Re: copyright story(long)


Edward Reid (
Fri, 16 May 97 09:20:21 -0500

Thanks to Vince for posting the correspondence.

I for one find Vince's attitude in this matter to have been
needlessly hostile and antagonistic. He is angry because not
everyone has the time to write a long response immediately. He
threatened legal action when he received no response in two
days, a short time in the real world and an absurdly short time
in the legal world. He called the web site designer
"incompetent" before he even got a reply. He is even angry
because Mr Rosario was composing a long reply when he received
Vince's third letter, and decided to send it immediately rather
than continuing the composition.

This is not the way to influence people.

Tim Rosarios's reply, on the other hand, started with

> First accept my apology,

Tim continued by explaining how the situation came to be,
especially mentioning that Vince's material had already been
modified by another bike shop and offering to spend some of his
time helping Vince track down that other violator. He removed
the offending material quickly -- not as fast as Vince wanted
(which was retroactively) but quickly in terms of what web site
maintenance requires. This strikes me as an entirely appropriate

Tim Rosario is wrong about copyrights. He has a lot of company.
This is a matter to be solved by education. Making legal threats
and calling people stupid is a strikingly ineffective way of
educating people. If you want to make sure people NEVER learn,
just sue 'em and call 'em stupid.

Along with missing the opportunity to educate Tim Rosario about
copyrights, Vince also missed the opportunity to educate him
about FAQs. Rosario obviously isn't familiar with the old net
etiquette of sharing. Educate him.

Many people have entered the net business purely through the
commercial web angle. If we, as the old guard, call these people
stupid and arrogant, we have only shown that it takes one to
know one. This is not the first time a new wave of users have
come to the net, and it won't be the last. If we want to shape
the future of the net, we must take the responsibility for
bringing our ideas to the new wave. Not by force but by
persuasion, by showing that we have value to offer.

I have copied Tim Rosario on this note. Tim, as another FAQ
author and maintainer, I apologize for Vince's insults. I hope
that you will read Terry Carroll's excellent Copyright FAQ and
Brad Templeton's Copyright Myths Explained at

so that you will not err again on your interpretation of US and
Canadian copyright laws and the Berne Convention. While you are
visiting, you may wish to peruse some of the many other
documents there. You may find others that you wish to link to,
including several other bicycling-related FAQs. It's a large and
dynamic collection produced almost entirely by volunteer
efforts, and is certainly the most extensive single broadbased
collection of information on the Internet. By the nature of its
origin, it tends to have a much more consumer oriented point of
view than most web sites. Finally, I hope that Vince Cheng's
attitude will not stop you from finding the original offending
site, the one which misled you, and referring Vince to it.

Edward Reid