andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@classic.msn.com)
Sat, 13 Sep 1997 12:16:04 -0700 (PDT)

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As many of your know, I have always supported the opening of ope-l and the
opening of the ope-l archives, in the interest of a truthful, public,
historical record. (It is very weird to have to do what I've just done,
publish an article and rebut arguments that I indicate were made on a "closed
e-mail discussion list." The poor readers have no way of verifying whether I
portrayed the arguments accurately -- which I did, of course -- much less who
made the arguments. And, of course, I'm the one to catch hell for
participating in what Ednaldo da Silva has rightly termed a 'secret society,'
even though I'm one of those calling for an end to the secrecy.)

Jerry's latest proposal, it seems, is intended to remove some obstacles to
achieving this. Nonetheless, I have severe misgivings about the details,
because they concede too much to the opponents of openness.

For instance, "anyone who wishes to examine the archives must agree _in
advance_ that they will not quote the contents of posts on the Internet or
elsewhere without the explicit written permission of the author(s)." Taken
literally, this would mean that if an author dies, his/her posts can never
become public (even if s/he gave a general [blanket] permission before dying).
Some other details, despite Jerry's laudable intentions, seem to have the
same effect. So I unfortunately cannot accept the wording of the proposal.

Moreover, some of it is unclear to me. I wonder if Jerry might be able to
explain his reasoning a bit more. For instance, are any researchers now
asking to use the archives? Why the "precautions" about who will make contact
with the researcher? (No rush, Jerry. But when you have the chance ....)

Finally, I wonder what the rights of individual authors are. Do we or do we
not have the right to cite, quote, and make public, documents we ourselves
have written? Etc. I have asked legal counsel to inquire into such matters.
I would not want to agree to anything that would abrogate my existing rights.

Andrew Kliman