Foundation-Fellowship Meeting April 8-9, 2000
On April 8 and 9, 2000, representatives of URANTIA Foundation met with representatives of the Executive Committee of the Fellowship regarding the Fellowship's infringement of the copyright and marks held by URANTIA Foundation.
The following Executive Committee members represented the Fellowship: Steve Dreier, Marvin Gawryn, Marilyn Kulieke, and Dan Massey. URANTIA Foundation was represented by Tonia Baney, Executive Director of URANTIA Foundation; Georges Michelson-Dupont, Trustee of URANTIA Foundation; Steve Hill, Intellectual Properties Counsel for URANTIA Foundation; Seppo Kanerva, Translation Manager and Chairman of the Council of National Presidents of the IUA; and Nancy Shaffer, member of the Matthew Project Task Force. The Foundation's representatives feel the discussions were positive.
The Trustees of URANTIA Foundation desire to make clear their objectives regarding the protection of the copyright and trademarks. The Foundation is committed to perpetually preserving inviolate the text of The URANTIA Book, as required by its Declaration of Trust. We recognize that some readers may question the importance of the copyright and even question whether the copyright is necessary to preserve the text inviolate. The URANTIA Book itself explicitly states that the fifth epochal revelation is for all of the peoples of the world.
URANTIA Foundation is in the process of translating The URANTIA Book into the languages of the world. As long as the Foundation holds a valid copyright in The URANTIA Book, it can control the quality and content of all translations and can defend against infringing works in any language.
The Trustees regard the copyright as essential to fulfilling the mandates of the Declaration of Trust Creating URANTIA Foundation to perpetually preserve inviolate the text and to disseminate the teachings of The URANTIA Book to the peoples of the world. When the copyright expires, thetrademarks will serve as an identifier of the inviolate text of The URANTIA Book. Accordingly, URANTIA Foundation will take the appropriate measures to protect the copyright and trademarks.
It is also important to URANTIA Foundation to foster dissemination of the teachings of The URANTIA Book by individuals and fraternal organizations, such as the International URANTIA Association and the Fellowship. URANTIA Foundation applauds many of the Fellowship's programs and service projects.
URANTIA Foundation does not want to censor or control the freedom of religious expression by any individual or group, nor is it interested in policing the activities of any individual or organization. A well-intentioned offer by the Foundation to license the Fellowship to display the text of The URANTIA Book on its Web site has given rise to a number of unanticipated difficulties and, as a result, has required a great deal of time and attention. The difficulties may well have been as frustrating for the Fellowship as they have been for the Foundation.
URANTIA Foundation felt it was imperative to take positive steps to resolve the problems concerning the Fellowship's use of the text and trademarks and appreciates the Fellowship's willingness to meet. The representatives of the two organizations met for a day and a half. Prior to entering into these discussions, the representatives all agreed that the content of the discussions would remain confidential. The parties anticipate ongoing communications over the next month. URANTIA Foundation is hopeful that these discussions will lead to an amicable resolution of the issues.
To prevent ongoing problems arising from the licensing of Web sites to display the inviolate text of The URANTIA Book, URANTIA Foundation has announced new policies that invite readers to link to URANTIA Foundation's Web site for access to the English text and the official translations, as they become available. The policies are posted on the Foundation's Web site: http://www.urantia.org/urantia-foundation/urantia-foundation-copyright-trademark-policies
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