If you are reading this, obviously New York Life has not shut me down, and it is likely that they have no wish to do so. Should NYL choose to let me know that the existence of this site is "ok" with them, I will post such notice here.¹ It is published on the web without their specific prior knowledge, approval, authorization, or verification.
Even if NYL should like this site, they cannot ever actually endorse it. This would open them to a lawsuit from some jerk -- "The Visible Policy said such and such, and it didn't happen! Give me $2,000,000".
As you read below, it will be obvious that I have strong feelings about the rape of our Constitution by intellectual property attorneys, who would restrict the right of free speech into domains of corporate ownership. I'm not too excited, either, by the judges, juries, and legislators who have completely thrown away common sense.
Patents are good. Copyrights are good. Trademarks are good. Just make sure something real, unique, and not already public, is protected. Patenting the mathemetical 'xor' operation applied to graphics is absurd, yet it was allowed. Trademarking a "look and feel" is so tenuous of a concept, the judge should have immediately dismissed the first such attempt. Restricting publication of easily deriveable algorithms and methodologies as if they were some sort of "trade secret" is a direct violation of free speech in favor of corporate greed.
When special priveleges are granted, make sure that the legal grant protects the originator of the idea, not 2nd-rate charlatans who happen to market it first. "Prior art" should be (but for some reason is not) considered an absolute defense.
-- on to the show --
Mr. or Ms. Intellectual Property Attorney,
I hope New York Life is not wasting money paying for your "services". Since NYL management has shown alarming signs of thinking like normal American Corporate types, it is possible their other lawyers convinced them how necessary you have become in "today's world".
If you exist, and the The Visible Policy has come to your attention, here are some items you should consider. (If you don't exist, please ignore this message. It does give me a splendid opportunity, though, to rant, rave, and grandstand.)
-- Rich Franzen, stepping off the soapbox
|¹ While the below email is not a formal "your site is ok with us" from the New York Life Insurance Company (NYLIC), it comes quite close. Still, I'm keeping this page for historical purposes. The above was written in May 2001, and I had actual concerns that NYLIC might frown upon this site, as well as its sister, the Life Insurance GlossPinion.|
Date: 7/30/2004 10:05:56 -0400
From: "David A. Harland/NYLIC" <email@example.com>
To: "Rich Franzen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: our mutuality correspondence now posted to the Visible Policy
Dear Mr. Frazen:
Thank you for your note. Once again we appreciate your kind words about the Company's decision to remain a mutual and for including our response to your letter on your website.
From: "Rich Franzen" <email@example.com>
Hi. In September/October of 2002, I wrote NYLIC and you kindly replied. My letter stated that this correspondence would become part of the Visible Policy. Finally, it is. Here is the URL for the new page:
It is possible there are errors; I retyped the letters by hand. Let me know if you see something I need to correct.