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TRANSCRIPT: The Author of "Eye of Argon" Interviewed

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Richard Newsome

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Jul 21, 1994, 1:13:43 PM7/21/94
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The following interview is reproduced verbatim, typos and all, from OSFAN 13
(published November 21, 1970). OSFAN was the newsletter of the Ozark Science
Fiction Association, in St. Louis. Douglas "Doc" Clark was the publisher,
aided by Leigh Couch, Sue Watson and others. Jim "Nomad" Theis, author of "Eye
of Argon", was a club member who showed up for collations but otherwise was
not on the staff of OSFAN or an officer of OSFA. He was, however the first
winner of the club's monthly "J. T. Rikosh Award", which was a sort of humorous
booby prize along the lines of the LASFS "Fugghead of the Year" award.

The two issues of OSFAN that I have are replete with amazing typos, spelling
errors, runtogether words and missing punctuation in a manner that will be
familiar to readers of "Eye of Argon". I suspect that the vast majority of
the errors in "Eye of Argon" were in fact not the author's fault, but were
committed by the person (uncredited) who typed the stencils for OSFAN, who
appears to have been a sloppy typist and rather sparing in the use of corflu.
(Or maybe you just couldn't get corflu in the Ozarks in those days.)

"Eye of Argon" made its first appearance in OSFAN 10, which, given the more
or less monthly appearance of OSFAN, must have appeared in August 1970 or
thereabouts. OSFAN appears to have sprung up in the wake of the 1969
St. Louis Worldcon.

Here's the interview. Insofar as it is possible to do so I have reproduced
the original typos, spelling errors and grammatical mistakes verbatim.


GRAFANDOM
by Guiseppe Caporale

Grafandom or the Graphic Fantasy Collectors of St. Louis constitutes but a
small portion of the membership of OSFA. Though small in numbers, Gra Fan/ OSFA
members tend to be very active in these clubs. Good examples of this activity
include; J.T.Rikosh Award winning short story writer Jim Ties, Mike Mc Fadden's
great cover illustration for this issue of OSFA and my artwork for this and
previous issues of OSFA.

Gra Fan is the third attempt at a Comics oriented fan club or group in the
St. Louis area. Because of the efforts of Mike and Len McFadden,Gra Fan is a
successful club that continues to keep growing.

The other two clubs, the first club which had no name and the second,
Bob Schoenfeld's Gateway Comic Club will be discussed at a later date to give
you faithful (?) readers a great insight and understanding of GraFan and the
comics oriented fans in St. Louis.

With this article on GraFan,we will begin a series of interviews on such
hard core GraFan members as Steve Hou ska, Walt Stumper, Walt Jaschek and
good old "Diamond" Jim Thies. Evantually GraFan publisher and editor Mike
McFadden and his brother Len, who acts the club advisor.

Our first interview will be with the J. T. Rikosh Adward winning short
story writer "Diamond" Jim Thies.

OSFAN: What did you think of your story "Eye of Argon" in OSFAN 10?

THIES: I admit I did make a few mistakes. But then, I'm just a 16 yearsold. The
editing that was done to it did not help it. Inthe future,if I have anything
else published I would appreciate it if it were published as it was written.

OSFAN: How long have you been in GraFan?

THEIS: From the beginning. About a year.

OSFAN: Any comments on OSFA?

THEIS: OSFA is a very nice organization; well structured. All the
offices seem to be well handled. No inconsistences there. The jobs are very
capbly taken care of and, I mean,they have regular meetings once a month.
Printing parties once a month. They have parties on holidays,ect.

OSFAN: A friend (I will leave nameless) has said that there is far too much
social life going on inOSFA and not enough dissussion of Science Fiction.

THEIS: As far as that goes, if you wanted to orient more Science Fiction into
it you would actually be shoving it down their throat. Like at a meeting,
some member might decide to speck on Science Fiction and Science Fiction
theory- and that becomes boring. If you want to talk just about Science
Fiction you can always find someone to talk with. Members do talk Science
Fiction because afterall, that's what the club is all about. But they also
talk sports,politics or anything else that comes to mind. Mostly,they want
to enjoy being with people of the same tastes: Science Fiction.They don't
have to convince each other they are Science Fiction fans; they belong to the
club because it fills their needs to belong.

OSFAN: Are you trying to say that you are mainly an OSFA member rather than a
GraFan member?

THEIS: No. What I'm trying to say is that OSFA is a better organized group ,
with a much better following than GraFan which is a much newer group of fans.
OSFA has a wider scope of members from high school, college,and adult level
of readers and fans. GraFan appeals to people of these groups but on a
smaller basis because it is a comics oriented group which makes,in many ways,
for a smaller readership. Author's Note: As far as I know GraFAn has at
least 70 suvscibers, which includes professionals and fans, and, in a way is
rather remarkable because GRAFA is a fairly new club whose most recent monthly
issue of the GraFan club-zine is number 4).

OSFAN: Is there anything in "Eyeof Argon" that you would have changed now
that you have re-read it OSFAN 10?

THEIS: In fact, I have changed it. I went over it for an independent study
for English in school. You know, like adjectives changed and places where
sentences should be deleted; things of this type. Even so it is nothing to
be proud of and yet it is. Because how many people have had their first story
published at16-even if it is in a fanzine or club-zine? How many professional
writers have written a complete story at so early an age? Even so,"Eye of
Argon" isn't great. I basically don't know much about structure or composition.

OSFAN: Are you now working on structure, composition,and grammer?

THEIS: Yes, Iam but it is difficult becuase I'm still in high school and must
work on my writing in my spare time. Basically, these books on English
composition haven't taught me anything I didn't know but they are showing me
how to put them (composition grammer,ect.) into a working order.

OSFAN: Whenevercan OSFAN expect another contribution from you?

THEIS: Whenever they want one! In fact You've got my latest story at your
place. Have you read it?

OSFAN:I started it, but I haven't had time to finish it. What inspired you to
write it?

THEIS:The idea for the story came to me while watching Alfred Hitchcock reruns.
Incidentally, my story has nothing to do with what was on television.

OSFAN: I am personally pruod of your story for OSFAN10, in the sense, that it
is more than I could have done. Also the fact that when they were kidding you
about it, you took it so well. I think you should be given a pat on the back
for such good sportsmanship. You showed real character.

THEIS: I didn't know that.I mean, it was easier than showing bad character and
inviting trouble.

With the end of our interview, I'll attempt to finish off this first colum
with some final information on GraFan.
GraFan can be ordered from Mike McFadden, 14 Joyce Ellen Lance, Ferguson,
Missouri, 63135, and you will receive 12 issues for$ 2.00.

Because GraFan is becoming like more of fanzine/newszine than just a
club-zine, you can expect both surprizing and interesting items. News, in
some cases,that no one else has.Pro-covers such as the forthcoming GraFan
No. 5 with Vaughn Bode and GraFan No.6 with Larry Todd.Interviews such as
the two-parter with Denny O'Neil pro comic writer. Fan articles by Len and
Mike McFadden, Walt Stumper, Walt Jaschek and Jim Theis. Fan artwork by
Mike McFadden, Steve Houska, myself and who knows who else might pop up in
GraFan. Try it. Comic fandom is alive and well and living in St. Louis.
Beleive it!
Vox=Caporale

[The preceding article was published in November, 1970 in OSFAN #13. No
copyright notice appears in the zine.]

P Nielsen Hayden

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Jul 21, 1994, 1:50:51 PM7/21/94
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new...@panix.com (Richard Newsome) writes:

>[The preceding article was published in November, 1970 in OSFAN #13. No
>copyright notice appears in the zine.]

Which doesn't mean the people involved in it are entirely without legal or
moral rights in the matter. Silly they may be, but old fanzines should not
be regarded as a source for permission-free Usenet reprints.

Intellectual property rights are not a function of how many typos the
publication contains, or how hilariously silly you think its contents are.

-----
Patrick Nielsen Hayden : p...@tor.com
senior editor, Tor Books : opinions mine

Seth Breidbart

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Jul 21, 1994, 2:36:20 PM7/21/94
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In article <30mchr$c...@panix2.panix.com>, P Nielsen Hayden <p...@tor.com> wrote:
>new...@panix.com (Richard Newsome) writes:
>
>>[The preceding article was published in November, 1970 in OSFAN #13. No
>>copyright notice appears in the zine.]
>Which doesn't mean the people involved in it are entirely without legal or
>moral rights in the matter. Silly they may be, but old fanzines should not
>be regarded as a source for permission-free Usenet reprints.
>Intellectual property rights are not a function of how many typos the
>publication contains, or how hilariously silly you think its contents are.

No, but for materials published prior to 1978 in the United States,
they are a function of whether a copyright notice appears in the
publication.

Seth

lm...@telerama.lm.com

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Jul 21, 1994, 10:03:30 PM7/21/94
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> In article <30mchr$c...@panix2.panix.com>, P Nielsen Hayden <p...@tor.com> wrote:
> >new...@panix.com (Richard Newsome) writes:
> >>[The preceding article was published in November, 1970 in OSFAN #13. No
> >>copyright notice appears in the zine.]
> >Which doesn't mean the people involved in it are entirely without legal or
> >moral rights in the matter. Silly they may be, but old fanzines should not
> >be regarded as a source for permission-free Usenet reprints.

Kind of tough to get permission from people who don't seem to be in
fandom anymore, for a reprint from a fanzine that has long since died.
It's not like Richard has just sold this interview and made money off
it. I'm not so sure I'd like my creaky fanzines uploaded to the net,
but I'd be the last person to claim my legal rights had been violated even if
they had.

> >Intellectual property rights are not a function of how many typos the
> >publication contains, or how hilariously silly you think its contents are.

Hmmm, Richard can't comment on these facts either?

Richard, thanks for posting this. Having heard Eye of Argon several
times, I couldn't figure out if the author was just an awful writer or
if s/he was out to be deliberately bad. Hearing that the author was
just quite young puts a different spin on those famous Eye of Argon readings.


--
****Laurie Mann * * lm...@telerama.lm.com * * Laurie.Mann (GEnie)****
***I would like to believe in God, but I just believe in Billy Wilder***
*Director of Belle Epoque, 1993 Best Foreign-language Film Oscar winner*
* Geek: GAT d@ -p+ c++@ l- u+ e+ m*@ s+/++ n+l-- h- f+ g+ w+ t+ r x+ *

Lord Incarnadine

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Jul 22, 1994, 1:09:13 AM7/22/94
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Is there any way one can get a copy of the "Eye of Argon" over the net or
from the original source? Or would anyone be interested in sending it to
me? At a con recently, someone had a game going where people would take
turns reading from the story, passing it on when they cracked up laughing.
Needless to say, the record wasn't more then a few minutes...

Incarnadine
--
* Lord Incarnadine ** "You'll remember me when the west wind moves *
* of the Realms Perilous! ** Upon the fields of barley, *
* Incar...@tamu.edu ** You'll forget the Sun in his jealous sky, *
* ** As we walk in fields of gold." *

Debra Fran Baker

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Jul 22, 1994, 11:47:03 AM7/22/94
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In <30nk9p$c...@tamsun.tamu.edu> rlm...@tamsun.tamu.edu (Lord Incarnadine) writes:

>Is there any way one can get a copy of the "Eye of Argon" over the net or
>from the original source? Or would anyone be interested in sending it to
>me? At a con recently, someone had a game going where people would take
>turns reading from the story, passing it on when they cracked up laughing.
>Needless to say, the record wasn't more then a few minutes...

Every year at Phrolicon, there is an Eye of Argon reading. For the last
several years, the winner has alternated between my husband and someone
else (last year, an emergency cut the reading short, so they were awarded
a tie - each got a half-priced membership.) Both last PAGES!!!! I last,
if I'm lucky, paragraphs.

Debra
--
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
* For its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace. *
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Debbie Baker dfb...@panix.com

David E Romm

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Jul 22, 1994, 3:03:21 PM7/22/94
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In article <30n9di$q...@epicycle.lm.com>, lm...@telerama.lm.com wrote:

> > In article <30mchr$c...@panix2.panix.com>, P Nielsen Hayden <p...@tor.com> wrote:
> > >new...@panix.com (Richard Newsome) writes:
> > >>[The preceding article was published in November, 1970 in OSFAN #13. No
> > >>copyright notice appears in the zine.]
> > >Which doesn't mean the people involved in it are entirely without legal or
> > >moral rights in the matter. Silly they may be, but old fanzines should not
> > >be regarded as a source for permission-free Usenet reprints.
>
> Kind of tough to get permission from people who don't seem to be in
> fandom anymore, for a reprint from a fanzine that has long since died.
> It's not like Richard has just sold this interview and made money off
> it. I'm not so sure I'd like my creaky fanzines uploaded to the net,
> but I'd be the last person to claim my legal rights had been violated even if
> they had.

An interesting series of concepts. While an author still has certain
rights without a copyright notice, the lack of a notice means you're not
certain who to contact about reprint rights. If possible, you should track
down at least one of the people involved, out of courtesy, if nothing else.
But if the 'owners' of the copyright are no longer in existence (for
example, if the club dissolved), then the issue is muddy.

I would certainly like to be asked before anyone reprints any of my stuff,
most of which I was careful to copyright. Interestingly, the only person
to violate that is Samuel R. Delany. I published a speech he gave at a con
in one of my copyrighted personalzines, and it later appeared in a book. I
make no claim of rights on the article and the copyright was as much for
Chip's protection as well as mine. (If I'd been more up on copyright laws
I probably would have made a separate copyright statement for him; I don't
recall whether I did or not). I would have been (and still would be) more
than happy to state such in a letter or release form. And I'm happy his
speech got a wider audience. But it would have been nice to be asked.

Anyway, the only way Richard could get seriously in trouble is if a) he was
taking money away from the author or b) causing the author to lose money.
In practicle circumstances, if the author were disturbed Richard would be
notified and told to stop distributing it and apologize on the net... and
he would.
--
Shockwave: The longest running science fiction radio program in Earth's
history. Tapes available.
"The Hand That Rocked the Cradle once belonged to Hook you see. But it got
bored and went and joined the Addams Family." -- Animaniacs

Doug Faunt N6TQS 510-655-8604

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Jul 22, 1994, 3:37:49 PM7/22/94
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If you don't get it from anyone else, I've got it on a diskette
somewhere around here, I think.
Don Simpson, the sculptor of weird materials, entered it, with the
errors that were in the mimeod version he had.
73, doug

Evelyn C. Leeper

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Jul 22, 1994, 4:02:28 PM7/22/94
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In article <71443.1447-...@dialup-1-45.gw.umn.edu>,

David E Romm <71443...@compuserve.com> wrote:
> I would certainly like to be asked before anyone reprints any of my stuff,
> most of which I was careful to copyright. Interestingly, the only person
> to violate that is Samuel R. Delany. I published a speech he gave at a con
> in one of my copyrighted personalzines, and it later appeared in a book. I
> make no claim of rights on the article and the copyright was as much for
> Chip's protection as well as mine. (If I'd been more up on copyright laws
> I probably would have made a separate copyright statement for him; I don't
> recall whether I did or not). I would have been (and still would be) more
> than happy to state such in a letter or release form. And I'm happy his
> speech got a wider audience. But it would have been nice to be asked.

I'm sorry--I must be misunderstanding what you're saying, because it
sounds like you reprinted one of Delany's speeches without his
permission in a zine copyrighted in your name, and are now saying that
he violated your copyright by reprinting his own speech in a book of
his. Could you clarify please?
--
Evelyn C. Leeper | +1 908 957 2070 | Evelyn...@att.com
"Am I politically correct today? Do I do crystals and New Age?
Obviously, women's music's for me--Edith Piaf, Bessie Smith, and Patti Page."
--Lynn Lavner

P Nielsen Hayden

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Jul 22, 1994, 5:46:33 PM7/22/94
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e...@mtgp003.mt.att.com (Evelyn C. Leeper) writes, to Dave Romm:

>I'm sorry--I must be misunderstanding what you're saying, because it
>sounds like you reprinted one of Delany's speeches without his
>permission in a zine copyrighted in your name, and are now saying that
>he violated your copyright by reprinting his own speech in a book of
>his. Could you clarify please?


You are, in fact, misunderstanding Dave, who in published Chip's speech
_with_ Chip's permission. Strangely enough, I remember the whole thing: the
speech, Dave talking to Chip, the fanzine (yellow twiltone, I recall), and
Dave's reaction when STARBOARD WINE came out.

Assuming, of course, that some of the steps in this aren't in fact
Fabulous Fannish Memory. I mean, I remember the 1951 Worldcon; doesn't
everyone?

Eugenia Horne

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Jul 22, 1994, 5:53:30 PM7/22/94
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[Editing...]

>An interesting series of concepts. While an author still has certain
>rights without a copyright notice, the lack of a notice means you're not
>certain who to contact about reprint rights. If possible, you should track
>down at least one of the people involved, out of courtesy, if nothing else.
> But if the 'owners' of the copyright are no longer in existence (for
>example, if the club dissolved), then the issue is muddy.

Read an history book recently with an unusual copyright
notice on the acknowledgment page. Stated the usual
paragraph about quotes used by permission from several
people, then gave the authors (and titles) of about
5 books stating they had tried to reach them, but had
been unable to find them, and if they (or their estate)
contacted that author, royalty payments would be gladly
worked out.

Since, we're on the subject; who does an author contact
if interested in using a quote that has been quoted?
The last author or the original?
--
-----------------------------------------------------------------
"We have found what others seek in vain, during all their lives:
the soul of another that is able to understand one, that will
suffer with one, be glad with one..." - Prince Albert (1839)

Hazel Boston-Baden

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Jul 22, 1994, 9:09:11 PM7/22/94
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#You can ftp the Eye of Argon from
# gandalf.rutgers.edu
#The filename is
# /pub/sfl/argon.txt
#On certain Unix systems (like Netcom) you can use this at the command-line
#prompt:
ncftp gandalf.rutgers.edu:/pub/sfl/argon.txt

#Or send email to:
# sf-lov...@gandalf.rutgers.edu
#with a message that says
# get argon.txt
#Again, on certain Unix systems you can just use this at the command-line
#prompt:
echo get argon.txt | mail sf-lov...@gandalf.rutgers.edu

#You may have noticed by now that this message can be executed as a shell
#script and will result in two copies of the list, one via ftp and one via
#email.


--
hazel...@netcom.com - Home of Margarita Jell-O, an alcoholic use for lime
jello. Email me w/ "request margarita" in subject or as 1st line of message
and a robot will send you the recipe. More recipes, ftp.netcom.com:/pub/hazel

Seth Breidbart

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Jul 24, 1994, 1:52:54 AM7/24/94
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In article <30pf4q$f...@cwis.isu.edu>,
Eugenia Horne <horn...@cwis.isu.edu> wrote:

> Read an history book recently with an unusual copyright
> notice on the acknowledgment page. Stated the usual
> paragraph about quotes used by permission from several
> people, then gave the authors (and titles) of about
> 5 books stating they had tried to reach them, but had
> been unable to find them, and if they (or their estate)
> contacted that author, royalty payments would be gladly
> worked out.

I've seen something similar in some SF anthologies, too.

> Since, we're on the subject; who does an author contact
> if interested in using a quote that has been quoted?
> The last author or the original?

The original author owns the copyright; the permission given to
someone else to quote him isn't normally transitive.

Seth

Seth Breidbart

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Jul 24, 1994, 8:56:58 PM7/24/94
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>An interesting series of concepts. While an author still has certain
>rights without a copyright notice, the lack of a notice means you're not
>certain who to contact about reprint rights. If possible, you should track
>down at least one of the people involved, out of courtesy, if nothing else.
> But if the 'owners' of the copyright are no longer in existence (for
>example, if the club dissolved), then the issue is muddy.

As I said before, if the item was published without a copyright notice
before the law changed, it's in the public domain.

Courtesy and moral rights are different from laws.

>I would certainly like to be asked before anyone reprints any of my stuff,
>most of which I was careful to copyright. Interestingly, the only person
>to violate that is Samuel R. Delany. I published a speech he gave at a con
>in one of my copyrighted personalzines, and it later appeared in a book.

If he owned the copyright, then he had every right to publish it. I
believe you later said he gave you a written copy of the speech; he
owns the rights to that, unless he signed them over to you. The only
way he could have violated your copyright would be if you edited his
speech, and he published your version.

Seth

David Dyer-Bennet

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Jul 24, 1994, 11:41:53 AM7/24/94
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p...@tor.com (P Nielsen Hayden) writes:

>new...@panix.com (Richard Newsome) writes:

>>[The preceding article was published in November, 1970 in OSFAN #13. No
>>copyright notice appears in the zine.]

>Which doesn't mean the people involved in it are entirely without legal or
>moral rights in the matter. Silly they may be, but old fanzines should not
>be regarded as a source for permission-free Usenet reprints.

>Intellectual property rights are not a function of how many typos the
>publication contains, or how hilariously silly you think its contents are.

Note the date 1970. This was pre-Berne convention (in the US), and
even before the 1976 (effective 1978) revisions. I believe that
publication without notice in 1970, not followed by an immediate
attempt to correct the "defective notice", will have released the
contents into the public domain. That would *not* be true today.

This is a strictly legal discussion, of course.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, proprietor, The Terraboard 4242 Minnehaha Ave. S.
d...@network.com, d...@terrabit.mn.org Minneapolis, MN 55406
Don't waste your time arguing about allocating +1-612-721-8800
blame; there'll be enough to go around. Fax +1-612-724-3314

Tom Galloway

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Jul 27, 1994, 6:33:00 PM7/27/94
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In article <71443.1447-...@dialup-1-45.gw.umn.edu> 71443...@compuserve.com (David E Romm) writes:
>Anyway, the only way Richard could get seriously in trouble is if a) he was
>taking money away from the author or b) causing the author to lose money.
>In practicle circumstances, if the author were disturbed Richard would be
>notified and told to stop distributing it and apologize on the net... and
>he would.

That depends on how one defines "serious" [and, btw, this is assuming a
new situation, as Eye of Argon was written in a period where an explicit
copyright notice was needed to gain protection]. I suggest looking at
the relatively recently posted Ten Myths About Copyright that Brad Templeton
did in the news.hierarcy. I've personally obtained a settlement from a group
which violated my copyright on material not matching either a) or b) (it
didn't hurt that I'd explicitly told them they did not have permission
before they did it, but that was somewhat irrelevant in the ultimate legal
sense). The idea that copyright violations only occur if money is lost is
a very pervasive myth that only comes into play when determining actual,
as opposed to punative, damages.

tyg t...@hq.ileaf.com

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