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Patriotic Graphics -The Story

We have recently made changes to the sites, withdrawing the special graphics pages which had been present on both major tribute websites. 

 

Although care had been taken to make it clear to all readers coming to the sites that the individual graphics, media, sound and other components were, and always will be, the property not of the tribute sites, but of their creators and owners, and that the copyright of the sites went to overall layout, not to the individual content, we have recently been threatened in a rude and hostile manner by two individuals connected with other sites that purport to be involved in supporting patriotism as well.  As is clearly stated throughout this site, the site is privately funded and is a non-profit, cared for and put forth with a pride and sense of patriotism by the individuals who are webmasters here for the sole purpose of being of benefit to you.

 

Despite our clearly stated desire to give credit where credit is due, to any owners or creators of media materials within the sites, Mr. Dennis Johnson of NetOps@OJC.org  chose to write Emails to the webmasters of the site, complaining of alleged violations of copyrights, and demanding that all materials not credited be removed, or a link and thank you be created next to each graphic linking back to the creator. As was explained to Mr. Johnson, we would happily comply, but due to the very prevalent use of the graphics on the Web, it often is impossible to find the true origin of a given graphic, and any assistance in clearing that up that was within his knowledge (versus a generalized statement to take them all down) would be not only complied with, but vastly appreciated. 

 

For those of you familiar with copyright law, the persons who may assert a civil claim through court to copyright infringements are the owners or authorized agents.  Despite a request to clarify which graphics Mr. Johnson complained of, he neither could nor would do so, and he never complied with a request showing that he had any legal right to make a claim to any given graphics as the owner or creator, much less to all of the graphics on the sites.  Mr. Johnson initially stated in his Email that some of the graphics were ones posted at Operation Just Cause.  He declined to state which ones and then went on to state that even if the ones from Operation Just Cause were removed, that is not enough: " So just removing what you can find at OJC AND find at artists sites who have posted works at OJC will not be enough." 

 

No individual has the right to threaten legal action where they have no standing or rights conferred upon them to carry out that action.  In response to a polite letter from the webmaster of our sites asking for this clarification of his status and the graphics to which he was referring, Mr. Johnson gave every indication that he, too, did not know by whom all of the graphics were owned by whom when he stated in (his reply) Email:

 

"OK, so you want to play word games. Your sites will be examined. For each graphic or writing or audio file that you post we will determine whether you have, indeed, given credit where credit is due. But be advised that you are forcing our hand. Make sure this is the road down which you are choosing to travel. . . "

 

"If you want us to do your work for you we will do it through federal court. We have attorneys that have already agreed to pursue this on contingency. You are only adding to your current egregious behavior. We will do this any way you want. But we will do this. The more work you make for us, the more recompense we will seek. Whether in terms of remuneration or public awareness campaigns of this kind of problem showcasing your sites as a prime example of wanton disregard for individuals rights."

 

"We fight for what is right for our POW our MIA and our KIA (bnr). We see absolutely no problem fighting for our members. The ball, as they say, is in your court. Fix this now. Dont make it personal with all these owners. The lawyers are already salivating over class action with wronged owners as one class and illegal users as the other."

 

"Have a nice day."

 

These threats were followed up shortly thereafter by an Email of similar tenor complaining of ALL of the graphics not credited otherwise, from:

Bev Haire (POW/MIA Family member)

 Proud Board of Directors member

POW/MIA Consultant

VIETNAM VETERANS FOR ACADEMIC REFORM

<voices@sunline.net>

 

and purporting to give the following legal advice (and defamatory accusations), although showing, again, no indication she is either an attorney, or an interested party who can shed light on helping give proper credits (she does not claim to have legal standing as an owner or creator of any graphics she complains of).  After stating how appalled she was to find the graphics at the sites, she went on to state (in part): "I would strongly suggest that you remove the copyright designation or properly credit each and every originator. If you do not know from whom you have purloined the material, I would suggest that it be removed from your site in order to comply with copyright laws."

 

She too, did not respond with specifics of which graphics were complained of or her knowledge of the true owners or creators despite a request to do so.  Of even more note is the interesting phrase she utilized in a segment of her Email:  "I am appalled to see that you have put together an American Patriotic site of such scope . ."  Although her Email goes on to talk of her perception of copyright infringements, the core issue with these complaints seems to be the scope and size of the sites, something also referenced by Mr. Johnson.  Up until now, we had presumed that all sites claiming to be in support of patriotism were not in competition with each other, since all were supposedly for the good of and the benefit of the public and the people to whom the sites are dedicated.  Yet now, rather than lend a helping hand to spread the feelings of love of country and support of the troops, instead an attack is made and no clarification given. 

 

We feel certain that the artists originating the graphics in question, would far prefer to have their proper ownership attributed to their work, rather than having someone else claiming to be acting on their behalf, make an assertion as to who the credit is due, when that may or may not be the actual case.  This type of situation is the underlying basis of copyright laws and the reason why ownership or interest is necessary to pursue matters, since attributing ownership to an individual is only a good thing IF that attribution is a correct one.  We decline to be put in a position where someone else, who amounts by law, to what is called an interfering meddler, asserts that A Graphic belongs to B Individual, only to find out that their information is not correct, and Individual C now has a claim of action based on the erroneous attribution.  Worse, as is explained in more detail below, these graphics are available at many of the websites, including similar ones at Mr. Johnsons site. 

 

To perpetuate false information as to ownership would be to cause additional havoc on the Internet, what with the frequency of use of many of these graphics.  A simple showing of ownership or right would have resolved this matter in a way that would have benefited everyone, but the parties who chose to make these complaints, have thus far not provided any information on the artists they claim are due the credit, although they infer that they may know who some of them are.  Instead they chose to threaten us and this site with legal action for ALL graphics used, even though they do not know who may have a valid claim to them.  Part of what any suit seeks to prove is damages.  This obviously cannot be done if the person threatening the suit doesnt even know who properly owns the materials, much less whether they object to their use, or if they have incurred any damages (a situation which is highly unlikely in any case, since this site is strictly non-profit). (Our request for such basic and required information was met with an accusation of playing word games by Mr. Johnson.)  This patently illogical thinking aside, we welcome any information from any source as to persons deserving of credit for any media presented.  However, in order not to compound matters, we also need to be able to research a claim made by persons other than the owner or creator, to make certain wrong attribution is not being made.

 

As some of you may be aware, Trevor recently underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery, and the additional stress of this type of threatening conduct is both unnecessary and unwanted.  We have seriously thought about taking down both websites completely, but we have always considered this website to belong to YOU, rather than us, and we maintain them, in our view as 'caretakers' on YOUR behalf. This is our "small" contribution to the tragic events of 9.11, to Operation Iraqi Freedom, and to the men and women both in and out of uniform directly affected by these events. These sites have, and always will be our own dedication to those involved, and we have said such from the outset.  Complying with the bullying tactics employed by others is not acceptable.  After all, we try to teach our children not to comply with bullying, why should we consider ourselves as any different?   At this time, in order to alleviate the negative effects on Trevor's health we have chosen to take the graphics pages down, even though, thankfully, we do have the professional "in house" personal and financial backing to allow us combat any and all threats of legal action and to even counter with suits of our own, if need be, for situations where persons without right, threaten to bring such suits.

 

 So, for the interim, that is why we have taken down the specialist graphics pages, despite the fact that by far the majority of the graphics are "free for personal use"...and the fact that many others have given outright permission for the use of material.....and we do not, never have, and never will have, any type of commercial aspect to the websites, other than trying to give the useful links to other offsite locations where interested parties may help the different charity causes. 

 

We are deeply saddened that this turn of events has occurred and we hope that in the future, all people can rise to a higher level and evidence a spirit of cooperation which has made our military and our country the great nation that it is.  

 

The Webmasters

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, nor is it completely current as information, news, photos, etc arrive in our inbox daily. However we do wish to thank as many as possible of our contributors and those who have given us permission to use material from their own archives, or who have written articles, poems and other media especially for us.

 

List of private individuals and companies who have given permission for use of material, either in general or of specific nature, or who give permission for free use of graphics and articles for personal use and personal websites.

 

http://www.disabilitynetwork.com/

 

Don Chamerlain http://www.takingbackamericanewsletter.com/

 

Michael Kerr, American Memorial Tribute http://www.werismyki.com/index.html

 

The Presidential Prayer Team http://www.presidentialprayerteam.org/

 

Fern Love

 

Commanding General, United States Army Europe and 7th Army (General B.B.  Bell) in Germany.

 

http://www.lighthouseseven.com/patriotic/index.html

 

John Giuffre http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/september11th/

 

New Beginning Ministry http://newbeginningmin.org/

 

http://welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com/

 

Tom Bare http://www.geocities.com/op_remember/index.html

 

Billy Sharp http://sumfun1.com/index.html

 

Steve Detwiler, Emergency Management Specialist, Orange County FL Office of Emergency Management.

 

Stephen Volk B.A. http://americanfreedom.moonfruit.com 

 

Suzan Vitti www.suzanvitti.org

 

Darin L. Carter, I.A.W.M.D. Chairman http://www.iawmd.com/

 

Ellen

 

Sharon Holli http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/ItisPeke/GodBlessAmerica2001.html

 

Dana Holland http://www.reale.org/911_lady_who_watched.htm

 

David Bailey http://www.patriotwebring.com/

 

David Bancroft
President
Award Sites!
http://www.awardsites.com
USA Patriotism! http://www.usa-patriotism.com/
Poetry Galore http://www.poetrygalore.com/
FOCUS Associates http://www.focusa.com
iClass Sites! http://www.iclass-sites.com
Editor-In-Chief, NetNacs! eZine http://www.netnacs.com

http://america3.netfirms.com/

 

Coyote Jo http://coyote_jo.tripod.com/

 

Jack Christy http://www.homestead.com/injuredbikers/index.html

 

Brad http://bradwrx.bcomp.net/

 

Patricia Welch http://www.patriciawelch.com/united.htm

 

http://www.ladder54.com

 

Lady Liberty http://www.ladylibrty.com

 

Peter Halsey-TopCops http://www.topcops.com/

 

http://www.firehouse.com/

 

Holly Webber http://www.hdw-inc.com

 

Chuck Arthurs http://www.AmericanTopsites.com 

 

Carol and Rachel Cobert Roberts http://www.caannie.us

 

Nightowl & Sir Chancy http://www.sirchancy.com

 

New York City Cops http://home.hvc.rr.com/nyccops/page1/

 

Margie http://www.geocities.com/ladysadiejane/

 

Neal Golden http://www.sgtpleiku.homestead.com

 

Judith Iaconianni
Director/Founder
Disability Network Inc.
http://www.disabilitynetwork.com

 

David Kelly

 

Gwen Loiacono http://remembranceflag.com/

 

Greg Foster http://www.angelfire.com/moon/lit/

 

Doc Tommy

 

Angel Cox

 

Amber DiGiovanniwww.SpeakingOfEmpowerment.com 

 

Susan D Wiseman www.susandwiseman.com

 

Susan Stein http://www.tooter4kids.com/classroom/WTC_tragedy.htm

 

Michelle Leonard www.dukenews.duke.edu/911site

 

Lori Kline http://hometown.aol.com/tjk1989/ForMyDad.html

 

Loree O'Neil

 

Bert Ingley
WTC Miracles
http://www.worldtradecentermiracles.org

 

Kelly

 

Lou Martorella http://inmemoryofwtc.net/

 

Larry Rader http://larry.911photos.com/

 

Debbie

 

John and Bonita Ponca http://quicksitebuilder.cnet.com/bdk811/

 

The September 11 Digital Archive
http://911digitalarchive.org

 

Becky http://dragonwebdesign.net/soldiers

 

Matt Honigford www.expage.com/kidscareacrossamerica

 

Ellyn Hientz

 

Doc http://geckocountry.com/milgraphics.htm

 

Les Isaac

 

Michelle Kramer

 

Michael Collins http://www.qozi.com/dogs/

 

Attacksonusa.org

 

http://www.memorial4wtc.com/

 

www.wherewereyou.org

 

Richard Karlecke

 

Pat Poist

 

http://www.bellsnwhistles.com/

 

http://www.centcom.mil/

 

http://www.operationmilitarypride.org/

 

http://hstrial-sbanner1.homestead.com/supportourtroopsdosomething.html

 

Ron Keller http://ron.keller.name/Blessed/RollCall.html

 

http://militarymoms.net/

 

www.andiesisle.com

 

http://www.tributetothetroops.com/

 

http://www.militarylifestyle.com/

 

http://www.armymomsusa.org/

 

http://www.goodolddogs.com/veteran.html

 

http://www.animationonline.com/

 

http://our.homewithgod.com/ewerluvd/3clogo.htm

 

http://www.cyberteddy.freeservers.com/support.htm

 

http://www.ra2.biz/yellowribbon/

 

http://foxtrotters.tripod.com/animate.htm

 

http://www.netcastles.com/patriotism.html

 

http://www.nhsupportourtroops.com/free_graphics.html

 

http://www.davointernet.com/nyc_pentagon/support_our_troops.htm

 

http://hometown.aol.com/debble111/troops.html

 

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ok/state/troops.htm

 

http://artfightingterror.org/

 

Karina Grudnikova

 

Laima Zlioba

 

Marc Hirchhorn www.hatsoff-usa.com

 

George P. Crofton, MSgt, USAF Retired http://www.goldenwebpage.com

 

 

In addition to the above people/sites we also need to thank all of the mainstream news agencies, particularly CNN, MSNBC, AP, Reuters and Fox News. Also we are proud of all the soldiers who are in Iraq and who have allowed us to use their personal photos. These photos are the only images on our websites that must NOT be downloaded and used without express written permission. Many belong to our daughter, others to her fellow soldiers. As with most other websites, the use of our own graphics is permitted for private use only. Before using graphics that we have a "mouse over" link to we suggest checking out that website for their current terms, most are similar to ours and allow use for personal websites, but always worth checking. Graphics without a "mouse over" link are either our own, or we have not yet been able to trace the original author, a particularly difficult job when the images are so widely used on the Internet. Again, we ask that if anyone does know of the rightful owner to let us know in order for us to take timely action.

 

 



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