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Subject: Copyright article
From: "Maria Elkins" maria@lostquilt.com
Date: Fri, Mar 06, 2009 9:10 am
To: Karen@tabberone.com>

Dear Mr. and Ms. Dudnikov,

I recently became aware of a disturbing statement you made about me on your website, http://www.tabberone.com/Trademarks/CopyrightLaw/Quilting/Quilting.shtml.

You wrote: "First and foremost, nowhere on that page does Maria Elkins identify herself as a quilt designer and seller. This is an important omission. She does not tell the reader where she sits before telling the reader where she stands. She has a bias that is important for the reader to know and understand in order to be able to fully assess the information being presented. In our mind, that makes Maria Elkins inherently dishonest and a very untrustworthy source of information "

This is an unjust statement against my character, and I would like you to remove it.

In 2000 when the referenced article (http://www.lostquilt.com/Article2000-12.html) was written, I had made a total of seven small quilts (some from patterns and some original) plus a few baby quilts. I also had never sold a single item. Therefore, when the article was written, I do not think anyone could have accurately described me as a “quilt designer and seller.” Over the past nine years, my focus has developed into creating original works of art, but I still do not design, sell, or market quilt patterns, or anything similar. In fact, last year was the first time I sold anything (a single quilt), and that was to someone who approached me. My main focus is creating art, not marketing and selling art.

The article was originally published in a very small newsletter where everyone knew who I was. There was certainly no need to reintroduce myself, especially since this was the last of ten articles. This being the case, I could not reasonably be expected to have identified myself as a "quilt designer and seller" (even if I actually was one), within the article when it was written.

I posted this article to my site along with the entire newsletter series. It has not been kept updated because it is part of the series, and because I have two primary articles on quilt copyrights and copyright infringement prominently located elsewhere on the site. I strive to keep those accurate and up-to-date. I have now clearly marked the article you cite as out-of-date, and am directing readers to the current articles on that topic.

Facts are either correct or incorrect, regardless of who provides the information. I am happy to correct any misinformation. In fact, in 2007 I made corrections after Mr. Dudnikov emailed me and pointed one out. My desire is to present a clear, easy-to-understand summary of copyright issues. It serves me no purpose to intentionally try to mislead anyone. If I were inherently dishonest and untrustworthy would I have been so cheerfully cooperative with Mr. Dudnikov in the past?

You are correct that on that particular page I do not identify myself. This is because I identify both myself and the original context of the article on other pages on my site. You state in your critique that this isn't enough. However, you do not identify yourself or the background for your position anywhere on the page where your critique appears. So, on the same page where you criticize me, you do what you criticized me for. You include a link to a disclaimer for yourself, just as I include a link to a page describing the purpose of my site and a link to my quilts on my personal site. In practice, neither of us treat individual pages of our sites as existing in a vacuum; we consider them in the context of the site as a whole. We both anticipate that our readers will do the same, and that they will make use of the links to relevant information that we provide.

Based on the facts above I find your reference to me as "inherently dishonest and a very untrustworthy source of information" to be both false and defamatory, and I ask that you remove it immediately.

I also request that you remove my copyrighted article from your website. You are welcome to cite it by linking to my site, so that it can be fairly viewed and evaluated in its original context. In order to reproduce materials for educational purposes, you must be teaching in an educational institution (Circular 21, page 4). You are also allowed under Section 107, “Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair Use,” to use “limited portions” for the purpose of criticism and comment (http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html#howmuch), but this does not allow you to repost my article in its entirety. Therefore, in addition to removing the defamatory statement, I request you remove my article from your website as well.

Maria Elkins
Lost Quilt Come Home Page
http://www.lostquilt.com -- maria@lostquilt.com
Dedicated to displaying lost and stolen quilts
and to providing information on protecting quilts
http://www.mariaelkins.com -- me@mariaelkins.com

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