A Cosmic Review Removed

Reply to Urantia Book reviewer asking not to reproduce his article.

Originally, this page carried a copy of a short review of The Urantia Book, written by one Steven Kosek and published in Oui magazine in the early 1970s, under the title "A Cosmic Bible." On 1997-Aug-13, I received an email from Mr. Kosek refusing permission for reprinting his review and insisting I remove it from my website. What follows is my email sent to him in response. Obsolete portions have been marked out with a line through them and corrections added [in brackets in this color].

Wed Aug 13 20:43:14 1997
From: mindful@sprynet.com [mindfulguy@mindfulwebworks.com] (Don Tyler)
To: SteveKosek@aol.com
Subject: Re: Review has been removed

Re: your email of Wed, 13 Aug 1997 15:31:22 -0400 (EDT)

Mr. Steve Kosek:

I removed your Urantia Book review from my website (both on the main and the twin sites, http://home.sprynet.com/sprynet/mindful/cosmic.htm and http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/mindful/cosmic.htm) immediately upon receipt of your message.

When I go online to Compuserve shortly, I will remove the material from Compuserve's Religion Forum (on Compuserve, GO RELIGION, Library 6: Interfaith Dialogue Library, filename UBOOK.TXT[75775,473]). My having posted it there is solely my responsibility, and neither CompuServe nor the Religion Forum managers at the time or since should be considered liable.

Please note that in both the above instances, I gave notice that the material was authored by you, was posted without your permission, and solely for purposes of religious edification and discussion. While this might be (expensively) arguable under copyright law, I certainly will not stand by that argument if it is against your wishes that the material continue to be so used. (I suppose I also made the excuse to myself that the review was brief, minor, and relatively unavailable enough, but none of these, I know, is a valid argument for my actions.)

This evening, I will also alter the UB Comix currently posted on my website (http://home.sprynet.com/sprynet/mindful/ub05pg02.gif seen on the page http://home.sprynet.com/sprynet/mindful/ub05pg02.htm and the mirror file on my Compuserve website) [see: Theories of Origin Considered] which makes use of a relatively unreadable copy of the article for humorous purposes, so that the main material is more assuredly unreadable, keeping clear the relevant quote necessary to the cartoon. I will presume, unless I hear from you otherwise, that this is satisfactory.

Looking at the printed version of the same comic, the copy of your material is more clearly readable (although likely to cause severe eyestrain). In distributing any further copies of the comic, I will also mark over the article to ensure that it, too, is unreadable. Again, I will presume, unless I hear from you otherwise, that this is satisfactory. If you wish, I will mail you a copy of the printed version for your records. (With the article as it originally appeared, and altered as proposed, if you wish.) UB Comix are not for profit, although a few people have made donations to support printing and postage. Of the original 200 printed copies of the issue (#5) in which your review was used, I still have about 80.

Please accept my sincere apologies for use of your material insofar as you hold it to be in violation of your copyright. No harm to you or your rights was intended, and if you determine that I have caused injury or loss, please let me know that I might make it up to you.

If it seems by the above that I have taken liberty with your article, know that the use was a gradual process. I have the original, laminated, as a bookmark, and have enjoyed showing it to fellow students of The Urantia Book for over two decades. I first shared it with fellow students of the book, and of religion, through Compuserve over ten years ago. While my having posted it on the Religion Forum library without permission may be objectionable to you, I do want to tell you that it is the oldest and most-downloaded file, of many relating to The Urantia Book, in the Religion Forum libraries. And when I first started my personal website, I copied your article to the web in the same spirit of education and discussion as intended in posting it on Compuserve. Its use in UB Comix was a bit different of a motivation, to show a bum finding golden tablets in a slum. You say you didn't originate that rumor. Thank you for the information. It was perhaps unfair of me, in light-hearted intent, to suggest on my web page that it might be your contribution to the mythology, but it was the most outlandish version of its origin I'd ever heard, and I was glad to have seen it, and have it as an excuse for my cartoon.

To make full confession, I have even made photocopies of the article, laminated, as gifts for fellow Urantia Book students. Regardless of the unpleasant legality of the circumstances of our coming to correspond, I am glad to finally have made enough of a noise about it that I should hear from you. I have always wondered about you, and have always wanted to be able to tell you in person how I and many have enjoyed that little review, although I suppose my excesses in use of it might have made that admiration less than admirable to you. While I'm aware that copyright holders (myself included) do not much consider bootlegging as flattery, please nevertheless try to accept my broad use, or abuse as the case may seem, of your material as an accolade. Of all the many words written about the UB which I have read over the past twenty years, some critical and many self-inflated, your few light, wry remarks remain at the top of my recommended list, a rare gem found in a most unlikely place!

I regret if I seem to you to have transgressed your rights in my enthusiasm. I really did often give thought, if insufficient action, to trying to find you and seek permission for reproducing the article.

If you won't grant permission for me to have the review on my website, or otherwise, please, if you should ever post the material yourself to the web, I would like to be able to have a link to it from my site. If it is more readily available in some republication, let me know that, also. At the very least, please if you know tell me in which issue of the magazine it appeared, so that I can after all these years get that in my records.

:Don L. Tyler, Washington County, Oklahoma

A copy of this email will be posted in place of and under the former filename and URLs of the article.

[Note: When I went to remove the file from Compuserve, it was already gone.]

Surpised hobo