No. of Recommendations: 140
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 (www.eff.org). 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.

gelasmus

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No. of Recommendations: 3
gelasmus,

Could you "improve" on the IllinoisGEM product. So that it is not the same product. Then let The Wicked Witch of VL spend all of her money paying her attorney to correspond with the University IP group? Looks like a mutual standoff could occur. Reports are that the woman sure hates to part with a buck.

Good Returns
Charley Meng
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No. of Recommendations: 3
If the thing ever got into a fire fight, I suspect that Voldemort could have more to lose than gain. Many have posted here about the incorrect VL data. And, after notification, Voldemort knowingly distributes the same incorrect data week after week. Has that ever caused you to lose any money?

What was it that lady from Georgia said? Something like, "I don't have any information that VL has any ties to Enron. But a thorough investigation might reveal otherwise."

Lots of things to trip up those NY letter writing guys.

Good Returns
Charley Meng
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No. of Recommendations: 2
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.

Not to worry. Once we get our underground MI club underway, you can get stock picks for free. Well, you know what I mean.

Matt
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Could you "improve" on the IllinoisGEM product

Why bother? Aren't the Excel based alternates that do the same types of screens sufficient? I just don't get it, the Voldemort demands on IllinoisGem, that is. Don't the idiots know that there are work arounds in existence. I mean, duh.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
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.

gelasmus


I feel the same. Wouldn't it be more effective if we gave them the choice to back off on IllinoisGEM or we all dump our subscription as a group? Possibly there is enough of us to have an effect.

mjcalab
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No. of Recommendations: 13
Why bother? Aren't the Excel based alternates that do the same types of screens sufficient? ....Don't the idiots know that there are work arounds in existence. I mean, duh.


I agree entirely. It is not really worth getting worked up over either.

This is entertaining corporate blather, and little more.

The proliferation of the internet, widespread computer skills, and the relative simplicity of most of our screens makes it impossible for the publishers to prevent add-on tools. In the last 3 years, there have been no less than 5 different tools of various types that create picks. It is sad and unfortunate that IllinoisGEM put in so much hard work on a nice tool to have it pulled, but the realities of the internet say that this is not the last effort...

Similar to the shut-down of Napster, there were sprang up overnight 10 replacement programs to take it's place. If there is demand, there will eventually be a solution.

Making the situation more complex would be if a jointly developed program by a few hundred contributors made a program available to a few hundred users in the public domain. It would be virtually impossible to track down all versions/owners/developers/users to stop it...

-D

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No. of Recommendations: 93
Wouldn't it be more effective if we gave them the choice to back off on IllinoisGEM or we all dump our subscription as a group? Possibly there is enough of us to have an effect.

mjcalab


Don't you think there is a big over reaction at this point.

I am a big fan of Illinois Gem and his work but with all due respect I do believe a number of people made suggestions when he started that putting up a pay program on a website was not the best idea.

Now if you are a company that owns a software and data service and you find someone with a website that is selling a program that uses your data you probably wouldn't be thrilled either. Very few companies would let another company due whar Illinois Gem's "company" was claiming to do without at a minimum having them negeotiating first some sort of lisencing or rights fee.

Now the fact that Illinois Gem wasn't really selling anything at this point would probably be immaterial to the suits who I'm sure really didn't bother to find out anything beyond what the impressive website of Illinois Gem said.

But that is all Value Line has done at this point.

They haven't come over here. They haven't tried to stop Jamie and at this point there is no reason to assume they would try. If there is any concern I would suggest that when building tools or posting rankings, or having a website like Jamie: a) don't try to make money off of it (use the donation route like many suggested initially to Illinois Gem) and b) never mention the word Value Line in your tool, posting, etc. (B isn't a sure legal protector but who said we are using VL if it isn't mentioned).

However, at this point all that VL has done was go after a website selling a product without an agreement or liscense. If they try to come over here and stop Radish or the posting then a very different issue will occur. At that time IMO it might be the time to go after those weasels or come up with workaround. But until that happens, I wouldn't worry, or become too reactionary.

Moe
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No. of Recommendations: 0
At that time IMO it might be the time to go after those weasels or come up with workaround.

Moe,

What did you mean by going after those weasels?

Charles
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No. of Recommendations: 1
"Not to worry. Once we get our underground MI club underway, you can get stock picks for free. Well, you know what I mean."

I'm curious. How are people going to find the location of an "underground" club? Will it then still be underground?
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No. of Recommendations: 4
I do believe a number of people made suggestions when he started that putting up a pay program on a website was not the best idea.

If I'm not mistaken, the issue was that some people saw it as profiteering and they had a problem with that, not that it would be a lightning rod for his Lordship's wrath (see post #114250 and the very lengthy surrounding thread). I don't think Gerry's to blame for this predicament.

Now if you are a company that owns a software and data service and you find someone with a website that is selling a program that uses your data you probably wouldn't be thrilled either. Very few companies would let another company due whar Illinois Gem's "company" was claiming to do without at a minimum having them negotiating first some sort of licensing or rights fee.

Elan and others have correctly pointed out that Gerry's product contains no LV intellectual property, so what's the big deal? LV has to expect this kind of thing if they're going to make their data exportable.

But that is all Value Line has done at this point.

Gerry is being circumspect about this and it's not our place to pry, but do we know for a fact that LV has sent him a nastygram or have we all jumped to that conclusion? Is it possible that he's acting on the advice of his own legal counsel? In a few posts I've skimmed he mentions wanting to obtain a legal opinion, and an IP attorney did step forward a couple of weeks ago.

Clearly Gerry does not want to discuss this and we should all be respectful of his desire not to.
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Would it be appropriate to do some contingency planning should the future events not turn out to our board's liking?

At work, we do all types of planning, even if the liklihood of some calamity is very small. And even if we could be talking about a small chance that our data is interrupted, it appears to be a chance.

A couple months back, when TMF seemed on the ropes, and the fee system began, the board created some almost instant alternatives. I'm not aware of how much planning went into those, but the results seemed to fit the need at the time.

Is now the time?

Dan
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No. of Recommendations: 2
<If they try to come over here and stop Radish or the posting then a very different issue will occur.>

I doubt that LV will try to stop any poster directly. LV will go directly to TMF who will have to decide if MI is worth the fight.

Otherwise I agree with Moe. LV's past actions show in what they are and are not interested. Since LV's action a couple of years ago and the consequent demise of the FW there has been abundant crystal-clear evidence of what is going on in this board. LV's lack of making any demands to TMF during all this time strongly suggests they are not intereseted in and/or feel they have no legal standing regarding MI ranking posts that offer little more than stock pick opinions based on LV. It is true that our data is very limited based. However, based on LV action against the TMF Workshop, Illinois Gem and no action against MI, the implication seems to be that LV draws their gun only when it appears someone is using LV material for commercial-business purposes.

John
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No. of Recommendations: 2
However, at this point all that VL has done was go after a website selling a product without an agreement or liscense. If they try to come over here and stop Radish or the posting then a very different issue will occur. At that time IMO it might be the time to go after those weasels or come up with workaround. But until that happens, I wouldn't worry, or become too reactionary

mjcalab wrote:
Reminds me of the worlds response to the Nazi's "final solution."


<sarcasm>yeah, it's just like that.</sarcasm>

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However, at this point all that VL has done was go after a website selling a product without an agreement or liscense. If they try to come over here and stop Radish or the posting then a very different issue will occur. At that time IMO it might be the time to go after those weasels or come up with workaround. But until that happens, I wouldn't worry, or become too reactionary

mjcalab wrote:
Reminds me of the worlds response to the Nazi's "final solution."


<sarcasm>yeah, it's just like that.</sarcasm>


I agree with you, the two are nothing alike and that's an understatement. But I didn't say they were. No matter, I used that example only to get an idea across, obviously I failed. Moe's statement minimises what we think VL has done, blaming and excusing their action on false conclusions about what Gerry has done, thus making what ever happens to Gerry, his own fault and none of our business. Then he unnecessarily calls them names and indicates that if they did a similar thing to us then we would be justified to go after them.

I don't believe Moe meant to do this. I'm sure he believes that we don't want anything to happen to others that we wouldn't want to happen to us. We all make mistakes, as everyone may feel I am doing now, but Gerry appears to have his hands tied and is not allowed to ask for help though he may need it. I don't know if this is the case or not. The only honest and ethical approach I see open is to talk with VL now. How best to approach this so we don't kill what is going on here is our problem. This board can't hide from VL.

mjcalab
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No. of Recommendations: 31
Reminds me of the worlds response to the Nazi's "final solution."

Hello mjcalab,

While I know it was not your intent, but simply a result of your passion about the recent turn of events for IllinoisGem, I find your use of that analogy totally offensive. Its use in reference to something so relatively small cheapens your own argument, but more importantly disrepects all victims of the war or any war. To be honest I considered pulling your post and someone else still may, but I chose to just let you know how I feel as an individual rather than an official Fool. Again, I know you didn't mean any offense, but it was taken.

-barry
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Again, I know you didn't mean any offense, but it was taken.

-barry


Barry, I sent foolalert a request to remove it. Didn't want to do it for I think we should all stay aware and never forget the kind of thinking that allowed the holocaust to take place. It starts with little things, grows and becomes pervasive in a society. We should all guard against it where ever it occurs.

mjcalab
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No. of Recommendations: 96
The only honest and ethical approach I see open is to talk with VL now. How best to approach this so we don't kill what is going on here is our problem. This board can't hide from VL.

I think the chance of getting any concession or cooperation from VL is nonexistent. TMF tried under similar circumstances, and they had much more to offer. They got nowhere.

There is, on the other hand, considerable risk that such contact would damage what we have. Again, what started with an innocent meeting between TMF and VL to look into opportunities to cooperate resulted in a cease and desist demand by VL.

I think it would be a mistake to approach VL in any way. You have nothing to offer that they want. You have nothing to gain and something to lose.

Elan
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No. of Recommendations: 25
...at this point all that LV has done was go after a website selling a product without an agreement or liscense. If they try to come over here and stop Radish or the posting then a very different issue will occur. At that time IMO it might be the time to go after those weasels or come up with workaround. But until that happens, I wouldn't worry, or become too reactionary...
=======================================================================
Reminds me of the worlds response to the Nazi's "final solution." I think we need to appoint someone to represent us and deal upfront with VL now. If VL is behind this we need to face it and deal with them. Sticking our head in the sand won't work.
=======================================================================
While I know it was not your intent, but simply a result of your passion about the recent turn of events for IllinoisGem, I find your use of that analogy totally offensive. Its use in reference to something so relatively small cheapens your own argument, but more importantly disrepects all victims of the war or any war. ...I know you didn't mean any offense, but it was taken.

What follows is completely Off Topic philosophy, so ignore at your pleasure.


I cringed when I read mjcalab's Nazi metaphor. I wasn't precisely offended, but I knew he had crossed the line. You can't bring Nazi-ism into a discussion without completely diluting your point and (rightly) offending people - either you're blowing the behavior of your rhetorical target way out of proportion by equating their behavior with truly monstrous evil, or you're trivializing the brutal horror of Nazi-ism. Or both. (I guess a valid exception is if you're talking about real genocide.)

Yet the interesting things is, how easily Nazi metaphors come to mind. They are distressingly often the first, best example that comes to mind when your're writing. I knew exactly what mjcalab meant - didn't you? - and I knew how he came to bring the Nazi's into the picture. Why do Nazi comparisons come so easily to us?

WWII is the single largest event in the history of the 20th Century, or perhaps in the history of the world. John Keegan makes this point in the introduction to his history of the war, and to prove his point he rattles off the numbers of participants and the number of countries involved and the number of continents on which the war was waged. Clearly it will leave a significant mark on our culture, and any lessons it teaches will be pretty deeply ingrained in us.

One of the most important of those lessons is the principle that appeasement fails. We in the West have that lesson burned deep into us: and WWII is the single best, only necessary example for the principle. Appeasement fails. Also captured in that well-known saying that goes something like, "When they came for my neighbor I did not complain, and when they came for my brother I did not complain, and now they've come for me there's no one left to complain." The notion that you have to stand up against injustice while it's still "small", or when it's directed against your neighbors but not (yet) at you.

We have learned this lesson so well that we recognize this central principle everywhere - even in matters very small, like Lord Voldemort shutting down GEM. Someone suggests that LV shutting down GEM isn't so bad, we should ignore it and go about our business, they haven't shut us down: and we catch the resemblence to the flawed appeasement logic. We're alert to this, sensitized to it. And when we recognize it, we point it out. When we go to point it out, and we reach for a metaphor - the only one we have, the only one that comes easily to hand, is the Nazi metaphor. It's so huge it dominates our thinking on this issue, blots out other possible metaphors. And it's so huge, it's like swatting a mosquito with a cudgel: you get the bug, but you'll also break the person's arm that the bug is resting on.

Barry, I don't think mjcalab "meant" to do it; and my impression is the last thing he wanted to do was cheapen the memory of the victims of that war. The origin of the "appeasement fails" lesson was obviously very clear to him, and the seriousness of it as well. It's just that, when you're talking about appeasement and you reach back to draw a comparison - there's really only one to make. I think it's going to be a long time before we come up with some other way of thinking and talking about the whole "stick you head in the sand and hope they don't bother you too" thing. Until we do, Nazi comparisons are going to come oh-too-easily to hand. Heck, maybe that's not a bad thing: it shows that the lessons from those times are still with is.

Oops, I'm not condoning the use of Nazi metaphors. It's very bad practice, insulting both to the target of your comparison and the victims of those war crimes. I'm just saying, I can understand how someone would think to make the comparison.

Regards,

Jim
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No. of Recommendations: 5
I thought there was an observation that any sufficiently long thread ultimately got to the point where Hitler or Nazis were mentioned. There is a rule that at the first appearance of either Hitler or the Nazis, the thread must stop.

This rule is named after someone, but I forget who.
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I thought there was an observation that any sufficiently long thread ultimately got to the point where Hitler or Nazis were mentioned. There is a rule that at the first appearance of either Hitler or the Nazis, the thread must stop.

This rule is named after someone, but I forget who.


Godwin's Law

IIRC, the "law" stated that the longer a (Usenet) thread went on, the higher the probablility that someone would invoke "Hitler" or "Nazism". A corrollary was that whoever invoked either of these terms first, lost the argument.


http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/legends/godwin/

O of M
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There is a rule that at the first appearance of either Hitler or the Nazis, the thread must stop

Always someone trying to restrict someone else's freedom.
Sort of thing Hitler would have done......

Steve
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