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#41 Parker51

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 03:10 AM

Interesting argument. It actually touches on a few fundamental issues which were not discussed, but which may be important.
First, we all need to acknowledge that Copyrights are a legal fiction. They were created for a sociatel purpose quite deliberately by a variety of governments throughout the world. The purpose was not to protect Intelectual property on the basis of an expansion of the rights of the individual to control their work, a noble idea, but rather the creation of the idea of Intelectual property was to foster innovation.
So, did the provision of a digital library by the PCA and it's restrictive access as a private library meet the spirit of Copyright?
If so, then perhaps it would be appropriate to lobby ones government to expand Copyright protection to this type of circumstance.
If however it does not foster innovation then perhaps Copyright protection is inappropriate and an alternative would be to look to European nations who have a different kind of protection for Intellectual goods which restricts the use of said goods which are culturally important.
This type of protection does not foster innovation, but it does make certain that important cultural works are not used for commercial purposes.
But maybe, someone needs to come up with a new type of protection for a situation like this.

Edited by Parker51, 05 August 2014 - 03:13 AM.


#42 Hugh

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 03:24 AM

All rather pointless really. Firstly any infringement of copyright is the responsibility of the owner of the material, in this case the pen companies, and it's there choice if it still remains under copyright to pursue action. Given this is advertising it's probably in the companies best interest that it is widely available, even old advertising still has some value if it raises brand awareness (personal opinion here). Secondly PCA has no rights to the material as such. Third, the OP only pointed to the location of these files which in no way implicates him, nor does pointing to them on his website.

 

From a practical point it's not possible to say these came from XYZ for the reason that there where multiple copies of these originally printed so the source is suspected but difficult to prove (I haven't actually bothered looking so this is an assumption). As they are public domain documents ( or as good as because the companies will never bother) the PCA has every right to charge someone for a copy but not how he uses or distributes it (ie they have no right to the content).

 

The ethical aspect is overplayed because in all likelyhood the PCA obtained these by simply coping them, to imply that no one else can copy them is incorrect. Clearly from a PCA perspective it would preferable for them to be able to make a few $ to cover their costs but the ethics of turning it into a profit making exercise could also be questioned. It's just one of those issues that is clouded by personal opinions on if it's "right" or "wrong", I can understand some PCA members being a bit unhappy but that's about as far it should  go. I think David Nishimura summed it up very well in post no. 6 with "So please, if you think digitization of rare pen reference material is a good thing, support the organization that is putting the effort into doing it." .....the logical thing to do!!

 

Regards

Hugh   


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#43 D Armstrong

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 03:26 AM

 


David, I apologize for making the inference that you had taken them from the PCA website. I have no proof of that at all and the text as written could have been better. For the record, I am not accusing you of taking the items from the PCA website.

 

I do wonder however why your notice on your website, and some of your comments here, seem to concentrate themselves with why it's ok to take things from the members-only area of the PCA website and make them available to non-PCA members. I would have expected the links for the items that John Jenkins says is from the PCA to be taken down, just as a show of solidarity to the PCA.

 

 

Apology accepted.

 

Any of the statements I have made in this matter are strictly defensive, in response to heated accusation here. As the basis for accusation was the feeling that the PCA has ownership of these files, I felt it necessary to address that misunderstanding directly.

 

Additionally, it should be noted that no one has ever provided me with specifics as to which files may be from the PCA library. Just general comments. Also, no one at the PCA has approached me in any way other than informally and belligerently, through this one forum.

 

I have never faced a demand for censorship before, formal or informal, and so will have to think quite a bit about how to proceed. The irony of such a demand coming from this quarter, of all places, is actually the height of irony. (No, near the height. The height would have been if it had come from Isaacson. For whom I must admit a present fondness.)

 

One thing that I have discovered in researching this issue is that many, many institutions are facing soul-searching questions about digitization. In fact, there is an entire chapter in Hirtle about the risks involved in digitizing collections, and the fact that institutions must do so only after great and careful consideration. Not the least of which issues being the possible loss of their status as gatekeepers to these formerly lucrative assets.

 

There is a very interesting 1999 response to the Bridgeman case (the one establishing that an exact digitized copy is still in the public domain), given publicly by a quite dismayed Barry G. Szczesny, counsel for the American Association of Museums. In it he bluntly states:

 

To have museums who argue vigorously (and rightly) on the one hand for "fair use" and on the other to assert perpetual copyright (by taking photos over and over again) over works which have fallen into the public domain would be seen by some as a bit of a double standard and would be all the more troubling coming from institutions with educational missions who hold their collections in the public trust[...]

 

[...]an additional Bridgeman problem[...]is the potential for a museum to run afoul of the criminal provisions of Section 506 of the Copyright Act for the fraudulent use of a copyright notice. However, it was generally agreed that museums would be safe with notices placed on public domain works prior to Bridgeman, because to run afoul of the criminal provisions you need to have fraudulent intent.

 

 

This is a very qualified specialist's opinion that, if push comes to shove, an institution that claims the right of control over public domain documents--regardless of format or 'sweat of the brow' investment--is arguably the one behaving both illegally and unethically.

 

My own opinion, not being an expert, is not yet fully formed. But tonight I am curling up with a copy of Copyfraud. I figure a law professor with degrees from Harvard, Stanford & Yale, and years of intellectual property law practice, can help clear any muddy waters.


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#44 gweddig

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 05:24 AM

Interesting discussion. Just a thought, can it be said that the files at the Internet Archive were obtained from the PCA and not vice versa.
I could not find an upload date on the files at the Archive, though it might be worth digging for.
Did the PCA scan them? Or simply receive them in a file form from a generous member? (who may have uploaded them prior to providing them to the PCA)

--greg (PCA member, now ducking)

Edited to add that the creation date on the four files seems to be December 2008.

Edited by gweddig, 05 August 2014 - 05:35 AM.


#45 Roger W.

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 05:28 AM

Hugh;

 

The nature of original catalogs would suggest that if you found one you could copy it and who would know the source?  Thing is there are not generally scads of these catalogs out there and the nature of the copies is to reproduce the secondary defect of the original i.e. a specific price circled on page three that wouldn't be found on a like catalogs page three.  Most of the PCA's copies are of this quality so that Jenkins knows they are all from the PCA.  My copies and Bill Acker's copies have been cleaned to the point that they generally look better than the originals so these you couldn't say.  I'd guess there are maybe upwards of ten known original 1930 Sheaffer catalogs.  Double that to 20 for others that may be squirreled away - there just aren't a lot of these.  The technology in the late 90's allowed for better than black and white photocopies to be made, digitized and cleaned.  So now there is a lot more information out there than there used to be but, source documents are still very scarce.  We know a lot of companies in the early 1900's had catalogs as you could write for one though, for the most part, these catalogs are unknown.  We are living in a good time where there are huge amounts of source documents digitized compared with 20 years ago.  So yes, anyone can copy a catalog.  How many originals do you own?  Copying them from the PCA for general distribution is disrespectful, though I doubt illegal so the vast majority of this thread is a waste of time.

 

 I would agree whole heartedly Hugh to your emphasis of Nishimura - "So please, if you think digitization of rare pen reference material is a good thing, support the organization that is putting the effort into doing it."

 

Roger W.



#46 Roger W.

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 05:36 AM

Interesting discussion. Just a thought, can it be said that the files at the Internet Archive were obtained from the PCA and not vice versa.
I could not find an upload date on the files at the Archive, though it might be worth digging for.
Did the PCA scan them? Or simply receive them in a file form from a generous member? (who may have uploaded them prior to providing them to the PCA)

--greg (PCA member, now ducking)

Greg;

 

While that is not impossible it is highly unlikely.  The PCA library was made of B&W photocopies with the librarian retaining some of the original catalogs (sadly not all).  Volunteers digitized the collection several years back.  Others digitize items and send them to the PCA generally in a higher format than on the site and higher than the Archive site would have them as well.  I suppose a well meaning PCA member could stumble across an Archive catalog and submit it but I don't believe that has likely occurred.   Many digital copies first originated with the PCA so that would be a likely source to be copied from.  I know you were mostly kidding but, someone might take it as a serious accusation.

 

Roger W.



#47 JonSzanto

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 05:47 AM

Mr. Armstrong,

 

I have reviewed the page on your site and find no end-note or explanation regarding any of this, including (specifically) no mention of the PCA (or prompts to support/join). Would you care to point out where these clarifications reside, or have you since taken them down?

 

I would also like to note that while I disagreed with the posting of these files, at archive or your site, I did not question the legality of such. Nonetheless, the simple disagreement with your offerings and methodology earns the term "troll". I don't think that was deserved. I place a very high value on the personal, human community spirit in endeavors such as the hobby of pen collecting, and that which does harm to that same spirit is something I both do not tolerate well, nor see a reason to remain silent.

 

Respectfully,

Jon Szanto


Edited by JonSzanto, 05 August 2014 - 05:48 AM.


#48 JonSzanto

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 05:51 AM

I want a copy of this debating manual.  Is there some place I can down load it?...

 

I'll have a couple copies in the boot of my car in a couple weeks. Meet me in the parking structure.



#49 gweddig

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 05:57 AM

Thanks for the clarification Roger. I was not kidding, I was just not aware of the source of all of the PCA's materials. If I found something on the Internet Archive I would absolutely think it would be a good thing for the PCA archive to have, if only to have relevant data together. (It would be morally dubious to transfer the files from the Archive too.)

I'm not accusing anyone of anything. I'm well aware of the amount of work that goes into digitizing materials like this and I appreciate the PCA's efforts.

--greg

#50 AndyR

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 07:53 AM

There was some murkiness in my mind when I made reprints of Sheaffer catalogs as to if Sheaffer might have some claim.  There was something about 75 years so I felt I was good on most of it anyway so I never formally contacted Sheaffer to see if it was OK.  I did substantial work when I digitized the catalogs as the original had tears, stains odd marks that were cleaned up even substantial page recreation.  The attorney that did the PFM reprint did have permission to do so from Sheaffer though it was questionable if he needed it.  Anyway, the reprints gave me something more to do at shows and the few bucks paid for the paper, ink and often the original catalog if bought cheap enough.  Most people don't want to bother with research so I only ever sold about 30-40 of a particular catalog (so would Sheaffer ever have cared about such a small enterprise anyway?).  There were folks that whined that they wanted this information online for free.  Give a few bucks to the PCA as they've bothered to gather up a nice collection and it is almost free.  The 1930 catalog was large and I charged $40 so the PCA membership is nothing.  Someone has to do a bit of work and they are often willing to do it for a good cause such as helping out the PCA.  For someone to take the PCA scans and make them generally available, while likely legal, is a crappy thing to do.  It may take away any incentive for folks to search out ephemera for the PCA.  It is bad enough that some people purposefully hoard information unto themselves.  This unbridled public domain approach will only reinforce fewer items being made available and not more.  I know if I have something juicy I'd be willing to have the PCA upload but only to have it archived everywhere I'm likely just to hold onto it.  I made the PCA a 501c3 and that took a lot of hours that I did for free.  I'd like to see it be an organization that can serve the hobby, helping folks out at a low membership fee.  If it goes away it is because of people's calloused attitudes that they are owed something by those of us that actually do the work.  The PCA is greater than individual actions that its stewards take from time to time - it would behoove us all to keep that in mind. 

 

Roger W.

 

I have been a little unsure about joining in this bun fight but I particularly liked Roger's post quoted above. Replace Sheaffer with Conway Stewart, and PCA with WES, then this echoes my thoughts almost exactly.

 

Andy



#51 david i

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 09:45 AM

SNIP

SNIP

 

The ethical aspect is overplayed because in all likelyhood the PCA obtained these by simply coping them, to imply that no one else can copy them is incorrect. Clearly from a PCA perspective it would preferable for them to be able to make a few $ to cover their costs but the ethics of turning it into a profit making exercise could also be questioned. It's just one of those issues that is clouded by personal opinions on if it's "right" or "wrong", I can understand some PCA members being a bit unhappy but that's about as far it should  go. I think David Nishimura summed it up very well in post no. 6 with "So please, if you think digitization of rare pen reference material is a good thing, support the organization that is putting the effort into doing it." .....the logical thing to do!!

 

Regards

Hugh   

 

I've found this discussion most engaging, but just to clarify what I believe is the "sweat of the brow" issue that leads to moral (if not successful legal) objections in this chat, I note that even those who complain about (vs relish) the appearance of pen catalogues  at archive.org are not complaining because someone besides the PCA copied/digitized  useful old pen information, but because they appear to have taken copies that actually were created by/for the PCA and simply passed the material to a different hosting site. Particularly for people like Bill Acker and Roger Wooten  and possibly John Jenkins who apparently have put in extra effort to clean up the raw images, not to mention having worked to secure  hard-to-find material in the first place, there can be a quite natural, "I did all this work for a given cause, and someone else just took it".

 

That of course is not a legal gripe, as has been explored in this thread.   But as we have noted, ethics can transcend the legal.

 

regards

 

david


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#52 Rick Krantz

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:13 AM

Of the whole three pages here, I think I am most upset with being classified as being "too cheap" because I don't belong to the PCA. Ouch.....

#53 Hugh

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:13 AM

 

SNIP

SNIP

 

The ethical aspect is overplayed because in all likelyhood the PCA obtained these by simply coping them, to imply that no one else can copy them is incorrect. Clearly from a PCA perspective it would preferable for them to be able to make a few $ to cover their costs but the ethics of turning it into a profit making exercise could also be questioned. It's just one of those issues that is clouded by personal opinions on if it's "right" or "wrong", I can understand some PCA members being a bit unhappy but that's about as far it should  go. I think David Nishimura summed it up very well in post no. 6 with "So please, if you think digitization of rare pen reference material is a good thing, support the organization that is putting the effort into doing it." .....the logical thing to do!!

 

Regards

Hugh   

 

I've found this discussion most engaging, but just to clarify what I believe is the "sweat of the brow" issue that leads to moral (if not successful legal) objections in this chat, I note that even those who complain about (vs relish) the appearance of pen catalogues  at archive.org are not complaining because someone besides the PCA copied/digitized  useful old pen information, but because they appear to have taken copies that actually were created by/for the PCA and simply passed the material to a different hosting site. Particularly for people like Bill Acker and Roger Wooten  and possibly John Jenkins who apparently have put in extra effort to clean up the raw images, not to mention having worked to secure  hard-to-find material in the first place, there can be a quite natural, "I did all this work for a given cause, and someone else just took it".

 

That of course is not a legal gripe, as has been explored in this thread, but as you and we have noted, ethics can transcend the legal.

 

regards

 

david

 

 

I don't disagree with you on this but it must be realized (in the bigger picture) that nothing has been taken from the PCA because the originals weren't created by them. I'd need to give it some more thought (which I probably won't) but the one feeling I get is that some people may be taking this too seriously, I would have thought the reason to digitize pen material was more to aid the "hobby" than to be a source of revenue for the PCA (accepting that there are costs to run any organization). From arms length (not being a PCA member nor having looked at the links) I'm having some difficulty putting the digitized for the "hobby" and the angst that the material is readily available (free) into a meaningful context that's not emotionally based ( and I readily accept that's a valid reason to be miffed). One question is does the "hobby" benefit or not from having freely available resources? I personally, wouldn't copy and repost the material out of respect. 

 

Regards

Hugh


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#54 Hugh

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:17 AM


  How many originals do you own? 
 
None!!
 
Don't know what went wrong there!!...in reply to question from Roger

Edited by Hugh, 05 August 2014 - 11:19 AM.

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#55 david i

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:27 AM

Of the whole three pages here, I think I am most upset with being classified as being "too cheap" because I don't belong to the PCA. Ouch.....

 

It is possible the new Editor of the PCA, perhaps the most public face of that organization, would benefit from a Dale Carnegie class on communication and interpersonal skills. ;)

 

Rick, don't forget to join us in the pit Friday for the Black Pen Society meeting.

 

-d


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#56 david i

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:39 AM

I don't disagree with you on this but it must be realized (in the bigger picture) that nothing has been taken from the PCA because the originals weren't created by them. I'd need to give it some more thought (which I probably won't) but the one feeling I get is that some people may be taking this too seriously, I would have thought the reason to digitize pen material was more to aid the "hobby" than to be a source of revenue for the PCA (accepting that there are costs to run any organization). From arms length (not being a PCA member nor having looked at the links) I'm having some difficulty putting the digitized for the "hobby" and the angst that the material is readily available (free) into a meaningful context that's not emotionally based ( and I readily accept that's a valid reason to be miffed). One question is does the "hobby" benefit or not from having freely available resources? I personally, wouldn't copy and repost the material out of respect. 

 

Regards

Hugh

 

 

Again, pictures sometime indeed can be bigger, sometimes just... different... depending on perspective. It indeed seems PCA has no copyright claim legally. But, those who did hard work perhaps appropriately can regret someone else benefiting from their effort.  I have little doubt that multiple motivations are present among multiple (and maybe within even single) people regarding their desire for PCA to have some protection for this material.    Revenue for the group is enhanced by offering benefits to members, no doubt. But, giving the organization a reason to exist probably drives some of the concern.

 

Does the hobby benefit from free access to materials?  Yep. Does the hobby benefit from having in existence a hobby organization that acts to some degree on multiple fronts to aid the hobby?  Yep.

 

All that said, this is a not uncommon conflict in the digital age.  Magazines and newspapers are folding (no pun intended) regularly. A generation appears that has no desire to hold paper in hand, looks up everything online, no longer feels need for a nice wristwatch (the phone has the time), might soon never have to write anything or use cash money,  and looks at me cross-eyed when I discuss why spending $40 per year for a pen mag subscription is a good thing even though  "everything is on FPN". Of course, an editor-reviewed mag article written by  one of a handful of people who has  both real knowledge and insight and who has   the ability to craft a coherent essay has value often lacking in the digital crowd-speak of the ignorati....but try to convince someone not raised with that background ;)

 

Paul Erano and I have chatted on this point at length. PCA currently has only about 600 members. FPN has some 90,000 listed (Perhaps 1/3-1/2 active/real?). 

 

Most of the teeth-gnashing seen here is not dissimilar to what went on at Newsweek Magazine and at other fading print institutions.

That said, I will have some most interesting news to offer in a couple days.

 

regards

 

david


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#57 andrew_

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:02 PM

Well, this thread is a nice reminder that no good deed goes unpunished.  A "Hey look what I found everyone!" degenerated into accusations.  Lots of talk about community and supporting it, but not a whole lot of acting like one.

 

Thank you Mr. Armstrong, I appreciate you sharing that you found these!

 

I wish those so closely involved with the PCA would have handled this better and shaped the conversation around "Oh yeah, those are from the PCA library, awesome aren't they?  I wonder how they got on archive?  Did someone try to protect their download and put it on the wrong site, or the original scanner drop them out there for something?  Odd...  Anyway, we've got a whole lot more!"

 

Good will goes a long way, and knowing several people involved in this conversation I know everyone is capable of it.  We can choose what kind of community we want to be around our hobby, threads like this are not constructive.  Great conversation around legalities and ethics, but not always productive in terms of building community and a sense of connection between each other.

 

At any rate, I'm glad to see this material out there, I hope the PCA has a good exit strategy to open up all these files to the world so they do not get lost should it ever come to and end, and it was nice to get a glimpse into things.



#58 D Armstrong

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:13 PM

Mr. Armstrong,

 

I have reviewed the page on your site and find no end-note or explanation regarding any of this, including (specifically) no mention of the PCA (or prompts to support/join). Would you care to point out where these clarifications reside, or have you since taken them down?

 

I would also like to note that while I disagreed with the posting of these files, at archive or your site, I did not question the legality of such. Nonetheless, the simple disagreement with your offerings and methodology earns the term "troll". I don't think that was deserved. I place a very high value on the personal, human community spirit in endeavors such as the hobby of pen collecting, and that which does harm to that same spirit is something I both do not tolerate well, nor see a reason to remain silent.

 

Respectfully,

Jon Szanto

 

Dear Jon,

 

Sorry about the glitch. Late last night I did some provisional experimentation with redaction, and restored to an earlier version--one which pre-dated the disclaimer. I have restored it, at the bottom of the page where you likely saw it earlier.

 

I didn't specify you as a troll. Although I probably should have referred to "flamers" rather than "trolls". And although your posts are quite minimal in content, it should be noted that you were the first one to deploy sarcasm, and the only one to have thus far resorted to profanity.

 

And so far, I am completely underwhelmed with the quality of what community spirit I see.


David Armstrong
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#59 david i

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 02:32 PM


And so far, I am completely underwhelmed with the quality of what community spirit I see.

 

 

I'd disagree a bit, but then I founded this message board to have some place where pen collectors could be emphatic without being chastised by in loco parentis moderators ;)

 

This topic hit a nerve it seems and provoked some passionate discourse.  Different writers have different views of community, and clearly concerns about the community of PCA and of pen collectors trumped worries about community spirit at FPB, which is fine, given I've always found the notion of "community" at a message board to be an overblown thing trumpeted by board owners worried about hits and eyeballs more than about real human interaction  ;)

 

 That some might have misunderstood some of  the details (who put what where... etc) is ok,  as clarity eventually was achieved. That some got a bit personal in their disagreements perhaps at some level is unfortunate, but I'm well more content to see a bit of honest crabbiness than see a meaty discussion squelched.

 

Though you started this chat as just a "Hey, look what I found!", significant issues were brought forth regarding  the world of pen collecting in the digital age.

 

I find this thread quite refreshing.

 

regards

 

David


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#60 JonSzanto

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 03:02 PM

I gotta bop up to LA on business, but will reply later. I don't self-censor strong language when I feel a need to utilize it as a tool for expressing how upset I am. I have a quarter-century personal history of curating the audio, photographic, and written archives of a major American composer, and the unauthorized dissemination of material strikes a strong chord in me. I will never apologize for being passionate about the things that matter most to me.

 

More... later.







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