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[at-l] Re: (no subject)



Wingfoot used to do the guide as an ATC volunteer. After a few years he noticed that everyone else working along side him at ATC headquarters was being paid and asked for compensation because it was essential that he earn a living. ATC refused, and began to publish the Companion with the help of ALDHA. Wingfoot went out on his own and published what had been a volunteer effort, commercially.
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A dispute ensued about whether ATC was using his work and words improperly in the Companion. Out of that dispute came permission from ATC to allow Wingfoot to use the data book information. I neither know, nor care, about the legal ramifications of this. A number of complicated issues are involved dealing with copyright law and intellectual property law. However, I assume ATC did what it thought was wise under the circumstances.
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Regardless. Wingfoot is not stealing anything. He asked for, and was given permission to use information compiled by ATC. The result is a more complete book than the Companion in the opinion of most people that I have heard comment on the matter. For the hiker the benefits are obvious. By using Wingfoot, they get more information in just one book. By using the Companion, it takes two books -- and the extra weight and bother of two books -- to get the same information.
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Some also claim that overall, the general information on hostels and trail accomodations, is more complete and accurate in Wingfoot, as compared with the Companion, though others think otherwise.
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I have met Wingfoot, talked to him in person and on the phone, and visited his former home in Hot Springs. It was my impression that he was not earning much income from his efforts on behalf of the trail.
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Weary
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In a discussion among actual long distance and thru hikers on WhiteBlaze, probably the most active AT site these days, a large majority of those who responded thought Wingfoot's Guide was by far the better book, mostly because it contains more information. His Thru-Hikers Guide contains all the essential information of the ATC databook. The Companion does not. Wise people do not let their dislike of Wingfoot's politics interfere with their trail decisions. Long distance hiking is difficult enough without adding political complications?? WEary
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It is a curious thing that the AT has this dual approach to information.? Surely anyone can produce a guide -- The Free Enterprise System -- but I have heard (to be verified by those who may know) that Dan Bruce (Wingfoot) gets his information from the ATC without paying a royalty or copyright fee and then competes with that organization for customers.? Is this true? And if it is -- isn't it time that some changes should be made in the arrangement???? Skylander