Veterans Amicus

In defense of Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager's name

About the Petition to the United States Supreme Court

Presented here is a list of key points that we recently asked the court to find in fact.

More about General Yeager's Petition to the United States Supreme Court

If someone is maintaining a web site that is using your name to sell a better mouse trap, you should be able to inform them they do not have your permission, and they should immediately cease publishing that web site with your name on it.  Every time a web page is visited, it is published on the computer that visits it.  The data that makes the page is just a bunch of bits (1's and 0's) on a storage device that sits there waiting for someone to connect their browser to the server and ask for that data.  That's what you do when you put a URL into the browser window or click on a link.  That data on the storage device is not in a human-readable form, so it's not published at that point.  It's published when it gets put into a human-readable form on the reader's computer.

The newspaper or book analogy to this is the lead type that is assembled to print the page.  The lead type for a page may be sitting on the shelf at the printer's factory, but it is not published at that point because it is not in a human-readable form.  When ink is spread on the type and it is impressed upon the paper, it makes a human-readable page.  That his the point at which it is "published".

In Internet publishing, the online information sitting on the server is usually not the only data that is served up to the reader.  Usually, there are ads that are served with it, which is one of the ways Internet publishers profit from their endeavors.  The publishers are not paid for putting the ad data on their computer and letting it sit there; they are paid for the number of instances when those ads are assembled onto the reader's screen in human-readable form.  Those instances are referred to as "imprints" in the Internet publishing trade.  The analogy to the printed page is obvious in the use of the term "imprints".  So the trade clearly views each serving of the data, the ads and the text in question (such as an article that includes an offending use of your name), as a new imprint of information.  The ads cannot be considered to be imprints and the offending article not; they are both served up and published at the same time.

Internet publishers partner with ad companies (such as Google) to deliver ads that are not static.  They are dynamically changed, based on many factors.  Old ads are discontinued in favor of ads for more contemporary products.  Knowledge about the reader is used to serve ads that are more likely to be of interest to the reader and become part of the new publication of the page.

Can an online publisher control the publishing of the information from their server?  Of course.  They can instruct their server to not allow a particular file to be served.  They can delete the file.  They control the data and they are responsible for each time it is served up to the reader and published for viewing.

General Yeager's Petition did not take issue with an Internet publisher for a page that was published and viewed years ago, but with pages that are being published and viewed today because they have not taken steps to prohibit the offending page from being published.