Essential Information about High Productivity Publishing as a Business Entity

This is the information that was valid through 7/30/2005. For current information, go to the root directory at http://www.doaskdotell.com/highproductivitypublishing/     (the best current contact page for me is http://www.doaskdotell.com/contact.htm)

Information on domain name usage (December 2003);

Relocation of Business scheduled for August 2003 now completed

See announcement 1/10/2002

Collaborating authors wanted 2/25/2002

Services for authors 2/25/2002

Re-print policy 3/2/2002

Progress Report on Film Proposals 9/2/2002

Sales Activity

Academic Cheating Problem

(NEW: See email and misspelled domain name policy)

Contact Information:

            Mail:  High Productivity Publishing, c/o John W. Boushka 4201 Wilson Blvd Ste 110-688 Arlington, VA 22203-1859. 

            Email:  Please use this form  or compose an email to Jboushka@aol.com.  This user id is now valid only at aol.com.

            Phone: 1-571-334-6107 (leave a message if no answer.  I welcome all legitimate business calls. For business contacts, if possible, it is helpful if the caller does not prevent Verizon Wireless from saving the number as an “incoming” or “missed” call.

All contacts (by phone, email, US mail or private carriers) must be for lawful purposes only.

 I accidentally deleted a message, while distracted by subway noise, from a call on Feb 10, 2005. The call mentioned doaskdotell and, as I recall, “advertising partnerships.” If you made that call, please try again, as I have lost the return number. You can always email the address above and leave only the phone number and your name in the message, if your intention is legitimate.

            (Note as of 5/2003: the 800 number has been stopped because of so many wrong numbers. A customer can always email me or call very quickly first, and I will call back if the customer wants me to take the charges. 800 service has become less important in practice as long distance rates have dropped.)

            Jfax:    1-612-677-3246.

            Mail, fax, and email are normally checked at least daily.  Voicemail is normally checked at least daily from anywhere in the world.  However, any one who wants to contact doaskdotell.com as quickly as possible should accompany a fax or mail-piece with an email.  E-mailing first is strongly encouraged; email is checked constantly. Please do not try to contact me by Instant Message; I do not use or allow IM; instead I reply to emails and calls promptly.

            For my intellectual property agreements (for employers of me) see this link for the full agreement, or this link for the simplified intellectual property agreement (for individual contributor positions). (Insurance issues)

Compliance (General):

            High Productivity Publishing, to the best of my knowledge, complies with all pertinent statutes and, with respect to intellectual property, all common law as normally and reasonably interpreted in case law. Any entity (person, company, organization ,or government agency) with a concern should contact me promptly, preferably first by email or phone. All legitimate questions are taken seriously and addressed promptly. Contact must be for lawful purposes only.

Business Format:

            High Productivity Publishing is a proprietorship wholly owned by one person,  me, John William Boushka. There are no “shares” that can be purchased by the public. I report income from book sales as “other ordinary income” on my personal federal income tax return, and I do not attempt to apply the IRS long-term profitability rules to take deductions.

            Funds to operate the business coming from my savings, personal investments and from my salaried income in the financial services industry.  No money was borrowed; no money is owed to suppliers or to investors. My employer was notified about the business shortly after its formation in 1997, and does not find it to create a conflict of interest. The employer is not mentioned in any materials, and great care is taken to make sure that the “appearance” is not created in public that any employer subsidizes the business.  All intellectual property, both in terms of copyright and the right to use my name (“right of publicity”) is mine.  The business does present itself to everyone online through the World Wide Web (as discussed below), but the business does not advertise or solicit through mailing lists, telephone solicitations, or email “spams.”  There is no reason for me to use any such customer data that I might encounter during work.  

            High Productivity Publishing has no employees.  All external work is outsourced to other businesses.

            High Productivity Publishing does not owe any money to investors.  High Productivity Publishing has not been “paid” by any entity to present a favorable picture of that entity or to withhold unfavorable information about the entity. High Productivity Publishing focuses on issues (and mentions entities in relation to issues), not on “exposing” certain entities or upon giving specific advice about an entity.

Products offered to the public for sale:

At the present time, there are three books, all authored by me: Do Ask, Do Tell: A Gay Conservative Lashes Back (ISBN 0-9656744-0-1) and Our Fundamental Rights and How We Can Reclaim Them (ISBN 0-9656744-2-8), and Bill of Rights 2 and Related Subjects (ISBN 0-9656744-3-6), this last title having been replaced by Do Ask, Do Tell: When Liberty Is Stressed (ISBN 0-595-26059-4.   Do Ask Do Tell has recently run out of its first commercial printing, and publication has been taken over by Writers’ Club Press, an imprint of iUniverse.com, which also offers the sequel “When Liberty Is Stressed”.  The first DADT book is available now only in the new printing, (the ISBN is 0-595-00583-7), as is now the sequel.  In all cases, for consumers, direct order from e-commerce sites by credit card is preferred. Orders from me directly are for the two DADT books (not OFR) are filled by ordering from the cooperative publisher. Retailers, wholesalers (or libraries, purchasing companies, etc) must order from the cooperative publisher.  See the obtain file at this site for details. 

Our Fundamental Rights will remain available through High Productivity Publishing, although eventually manufacture of that book and other planned books may be outsourced or rights could be sold to a trade publisher. There are also plans to develop a bibliographic database. 

Both books may, at this time, be browsed in HTML for free at this site.  However, I ask consumers to comply with copyright law and to follow the “fair use” policy defined at access.htm.   In particular, a customer who wishes to print larger portions of the book texts or to access the books repeatedly is expected, under the “honor system,” to purchase a hard copy of the book. DADT and OFR may be ordered from all major commercial ecommerce sites, and retailers may order DADT from iUniverse (http://www.iuniverse.com/). .

At this time, credit cards are not taken at this site. Checks are accepted, and books are sent (both to individual consumers and to wholesalers) before payment with invoices and an expectation of payment within a reasonable time period.  For wholesalers, industry standard discounts are followed. This mechanism may change as the distribution of books is outsourced to cooperative publishers.  Books are also available through well-known e-commerce catalogs (which do accept all major credit cards). 

At this time, High Productivity does not plan to publish works of other authors.  New authors are encouraged to contact cooperative publishers like iUniverse.com, as mentioned above.  However, any author with unusual circumstances is certainly free to contact doaskdotell.com by phone or email as to the best way to get in to print. Doaskdotell.com does sometimes publish “non-commercially” short electronically essays by other authors with copyright permission on this site. Again, contact by email or phone.  There is no intention to compete with iUniverse or with any other publisher as financial competition (with larger volume media items) is generally understood.  Intellectual property is not a zero-sum game!

Terms of Service:

At this time doaskdotell.COM does not require password logon and does not use cookies, although at some point in the future some features will. (Exception: The Freefind search and Iomega add do use cookies; but the user may, if more comfortable doing so, cancel them if interrogated by Windows, with no effect).  At that time, a normal and customary “terms of service” page, similar to that commonly used, will be provided for agreement before use. Intentional misuse to disrupt access (“denial of service”) is prohibited.

When Updated:

Normally, new editorial content is offered on the first day of each month.

Business licenses and zoning compliance:             

    “High Productivity Publishing” is registered in the state of Minnesota as an Assumed Name of a proprietorship wholly owned by John W. (“Bill”) Boushka. The certificate, dated April 9, 1998, carries the number 02556 / 504648. The type of business is “99” (other).  The URL with the Minnesota Secretary of State is

http://da.sos.state.mn.us/minnesota/corp_inquiry/corp_inquiry-entity.asp?:nfiling_number=205563&entity_type_id=AN&:Nsession_id=&:Ndocument_number=0&filename=-78544463.txt&pgcurrent=6&:Norder_item_type_id=10&:Ssearch_Parm=High+Productivity+Publi%20

The access key is 205563.  Please note that the street address given there may no be longer valid and that the PO Box given above should be used for mail communications (ask by email if this is not satisfactory).

“High Productivity Publishing” is registered in Fairfax County, Virginia, as the trade name of a proprietorship owned by John W. (“Bill”) Boushka. The account, dated Jan. 2, 1997, carries the number 00006382 47236-99.

At one time (during 1988 and 1989) I held a license to use the business name “High Productivity Systems” in Arlington, Va.

I sometimes use the name “High Productivity Publishing and Bill of Rights II” on an informal basis.

I have reviewed the local ordinances in Arlington and Fairfax County, Virginia and in Minneapolis, Minnesota and I am satisfied that the business does not, as operated, violate any zoning ordinances regarding acceptable operation of a home-based business. I do not ordinarily receive customers in person in the course of business at my home.

Having relocated to Arlington, Va. effective September 1, 2003 I am reviewing the requirements again in Virginia regarding continuing using the assumed name. This will be resolved by Dec. 31, 2003.

A Certificate of Trade Name has now been filed with the Arlington County, Va. Circuit Court (as of 12/15/2003). The Account is 013CFN03121500B receipt TN 03000023234l.  A Business License with home occupation permit was obtained from Arlington County on 02/25/2004 and the account number is 007455500.

Deep-links Policy

doaskdotell.com allows and even encouraged deep-linking to specific essays in the site. The best or requested procedure when providing a link is to provide both the exact deep link and an additional root link (http://doaskdotell.com/). The “www” is optional. doaskdotell uses “common sense” when providing deep links to other sides. It will not do so in a manner as to deny another site advertising exposure. It does not do “deep links” to sites (relatively few in number) that have objected publicly to the practice. (In such cases doaskdotell will provide a root link and then provide manual instructions to find the specific file.) Note that so far the courts have tended to rule that deep links do not violate copyright law.

Keep in mind that many newspapers and news services allow their links to expire, and then offer them only to subscribers, or they may sell the reports on a per item basis. If you find an expired link, please check with the news service to purchase a copy of the report. In most cases, a small credit card payment (or subscription) is necessary to the service to see an expired story.

Participation in litigation against the Child Online Protection Act (COPA); other common intellectual property issues:

I am one of the plaintiffs challenging this law, with this website doaskdotell.com as a site potentially affected by the act.  I am sponsored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, of which I am a member. For details, see colpa.htm.  The sites (listed below) and book do contain, for argumentation, some passages with are “adult” but non-obscene and non-pornographic.  The sites and books do not contain sexually explicit graphics or images, or any material which be considered legally obscene.  The sites and books do not contain “hate speech,” weapons instructions or drug-use instructions (all of which may become illegal later), although they do advocate decriminalization of private voluntary drug use. The sites and books do follow the “fair use” doctrine very conservatively in making quotes. The sites and books do not contain defamatory materials, and they do not contain material that would infringe upon the privacy rights or publicity rights of anyone, as these concepts are ordinarily understood. 

Domain names, national registration, and trademark issues:        

High Productivity Publishing operates two Internet domains. This site, http://www.doaskdotell.com/, is set up to offer the two books to the public and provide considerable, rather detailed supplementary material on social and political issues (including especially updated footnote files for the two books, to keep up with current events after publication).  Most of this material is authored by me, but some is authored by others and is reprinted with copyright permission. (See submit.htm for details.) The domain name has been in use since August 1, 1997 and was registered through Network Solutions (now Verisign).

 

The side http://doaskdotell.com/ is set up to develop a proposal for a possible motion picture of play based on the materials of the Do Ask Do Tell book and various other sources.   This second site does not currently offer any materials for sale. The domain name “doaskdotell.com” has been in use since December 2, 1999 and was registered through Network Solutions (now Verisign).  

 

Doaskdotell.com is now merged with h---.com.  Both domains point to the same space. The original doaskdotell.com content is in http://www.doaskdotell.com/dadt

 

Furthermore, most of the material from doaskdotell.com (including the texts of the two books) is offered informally and non-commercially on Hometown AOL under several screen names: Jboushka, JBFreedom, LIBGLIL, and H---.

 

High Productivity Publishing is listed in RR Bowker Books in Print in the 1999-2000 Publisher’s Catalogue on p. 401.  Bowker’s listing gives the imprint name as simply High Productivity.   The ISBN-Agency publisher number is 0-9656744 (with an assignment of ten possible ISBN numbers).  No other publishers are listed by RR Bowker with this name (as of  the 1999-2000 Books in Print).  It is RR Bowker’s policy to point out all duplicated publisher names and warn the consumer not to confuse two entities with similar business names.  Also, since April, 1999 High Productivity Publishing has been advertised on Bowker’s Bookwire website. (See obtain.htm for the URL).

 

It is noteworthy that High Productivity Publishing was originally established to provide a business entity for self-publishing of Do Ask, Do Tell. It is not possible to have an ISBN number without a publishing entity.  It has considered acceptable for self-publishers to use assumed names that are different from their own names as persons.  

 

High Productivity Publishing does not, to the best of my knowledge, infringe upon any registered or common law trademarks or brands, with either its business name or its domain names. It is possible that, worldwide, there may exist other publishing entities with similar business names or domain names, and I have no certain way of validating this or disproving this or of obtaining any information about such entities. I have no intention of interfering with any other business, and I will be as helpful as possible to any customer who may be looking for a similar business that he or she mistakenly may have associated with mine.

 

Note: A search of WorldCat, an online service from the Library of Congress generally available at public libraries, lists an entity called High Productivity Software, Inc., in Marblehead, Mass., as having published 24 books, mainly the late 1980’s.  I cannot find this entity in Books in Print. It has no connection with me or my business. 

 

High Productivity Publishing is not registered with the US Trademark office at this time. (Neither do either of the domain names, and the “doaskdotell” domain name as used here could not be trademarked because that domain does not offer any services or products for sale, as if a “brand”.)  I personally do not object to anyone else or any other entity using similar business names as long as such an entity makes it clear (with a “good faith effort”) that theirs is a separate business and provides a conspicuous URL reference to one of these sites. I do not intend to change any of my domain names or business name if some other entity wishes to establish a similar trademark at some time in the future.

 

Note: The closest trademark match that I have found to any of my names is the “Word Mark” High Productivity Systems, of Seer Technologies, Inc.. This may be located by a Manual Search at the US Trademark Office database at http://trademarks.uspto.gov/.  Again, this enterprise has no connection to my business.  The USPTO database currently shows no active trademarks or trademark applications for “Do Ask Do Tell.”  As of December 2000, there is a domain name reservation for doaskdotell.tv, but this name does not show any content yet, and doaskdotell does not know at this time what use is intended for this name.

 

Recently (during the Spring of 2000), the US Patent and Trademark Office has published guidelines which suggest that individuals with a “non-profit intent” (probably according to the way they file with the IRS according to the 3 out of 5 years rule) may use .org domain names, and .com may have been intended for “organizations.”  At this time, doaskdotell has no plans to switch domain names because of the large number of links already set up. The reference is http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/notices/guide299.htm.

 

doaskdotell.com has no connection to entities that operate similarly (by accident or coincidence) spelled domain or mail server names.  No other variation or permutation or addition to or deletion from of similar spelling characters represents this domain.

 

Similar spelling of unrelated short domain names is common on the Internet.  When corporations use short names for mail server names, they should advise their clients of the need to spell domain names precisely, and they should consider equating these serve names to their publicly displayed websites (known by longer, spelled-out names) with name-server address records.

Again, this link provides more information on doaskdotell domain names.

 

Email policy:

 

Important: As of 1/21/2003, all mail addressed to doaskdotell.com to any user other than one of the following

     Boushka

     JohnwWBoushka

     JohnBoushka

     BillBoushka

     Webmaster

     Postmaster

     Libglil

     Jbfreedom

     h---

  (all case insensitive)

will be bounced with the message at NO LINK AVAILABLE NOW

 

Here was the earlier policy:

 

Important!!  All email sent to either doaskdote;;.com or doaskdotell.com is forwarded automatically to me at Jboushka@aol.com.  This happens even when a server name is misspelled and a specific person on another domain (or employee of another company) is the intended recipient.  I always inform the sender of the error as quickly as possible and delete the email. The reason for this policy is that I want to receive any email directed at either of these domains, even if by mistake, if there is the slightest chance that it could have been intended for me.  If your organization has a server name similar in spelling to one of these please be careful that others know your own domain correct spelling.  As far as I know, this is acceptable Internet practice.  If anyone has a question, please email or call at one of the numbers above.   

 

On a very few occasions, persons have been specified as recipients of listserver mailing lists or of spams with one of  my domains used (specified through incorrect spelling of another entity) as part of the person’s url, by third parties without knowledge of the intended recipient (or my knowledge).  When possible (through the cooperation of such a mail-list operator) this person’s name will be deleted from such a list immediately, but it is possible that the person may be contacted and informed if that person is discernible and if his or her assistance is needed.   There is absolutely no intention to invade anyone’s privacy or to keep lists of names of persons and this is not done.

 

Confidential Information:

 

doaskdotell does not store (anywhere on its server, displayed or not) private information like social security numbers, credit card numbers, or location information. In rare cases email addresses are offered, but only with permission. This is necessary to protect the privacy of all persons from hackers or spammers or, for example, identity-theft criminals.

 

On a few occasions, confidential information has been mistakenly sent to this server (by both business and government entities).  The party is informed and information is deleted and not passed on or used.  However, every party passing trade secrets or other sensitive information on the Internet should practice due diligence as to intended recipients and use encryption and other appropriate security procedures. It is surprising how careless both business and government are sometimes with passing sensitive information on the Internet.

 

A business, even a very small one,  that offers editorial content may sometimes learn of intended crimes.  Communications suggesting a reasonable likelihood of criminal activity (such as child pornography) are reported to authorities.

 

Receipt of email:

 

The recent controversy over spam raises the possibility that it may become illegal to send certain emails without permission of the recipient. doaskdotell grants permission to send legitimate emails of a business or commercial nature when they deal with the issues raised by the site in a legitimate way. Advertising by email (or mail) of legitimate services related publishing, writing, media or motion picture production and distribution is acceptable. Bulk mail of an objectionable nature or promotions unrelated to the site (debt consolidation, mortgages, sexual products) are not acceptable. In the future, excessive spam sent here could lead to legal action. Furthermore, intentional spoofing of this domain name or my name as the sender or spam or other email is prohibited, and can lead to legal action.   

          

Right to Publish:

 

Because both books are currently “self-published” (as opposed to being published by subsidy or trade publisher) through my own business entity, I own the right to publish and distribute both books in both printed and electronic formats.  When I enter into a cooperative publishing agreement with another company for any book (as mentioned above for Do Ask, Do Tell), that company may, according to publishing contract, own the exclusive license to publish for a specified period of time, starting from the first day that the reprinted (and revised) book is physically available for sale. There may, at that time, still remain a very small inventory of unsold books from the first printing at a few distributors, wholesalers or retailers (this would be beyond my control), but this is not expected to have a significant affect upon sales of the reprinted work.  (The size of the first printing was about 300.)   It is my intention that any such book will remain browsable and accessible to search engines on the World Wide Web, subject to “fair use” by consumers as described at obtain.htm.  Some small portions of the books may remain browsable at other sites, subject to my copyright permission. Other materials on all domains mentioned above will remain available to consumers (for free browsing) without interruption. I would add that I maintain a much larger amount of free material on the Web than previously established authors published only by trade publishers generally maintain, since established authors usually have agents or other external entities to promote them or have established themselves previously in endeavors other than writing (such as, holding public office).           

 

Customer privacy, endorsements, and similar legal concerns:

 

At this time, none of the domains mentioned above use “cookies” or collect data from consumers. (See also the email policy above.)  doaskdotell does not engage in mass-consumer contact (whether by email lists or spams, telephone solicitation, or USPS mailings).  Therefore doaskdotell has no incentive to collect consumer data. See also the “confidential information” paragraph above.

 

doaskdotell is diligent about following all legal (statutory and common law) standards in publishing. Quotes are of reasonable length and proper attributions are always given. Other than publicly known persons (such as politicians, journalists, reporters, authors, actors, physicians, scientists, litigants, etc.)  doaskdotell does not present information about any person’s life in any way that a reasonable person could identify.  doaskdotell does not use information, even collectively, from third parties (including confidential information) in any way that would violate normal legal standards. Since doaskdotell sometimes publishes contributions on-line by others, doaskdotell reviews these contributions for adherence to the same standards of legal and ethical compliance.  The views of any book or essay offered by doaskdotell are always those of the author, and they do not imply endorsement (or representation of the views of) by any third party, employer, lobbying group, pressure group, or similar entity.  Furthermore nothing in doaskdotell’s books or essays should be interpreted as an endorsement by any public figure or entity mentioned or discussed.

 

Fair Use of Copyrighted Material from this Site:

 

Most material on this site can be browsed free in html format. The reader or customer is free to save (on a hard drive) copies of materials on this site or print materials, one copy per file, for his or her own personal use. This is consistent with generally accepted notions of fair use under the copyright law. Anyone who wants multiple copies (such as for a seminar or class) should contact me at Jboushka@aol.com or visit the e-commerce sites (amazon.com, bn.com, iUniverse.com) to purchase separate copies of available books through normal means (including credit cards). Details are at http://www.doaskdotell.com/content/obtain.htm. Credit cards are not processed here, but they are used at all ecommerce sites. Checks, cash, money orders are accepted here, through US mail only.

 

We do not currently engage in file-sharing and do not engage in music, video, movie, or software “piracy.” If file-sharing software is installed later, it would be used only to promote materials (such as videos) that I or doaskdotell create or legally own and have the legal right to share under copyright laws.

 

No Implied Abuse Disclaimer

 

The existence of this site, and its reach into many issues, does not imply a propensity or “threat” to use confidential information that may come my way from employment or any other sources. Confidentiality and trade secrets available to me from business sources are always protected in a manner normally expected in business and intellectual property law.

 

Journalism and derogatory facts:  (9/29/2001)

 

This site focuses upon editorial interpretations of issues, public policies, and of artistic and psychological issues.  This is not a “Star Reporter” or a journalism site. Derogatory information about an entity will not appear on this site unless it the information can be first substantiated by “the press.”  This policy applies to materials submitted by others or by the public as well as to material provided by me. The mention of a person on this site or in any publication should not be construed as implying the sexual orientation or any other conduct or attributes of the person, unless otherwise noted.

 

Publicity and Privacy Policy (1/2002)

 

Persons who have been involved with issues of legitimate public importance, or in a material way with organizations that address issues of legitimate public importance, may sometimes find themselves mentioned on the site, in published books or articles, and reachable by search engines. The fact that persons may find some publicly significant activities noted by others on the Internet is a fact of life in the “new world.” Again, purely personal information is not reported unless already truthfully reported by another recognized journalistic source and unless that information has some legitimate public significance.

 

Confidential information, and information regarding possible criminal activity

 

In rare cases doaskdotell learns confidential information about other entities, sometimes through inadvertent disclosure through mistakes on the Internet, or possibly during employment.  Doaskdotell does not disclose or take advantage of confidential information (such as with securities trading) under any circumstances.  In a very few instances, doaskdotell has received information about possible criminal activity, including child pornography, fraud, and violence.  doaskdotell does not disclose or publish this information (unless already published elsewhere) and Doaskdotell always turns over such information to appropriate authorities as the circumstances and reasonable prudence warrant.

 

Advertising:

 

Doaskdotell, as noted above, does not engage in direct marketing by phone, email, or regular mail. doaskdotell does accept a small amount of advertising through a linkshare program. Some businesses, such as travel companies, tend not to advertise on “political” sites, but other companies will. Advertisers must offer products or services in normally good public taste. Tobacco, unauthorized medications, pornography, pyramid schemes, or other services generally regarded as objectionable are not accepted. Advertising is not placed on large text pages where the intention is for the reader to access the text and information as quickly and with as little complication as possible. Doaskdotell does use links and embedded references to carefully chosen feeds (including daily news feeds) that fit the themes of the sites. 

 

Spoofing:

 

Again, doaskdotell does not do telemarketing, spamming, mass mailing, or similar direct marketing. If a customer receives a spam (particularly a pornographic, offensive, or threatening message) with an email sender address (and reply-to address) pointing to doaskdotell.com or to me (Jboushka@aol.com or any of my other screen names), the email was sent by hackers by the contemptible practice of email spoofing.  This is still very difficult or impossible for small businesses to prevent. If you believe that you have received such an email, please call me at the number above or send an email to jboushka at aol.com. I am working with ISP’s and law enforcement as necessary on this problem.

 

A good source on the spoofing problem is at http://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/, that is

 http://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/emarketing/article.php/1142751, a detailed article by Rebecca Lieb May 22, 2002. The technical information on this problem is changing rapidly.

 

 

Business Paradigm:

 

High Productivity Publishing does not follow the usual business model of success measurement in terms of short term earnings reports (or market shares), such as is expected in the investment banking community for publicly traded firms, and which leads to the need for economies of scale in operations and also tends to create issues over “turf ownership.”

 

Instead, doaskdotell is predicated on the idea that, with the advent of low-cost publishing and particularly of the Internet and World Wide Web, an individual may, under his own self-direction and initiative, build a mass of “intellectual property,” publish it inexpensively, and obtain national recognition for his or her work before expecting to be able to make a living off of it. In time, such a body of material would attract a “big trade publisher” or perhaps motion picture or cable television interests from large media companies.  This is not too dissimilar to the “business model” for some “.com” companies (some of which may seek to be acquired).  There is a different kind of “scale” in the intellectual property world. That is, a body of intellectual property gains value (“right of publicity”) by its thoroughness, depth, completeness, intellectual objectivity, and to a certain extent (and this is quite important to me), freedom from the editorial control of others who may have their own adversarial loyalties. 

 

I am sure that there will be controversy over this kind of opportunity.  For example, with a .com domain, an individual may “mimic” a large company, fooling an Internet-naďve consumer.  It is possible for a domain with an unconventional business model and nothing of volume to sell (and with outside private funding) to distract attention (even inadvertently) from a similarly-named and publicly-traded business that happens to be very dependent upon short-term earnings to survive.  (Better known: there has also been a lot of controversy over “cyber-squatting,” in which a person reserves a domain name but does not place legitimate content at it but simply charges a “scalper’s premium” for it later; this has been illegal since late 1999.) Already, there have been some cases where companies established before the Internet have claimed trademark infringement by domains whose operators did not know that these companies existed (and one may ask, why didn’t the company claiming infringement reserve the domain name first?—because the older company didn’t think of doing it).

 

 Of course, in the intellectual property world, business does not follow a zero-sum game model.  One book may actually stimulate interest in and increase sales of a competitor’s book or web site by calling attention to a subtle controversy that the public has previously overlooked.  This is particularly true in areas like gay rights, gays in the military, family values, censorship, gun control, tax policy, and the like.  I hold the strong conviction that some of these issues are much more effectively presented, particularly in film form, in combination or synergy.  Gays in the military, for example, is more effectively presented if a number of stories are presented in combination rather than just one, and when the issue is combined with other issues to show the importance of the issue way beyond the person it most immediately affects.  And I’ll add here, to any studio executive who reads this passage: make a film about this subject correctly, and spend the money that it takes, and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy will be history within a year (and you’ll get your return on the investment at the box office).  doaskdotell welcomes discussions with other parties concerning joint media ventures using these business names or similar names (maybe “Don’t Ask, Do Tell”) based on the political and social problems surrounding privacy, freedom, openness, and responsibility (particularly as motivated by the issue of gays in the military).  

 

        

 

A Suggestion:

 

In any case, I think that eventually there should be some reform in domain naming conventions.  Right now, “personal sites” are usually thought to be subsites of hosting companies, but some companies even use these (as on Hometown AOL) to conduct business. “.net” is supposed to be reserved for entities providing hosting for others, and “.org” for non-profit organizations (not individuals), and .edu, .gov and .mil are clear enough.  Presently, “fair use” of a “.com” domain name does not require processing financial transactions with the public under that name; but fair use probably would require, at a minimum, the presentation of some sort of intellectual property that has some substance and potential “commercial” value (or else the advertising of a business that is operated in the physical world).  Probably, “.com” should be broken down into several designations as to the nature of the owning entity, such as proprietorship, limited partnership, publicly traded company or privately held company (and particularly, if incorporated, according to the number of owners).  Today, individuals set up their own “.com”’s to improve their visibility (particularly to search engines) and presence in the market.  Expanding upon the last node of the domain name would allow individuals to continue doing this without creating confusion and possible accidental infringement upon the legitimate property rights of others. Another suggestion would be that the federal trademark process require that trademark applicants register domain names matching their marks, to prevent the possibility of confusion later. 

 

Note: ICANN has recently (November 2000) expanded the list of possible domain suffixes, not including “.tv.”  See http://www.doaskdotell.com/refer/intelct.htm.