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04 January 2006
Rick Moen has decided to go off half-cocked and play lawyer. We have removed content he objects to. We considered writing a piece on 'How to Win Friends and Influence People', but find that Dale Carnegie has already done it.

From herrold@owlriver.com Wed Jan  4 14:35:38 2006
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2006 14:35:36 -0500 (EST)
From: R P Herrold <herrold@owlriver.com>
To: Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>
Cc: Eric S. Raymond <esr@thyrsus.com>, R P Herrold <herrold@owlriver.com>
Subject: Re: Mirror of "How to Ask Questions the Smart Way"

On Wed, 4 Jan 2006, Rick Moen wrote:

> Hello, I'm co-author with Eric S. Raymond of the essay "How to Ask
> Questions the Smart Way", which you have mirrored at
> http://www.owlriver.com/tips/smart/ .  The master copy of that essay is
> at Eric's site, http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html .

As noted at that point in the website: (ESR prime is <strike>gone</strike>
moved) Smart Questions

> There are a few problems:
> 1.  You stripped the copyright notice.

Nope -- none has been removed from that which is in the lynx -dump view at
the date and time, (viz., "Copyright 2001 Eric S. Raymond") and site
indicated.  -- I would never strip a copyright notice.  You may wish to
re-read and see this before persisting in such an accusation.

HTML dump on Wed Sep  4 11:30:29 EDT 2002
Copyright  2001 Eric S. Raymond

Indeed, in a lynx dump from the prime site today, it appears at the same
relative place in that document:


> 2.  You appended "Copyright  2005 Owl River Company All rights reserved"
>    at the bottom, thereby apparently asserting ownership of our
>    property.

Nope -- The CMS puts a copyright notice link which if followed, states that
we seek, as noted on the link, to assert content only local content (viz.,
'within this domain') -- we clearly mark, attribute and expressly at the
top, note the copy as a dump from
http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html on the date and time

> 3.  We do not in general authorise mirroring, as we prefer people to
>    hyperlink to the master copy to avoid outdatedness.  I don't
>    remember authorising your mirror, and am reasonably sure Eric
>    didn't, either.

We?  You do not appear to be a copyright holder to the archival copy in
question.  That said, this content
has disappeared once.  My caution and care in taking a record backup seem
well founded.

Hyperlinks are fine, but when they die, the content is gone, essentially
irretrievably.  If ESR requests it, I will of course take it down -- but for
a time, my locally dumped copy was the only copy known to Google.

> 4.  Your mirror is outdated.

It is not a mirror or course; it was initially an archival recodation dump
of URL identified content at a point in time, to meet the purpose of the
'Archive' subsection (which, when it was gone, clearly demonstrated the
wisdom of my 'fair use' in taking a archival record backup); when it
re-appeared elsewhere and I became aware of it, I updated the section the
content lives in:

	Knowledge has been disappearing due to
	entropy since at least the time the library burned in
	Alexandria (whichever legend: Augustus Caesar, 48 B.C.;
	Christian monks 391; Muslim zealots 642). We preserve some

> 5.  You stripped one of two author names.


> 6.  You stripped the version history.


> 7.  Your pointer to the master location is outdated and is a
>     dead URL.

My point as to the dis-utility of relying an an archive of hyperlinked
content, not backed up with local record store when the master of a cache
fails.  Ted Nelson could not anticipate it all ;)

> Hyperlinking to the master copy would fix those problems.  Thank you!

While I _may_ wish to update by body copy with the content down the
un-linked link in the freshly taken archival record dump, or to add a
different link to the upstream, or both, I cannot say that a communication
which comes out shooting first, and asking questions later is likely to
induce me to do so.

Please understand me.  I encourage and have always encouraged the use of a
'prime site' -- see:


	"Local Copy"
	(Back to top)

	Often in this site, we have taken a 'local copy' or produced a
	PDF screen-shot, or 'wget' image of a given web-page, bearing
	URI and date. We have found a need for this practice of having
	local copies of content are taken for record, fair use, and
	backup purposes, as we have found that the original content on
	the web disappears so quickly -- That said, please always
	refer to the prime site noted first.

But I see little social utility at letting entropy win through neglect.


-- Russ Herrold

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Last modified: Thu, 05 Jan 2006 11:46:57 -0500