Dan Winter's Work Again Available Online
Several months back, in the article Spirituality and Intellectual Property Rights, we told you part of the story of the saga of the battle between Dan Winter and Stan Tenen's Meru Foundation. This was a very nasty copyright battle, and the federal court's decision dealt a severe blow for First Amendment rights in the United States. The fact that Tenen and his group even pursued the case shows their stripes. Neither Tenen nor his organization are interested in increasing our storehouse of knowledge unless they can hold the copyright and profit from that knowledge.
The court's ruling was unfortunate in other ways, since it ordered Dan Winter's web site “confiscated;” that the contents be made unavailable for public viewing. Also, if we understand the ruling, Winter was also forbidden from any further publication of his research into the relationship between the Golden Mean derived spirals and the “flaming letters” of the Hebrew alphabet; despite the fact that the visualization of Hebrew letters surrounded by flames is a concept that goes back to ancient times and is nothing invented or discovered by Tenen. The publication of Winter's book on the subject, which had been due last year, has also been canceled due to the ruling.
In our opinion, the ruling amounted to nothing less than a court ordered book burning. The loss of this material to scientifically minded members of the spiritual community has been devastating. Although Tenen's camp derided Winter in court, painting a picture of him as deranged and obsessed, we have known for years that he possesses one of the finest minds in the New Age. The claim that he was plagiarizing Tenen's work is also somewhat laughable, since we have first-hand knowledge of the fact that he was working on the relationship between the Hebrew letters and the Golden Mean long before he happened to stumble across Tenen's work. Although he might have been guilty of “borrowing” some graphics that weren't his to use (to give Tenen the benefit of the doubt), the court's ruling was much too broad, and did not serve the public interest. In other words, the court took what should have been a technical adjustment and turned it into a witch hunt.
The good news is that some Europeans have evidently discovered a loophole in the judge's ruling that has allowed them to publish some of his work online at http://spirals.eternite.com. We would suggest, however, that if this work interests you that you should copy it immediately, since it's probably only a matter of time before the folks at Meru decide that their profit motive and “pure” vision is greater than your right to know and think for yourself. Just as the fundamentalists believe that only they can interpret the Bible, so does Tenen and his group believe that only they understand the Hebrew letters.
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