Copyright Theft

Why would someone steal ~ and that's what it is if you take something that someone else has made and use it as your own ~ a listing of Famous Masons? There are several reasons:

●  They didn't realize that they were doing anything wrong. Perhaps they thought that 'somebody just left this here' (on the web) and that anyone could simply pick it up and use it as their own work.

●  They thought that because this site was about Freemasonry and they were Masons, they were entitled to use it. (Masons have regularly used this argument as explained below!)

●  An unrecognized/clandestine 'fake Masonry' group felt that they could enhance their image by pretending that they're part of the world-wide movement called 'Freemasonry' and that this gives them credence. Needless to say, NONE of those listed on our Famous Freemasons pages would EVER allow one of these individuals to sit in lodge with them.


Perhaps the most odious and painful experience I've had dealing with copyrighted material theft involved Lawrenceville Lodge #101 of Georgia. When e-mailed the webmaster about having 'lifted' material from here, their Webmaster replied, "How dare you accuse me of of copyright theft! I have assembled my list of famous masons for the past 4 to 8 years from a variety of resources." Now this is particularly interesting since their site mirrored my pages word for word, comma for comma, and typo for typo. To further show his righteous indignation, he added some 13 names to the mailing of his response to me. When challenged, indicating that it was physically impossible for him to have so accurately mimicked what was here without having actually taken it (particularly the commas and misspellings for which yours truly is solely responsible), he responded further: "Did I knowingly, willfully and intentionally copy or steal your famous mason web page? The answer is no. I simply did not know that some of the names actually originated from your web site. I have been accumulating famous mason names from the late 1990ís and did a major rewrite in 2003 to add new names." Yes, he sure did. Again, however, this did NOT explain why there were NO names on the list that did not originate on my listing and further, none of the names on my list were missing from his but, rather, contained IDENTICAL descriptions, word for word, letter for letter and typo for typo. What are the odds, huh? Without airing further dirty laundry, we'd note that the animosity arising from being 'caught with one's hand in the cookie jar' was particularly galling for this individual. This lodge has since placed a list of Famous Freemasons on their site which, again (sadly), is but a derivative work from this site. At their page in 2007 was the claim that the information is taken from Denslow's 10,000 Famous Freemasons. It's curious since there are a number of names on their list that simply do not appear in that four volume set. To prove that their webmaster is untruthful in his citation, one needs only go as far as the third name on the list. Denslow's work was published in 1957-1960. How many humans had walked on the moon in 1960 - or even had gone into outer space? Clue: NONE! And moreover, you'll see on their site that they - unlike essentially ANY other Masonic lodge or grand lodge website - have a list titled "Famous Non-Masons" with (yes, you probably guessed it) the very same names that we have listed on our site. It's since been changed - without apology or acknowledgement of the lie - but he'll have to live with the fact that he did, in fact, deliberately lie to other Masons. One wonders how he can look at the open book upon the Altar at each meeting knowing he defrauded a Brother.

In September, 2007, the Webmaster of Potomac Lodge #100 of the Grand Lodge of Maryland claimed that he had been handed a paper copy of this site's listing of Famous Freemasons and had created his page from that. (So 'someone' would have had to go to the trouble of cutting out graphics and the copyright message at the bottom of each page in order for it to be of an 'unknown source'. Does this seem credible?) He also claimed that since the information had appeared in books, he could use it as long as he "sighted" <sic: 'cited'> the source. Perhaps he'd like to reprint 'The DaVinci Code' on their website and simply 'sight' the book as his source? His claim that he had no idea where the information came from seemed particularly strange in that he managed to retype my personal stories along with EXACTLY the same typographical and grammatical errors that I'd made - but he held fast to the claim, saying "I was handed a hard copy in word format. I did not ask where is came from. I scaned <sic> the document and put it on the site." Setting aside the fact that not one person in a million would simply 'take' a huge list such as that from my site without the slightest question of its source (and without comment by the person making the delivery) but since when can you tell what word processing program a piece of paper is in? Again, deceitful lie! In 2011, we found that their website was defunct.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave....



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