Borderlands Y2K Challenge, takers? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From another list, any replies? Rusty2k

Borderlands Y2k Challenge: No Device Failures Yet Wednesday, February 10, 1999 08:08 PST

On 01-14-1999 Borderlands issued the "Y2k Challenge". To date, there has been NOT ONE specific example presented to us of an embedded system causing complete failure of a device.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Michael Theroux Director Borderland Sciences Research Foundation - Since 1945 Ph. 707.825.7733 FAX: 707.825.7779 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-- Rusty (, February 10, 1999


Just last week we all saw Mr. Evans of the Arizona Farm Bureau tell the world in a Senate subcommittee hearing on CSpan2 how y2k testing on three center pivot irrigation systems fried a chip in each system that, even with a fully functioning infrastructure, cost $3,000 (each) and 3 months to repair. Where do I collect my prize?

-- Puddintame (, February 10, 1999.

Is "complete failure of a device" the issue? Isn't a device that continues to function, but incorrectly, sufficient to f*** things up?

-- not (a@technical.person), February 10, 1999.

How about this failure?

-- Kevin (, February 10, 1999.

I think we could answer if you would give us the meaning of "complete failure" and "device." Do you mean that every feature of the product fails? Do you mean that it discontinues to perform it's primary function? The results of this "Challenge" will mean little to me if quantifiable and verifiable definitions of these are not clearly defined beforehand.

-- Reporter (, February 10, 1999.


I think the words "ceases to function" explains it pretty well. That is why I went over the definition 3 times.

"Just last week we all saw Mr. Evans of the Arizona Farm Bureau tell the world in a Senate subcommittee hearing on CSpan2 how y2k testing on three center pivot irrigation systems fried a chip in each system that, even with a fully functioning infrastructure, cost $3,000 (each) and 3 months to repair. Where do I collect my prize?"

You don't. No manufacturer number, no model number, and a story of three "fried chips" of some sort. Nice story, but doesn't cut it.

"Is 'complete failure of a device' the issue? Isn't a device that continues to function, but incorrectly, sufficient to f*** things up?"

Sure, there will be things messed up because dates are incorrectly read. But, the claims have been that devices "cease to function at all", and I'm just trying to clarify or verify that.

"GREAT NECK, N.Y. Jan. 5 (UPI) The head of a Long Island, N.Y. insurance company says a flaw in the hardware of his brand new card- access security system locked most of his workers out of their office building on Monday because the date had changed from 1998 to 1999.

"David Sterling of Sterling and Sterling Insurance says the glitch ended his skepticism about the predicted widespread electronic havoc that will be caused by computer chips confused by the date at the beginning of 2000."


"An employee at the security company used by Sterling confirmed to United Press International that one of their systems has a bug that took effect on New Year's Eve and needs to be fixed with a chip and new software."

Yes, this is a glitch, but not a complete failure. BTW, where is the manufacturer, model, etc... of the card-access security system? It is also, NOT Y2k related. it falls into the category of "story".

Hope this clarifies what I am doing with this.

Michael Theroux

-- Michael Theroux (, February 10, 1999.

Michael, I don't think any failure would meet your definition of proveable. How can anyone prove that a chip failure was due to y2k. What are you going to do, round up the suspected electrons and question them?

If you have an allegedly "failed" device in your hands, what method of analysis will you use to verify the cause of the failure and determine whether it is related to the century date change.

Is it your theory that there is no embedded system problem or simply that none have come to light yet?

Is it your opinion that every penny spent testing embedded systems is a penny wasted?

-- Puddintame (, February 10, 1999.

Michael, I almost forgot my main point, when you saw Mr. Evans' testimony before Sen. Bennett's subcommittee, did you investigate any further or did you do the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears while humming loudly. Didn't that story pique your interest a little? Is your quest a two way street where you are seeking enlightenment or are you just taking potshots? I know the potshots are going both ways, but I don't consider sworn Congressional testimony a mere potshot.

-- Puddintame (, February 10, 1999.

Michael Theroux has proved himself to be a complete fool on the subject of y2k - his first "Y2K Hysteria" article on the subject,read by MILLIONS in Readers Digest, basically stated "no big deal" - now the unfortunate thing is people listen to this fool, he's been on the Art Bell show and others, and has a lame web site. They will listen and not take action, believing that y2k will be a bump in the road. Snowball's chance in hell of THAT, but Michael is perfectly happy to continue with his agenda - I wrote to him some time ago saying that he would cost lives if he prsisted.

Well, he is persisting and I stand by what I wrote to him. There is an earlier thread on this Forum on Michael Theroux's bump in the road make no preparations article.

As for your extremely spurious straw man "challenge" Michael, correct me if I'm wrong but rollover is in 10 months time or so - DUH!!! What do you expect now - DUH!!!

I say again Michael, open your eyes, do more research, study history, take an macro-economic outlook, study chaos theory, the domino effect, the system of interdependencies that control the world we live in, the food chain, JIT delivery, carrying capacity etc.

Michael, wishfull thinking will not solve this problem - can't you get this into your thick head?

This is what I wrote to Michael about his Readers Digest article - which Michael has highlighted on his web site as an example of a venomous attack from a doombrooder - judge for yourselsves, who's potentially doing the most harm? Michael, by writing to the millions who read Readers Digest or myself for taking a more cautious, logical and reasoned view?

"Just had to say that the article by M. Theroux on Y2k hysteria was one of the most il-informed and condescending on the subject that I have ever read. The author is patently a complete and utter fool - and dangerous at that for propagating his polyann'ish viewpoint.

Check out the latest, similar, article in Readers Digest - is it Mr. Theroux writing under a pseudonym?

He should be ashamed of himself.

IF things get really bad, he will have cost many lives.

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing" Mr. Theroux.

Got wheat?"

-- Andy (, February 10, 1999.

Here we go...and part of this is wasting my time but I'll entertain. Here's a simple way to test a device for failure. Take a simple device such as a fax machine, camera, VCR, etc (see list at: If it has an embedded date system function simply set it ahead to the time in question (let it roll over from 11:59 12/31/99) and if it locks up and ceases to function, then we have an example. It's that simple.

For those that think "sworn congressional testimony" is something to bank on, well, do you really need examples of that folly?

And lastly, Andy ( obviously didn't do ANY homework as he suggests I do as I DID NOT WRITE THE ARTICLE HE REFERS TO IN READER'S DIGEST. I haven't even seen it, and I told him that in my email to him. What is your agenda here Andy? You are the one that should be ashamed for not reading what I DID write - like about being prepared (See: ...DUH!

Now, why should I continue to waste my time in this message area when all I get is baseless, unfounded attacks from "believers" - some based on things I didn't even write - and no offerings to help solve the problem I did pose?

-- Michael Theroux (, February 10, 1999.

Sorry Michael,

You're right, I was mixing up the lame Readers Digest article with your lame article on y2k on your web site - my mistake.

For those interested in reading Michaels' lame article here it is...

"The Millennium Bug and The New Industry of Hysteria

by Michael Theroux

It's 1998. In less than two years the so-called Millennium Bug, also known as "The Year 2000" (Y2k) software problem will be upon us. If you havent already heard, this is a problem with computers that arises from the use of a two-digit field to identify years in the computers programming (for example 76 = 1976), and that the computer assumes there is only one century  the 1900s. Software written for computers will read (or try to) "00" for the year 2000 as the year 1900. Computer programs that use this two digit date scheme instead of a four digit one will fail or malfunction if the errors are not corrected.

Champions of this problem insist that it will be catastrophic  that everyone on the planet will be seriously affected  and that the world may end as we know it. One website says, "It may be the biggest problem that the modern world has ever faced." Fears range from international telecommunications malfunction to total economic collapse.

The Industry of Hysteria

The negative side of this situation is that "hysteria" is fast becoming one of the biggest marketing tools ever thrust upon an unsuspecting and gullible public. The creation of such "mass hysteria" campaigns has had an excellent history where there is money to be made. For instance, in 1991, the discovery of a computer virus called "Michaelangelo" (so named as it would do its destruction on the birthday of the famous artist, March 6th) spread hysteria "across the planet." Representatives employed in marketing departments of antivirus software companies deemed "Michelangelo" a "very serious threat." On March 5th, 1992, the day before Michelangelo was supposed to strike, John McAfee (of McAfee Antivirus software) appeared on the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour and debated with virus researcher Charles Rutstein. McAfee stated, "anywhere from 50,000 to five million [computers will suffer], but were still talking $60 million at the very low end" for virus damage and cleanup costs. Rutstein, on the other hand, estimated that only "ten to twenty thousand [computers] worldwide" could suffer on March 6 when Michelangelo triggers.

Frightened computer users drained computer store shelves of antivirus software, and when every last bit of antivirus software had been purchased, customers flocked to the stores to get books about viruses. Well, March 6th came and went without much impact. Of the 5 million predicted infections, there were only at most 10,000 (note: any computer malfunction on this day would be attributed to the virus). Some say this is because most had protection before the virus hit, but subsequent years (up to 1998) have reported zero infections of the virus to antivirus companies (I personally have never had protection from this virus and balked when everyone else ran out to buy the software. None of my computers have ever been infected by the Michaelangelo virus, or with any virus for that matter). Many other hysterical virus warnings have appeared over the years  all have been inflated myths.

Another great technological myth involves the hysteria stirred up concerning the "HAARP" project. It isnt bad enough the government plainly states their intended purpose of heating up the ionosphere with the huge transmitting station in Alaska, but industrious booksellers would have us believe that the HAARP device is really intended to alter global weather, control our minds, and jam all communications over the entire planet. BSRF has covered this subject thoroughly in some 1000 pages of text and documents (Secrets of Cold War Technology, Declassified Patents of the Cold War and SDI, etc.), but most wanted no part of what we had to say (even though the threat of satellite weapons was emphasized and could have been capitalized on by entrepreneurial hysterecists).

The media has always played a crucial role in the propagation of these myths. This is due to the fact that "fear" and "hysteria" make for the best story material, and that "expert" journalists failed to do any serious research into the subject matter. Even the computer industrys reporting lacks the simple understanding of the scary computer term, "virus". In a recent instance concerning the so-called Millennium Bug, Web Review reporter Stephen Pizzo opened with an ominous warning: "The biggest and baddest computer virus in history is less than four years away from smashing the worlds computer systems senseless. Its called the Millennium Virus." Pizzos story includes a weblink on the phrase "Millennium Virus." It leads to an earlier online story by Vance McCarthy, entitled "Keep the Millennium Virus Off Your Net." And, this statement comes from a website dedicated to the Y2k problem:

"Never before in history have we been able to predict the date of a catastrophe...until now. ..[The] Year 2000 computer bug (or Y2K). Most are aware of it, but there is widespread lack of concern and knowledge of the magnitude of this problem. The potential large-scale impact is far more serious than is commonly believed. It is an integral, monumental built-in virus and time bomb that pervades most computers and all of society's systems."

The Millennium bug is obviously not a virus. A computer virus is simply a program that is able to replicate by itself (not necessarily sinister). A program that does not replicate is not a virus, regardless of whether it does damage to a computer or not. In order for a computer virus to actually do anything, it first has to be run on the computer  it doesnt do anything all by itself until it is run by the user.

Further Y2k hysteria from computer media professionals can be found in the January 97 issue of PC/Computing. Here they warn of economic catastrophe  a full-blown Depression  in three years: "The Gartner Group estimates that [the year 2000] problem could cost U.S. business as much as $240 billion dollars. [this figure has since jumped to $600 billion] As a result of the huge price tag, its possible that as many as 10 percent of all businesses wont survive the transition."

Book publishers have also rushed to get in quick on the marketing hysteria surrounding Y2k (see the reference section for several examples). Michael Hyatt, author of the new release, The Millennium Bug: How to Survive the Coming Chaos, published by Regnery Publishing writes, "[The Y2k crisis is potentially] the most significant, extensive, and disruptive crisis we have ever faced. Almost every aspect of our lives is regulated, controlled, monitored, enhanced, or made more convenient or efficient by computers." Hyatt spells out three scenarios he sees as most probable  Brownout, Blackout, and Meltdown. Each of these is discussed in detail, "In Blackout, I predicted hunger as a result of the shipping and transportation industry's inability to distribute food. In Meltdown, it is starvation. Without electricity, telecommunications, and banking, the long arm of Washington will have zero effect on most local situations. If this scenario comes to pass, the public will live in a state of terror."

How did we ever survive before the advent of computers!

Most of the published books are by authors who seem to have some stake in the Y2k industry, either as consultants or programmers, and I could not find a review of one of these books that is unfavorable.

The Day the Earth Stands Still

By far the title of the "worst offender" associated with hyping the Y2k problem goes to Gary North. Deemed by other Y2k web authors as "alarmist and controversial", North was recently featured on one of the most popular late night talk radio shows in the U.S. (talk radio is by far the number one culprit of spreading hysteria). Mr. North runs a website called, "Gary Norths Y2K Links and Forums" with the subtitle: "The Year 2000 Problem: The Year the Earth Stands Still." While he might be esteemed for his ability to stir things up, he lacks credibility when it comes to several of his statements concerning the Y2k problem. For example, he begins the essay by saying, "At 12 midnight on January 1, 2000 (a Saturday morning), most of the worlds mainframe computers will either shut down or begin spewing out bad data. Most of the worlds desktop computers will also start spewing out bad data." The emphasis on the words "most" are mine. This statement is completely false. First of all, most computers have no Y2k problem at all. The major problem (if there is to be one) with Y2k will be with old software  software that was written many years ago for specialized applications, and was generally programmed with old computer tongues such as COBOL. Some companies may run into problems if they dont fix this, but if they are in the business of making money (yes, they are...) you can bet they will have the problem licked before there is any indication they will lose their shirts. For instance, major banks have already sent Y2k patches to vendors who use credit card data capture systems. They are well ahead of the game.

Most of the worlds desktop computers will NOT start "spewing out bad data" either. Since the majority of the world uses Microsoft products, and Microsoft long ago created patches and upgrades for any date scheme problem that may have occurred, there will be NO PROBLEM. Yet North claims, "Uncorrected PC architecture DOS and Windows-based desktop computers will revert back either to 1980 or 1984. They can be corrected briefly, but as soon as a PC is turned off, the correction dies. It will reboot to 1980 or 1984. Meanwhile, PC programs must be redesigned." His statement here is based on a simple test that can be run on any PC, supposedly telling you whether or not your system will be a Y2k problem. You first set the date to 12/31/1999 and the time to 11:55pm and wait for the clock to roll over. Then reboot the computer, and check the date. Most older computers will revert back to 1980, or the more Orwellian 1984. But, what Mr. North doesnt tell you is that one simply has to go into the BIOS and change the date (when you turn on your computer, the microprocessor passes control to the BIOS program first, and then loads your operating system). When you first turn on your computer, it usually says something like, "press to enter setup". If you press the "delete" key, this will take you to the BIOS configuration where you can set the date. Ive done this on all the computers at BSRF, and even the old 386s running MSDOS (which is compliant back to version 3.2) had no problem turning over to the year 2000. But, many so-called experts in the computer business would have you believe that you will need to upgrade to a new computer to fix this simple "tick-over"problem, and there are even some firms selling hardware you can install (for an unknown price) that fixes the so- called "problem." A good deal of evidence exists that millions of dollars are being spent by companies to "upgrade" (i.e., replace) their PC based computer systems to make them Y2k "compliant." In all but the very oldest equipment (which most institutions have upgraded long ago), these replacements arent necessary, but as you can see the computer industry greatly benefits from propagating such deliberately scary myths.

North continues by quoting Ed Yourdon, a mainframe computer programmer and author of two dozen books on programming. He and his daughter have written a new book called Time Bomb 2000. North says that, "[Yourdon] warns programmers that it may soon be time to quit their big city jobs and head for safer places...the exodus of programmers will begin no later than 1999." More hysterical quotes include, "Months before January 1, 2000, the worlds stock markets will have crashed. Who is going to leave his money in his bank if he thinks his banks computer is not reliable? A worldwide run on the banks will create havoc in the investment markets. People who have placed their retirement hopes in stocks and mutual funds will see their dreams vanish. How reliable will stocks and mutual funds be if the banking system has closed down? How will you even get paid? How will your employer get paid? How will governments get paid?" Head for the hills, as North prophesies Armageddon. All very captivating reading, but written by a historian with no programming knowledge, and littered with technical inaccuracies.

What About Embedded Chips?

Embedded electronic chips, (such as the PC BIOS) that are programmed at the factory, are in everything from automobiles to VCRs, and no one seems to know if they will work past the year 2000. But, many of these embedded chips are either not date intensive or not in systems that will create significant problems, while some others could present problems or at least an inconvenience. Electronic locks, power generation/transmission/control systems (in utilities), elevators, telephone switches, and other major systems, as well as smaller systems or appliances could be at risk of failure.

In this case, I have had a very difficult time getting any real information on this potential problem. On several websites supposedly containing links to examples of such problems, I have continually found the statement, "This document contains no information," or "The website or webpage you were attempting to access does not exist on our servers." For instance, I did a check on "Satellites and Global Positioning System (GPS) embedded chip problem" on one website, only to get the message returned, "File not found"(I later found this on the Navstar Global Positioning System Joint Program Offices website, "All GPS satellites found to be Millennium [Y2K] Rollover compliant and transparent to End of Week (EOW) Rollover").

Other examples that were actually found were extremely suspect such as: "according to an April 17, 1997, report from the state of Texas, an estimated 25% of fire trucks built since 1985 could fail to start on Jan. 1, 2000 [because of faulty embedded chips]." Further down the page one reads, "in the official version of [the] June, 1998 [article], someone was just speculating wondering  at the meeting if some  no percentage mentioned  fire trucks might possibly be in trouble in 2000, and somehow, this got posted in the minutes..."

Another article warns of impending disaster:

A recent and dramatic Y2k embedded system example was brought to the attention of the readers of the St. Louis Post Dispatch on 11/19/1997 in a column by Virginia Hick that was only available on the web for a short time. The article writes of an interview with Peter de Jager who was speaking locally on Y2k issues. Hick writes: "De Jager talked recently with an executive of a company that makes a volatile gas  he would not identify the company more specifically  who told de Jager how his plant discovered the seriousness of faulty embedded chips. The plant found a chip that failed when the date was moved forward. When the chip failed, it shut off a valve that would have shut down the cooling system. A cooling system shutdown, the executive said, would have caused an explosion. That was great news, de Jager said. Because they checked - there will be no explosion. They're replacing the chips. De Jager worries about the companies that are not checking."

No company name, no positive ID of the chip, and no proof that any of this actually happened. The story is completely vague and very suspect. Peter de Jager is most outspoken on the Y2k problem and owns the very commercial website, called "The Year 2000 Information Center"at

Several other examples or scenarios of embedded chip problems exist, but all are vague or really inconsequential (like your automatic coffee maker, after the year 2000, may not work properly and force you to get up and turn it on manually). Still, it seems no one has yet come forth with one positively identified instance of a faulty embedded chip(not excluding that at some point this may actually happen). One disgruntled programmers response to this was, "The status quo may be philosophically and psychologically entertaining, but it is scientifically absurd, and...executives and managers are entirely correct [to say]: show us an [embedded chip failure] or get out of our face."

The Burgeoning Y2K Industry

Further evidence that the Y2k problem may not be the impending global disaster many would have you believe, but a marketing enterprise motivated by big business can be found on several websites "devoted exclusively to the burgeoning Y2K industry." One can find a multitude of products created exclusively out of the Y2k myth such as the "Y2k phone Card", "Uh-Oh! - The Y2K Game", Year 2000 CountDownTM Watch, Year 2000 Video and Audio Tapes, Year 2000 Toolkit/Handbook, etc. There is even a special 150 page report (Xephon Special Report) that "every business should have", and can be ordered for a mere $265.00. Thats about $1.76 a page!

If you dont believe this yet, check out the "Year 2000 Information Center Stock Index." It will give you stock quotes on some 200 companies that are in business specifically to handle the so-called Y2k problem. Even C-NET Magazine stated, "Fortunes will be made by companies that specialize in fixing the millennium bug." There is also a section called "Jobs 2000" which opens with: "Welcome to Jobs 2000, the labor exchange devoted exclusively to the burgeoning Y2K industry."

Mundus vult decipi

As the millennium approaches, I imagine we will see the advent of more terrifying cabals and doomsday prophesies emerging  mainly from those who stand to profit monetarily  and the scarier the scenario, the more people will be willing to accept it. The Y2k problem could be one that is destined to be self-fulfilling  that is, its belief will effect the results already foretold. There could be a run on banks (some banks are already preparing for this); the Stock Market could crash; the IRS, by non-compliance to fix their Y2k problem, could be out of commission (I dont see the problem there); Computer programmers may flock to secluded hideaways (no problem again). A whole host of real problems may be created by something that wouldnt have been much of a problem if it werent for our increasing reliance on the technology itself. This suggests the real Y2k problem is a people problem  people who misunderstand the technology, have total reliance on this technology, and are willing to embrace the idea of societal collapse due to technological failure. With hysteria as the fuel of the masses, anything could happen. If we continue to welcome radio talk show paroxysms, and ranting internet madness, then we deserve the frightful outcomes that these questionable venues are in business to promote. Remember, there is no specific media conspiracy involved here, it is simply what many people want to hear and believe. Mundus vult decipi  "the world wants to be deceived".

-- Andy (, February 10, 1999.

Andy, good to see that you can admit when you are wrong. But, your judicious use of the word "lame" is suspect of your intent, and BTW, do you know what a copyright is?

For those who want to see the whole uncut version of my article, please see:

Andy, if your agenda is simply to get rid of me by childish name- calling, try again. Someone invited me to enter this message area for discussions, not flame wars, and I will not address them.

If you have a problem with copyright infringement I suggest you click on the copyright link at the bottom of the above page.

-- Michael Theroux (, February 10, 1999.

Mr. Theroux,

"Many other hysterical virus warnings have appeared over the years  all have been inflated myths."

Who reports to anti-virus companies when one is found? I know first hand of three systems being infected by the Michaelangelo virus in my small hometown. I have personally lost data because of a computer virus circulating in the graphics industry in my current place of residence. For several weeks, we were finding the offending virus on about 20% of the zip disks that showed up at the office.

The point is, just because you don't want something to be true doesn't mean that it isn't. Are you going to blame the insurance industry because you didn't get in an accident last year? --The hysterical warnings from the insurance industry about car accidents are obviously inflated myths.--

Why are you challenging us to find the non-compliant chips? You're supposed to be a journalist right? If testimony isn't evidence enough for you because the model numbers, etc., weren't listed, why don't you do your damn job and find out?

If you aren't interested in reporting on a subject in an informed and unbiased manor, you should really look into another job. You're not doing anyone any good. I disagree about the assertion that you may cost people their lives. You're a hack.

-- d (d@usedtobedgi.old), February 10, 1999.

Michael - I am not trying to get rid of you. Far from it. I have no agenda other than to see that the y2k problem is examined fairly and accurately on this forum. If you call "lame" and "fool" name-calling then I am guilty as charged. I hardly call that flaming Michael. I fully understand copywright - this is an open forum is it not? You are aparticipant are you not? Your web site is open to the public for viewing is it not? This is the land of free speech is it not? Are you trying to threaten me Mr. Theroux for reproducing your article?

And what's with the lines crossed out?

You can't have it both ways Mr. Theroux.

You are being IMHO wholly irresponsible.

By repeatedly telling people, in full contradiction of the overwhelming evidence, that the y2k problem is "The Industry Of Hysteria", you may contribute to the loss of life if you are wrong.

have you considered the fact that you might be wrong? If so then your advice and constant hype on y2k just being a scam on JQP is reprehensible.

If I am wrong, and I have warned people to make simple preparations, then so be it. I can sleep at night. Those preparations will never go to waste.

If you are wrong???

-- Andy (, February 10, 1999.

Well, well...more name calling from the critics. Now I see why all the embedded systems designers I have spoken with don't get involved. They are the ones that told me all I would receive are ad hominem attacks. At least they are right about that. I wonder if they are right about the systems they've designed?

You win people...I'll leave you all to agree with yourselves.

One last thing for the solution oriented: Check out what I listed as the first reference in my article -

Thanks for nothing - You all have my email address should you wish to pursue this further.

-- Michael Theroux (, February 11, 1999.

One last technical note from a hack: The reason the lines appear on this page is because in Andy's reposting of my article the "del" symbol was left in (look at where it started) The problem may actually disappear now that the "hack" has left the board.

Thanks again.

-- Michael Theroux (, February 11, 1999.


-- Michael Theroux (, February 11, 1999.


One last attempt...guess I am a hack... :)

-- Michael Theroux (, February 11, 1999.



-- Andy (, February 11, 1999.


OK, now you've done it -- pushed one of my hot buttons.

You claim that you fully understand copyright. If your claim were correct, then you would know that your action of displaying the entire text (not just excerpts) of Mr. Theroux's copyrighted article in your posting on this forum violates that copyright and thus was illegal.

If you sincerely think that somehow you are justified in posting the entire text of Mr. Theroux's article on this forum because (a) "this is an open forum", (b) Mr. Theroux is a forum participant, (c) Mr. Theroux's web site is open to the public for viewing, or (d) this is the land of free speech, then you are ignorant of copyright law. Ignorance is not a deadly sin; it can be cured through acquisition of further knowledge -- I recommend that you learn what the copyright laws actually are.

The basic reason for copyright law is to allow those who write for a living to justly earn income for their work.

Copyrights are analogous to patents. Do you think it is all right to copy a patented invention without the patentholder's permission?

-- No Spam Please (, February 11, 1999.

Now see what you have done Andy?

BTW, am reading your very good. I'll put a link to it on my website. I'll also post my rant on being prepared from my "Y2k Challenge" page to the article I wrote some time ago - to clarify my position for those who don't read everything. OK, I am out of here now - for real.

-- Michael Theroux (, February 11, 1999.

Andy (continued),

By protecting those who write for a living, copyright laws actually protect free press.

If those who write for a living have their articles reproduced without permission or payment, what keeps them from going out of the authorship business for lack of income? Losing authors because of easy and consequence-free copying of their works would tend to diminish the freedom of the press, would it not?

Freedom of the press does not mean "free" as in "no payment".

-- No Spam Please (, February 11, 1999.

Andy (continued again -- it's hard to know when I'm finished once my hot button has been pressed),

To the reasons which do _not_ justify violating copyright, add "because so many other people do it".

It's the LAW.

-- No Spam Please (, February 11, 1999.

No Spam,

I have already apologised to Michael Theroux privately - point taken - I cut and pasted it in good faith as I believed it pertinent to the cahllenge - my fault.


-- Andy (, February 11, 1999.

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