Spam is on the rise, viruses abound, protect your computer or face having it messed up by some faceless entity! Fire! Fear! Foes! Alert! Man the Baricades! The barbarians are at the gate! Harlan Ellison is suing AOL over information that was transfered through their machinery in an attempt to block plagairism of his work!
OK, relax, its not that bad. I've just been more aware of these things since my recent virus attack a couple of months ago. There's not a day that goes by now that I don't get a alert that some virus or other has been blocked from entering my computer, due to my ISP's anti-virus/anti-spam programs, and the similar programs I now have installed on my main computer. My spam is now up to something close to 450 e-mails a day, with only 3 to 12 non-spam messages a day. My telephone rings every few minutes with telemarketers, whose calls get killed by my answering machine most of the time. Life is rapidly becoming a series of filters that we use to buffer ourselves from the nastier elements of our daily lives in civilization. And Harlan ought to be able to sue AOL to force them to remove the stolen works and provide the names of the offenders to the authorites if the pilfered stories were posted on an AOL website. That sort of thing needs to be stopped, quickly!
But Harlan's swiped stories were posted on Usenet, not AOL. AOL only carried the files from uploaded to destination, like a phone company carrying a call. Should the local phone company be held responsible for a crank call made through it's system? This time, I think Harlan is chasing the wrong game. His lawyers have led him on a persuit of the deepest pockets, not the guilty parties. If Harlan wins this one, every ISP would be open to lawsuits over the content of information that simply passes through it. That's as if New York City were to be sued for allowing the September 11th terrorists to operate an airplane over the city's environs!
If you are fans of Harlan's, please write him a nice e-mail or letter asking him to tell his lawyers to go after the people who stole his work rather than the people who carried the signal. Any lawsuit against AOL should be for hosting stolen works, not hosting e-mail or file transfers. Even if you aren't a fan of Harlan's, a polite note of disagreement with his lawyer's aims wouldn't be wasted effort. Despite his reputation, Harlan Ellison will listen to reasoned, polite arguments. He simply doesn't suffer fools gladly, that's all. I don't have his e-mail address to offer, but I'm sure that there is a public address that one could use. Google it, if necessary. And remember at all times that Harlan is doing this because he wants to end online plagairism of everyone's work, not because he wants to line his pockets. He has always been a "take no bull" sort of guy, and this was a personal affront to him.
If the truth were to be told, I'm not even that big a fan of Harlan, but I admit that he deserves respect as much as any other writer who has placed his work before the public in any medium. AOL needs to be held accountable for plagairism posted on the websites that it hosts, to the extent that AOL needs to provide information to the authorities for legal action when plagairism has been found in one of their hosted websites. AOL is the world's worst ISP when it comes to forcing the removal of plagairised work, and they need their noses thumped hard, I agree. But to pursue them when the guilty party is clearly someone else is not good for anyone online.
Thanks for your time,
I now return you to your regularly scheduled reading...
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Serialized Stories & Novellettes
Madak -- Part Six
By James McCormick
Jonathon Blake, a divorced ex cop and washed up private eye who hates
his job, is shaken from his inertia when his son goes missing in
strange circumstances. Having few clues to go on, Blake must first navigates
his way through the world of crime and street gangs before he can begin
to learn what is going on. With the help of a mysterious Egyptian
academic and his strange servant Omar, he pushes forward towards a
confrontation for which no one, it turns out, could posssibly be
By Indrapramit Das
The shockwave rippled silently through space, debris searing through vacuum as the cargo unit exploded. The luminous orb of the planet
peered passively at the unfolding chaos, omnipresent, unmoving, forgotten in the moment. Torpedoes streamed out of the spherical
spacecraft like glowing wasps, gently rippling out to shatter the orbital drones.
By Brian Powers
John Latimer, journalist extraordinaire, uncovers a story that can never be
By Brian Pacula
Try to imagine a society where the medium of exchange is bandwith...
What to Change
By Robert Collins
If you could go back to the past and correct your mistakes, what would you change?
The Killer's Choice
By John Biggs
Sometimes the only significance of a man's life consists of one single act.
The Legend of Sj÷witz
By Erica Blaney
"All water can remember," grandmama explained,
"but it has to be taught to remember to remember."
A Matter of Time
By Robert Moriyama
Al Majius and company have a mad uberwizard and a pack of anti-werewolf
fanatics on their backs, but Time is on their side.
Dan Hollifield Previews: "Tru Calling"
The upcoming FOX sci-fi/fantasy TV series for Fall of 2003 Aphelion has been chosen to preview a new fall TV series from the FOX Network.
Dan Hollifield Reviews: "Milky Way Marmalade"
The new sci-fi/humor novel by Mike DeCerto A quest to save the universe just cries out to include Rock and Roll music. Luckily, this one does.
NEXT ISSUE: Dan Hollifield Reviews: "Thran Reborn: Book One of the Thran Chronicles"
The first of a new series of novels by Aphelion writer H. David Blalock!
by Jim Parnell The collected wisdom of Bubba WARNING: Contains Language.
Aphelion proudly presents the installments of Double Wide all on
one page of links. We wanted to make sure that the wit and wisdom
of Bubba wasn't lost for new readers, so we made a mini-archive
list of just the Double Wide features.
A Challenge to
Writers... --8\8\2000-- Not a contest, but a series of ideas to spark off a story.
Challenge 1 is the paintings of Daniel Hannaquand, Challenge 2 is a
collection of narrative hooks composed by Dan Hollifield.
Click here to see the Links Page. Our fellow E-zines, Astronomy,
research material, entertainment, and much, much more!
Aphelion IRC Chat --7\31\2003-- Information about an underused feature for Aphelion. IRC Chat is a fun
way to talk to our readers, writers, staff members, and other
netizens. This link takes you to a basic intro and provides further
links to the IRC software that you can download for free. Look for
new updates as we refine this feature.
Chat --Repaired 3\25\2003-- For a quick look at the JAVA chat client, this link launches a
new browser window that takes you to a Log-in form for a JAVA-based
chat in your browser window. No special programs are needed. This
will be a very simple, but passable IRC client, very no-frills.
This will also tell you if there's anyone else in the chatroom, by
And banner artwork for links. If you want to link to Aphelion and want more than a text link,
then this page is for you. Some of these banners are finished, but
most of them lack only my adding text to make them complete.
Unfinished banners can be completed and e-mailed to you within 8
days. The banner HTML code-- and image --can be e-mailed on
request, or can be more simply copied from the "View / Page
Source" option in your web browser. Finished images can be copied
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Instead of the back issues the banner below now takes you to
the Archives-where all our past stories are available for you to
I've decided to ditch the back issues in favor of the Archives.
The Archives are easier to use and can be indexed by author or
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is a call for it. Thanks for your readership for without you,
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