23 april 2010


ME: On legal rights of posters + Yodeling frabjously...


Again, I wrote rather a lot on the Phoenix Forums about ME - where one can find what I wrote here, if it works

Also I am not well, but I did write today on the Forums among other things

A. On the legal rights of posters to Phoenix Rising
B. Yodeling frabjously...

that I reproduce her, perhaps

A. On the legal rights of posters to Phoenix Rising

best with a notice of my own policy about copyrights on my own texts, loooong since on my site, from

  • All of the material on my site that I wrote has its copyright reserved to me: You are not allowed to present it as your own nor to sell it for money, and if you want to do either of these you have to mail me and ask my written permission (which I may give for some parts, depending on your ends and your qualities).

Therefore - and for some other reasons - I was (and am) a bit worried about recent extensions of the Phoenix Forums about ME that consist, briefly, in (1) all posts of all members becoming postable more or less automatically, from the forums, by a link to Facebook and other sites, blogs and what nots, and (2) a statement by the owner of the site that ' "Phoenix Rising" (such as it is) 'owns' the posts'.

Both points also and independently worried some other important members of the forums, which gave rise to some debate that is still ongoing, from which the following is my position:

On the legal rights of posters to Phoenix Rising

Hello Cort,

Snipping what I won't comment on:

 Originally Posted by Cort
"Phoenix Rising" (such as it is) 'owns' the posts. I don't have any legal background but I assume that If someone wanted to use the material from the Forums to write a book or make a movie or whatever they would, I assume, have to contact Phoenix Rising and 'we' would have to contact you.I would love for that to be a problem that we would have to deal with

If you have particular concerns about the Post sharing capabilities of the Forum please contact me via pm and I'll share them with the moderators and administrators.

I would note that some of that capability has been present since the Forums were created.

First, I am with Shiso, Koan and Dreambirdie in objecting against this: I don't like Facebook - I want none of it, or I'd been there long ago - and I DO think you (who IS the legally responsible guy) SHOULD have put this to the forum e.g. with a poll before imposing it as a matter of course on everyone.

I am against it, and if I'd been asked I'd have said: NO WAY. Also, while I am one who probably is in a position to defend himself better than most, herewith my ruling as to Facebook:

Personally, Facebook is nauseous to me, simply because it is a cheap commercial scam with a most lousy immoral privacy policy, that I do not trust at all, and - since Cort Johnson took the liberty of allowing this behind my back without asking - I FORBID anyone to upload anything that is on Phoenix Rising that is written by me and I FORBID anyone to upload anything that is on one of my sites to Facebook. PERIOD.

If you want the morality of that in view of the fact that I also write to be read:

I don't and never did go to whorehouses either, nor do I want my writings pricked on the walls in whorehouses because the whores & customers & pimps may find it to be delectable reading for a whorehouses set of customers.

Second, I do know some Dutch copyright law, and neither you nor Phoenix Rising nor any inc. that this might turn into has ANY right to dispose over MY posts as if it is THEIR (or at present, Cort: YOUR) property. The text of MY posts on Phoenix Rising are MY property, or that of my inheritors, for the next 28 years at the very least.

Third, as to:

If someone wanted to use the material from the Forums to write a book or make a movie or whatever they would, I assume, have to contact Phoenix Rising and 'we' would have to contact you.


When I originally read this - before ever posting - I took it to mean that nobody ELSE than me could dispose over MY posts on Phoenix Rising, and the same for everybody else posting on it, and that "Phoenix Rising" i.e. legally speaking Mr Cort Johnson would protect all posters from being pirated.

As you present it now it seems as if this should be taken in the sense:

MM is puzzled and asks

Is this meant in the sense

"All posts of anyone on Phoenix Rising, after having been posted on Phoenix Rising, are the legal property of 'Phoenix Rising' i.e. Cort Johson, and his inheritors were he to die"



NO WAY, Cort!

And I would please have your answer on this soon: Are Koan and Dreambirdie and Dr. Yes and _Kim_ and I making over our personal rights in our personal prose to you by the act of publising it on Phoenix Rising?!

This is a SERIOUS worry to me, and I don't want it, and also never bargained for it (and you can expect some sharp bargaining if the last puzzled part is your intention).

Not speaking for myself, but speaking since I raised the point yesterday on the forum for - someone like - Koan (who doesn't know I am raising this now):

Koan is one of the persons on the forum who is very good with words and who may make money with that talent. I think SHE is entitled to make money by HER writings, also if they are on the Phoenix Rising Forums - and I don't think she'll abuse anyone on the forums or the forums themselves if she succeeds in doing so (though I agree that - where the possibility of publising (part of) some of one's own posts for money oneself is concerned - prior mailing before proceeding to talk of Phoenix Rising in one's own publications, with "The Owner Of" i.e. Cort Johnson is the correct thing to do).

Fourth, as to

If you have particular concerns about the Post sharing capabilities of the Forum please contact me via pm and I'll share them with the moderators and administrators.

That's... disingenuous Cort: I have also particular concerns with highway robbery and forced Russian roulette, and your message to the effect that - ♪♪"just in case, you know: there be silly persons too"♪♪ - IF one has "particular concerns about the Post sharing capabilities " The Owner Of Phoenix Rising (for such is what you are, Cort) will "share them with the moderators and administrators" is NOT a legally or morally correct answer, I'm sorry to say.

You should have put the Post sharing capabilities of the Forum and your plan to extend these to Facebook and other shit (IM not HO) to the Forum BEFORE imposing them; you should have considered and mentioned the dangers this may involve to posters clearly; and indeed there should be - but alas I am talking of the would-be wizards of vBulletin - an option (a setting, in one's Personal Settings) that prevents posting one's posts on the Forums elsewhere, at the behest of the writers of the posts.

To say or imply that here 'Caveat Emptor' applies and that one can inform oneself about the dangers of the internet on the internet again would not be fair nor honest, and indeed you have not bought my or anyone's posts through the act of posting it on a forum that is legally yours. (And I am quite aware that you may not at all have been saying what you seem to be saying - but let there be no misunderstandings about who owes the rights to Koan's, Cort's, Maarten's, Dr. Yes's or Dreambirdie's writings: Respectively Koan, Cort, Maarten, Dr. Yes and Dreambirdie, and no one else, just as said persons are legally and personally responsible and accountable for their own words, and entitled to make money from their own creative talents, if they want and can.)

Fifth, as to

I would note that some of that capability has been present since the Forums were created.


So what? The capability of doing evil also is present since men were created or arose and the lack of full understanding of these capabilities is almost as widespread as men are - but I do want you to be quite clear and upfront about

Snipping what I won't comment on:

linking the Phoenix Forums, with tens of thousands of personal posts by all manner of people who run serious risks if their identities are known to the health bureaucracies or others, to other forums or would be forums like Facebook

(B) in what way "the Phoenix Forums" that is, legally, at this moment, Cort Johnson (and his eventual heirs) - AND I QUOTE


"Phoenix Rising" (such as it is) 'owns' the posts.



I'd appreciate clear and unambiguous answers - and no: I take it you mean well, but I DO want to insist MY posts have MY copyright, just a I decide who has the right to use them in any creative work of another (and not you, just like your prose is yours and not mine).

Sixth, and last:

As I indicated, I think you should have and should put both this wider linking and this ownership business of members's posts QUITE EXPLICITLY AND UP FRONT to the members of the Phoenix Forums, so that they can consciously think about it and decide what they want.

And as I indicated, I think you should help Koan and Dreambirdie to (i) get easy, fast and complete access to all their own posts and (ii) to help them to make cleaning up their posts for universal distributions to all and anyone without their prior permission (for that's what it amounts to) a LOT easier than it is at present.

Thank you,

Maarten (who doesn't like this modus operandi nor these suggestions of quasi-judicial disowning of the products of his brain ).

P.S. And to spell it out: I am also not crazily possessive about what I write about ME (and programming and many more things I put on my site), but I don't want it on Facebook if I can help it, just as I don't want it on a Nazi-site if I can help it (to make my point clearly - and I don't like nor trust Facebook), and you have been rather careless with what I think are people's rights in their own writings, although I also can understand your enthusiasm about Phoenix Forums and the plight people with ME are in getting known widely.

O, and I've just woken up, so may later see some need to edit my ME-ified typos (the study of which, not in me but on this Forum, would be worth a few Ph.D.s in cognitive psychology, 'tseems to me, by the way ).

Nederlog comment:

And there it stands as I write this, as far as I am concerned. It may be all or mostly a mistake and anyway legal issues about almost anything that is on the internet are ... obscure, but I do wish to insist that (i) the texts of the posters to the Phoenix Forums are and ought to be the intellectual property of the posters (under some agreement - many are possible and exist - that can be agreed upon, for use on the Phoenix Forums and/or other ends, purposes or places) and (ii) many members of the forums have a personal interest in their texts - such as they are now, or anyhow - not appearing on the internet outside Phoenix Forums.

I suppose it can be straightenend out, in a fairly sharing way...

... and now for something completely different ...
( and see Yodeling for Beginners ... lots of it around there ...)

B. Yodeling frabjously...

♪♪♪ O Dreambirdie! O Teejkay!
___What can I say________
___On this frabjous day____...
♪♪   (*)

    Originally Posted by teejkay
Awww! I'm swooning. I think very highly of you too Maarten and I like how you focus on logic.

And I must thank Sister Dreambirdie for helping me to see the light. Yes... I understand now:

Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!

So apt, also in the broader context of Doublespeak and sectioning... o, and lobotomy...:

Did you read "We", by Yevgeny Zamyatin (transl. Natasha Randall, Vintage Classics, 2007)? Better than Orwell's 1984, as literature, and Orwell would have agreed, I think , for he knew it:

(From backside)

'This is a book to look out for'
George Orwell

The citizens of the One State live in a condition of 'mathematically infallible happiness'. D-503 decides to keep a diary of his days working for the collective good in this clean, blue city state, where nature, privacy and individual liberty have been eradicated. But over the course of his journal D-503 suddenly nfinds himself caught up in unthinkable and illegal activities - love and rebellion.

Banned on its publication in 1921, We is the first modern dystopian novel and a satire on state control that has once again become chillingly relevant.


Excellent! Strongly recommended, 200 pages.

It also has an amazing heroine, I-330 - that is, if one likes extremely smart, extremely strong and brave women...

...I THINK I may be on the right forum for ME, dear ladies (if our personal prose remains our personal prose that is)...


This is a lovely and lovable humane ... environment, with the right parameters fixed that is...

Wish I could meet you unvirtually! Who knows...


P.S. "In defense" of Orwell: He wrote 1984 while being very ill resp. dying. And Zamyatin just is an amazing writer, very well translated, it seems to me, by Natasha Randall. (Also with a lot of ... for ... Jackie's deeper ... interpretations, I realize... )


See also

  • Yodeling for Beginners (<- page 25 - presently at -> 31)
    (latest issue - one: ME humor - The Laughter Process (tm) CoFIBS  at work).

And some of the evidence that Herr Professor & Frau Doctor Wessely vom Weasel zum Weisel are mentally sane if and only if (iff) I am not - as they wholly agree, miraculously almost!

But see here which of the two logical alternatives a true iff comprehends applies:

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon
     insufficient evidence
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.

"Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 

    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)

(*) Dreambirdie is very witty with words and pictures and TeejKay is - among many other things, such as alas wheelchair lodged much of the time - together with her husband the maker of

Maarten Maartensz

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