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While I obviously enjoy the discussions, it is becoming difficult to remain
productive while defending my opinions to private e-mail. I have agreed to
keep the specific nature of their letters private, but would like to make a
couple of comments.

I may disagree with Charlie Carter, however, I never intended my comments to
be offensive, insulting, demeaning or personal attacks. I have the greatest
respect and admiration for Charlie and I consider him a friend. He has been
an important contributor to the list for quite some time and I respect him a
great deal as I do others who take the time to contribute to the profession.
AISC is extremely fortunate to have an individual as dedicated to his
profession and as protective of his belief and opinions as to the goodwill
that AISC is providing the industry - a sign of true loyalty.

My disagreement is with Charlie's failure to realize that through his own
actions, he has become a "liaison" (for lack of a better word) between those
in this discussion thread and the AISC. Whether or not he has the authority
to act in this capacity is immaterial as once he responded to the issues,
rather than simply pass it along to his employer or supervisor, he became
personally involved as an employee of the AISC. Charlie wrote me, privately,
to inform me of the possible infringement and he copied his e-mail to Jim
Todd and one other party within AISC. His communication to me was no longer
private and he inadvertently became a party to the issues. His subsequent
post to the listservice acknowledged his efforts to quiet the growing
resentment - not mine as by this time I had issued an apology and removed
the files from my board. He responded to the list a second time, when
responses had, in his opinion, grown out of hand and this is where I
believe, as a self-appointed representative of the steel industry, he
mistakenly offended the members who took the time to express their
disappointment, concern or opinion as to the ethical disposition of the
shapes database. Charlie became a representative when he chose to be
involved in the issues rather than pass the posts along to others for
attention and possible consideration.

What should he do in the future - probably nothing more than he has done
other than to be more empathetic to the concerns of the majority of those
who responded. It was not an issue of right or wrong but as to how the issue
should be addressed. Charlie's comments choose to suppress the concern of
the list members while the apprehension continued to grow. Those on the list
do not want to feel as though AISC or any organization (including SEA)
considers the Listservice as a means to blow off steam without bring a
resolution to the issue. Instead, they hoped that AISC would lend their ear
to what a small but representative group of professional engineers thought
of the issues. Obviously from the responses, this issue had been considered
or tested before.

Charlie Carter is not the problem. The problem is ignoring the issue and
growing concern of those who consider it an important and serious issue. It
is insulting to professionals to express their opinions and concerns only to
be deleted and simply discounted without so much as a response.

I did not create the problem, however I did contribute to it by posting the
files. I attempted to defend AISC on the issue of Intellectual Property
Rights because these are important concerns to engineers. The growing
dissent grew from the Charlie's response and the lack of participation by
AISC when others were eliciting their passionate concerns and doubts.
Possibly, had these concerns been presented to the appropriate AISC public
relations department or policy makers for the serious consideration that
list members paid to the issues, we would not be at this impasse.

Please don't write me privately to air your dissatisfaction with my
opinions - express them publicly where they can do some good. Your points
may offer a perspective on the issues that I and others may not have
considered. When I took the files off the Internet, it was not from
intimidation but from a compelling argument by Jim Todd. I don't think that
I was unreasonable or unwilling to recognize a valid argument and resolve it
by removal of the files. I can assure you that if I am convinced by your
argument that I am wrong, I will apologize and join your side. However, at
this point, I think there is a great deal to consider in the needs of
professional engineers for the support they provide the professional
organizations and the promotion of specific materials in building.

Finally, my appreciation and respect to Charlie Carter for being concerned
enough with the issues to become involved.

Respectfully,
Dennis S. Wish, PE
The Structuralist Administrator for:
http://www.structuralist.net
AEC-Residential Listservice
admin(--nospam--at)structuralist.net