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Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 4:28pmSanction this postReply
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Nicole, thanks so much for this post. It's so refreshing to see a wife and mother who is unapologetic about the greater love she feels for her husband. (The idea that a woman could love her children [with whom she can have no sexual bond] as much as her own husband is an especially grotesque application of mind-body dualism.)

While Ayelet muses near the end of her column about her children becoming drug addicts or failing to forge lasting attachments, I expect the case will be quite the opposite. And her wish--that they find a love as passionate and enduring as her own--will mean far more to them than any amount of doting and obsessive attention ever could.

Again, my thanks Nicole.





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Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 5:27pmSanction this postReply
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I have added this complete article here in the comment section because it is only available by payment on The New York Times' website.
Ummm... isn't that called "copyright violation"?!




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Post 2

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 8:33pmSanction this postReply
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Shayne, you are correct. It is called "copyright violation."



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Post 3

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 8:41pmSanction this postReply
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Nicole,

Wonderful article.
And if my children resent having been moons rather than the sun? If they berate me for not having loved them enough? If they call me a bad mother? I will tell them that I wish for them a love like I have for their father. I will tell them that they are my children, and they deserve both to love and be loved like that. I will tell them to settle for nothing less than what they saw when they looked at me, looking at him.
These are some of the most awe inspiring Objectivist words I have ever seen ever pronounced by a non-Objectivist on love and child rearing.

Ayelet Waldman should be invited to take a peek over this way at SOLO. After Oprah and everything, she might be a little busy (maybe even stuck up, who knows? but I don't think so). I am sure that a sense of life like that would relate to what she reads here. 

I suggest you write a letter to her, Nicole, explaining what you did and why. I mention this because you expressed a concern at having done something wrong. If you did, I am absolutely sure that there will be no consequences. Just a little bitching by NYT at the most. Frankly I think she will be flattered.

In the meantime, I will check up on the Internet copyright thing for you. I am not so sure you violated any law - this field is still being defined on a legal level (there are even many state issues on the books, for instance, and that doesn't work at all for Internet). There is a lot of conflicting jurisprudence. I am doing this because I am interested too.

Michael




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Post 4

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 8:55pmSanction this postReply
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The whole point of copyright, Michael, is to protect intellectual property from unauthorized use. The NYT wants to be paid for its work, which is its right. You can link to it; and under "fair use" rules, you can even quote a brief excerpt from it; but you can't reprint copyrighted material without permission.

As a professional writer, I have a special interest in this. I know the poster here intended no harm, but the fact that the NYT wants you to pay for its material should tell you what you need to know.




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Post 5

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 9:31pmSanction this postReply
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Robert,

I did a lot of copyright work in Brazil. Of course you are absolutely correct if taken literally. However, there are two other issues other than the moral one to think about (and I know about this from having lived it):

1 - Without customers, copyright means absolutely nothing. This may not mean anything at the NYT level for one little article, but in general, generating an audience means generating income. Someone who takes an article like Nicole did could generate free publicity. Copyright holders (publishers especially) look hard at this before attacking.

But if a person is guilty of infringing a copyright, is interested in learning about what they did or making reparations, and contacts the infringed party, what I have normally seen (and this is from a Brazil-USA perspective in music and literature over many years) has been a certain good will all around. They work out things in a friendly manner and nothing usually comes of a one-time infringement. That is why I suggested Nicole write the author.

(btw - I did not suggest her to contact the NYT first because this would go straight to the legal department. I see a promise for this particular authoress to generate a greater audience for herself here, which I am pretty sure she will also see, and so she will help smooth things a bit if the newspaper's lawyers need to be contacted. Copyright lawyers can be needlessly gruff at times on first contact without resolving anything or making any real difference - they just threaten and grandstand.)

2 - From a legal standpoint, I am still not sure Nicole violated any statute yet. I have to see. Even if she did, most issues I have seen addressed copyright-wise start with a notification from the infringed party to the infringing party requesting withdrawal of the use of the material. Penalties are only discussed if things go on to litigation, unless of course a lot of money has been made from the use.

3 - From a moral standpoint - well she was wrong if she ripped them off on purpose. I believe it was an honest mistake, though. And I believe that the copyright holder will take that into account if she contacts them first - even if she doesn't. Don't forget that she asked for advice in the opening blurb. (Of course, I believe she will learn and not repeat this error. Still, it is a good idea to act from a basis of legal knowledge.)

Just thoughts...

btw - Can you loan me some of your latest books and articles? I might want to Xerox a couple of them...

//;-)

Michael



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Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 9:32pmSanction this postReply
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I think the word "love" confuses things here, as it is obviously a different kind of love that one feels for a romantic partner versus for their children.  Some  more precise language the author could have used would have been to say that she places a higher value on her romantic relationship with her husband than she does on the maternal relationship she has with her children.  And good for her!  As long as, of course, she upholds her responsibility to raise independent and responsible children (if her relationship is as healthy as it appears to be, then her "leading by example" alone will be a positive influence in that regard).

As for the copyright thing:  the NYT on balance supports Leftism, and Leftism is antithetical to liberty and individualism.  They therefore forfeit their intellectual property rights to Nichole in this instance since she is using their content to support liberty and individualism, counteracting their overall evil.  Rights are CONTEXTUAL after all. J 

Pete

(PS - How's that for rationalism?)




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Post 7

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 9:54pmSanction this postReply
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All:

   First off, my comment about having done anything wrong was in context to the post itself. It was doing strange things on my machine for some reason, and I was afraid that it would not look right or would not show up. I was not thinking about copyright when I was posting and am quite aware of the howling error I have made at this point. I have just never dealt with that realm of law before. I should have only posted an except and explained the rest. I am going to rectify it right away by contacting the author and perhaps the legal department to see what I can do. Hopefully we can work something out. Every effort will be made on my part.

Michael, thanks for being understanding, and thank you even more for your advice. I will surely need it and make use of it. I hope that this one mistake does not brand me an irrational fool. I will set it right. Hopefully she will be flattered, and maybe check out the site and what context it was used in. (Nobody's perfect, right?)

I hope that you can enjoy the article despite my error. Know that it is being taken care of, and discuss the work instead! It is quite beautiful to read. That is why I was so keen to post it.

Thanks to those who sanctioned me despite.

~NT

(Edited by Nicole Theberge on 4/20, 9:58pm)




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Post 8

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 10:02pmSanction this postReply
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Oops...

Didn't sanction you before, Nicole - so take two.

Wonderful attitude of yours. I am sure you will charm the pants off those fuddy-duddy legal people...

Who knows too? Great opportunities sometimes arise from these things...

Michael





Post 9

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 10:26pmSanction this postReply
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This is one of those rare occasions where a mother explicitly acknowledges her sense of self. I love it!

She might take it a wee bit far when she says she could survive losing her children. That shot up a red flag for me because losing a child would crush her. Unless she's nuts. She's just trying to prove a point there I think.

In any event, there's no contradiction between her love for the hubby and her love for the kiddos. Great find, Nikki. Thanks for posting it. 




Post 10

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 - 11:49pmSanction this postReply
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Ayelet Waldman is the author of a series of mystery novels. Next time I have some time in which to read fiction, I'll pick up one of hers. Her New York Times article is already on a dozen sites around the Web - and I really hope AWs royalties from additional book sales will more than make up for any harm from the technical violation of copyright.



Post 11

Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 3:43amSanction this postReply
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Not having read the article yet, I must issue a disagreement with some fine persons here regarding the conclusion.

I think history has shown that a female's bond with the fruit of her womb is much stronger than her temporary sexual bond with any particular dude. (Of course, there are cases in which her bond with her husband is so strong and everlasting on so many levels that it outweighs her bond with her child. But I'm speaking in generalities, and I think throughout history and in an overall sense, the mother-child bond has won out -- and often explicitly competed with and outdone the mother-husband one.)

In other words, it is certainly *not* unnatural for a mother to love her child more.

Alec 




Post 12

Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 3:50amSanction this postReply
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What a beautiful article! And I doubt if you'll have any copyright problem, Nicole, because although you technically infringed the copyright, you did not profit financially from so doing. Please let us know the results of your dealings with he NY Times and with the author.

Adam, when you've read one of Ayelet Waldman's books, tell us what you think of it. If her writing in the article is a sample, I suspect her work is very good indeed.

Barbara



Post 13

Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 4:40amSanction this postReply
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Pete, Waldman makes a clear distinction between loving her children and being in love with her husband.



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Post 14

Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 5:37amSanction this postReply
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Alec said, "In other words, it is certainly *not* unnatural for a mother to love her child more."

Nor is it for the Father. But the article did make the distinction between romantic love and parental love.

Many articles set up a false argument as a structural device, and this one did. There is no evidence other than Waldmans opinion however, that the passion of most mothers and fathers is refocussed from husband to children.

There is only her sneering attitude of superiority to *other* Mothers.

John





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Post 15

Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 11:47amSanction this postReply
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I understand the point the author is making, but I, too, did not like the tone of this article. A few things occur to me:
1) It certainly is fine for someone to say that their husband is their primary relationship, but in the conflicts, for example, between taking care of your husband or taking care of your children, you better pick the kids cause I don't want to pay for them. Having children one must put them first until they are able to care for themselves; both mother and father. If that doesn't feel right, don't have children, but don't wine about taking care of them after the fact. ( not that she WINED, but..)
2) I don't doubt that the primary relationship of my father's life was my mother, but she died when I was seven ( leaving to his care me and three other reasonably young kids, too). My father would never have gone on about the distinction of who was primary to him the way the author does here, no matter what he felt. He would have felt that doing so would overlook the greater responsibilities he had for his children and if read by them might be somewhat misunderstood. I may not be very clear here, but my thought when reading this is that this woman isn't very graceful in how she discusses things. My father was magnificently graceful.
I remember when I was about 10 years old a neighbor's husband ran away with some lover and left her children. My father said that the woman would be miserable, because she would find out that abandoning your children for a passion will leave you without honor and without passion. He said the husband was a lucky man, because he found out what a nothing she was early on, and had three beautiful children that were the best of her and the best of him for his whole life.
God, I miss my father.



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Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 12:50pmSanction this postReply
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I shouldn't have portrayed it as though the distinction was totally ingnored - it wasn't.  It's just that later on in the article she talks about loving her husband more than her kids, and of course, the title of this topic doesn't specify the distinction. 



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Post 17

Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 1:57pmSanction this postReply
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I have some knowledge here that most of you would not have, because I saw the author expound on her points on Oprah. So, here are some answers. 

James: As to your point number one, she is of the opinion that the fact that she does not dote on her kids and treat them as if they are the only ones in the universe that it would be good for them. She says that she teaches them to rely on themselves and not on her so that it is less likely that they will need to be taken care of by anyone else. She takes gives them all the tools to be capable decision makers, and all the teaching that they will need to be moral and independent human beings. I think it is clear from her expression that she attends these "mommy groups" that she is not neglecting her children. She is just not doing for them 24/7. If you should be worried about anyone's kids being on welfare, I don't think it will be hers. ;o)

As to your point number 2, I am first sorry for the loss of your father. He was clearly a wonderful and graceful man. My father was also very close to death a couple of years ago and I almost lost him. I cannot imagine a life without him now.

I can see how you may be insulted by someone who is saying what she is saying in her piece. But when she explained further what she meant, she went into great detail about how the words were meant to comment on the fact that she thinks mothers have formed a romantic attachment to their children that does not belong there. She has spent so much time with other mothers and has witnessed mommy behaviors enough to pass judgement. For her, they have lost sight of how important it is to have a romantic relationship with the father of your children. It isn't as if the relationship with her husband is more primary, but she sees the good in her own fulfillment and how that affects her children in a positive way. Let's face it, it must feel pretty great to come back to a hot date night (in a marriage!) after a long week of caring for kids. Moms don't do this enough, and it is not good for kids to see their harried, harassed, tired, unhappy, unfulfilled mothers: even if they get to see them 20 hours out of every day. She says that she is a better mother by not falling into certain traps that "mommy society" throws at her. Wives tend to neglect their husbands for kids and expect them to understand. But if you've been in a relationship for years and paying exclusive attention to each other for all that time, and then just sever that for kids... it just isn't a recipe for happiness. (Contributing factor to the high divorce rate? Maybe?)

Of course abandoning children is horrific and immoral. She would never do this. She does love her children, but they are not the center of her universe, and I am of the opinion that acting in that way is contrary to the goal of raising a productive human being. She considers that her primary goal as a mom. Others raise ignorant kids who think that they are deserving of the moon and stars with no work. Her passion for her husband (in a way that most of us wouldn't think) makes her a better mother...in my opinion.

If any of you had watched the Oprah episode and seen the way the women in the audience and the others in the "round table discussion" attacked her, you would have a much deeper understanding of what the prevailing attitudes in parenting are. These women spoke of deep personal sacrifices and the like. They had lost the sense of the other roles they play, and the good they could do by being both a mother and a satisfied wife. I think her tone comes from a deep sense that something is very wrong with these attitudes. This bothers us too, doesn't it? Just because children are involved doesn't mean she should sugarcoat the pitfalls of altruism. They exist here too. 

And finally, Barbara... thank you so much for the kind words. It means a lot to hear someone of your experience agree with the beauty that I saw.

I will inform everyone of the conclusion to the NYT issue.

~NT




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Post 18

Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 3:55pmSanction this postReply
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I emailed the author with the issue, and she emailed me back with this: (I don't think she will mind me sharing with you all... ;o)

"Dear Nicole,
Don't worry. Seriously. DO NOT WORRY.

People do this all the time. They paste up articles, email them around. Post them. I didn't even bother to take copyright in law school, so I don't have any idea what the rules are, technically, but I don't think you should worry. I seriously doubt the Times will notice or care ...and if they do, all they'll ask is that you take it down...

I certainly don't mind.

Thanks so much for supporting the essay and me!

Ayelet"

Pretty amazing woman, I think. Thanks to her!

So there we go. No need for any more sentences with this: "??!" 

So, now we can all really enjoy the piece with no guilt whatsoever.

I think we all got a little too excited about the mistake I made. I think this happens a lot on this forum: people are a little dramatic, eh?

Just a thought. Don't excommunicate me. ;o)

Thanks for the support and advice.

~NT




Post 19

Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 5:20pmSanction this postReply
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Nicole- you make your points beautifully, and since Barbara had to email me to tell me how to spell "whined", I will just go over in the corner and lick my wounds.
Seriously, I do understand better the context of her thoughts and I agree that her response to you was "very graceful".




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