The people who paid for Cogitations I were given NO notification that service was about to cease and they needed to print out or archive the material they paid for.
Ok, here are the facts.
Good faith efforts were made to contact each member via e-mail about the cut off date for the material.
Ask Joe Turner or the other folks here who got those multiple notifications. The e-mails went out and they went out to every address in the database.
While I think Mr. Youell could have handled things a bit more gracefully (as has been mentioned), the mass e-mailings did go out.
I created and ran the website and will say that I tested (via several test accounts) that the e-mails from the system were being sent out properly. For various reasons that I enumerate later in this post, it's possible that some didn't get the e-mails even though a good faith effort was made to contact them.
Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
[QB] I would imagine that anyone who paid for Cogitations is entitled to have a printout of it.
Yes, and folks had 7 months in which to obtain the material legally from the site. As quite a bit of the material was video in nature, a simple "print out" really wasn't practical.
....if you didn't download or print out what you paid for.
Well, yes, I'd agree that folks did have the responsibility to print out stuff if they wanted to keep it.
An archive disk was promised and when it was decided that was not going to happen, it was decided to refund those who had prepaid for that.
I personally would have liked to have seen the archive disks go out, but the copyright holder did not wish it and I have to respect his rights in that matter,
the same way I would respect the rights of any publishers copyrights. No matter what my personal feelings, I choose to respect the law and the wishes of the copyright holder and hope that others would do the same.
I see nothing wrong with members sharing the archived matter with one another as long as they can prove to each other that they paid for it.
The copyright holder has clearly stated that this sort of distribution is not ok with him. And I would hope people would respect that.
The material was originally slated to be presented in a six month span, and then be archived and not available on the site after that six months. At which point, the plan was to scrub the site of the first 6 months and present another six months worth of stuff.
As it turned out, folks had seven months (24 hours/day) to download the material or ask questions concerning its availability.
And many did. And it seems a few did not. Toward the end, I noticed plenty of folks getting the material before it went away.
So, a good faith effort was made toward the end to warn folks (as people have attested to here), but as with any mass e-mailing, there are many reasons one might not have gotten the mail. I can say with certainty that the "warning e-mails" were certainly sent out (which has been verified by others in this very thread).
Having a bit of experience with the web (and being the guy who created the Cogitations website for Mr. Youell), I'll say flat out that with any large mass mailing (in this case 600 folks thereabouts), you'll always get some that won't go through. And while that's a pain in the ass, it doesn't mean that a good faith effort wasn't made.
Sometimes one will get ISP's that will bounce e-mail from certain domains for various reasons, bad (or perhaps accidentally miskeyed) e-mails, servers that go down when the e-mail are sent, etc. It was certainly not a sinister or otherwise dishonest effort to forestall getting the word out.
Steven should have provided a more graceful closedown of the web site, but it is incorrect to say that the subscribers didn't know the content was going to be removed from the website.
Yes, as one close to the project, I'll agree with you 100% here. If one wasn't getting mail from the site, one had 7 months to let the webmasters know to correct one's e-mail address or ask about the materials availability window. As mentioned above, even if one's e-mail address was correct, there are many reasons why one might not have received e-mails that were sent in good faith.
A price was paid to access something indefinately.
No, that sort of "indefinite access" was not offered and several e-mails were sent out to clarify that exact point. (i.e. that the material was going away after six months, or when it was done which turned out to be 7 months)