STC Articles Online

Subject: STC Articles Online
From: Betsy Maaks <bmaaks -at- FRAME -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 1995 14:24:07 CST

Today, you wrote:
>Recently, I posted a question to TECHWR-L because I've been looking for
>technical writing articles on the Web, particularly
>those related to software documentation, and haven't been having much luck.

>Betsy Maaks responded to me that the STC Internet Committee has discouraged
>Chapters and STC PICs from putting full articles online because it reduces
>the value of being an STC member. <snip>

>I encourage you to seriously consider putting some STC research (including
>chapter newsletters or some of their articles) on the web as a service to
>writers who could really benefit from the information and who could be
>potential STC members. I may be naive, but I thought the STC was more
>concerned about service to the field than the bottom line. Am I wrong?


You neglected to mention the other part of my message: most publications
will require reprint permission and a fee for the privilege. This protects
their investment in other's works and words, as well as uphold the copyright
prerogative of the author(s). By putting everything online for the
convenience of those who might copy indescriminately, we might bypass the
rights of copyrighting and protecting our works and words from others using
them incorrectly. (Look at previous posts on "Copyright ethics summary," Tim
Lewis 10/9/95. If you don't have this post, I will gladly forward it to you.)

I would say that your last comment about STC's bottom line is not the
correct meaning. I asked you to think about the value of YOUR dollar that
you send to STC -- what do YOU get for it? You get great newsletters, a
quarterly journal, an annual conference, etc. It is not STC's bottom line in
question -- rather it is your's and the value you put on what you receive
from the STC. If you think everyone should be entitled free of charge to all
that you receive by being a paying member, I can only say that I think your
point of view is different from the STC's and its officers who are trying to
uphold the value that other members receive from their dues.

Unlike you, I will not post this message to the list. I am not sure that you
have thought this argument through completely. I ask you to reconsider your

Betsy Maaks

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