldn't do this, but I kind of feel like I have to
      >    say at least something.
      >    The important point to bear in mind is that _we_ do not own
      >    Tekumel. Professor Barker did. Now his estate does. The Foundation
      >    was established by Professor Barker to do the things he wanted
      >    with his life's work, which clearly included protecting his
      >    intellectual property. This isn't a land grab, this isn't a cabal
      >    of people trying to keep Tekumel pure, or anything of the sort.
      >    The Foundation is attempting to the best of their abilities to
      >    comply with the wishes of the creator and owner of Tekumel.
      >    We may, between ourselves, agree or disagree with the situation
      >    here. But we don't actually have a say of any kind. Professor
      >    Barker did, and his opinion, and the expression of that opinion
      >    via the Foundation, which is composed of people who knew him well,
      >    discussed these issues at length with him, and I believe have ONLY
      >    the desire to see Professor Barker's wishes be observed, do. His
      >    wishes are the ONLY thing that matters here, that has any standing
      >    whatsoever. And that's the end of it, for me at least.
      >    2013/3/28 Steve Foster <Steve@...
      >    <mailto:Steve@...>>
      >        If you think that message was hostile then you are doing me a
      >        disservice. I have been a fan of Tekumel since 1977. I would
      >        hate to see it wither away through an overprotectiveness that
      >        stifles rather than supports. The problem is that this is
      >        precisely what I think will happen.
      >        I know the folks at the Foundation have the noblest of
      >        intentions and this is merely an amicable disagreement, but I
      >        have to ask what threat the Foundation's policies are
      >        protecting it from? Tekumel is not Super Mario. There aren't
      >        hordes of pirates out there producing cheap imitation
      >        scenarios. In fact, I wish there were as it would be a
      >        wonderful sign of interest.
      >        If it were my decision, and I know it isn't, I would forget IP
      >        protection. I'd get people to produce as much Tekumel material
      >        as they liked and do what they liked with it. I'd keep
      >        "Foundation Tekumel" as a premium brand for canonical Tekumel.
      >        If people like Tekumel, they'll buy that stuff. But a fan base
      >        stifled by lawyer talk and fees and conditions is only going
      >        to shrink, and the IP problem will go away because there won't
      >        be anyone to buy anything.
      >        Would I open source Tekumel? Absolutely yes.
      >        Steve
      >        Sent from my iPad
      >        On 28 Mar 2013, at 02:34, George Hammond <worldsmith@...
      >        <mailto:worldsmith@...>> wrote:
      >>        On Mar 27, 2013, at 7:00 PM, Alva Hardison wrote:
      >>        > Does anyone know if what is covered in the below post has
      >>        changed?
      >>        Wow. Alva, do you think maybe you could pick a more hostile
      >>        message to quote? I don't think we've quite got enough anger,
      >>        sarcasm, and Godwinning on the list right now.
      >>        I guess what you meant is, has the Foundation updated or
      >>        changed their posted policies since they posted their
      >>        website? Not on the web as far as I can tell.
      >>        At UCon last October the president of the Foundation (Victor
      >>        Raymond) reported that the Foundation had employed an
      >>        intellectual property lawyer to advise them on their policies
      >>        and on the many contracts that Dr. Barker had entered in to.
      >>        Victor also shared a handout with revised language for their
      >>        policies. I confess I don't now recall specifics of what was
      >>        said about these, but my impression is that they were working
      >>        drafts of revisions that would would eventually end up on the
      >>        Foundation website. As it turned out we didn't have too much
      >>        time to discuss them. I don't know what their plans are now.
      >>        I hope they can update their site soon.
      >>        George


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    • Brett Slocum
      Okay, now I think we can move this discussion offlist as John Till suggested. ... Brett Slocum
      Message 108 of 108 , Mar 29, 2013
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        Okay, now I think we can move this discussion offlist as John Till suggested. 

        Brett Slocum <slocum@...>

        On Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 11:43 AM, Alva Hardison <alvahardison@...> wrote:

        Brett, thank you!! that's my entire point! I've been heavy handed in this journey into "ranting" as others have pointed out off list. A little "glasnost" (russian: openness) would go far in alleviating the situation. That is why i remarked to victor that they (the foundation) need to openly post any new guidlines (rumors say they exist) as i and others would VERY much like to see them Be above board and the good will from that action will pay off big.

        From: Brett Slocum <brett.slocum@...>
        To: tekumel@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, March 29, 2013 9:18 AM

        Subject: Re: [tekumel] Tekumel Foundation Website

        There must be a middle ground between open source and heavy-handed licensing -- a way to protect the work of Professor Barker while at the same time promoting Tekumel through the production of new works. How to walk that line can only come from the Foundation. We can attempt to aid them by giving them input, but as those entrusted by the Professor to carry on his work, it's their job to make that decision. The authors looking to create new products will be the final arbiters of how successful the board has been at navigating these waters. If no one is willing to play by the rules set out, then those rules will hopefully change. Ranting at them is probably not the best way to advise them in their difficult path. There's got to be a better way to convey your concerns. 

        I am concerned that the confusing verbiage that caused such an uproar three years ago is still in place. One can easily conclude that nothing has changed. So, in essence, the fact that the Foundation website hasn't changed is cause for Alva and others to be alarmed. 
        Brett Slocum <slocum@...>

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