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Subject:  Smoke, Fire, and Voldemort Date:  4/14/2002  12:08 AM
Author:  gelasmus Number:  122709 of 278659

Well, I must say that I was as floored (and angry) as Loren over Voldemort's recent execution of the GEM. Wish I had written the thing, then Voldemort could go tango with the University's IP attorneys (sort of the Dark Lord meets the 800-pound bureaucrat on his home turf...)

In meandering through the dross of follow-up postings, I've only the following observations for the community:

1) If you're not professionally familiar with the relevant law, your comments probably aren't helpful. There are a lot of nuances to IP law, and a lot of things that have only limited case law behind them. Just because Voldemort wishes it might be so in their blister-pack license doesn't mean it is. There's also a large extent to which it isn't worth fighting the big bully on the street, even when you're right. So don't freak, but don't be too optimistic either. Elan's comments are probably closest to the mark.

2) In terms of rankings, relax and let's see what happens. Nobody here is a high enough profile to be worth more than a cease-and-desist letter at first.

3) Be aware that for the last 10 years or so there has been a well-orchestrated, determined attack on your fair use rights across the board, mostly by corporate interests like Voldemort, Disney, and others who would be delighted to make you pay every time you read your copy of a book, view your copy of Bambi at home, or reference the P/BV which they got off EDGAR. GEM is just the most recent victim. Write your congresstrolls! Keep informed through places like the electronic frontier foundation ( The abuse of IP law and Patent/Trademark protection is becoming downright egregious, IMHO.

4) I'm all for considering some new universes. AAII seems likely; as an association it is very unlikely to behave badly in this regard, and is less expensive. Some of the others that have been mentioned are worth considering. As someone mentioned, most of our fundamental & RS data screening steps should transfer without too much degredation; only timeliness is an issue (and its' computation method hasn't been historically stable in any event).
Plus, developing screens on historical Voldemort data and then confirming in a new universe adds to "robustness" and helps filter the large numbers of LV data problems/computational bugs.

FWIW, I personally am going to dump my VL subscription, because I refuse to do business with companies that abuse IP protections in this way. I'd rather contribute the money to the "MI legal defense fund" or some other worthy cause. I'd at least encourage y'all NOT to reward them with more subscriptions for this type of behavior.

And hat's off to IllinoisGEM for being the good guy on the front lines for us.


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