From Abracadabra to Zombies
reader comments: cosmobiology
26 Jun 2000
My name is Veronica Chlap and I have my article entitled "Some points on Cosmobiology" linked to your skeptic site. I cannot recall giving you permission to link to my article, and hereby ask you to take out your link to my article on your site.
reply: You don't have anything linked to my skeptic site. However, I do have a link on my cosmobiology page to the article you mention.
Permission is not needed to link to anything on the WWW. Hence, I have not made requests to the 2,000 or so people whose web pages I link to. You didn't give permission because it was never asked for.
I hope you will understand my position and comply with my wishes.
reply: Not really. I would think that you have put your article on the WWW because you want others to read it. The more links to your article, the more likely it is to be read by more people.
Thanking you in anticipation,
reply: If you want to try to control who reads or refers to your writings, you should remove them from the WWW. Your request is not reasonable. It is like hanging out your laundry and demanding that people not look at it or refer to it unless they get your permission first.
27 Jun 2000
And your reply is not reasonable either. You have in a clever manner twisted your arguments to suit your own opinions. If you can do that then so can I. We could go on doing that forever. But who would decide on the outcome so that a resolution to this difference of opinions could be found?
You are in no position to judge my opinions and wishes, just as I am in no position to judge yours.
reply: I don't know what world you live in, but in my world anyone is free to judge anyone else's opinions. As for wishes, why would I want to judge your wishes? Wish as you please.
So I will shed a different light on the matter in order to move forward on this issue.
I own the intellectual property to the article.
If you wish to prove your points regarding cosmobiology then please do so, but write your own articles or comply with web protocols which do exist to recognise the intellectual rights of authors- namely ask for the author's permission before using articles in any manner whatsoever.
reply: I'm not using your article. I don't quote from it or reproduce it. I don't even refer to it. I link to it. I have no control over your material and unless I post your material on my page I can't infringe on your "intellectual rights." You obviously have no clue as to what rights you have as an author of material posted on the Internet. I suggest you consult a lawyer knowledgeable in these matters, so you don't continue to make a fool of yourself.
Web pages have intellectual property - your site and associated pages have them.
reply: These claims make no sense. A person can have a trademark and the trademark is the owner's intellectual property, but the trademark cannot have intellectual property.
You have taken my intellectual property without my permission and placed it into your site (which is your intellectual property).
reply: Again, I remind you that I have taken nothing and placed nothing in my site except a link to your site. You should understand that once you put material on the Internet and do not protect it with passwords or use other means of controlling access, anyone in the universe can link to it and there is nothing you can do about it.
So you have taken something which belongs to me and used it to add
value to something which belongs to you and not asked me. Now is that
reply: I've taken nothing of yours, and the link to your page certainly has not added any value to my material. I wonder how many people would even bother to find out more about cosmobiology once they read about its essential inanity. There were only ten hits on my cosmobiology page last week, and half of those were probably from bots and crawlers.
Your page is linked to because I wanted my readers to have easy access to how the other side thinks. Any reader who so desires could leave my page, do a search using any one of many search engines, and find your page. The link makes it convenient for those who should desire to see firsthand how the other side thinks. I wonder. Have you written to all the owners of search engines and demanded that they stop finding your page and linking to it?
28 Jun 2000
I just read the email war between yourself and Ms. Chlap in the cosmobiology comments section. Her insistence that you remove the link to her site struck me as just plain silly, and her arguments supporting her position seemed extraordinarily illogical ... even for a cosmobiologist. In my view, a hypertext link is analogous to a bibliography reference, which pretty obviously does not violate anyone's IP rights.
Anyway, I thought you might be interested in the following article
(see URL below) which describes a legal precedent on the issue. The judge
in Tickemaster Corp. vs. Tickets.com ruled that "Hypertext
linking does not itself involve a violation of the Copyright Act."
28 Jun 2000
I think Veronica Chlap's letters are perhaps the funniest things I've read in a long time. Is she for real? Does she really think that another site's link is her intellectual property?
Clearly, she doesn't even understand how Internet links work, and that's the root of her problem. I suppose she thinks that when you take a photograph of someone, you're stealing their soul, too. Someone needs to sit down with her and draw her a nice colorful picture of how the Internet works. I wonder if they sell those "Internet For Dummies" books in Australia?
Hey, here's an idea for a fun project: Turn the cosmobiology page
into a frameset, and link her page from the inner frame without the
"target=_top" tag. Then she'll really get mad, thinking you
stole her page outright.
reply: Cruel, cruel, cruel. No need to compound her problems.
update: December 2015 - I removed the link to Ms. Chlap's article and replaced it with a Wikipedia link. For those who wish to read Chlap's piece, it was still available on Dec. 6, 2015 at http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~janus-nz/cosmobiology.htm