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#16786 - 06/13/03 06:31 PM Re: Comments from Dean Russell, A Survivor Himself
Greg_Sackett Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/14/01
Posts: 225
Loc: KC, MO
Aardwolf,

Is the weather bad up there in Canada or something? I don't think the sarcastic attacks are really necessary. Mr. Russell was simply trying to explain that if you end up in a situation like this you are going to have to expect people to talk about it. If Mr. Ralston is so concerned about the publicity I doubt he would be on television just about every day.

I think the concerns that Doug and others have expressed on this forum are that Mr. Ralston doesn't have the right to say that we can't talk about him in this forum, whether he did anything stupid or not, especially since this is a non-profit organization that isn't looking to make money off of his name. I don't believe that we are slandering his good name or causing him emotional pain or financial hardship. This is an educational site, and we are discussing the situation in order to learn from the events.

And personally, while I credit Mr. Ralston with his courage and determination to amputate his own arm and proceed to make his way out of the canyon, and his demonstrated thoughtfulness to bring ample water on his hike, it is a shame that he didn't simply let someone know where he was going. It very likely could have saved his arm (and yes that is pure speculation on my part). Hopefully others will learn from this lesson and be more attentive to this important survival tactic.

Greg

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#16787 - 06/13/03 06:41 PM Re: Comments from Dean Russell, A Survivor Himself
Anonymous
Unregistered


Please note that the cease and desist letter doesn't raise the issue of slander or liabel only intellectual property. If Mr. Ralston were concerned about his reputation or good name he would be litigating over slander or liabel. The only value of securing his intellectual property is so that none other than himself will profit from this valueable property. I am certain that the lawyer is not writing these letters for free. He may be writing them on speculation that there will be enough value proceeding from the activity to pay his fees or he may have already been paid by Mr. Ralston who, likewise, must feel that there is enough value in his intelectual property that he can recoup the fees paid to the lawyer. It is not much of a reach to conclude that the intent here is to safeguard this valuable intellectual property in order to later capitalize upon it in the form of book, TV or film version of the story.

The weekness of prosecuting any web site based upon local laws is already been proven by large precedent. If Mr. Ralston were concerned about slander or liabel then he could be prosecuting on much broader laws.


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#16788 - 06/17/03 08:25 PM Re: Aron Ralston Threatens Doug and ETS
Anonymous
Unregistered


The fact is that Aron's name and story were being used to pitch products. You read it and it came straight from the web site. Aron's name was being used to SELL survival equipment, that is where the problem lies. Not in telling a news story, but in the fact that his name is being used to sell products. THAT is just wrong. I hate to say it but I think Aron is a little too busy to worry about reading web pages, he has people looking out for him. There have been no complaints or lawsuits against the news media, or message boards BUT when you use his name to pitch your product that is where you cross the line. It's funny how you can ridicule him for making money off his ordeal and yet that is EXACTLY what you were doing by using his name to pitch your products. I read the page, I saw the ad and I am disgusting by it. I am even more disgusted that you are lying to these people by making it seem as though the letter was written because you were discussing his story instead of the truth which is you were USING his story to make money. What a hypocrite!

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#16789 - 06/17/03 08:50 PM What is the lawsuit really about
Anonymous
Unregistered


Come on now, let's tell it like it is!!! They were using Aron's name to SELL PRODUCTS. You can't do that. If someone used your name to sell a product I'm sure your family would be all over it too.

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#16790 - 06/17/03 08:59 PM Re: Aron Ralston Threatens Doug and ETS
Anonymous
Unregistered


You're really Aron, aren't you?

I dont' believe Aron's name was being used to sell products. It was being used as an example of a case where a PLB would have come in "handy".

~W

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#16791 - 06/17/03 09:05 PM Re: What is the lawsuit really about
Anonymous
Unregistered


ETS doesn't sell products. ETS reviews products impartially and has a non-profit relationship with the product manufacturers. ETS doesn't recieve any compensation from manufacturers or retailers for these reviews. ETS doesn't stand to make a penny from the sale of any product reviewed nor to lose money if these products do not sell. If ETS chooses to use Mr. Ralstons story to exemplify the value or utility of a class of products then that is just what it is and nothing more. Please re-read the article yourself. Mr. Ralstons story was used to highlight the utility of a class of products without specifically mentioning a specific product brand or model because even the manufacturers of these products haven't put them on the market yet. This is equivalent to saying "you don't need to have your loved ones burn't to a crisp like Mr. Jones because as of december '04 someone else, whom I have no commercial relationship with, will be finally allowed by the government to sell fire extinguishers, which up till now they have not been able to sell.

If you cannot see the distinction... 8(

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#16792 - 06/18/03 12:03 AM Re: What is the lawsuit really about
aardwolfe Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 923
Loc: St. John's, Newfoundland
Well, here's a link to the article in question so everyone can judge for themselves:

http://www.equipped.org/plbpresentation.htm

I note the third paragraph:

"Doug Ritter is the nation's leading consumer expert on the subject of PLBs and is available to speak to your group about this extraordinary new lifesaving technology."

Sorry, but IMO this goes slightly beyond simply promoting a new life-saving technology; Doug is advertising his services as a guest speaker (which I doubt he is doing for free).

Whether this makes the web page in question a commercial use of Aron Ralston's name or not is not clear to me - probably even the lawyers are disagreeing on it. But I think it makes Doug's case weaker than he is making it out to be, and it strengthens Ralston's argument that he is not opposed to free speech in general (as you claim) but rather, to the unauthorised use of his name in what he perceives to be a commercial sales pitch.

In any event, the question will not be decided here.

_________________________
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."
-Plutarch

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#16793 - 06/18/03 12:32 AM Re: Aron Ralston Threatens Doug and ETS
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1947
I think you are rather confused. Please quote to us the exact text where either myself or Equipped To Survive are profiting by selling products using Aron Ralston's name as you allege. I'm guessing that will be pretty difficult for you to do. The only products currently being sold on Equipped To Survive are a cap and knife with the ETS logo. In neither case is Aron Ralston's name mentioned.

Ralston's name is used as an example of a person who might have benefited from some technology currently being introduced to this country that can save people in similar situations the unfortunate experience he went through.

Despite your, and their, accusations, the facts are very clear. We are not selling PLBs. We are not even selling seminars about PLBs. We are simply a non-profit entity trying to save lives. The laws are also very clear. Mr. Ralston cannot prevent the legitimate media, and we are part of the legitimate media, from using his name and experience as an example with which to illustrate any point we care to make. If you have not done so recently, you might want to reacquaint yourself with the Bill of Rights.
_________________________
Doug Ritter
Editor
Equipped To SurviveŽ
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation
www.KnifeRights.org
www.DougRitter.com

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#16794 - 06/18/03 04:04 AM Re: Aron Ralston Threatens Doug and ETS
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Forgive my late reply. I didn't see all of your post earlier. There are no flukes in nature, excepting on cetaceans. What befell Mr Ralston and my party have utterly no difference. He failed to take certain pretrip precautions and had a boulder fall on his arm. My whoefully ill led party somehow circumvented, overlooked and ignored every rule and guidelines for the islands. Had I been pinned by a pygmy mammoth femur the result would have been the same. I would be remiss not to address Doug's "profit" motive in giving lectures. Doug is a recognised member of the safety/survival community. I can personally attest that his efforts return little enough for the investment in time and energy. Shall we dock the pay of Coast Guardsmen,Firemen and paramedics who make reference to incidents? But then some people begrudge songbirds their voice. In closing, individuals who register solely to post attacks in the safety of faceless anonymity also lack the collection of vertebrae one would attach to said structure. But then this incident seems to center on the progressive loss of body parts.

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#16795 - 06/18/03 05:27 AM Re: What is the lawsuit really about
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1947
Actually, you are wrong and I'd appreciate an apology for impugning my good name. Just to set the record straight, virtually all my talks are done for free with the organizations picking up only expenses, and not even that in some cases. Of the six talks I have given so far this year, only three even picked up expenses. I or the Foundation occasionally receive a modest honorarium, but that is not normally a condition for accepting a speaking engagement and has never covered the actual cost involved in developing these talks, even if figured at minimum wage. Let me make this very clear; this isn't a business, period. God knows my wife wishes it was.

So, even if the argument that we were using his name to promote a business held water from a legal perspective, which it does not because his name is technically not being used in that manner, it would fall apart because there is nothing being sold. Whether you want to believe it or not, that's the way it is, and I have the fiscal bruises to prove it. <img src="images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Doug Ritter
Editor
Equipped To SurviveŽ
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation
www.KnifeRights.org
www.DougRitter.com

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