Foundation/Fellowship Dialogue Update

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On July 7, 2000, the Fellowship's Foundation Relations Committee, whose members are Avi Dogim, Marvin Gawryn, Marilynn Kulieke, Dan Massey, and David Kantor, sent a letter to Richard Keeler, President of Urantia Foundation and the other Trustees. Although Steve Dreier's name appears on these letters, he is no longer a member of this committee and has been replaced by David Kantor.

On August I, 2000, Georges MichelsonDupont, Vice-President of Urantia Foundation and Chair of its Copyright and Trademark Team, responded to Avi Dogim, President of The Fellowship.

Following are copies of these two letters, exchanged in the ongoing correspondence between Urantia Foundation and the Fellowship.


Letter to Richard Keeler from Fellowship's Foundation Relations Committee

Friday, July 7, 2000

Richard Keeler, President, Urantia Foundation
Trustees of Urantia Foundation

Dear Richard and Trustees,

This letter responds Urantia Foundation's June 9, 2000 communication to Fellowship representatives over the signature of Urantia Foundation's Copyright/Trademark Team. That letter raised a number of copyright, trademark, and license matters of concern to the Foundation. Aspects of these matters involving Fellowship policy were reviewed by The Fellowship's General Council at its meeting of July 2-3, 2000.

The Fellowship's General Council sincerely desires to maintain friendly and cooperative relations with Urantia Foundation. Accordingly, in.response to he Foundation's June 9 letter, the Council mandated the formation of a committee empowered to address and, where possible, to resolve matters raised in the Foundation's June 9 letter in a mutually satisfactory manner.

Since the Foundation's June 9 letter raises complex issues of a legal nature, the Council further directed that legal counsel be retained to advise the Fellowship on those matters. This is expected to be accomplished very shortly, after which the Fellowship's representatives will provide the Foundation with specific responses concerning the various matters discussed in the June 9 letter.

As noted in your June 9 letter, the Fellowship has already made various adjustments to its website in response to complaints raised by Urantia Foundation. We have made changes not noted in your letter and are continuing technical efforts to accommodate your concerns. These actions should be taken as a sign of the Fellowship's good faith intentions towards Urantia Foundation in seeking to acceptably resolve the concerns which exist between the two organizations. After the Fellowship has consulted legal counsel, it is expected that further substantial and lasting progress will be made in these matters.

The Fellowship has repeatedly requested a meeting with the five Trustees of Urantia Foundation concerning these and other matters. Our understanding has always been that the Trustees would arrange such a meeting consequent upon the Fellowship's sending certain individuals to meet with the Foundation's Copyright/Trademark Team in Chicago on April 8-9, 2000. The June 9 letter from that team states: “Your report again mentions a meeting with the Trustees. As we have explained on a number of occasions, this group cannot respond to that request. Please contact Richard Keeler about a meeting with the Trustees.”

Accordingly, this letter is addressed to Richard Keeler, President of Urantia Foundation, and to the other Trustees, with copies to the Foundation's Copyright/frademark Team. Once again, we respectfully request a meeting with the Trustees of Urantia Foundation in the conviction that such a meeting will provide the best circumstances for the resolution of outstanding differences between the Fellowship and Foundation, and set the stage for lasting peaceful and cooperative relations between the two organizations.


The Fellowship's Foundation Relations Committee
Avi Dogim
Steve Dreier
Marvin Gawryn
Marilynn Kulieke
Dan Massey

Cc: Urantia Foundation Copyright/Trademark Team
Tonia Baney
Steve Hill
Seppo Kanerva
Georges Michelson-Dupont
Nancy Shaffer


Letter from Georges Michelson-Dupont to Avi Dogim

August I, 2000

Via email and Certified Mail
Return Receipt Requested

Avi Dogim, President
The Fellowship
529 West Wrightwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614

Dear Mr. Dogim,

On July 7, 2000, you, as President of the Fellowship, sent a letter to Richard Keeler, President ofUrantia Foundation, responding to the June 9 letter sent to you by Urantia Foundation's Copyright and Trademark Team. The Trustees ofUrantia Foundation have referred your letter to me, as chair of the Copyright and Trademark Team. Mr. Keeler will respond to the matters in your letter unrelated to copyright and trademark.

The Foundation's concerns about certain materials displayed on the Fellowship's website started several years ago when, without the knowledge of Urantia Foundation, the Fellowship put the English text of The Urantia Book on its website. About the same time, and also without Urantia Foundation's knowledge, the Fellowship began displaying the French, Spanish, and other translations on its website. At some point, it also began to display the trademarks of Urantia Foundation, without pennission or proper attribution.

In order to protect Urantia Foundation's rights and to support the Fellowship's outreach efforts, the Foundation offered the Fellowship a license, which was rejected.

After numerous discussions between Trustee Mo Siegel and Janet Farrington, then President of the Fellowship, Ms. Farrington indicated that the Fellowship would accept the terms of the license offered by Urantia Foundation but preferred to characterize this as an “agreement'' rather than a “license.” Subsequently, David Kantor, a member of the Fellowship's Executive Committee and its Web Master, repudiated any license agreement with Urantia Foundation, although Mrs. Farrington finally took the position that there was a license.

Since the Fellowship notified Urantia Foundation that it accepted the conditions for a license, the Fellowship's website has not fully met these conditions.

For example, the English text displayed on the Fellowship's website is not Urantia Foundation's text. Also, the Foundation did not license the Fellowship to display translations on its website, notwithstanding that the Fellowship's website displays all or part of several translations. In addition, the Fellowship was not licensed to use Urantia Foundation's trademarks, and the marks are displayed on the Fellowship's website without proper attribution.

Over the past several years the number of infringements on the Fellowship's website has increased. The Foundation and the Copyright and Trademark Team have patiently worked with Fellowship representatives to render the Fellowship's website fully legal and infringement free. In October 1999, in a letter from Urantia Foundation, the Fellowship was asked to remove the infringing material from its website. In response, the Fellowship wrote to Urantia Foundation, saying that it wanted a meeting with the Trustees. The Trustees felt the discussions between Janet Farrington and Mo Siegel (which lasted from October I998 to June 1999) had been less than successful, so the Trustees decided to appoint a committee, headed by a Trustee, to deal with this matter. The Copyright and Trademark Team is that committee.

The Trustees mandated our committee to make a list of the infringements on the Fellowship's website and to request that the infringing material be removed. The Trustees asked that we personally meet with representatives of the Fellowship to discuss the infringements. We met in early April. In accordance with the Trustee's instructions, we asked the Fellowship to remove the infringing material from its website within 30 days. During those 30 days, some of the infringing material was removed. We then received a report from the Fellowship that left most of the important issues unresolved. We wrote back on June 9, asking once again that the infringing material be removed from the Fellowship's website. We requested that this be done by July 7. Recent visits to the Fellowship's website indicate that progress toward removing infringing material has at least slowed, has probably stopped, and appears to have regressed.

Your July 7, 2000 letter was not sent to our team but to the President of Urantia Foundation. You wrote that the Fellowship's General Council “mandated the formation of a committee empowered to address” these issues and “directed that legal counsel be retained to advise the Fellowship.”

The Foundation's Copyright and Trademark Team is authorized by the Trustees to handle communications pertaining to the infringements on the Fellowship's website. We once again respectfully request that all of the infringing material on the Fellowship's website be removed. Please do so by October I, 2000. This is the third time our team has made this request.

Your letter suggests that you wish to discuss these issues further. Our team would be glad to meet with you. We should reserve a date now so as to allow time for the complete removal of the infringing material not later than October 1. For your information, all the members of our team will be in New York in early August.

If the Fellowship chooses to retain the infringing material on its website after October 1, our team will make an appropriate recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

If you have questions, please call or e-mail me.


Georges Michelson-Dupont
Vice-President of Urantia Foundation Chair of Copyright and Trademark Team

Foundation Info

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