Fair Use Law

Nov 1, 2008, 10:46 AM |

The "new" issue of what was formerly the award winning GEORGIA CHESS magazine is finally out. Although it is almost November, the issue is, in fact, the JULY-AUGUST issue. Although many months late, it is good to see it has been published, quelling the rumors of it's demise. Unfortunately the editor(s) decided to publish an article I wrote, THE ATLANTA CHESS CENTER NEEDS YOU, even though I sent an email asking they NOT publish anything I had previously sent them, including this article. As a matter of fact, I saw Colin Potts at the House of Pain, and, upon seeing the aforementioned article in print, asked why it had been published. Colin said, "Oh, we did not think you meant this one."
After hearing the Legendary Georgia Ironman say the last issue of the award winning GEORGIA CHESS (published way back in the spring) had "too many book reviews and not enough games," I wrote an article for the magazine, since posted on the BaconLOG (http://baconlog.blogspot.com/http://blog.chess.com/nocab), SCCA DATABASE, posted August 18, 2008. It was NOT published in the GEORGIA CHESS magazine because the editor, Paul Taylor, upbraided me for not getting the permission of my friend Mike Decker, and Randall Ferguson, to reprint their annotations. I have stayed in touch with Mike through the years, and all it took was one email to receive his permission. As for Randall, a NM I've played in the past, I was unable to learn anything about him from the officers of the SCCA. He has long been out of chess and our search turned up zilch! Knowing Mr Ferguson as I do, I decided to publish the article WITHOUT his permission ON MY BLOG! I simply cannot imagine, if Randall ever reads the article, that he will be displeased...Although I had previously sent it to be published in GEORGIA CHESS, I sent an email to the editors, the GCA board, and others, in which I wrote, "As a writer who has been victimized by an editor using work by someone else (I refer to Daniel Lucas truncating my article THE REST OF THE STORY to include something from an old column by GM Larry Evans), I am particularly sensitive to using anything if it violates the law, legal or moral. I do not know the laws pertaining to the use of something on the internet, which I thought to be in the public domain. Although I have sent emails, as you are no doubt aware by now, asking for permission, or how to get in touch with the author in order to ask permission, I have had second thoughts on the matter. For example, you used a quote about Boris in the magazine you said you got off the internet, although it was not attributed. Did that mean you could use it because it was NOT attributed? Is that why you never informed me of where, or by whom, you found it, as I asked? I do not have the answers to these questions. I must, therefore, ask that you NOT publish the article until I have the answers. As a matter of fact, I would greatly appreciate it if you NOT use anything I may have sent you in the award winning GEORGIA CHESS magazine until I can research the law. And I will say that this has caused me to consider what I put into print on my blog!"
After receiving a long and detailed email from Mr Potts, which began, "I teach this stuff as part of our Computing and Ethics class."..., I sent the editors this: "Thank you for the elucidation, Professor. My writing days are over. I have published my last article."
Although part of the delay in the publication of the magazine can be attributed to the fact that Mr Potts took on some of the responsibility and then found he did not, because of work, have time to deal with it, he did say that the picture on the cover (which I like!) can be attributed to him. The picture with the article I wrote can also be attributed to Colin. The current Georgia State and Georgia Senior champion, Mr David Vest, said, "I do not like that picture showing the guys smoking in front of the House." That is one of the nicer things I've heard about the picture! If a picture of me was needed to go along with the article, certainly I would have allowed a picture, like the one of Mr Spinks, to have been taken. But then, I would have known the article was to have been published, would I not?! Let me just say that using that picture could be considered "ill-advised," to say the least.
Mr Taylor wrote, "The ability to research, write, and cite properly is what should be expected of a college graduate." I took that to be a knock against me in that, although I have attended several different colleges, I am not a college grad. As anyone who knows me will attest, I have spent my life in pursuit of knowledge. For some people, learning continues after obtaining a degree...
These two men are both college professors. It is simply NOT POSSIBLE that they could have thought, as stated to me by Mr Potts, that all other articles, except for this particular article, was not to be published! What part of, "I would greatly appreciate it if you NOT use anything I may have sent you in the award winning GEORGIA CHESS magazine...", can they NOT understand? What part of, "My writing days are over. I have published my last article" cannot be understood?!
What these so-called "editors" have done was stated best by Tim Brookshear: "They would not publish your article (SCCA DATABASE) in fear of violating copyright law, yet they violated YOUR copyright by publishing an article you asked NOT be published!"
The article was to have been published in July. Circumstances have changed since then. Even if the problems that came after (with the SCCA DATABASE article) had not occured, I would not have allowed the article to be published after these many months, if anyone had had the decency to have asked...