MY EFFORTS TO REFUTE THE 281st AHC
CLAIM OF OWNERSHIP OF MY DOMAIN NAME
To my fellow members of the 281st Assault Helicopter Company Association, Inc.,
As much as I did not want it to come to this, the reality of
this situation is, if I don't formally challenge the Association's claim of
ownership to my domain name, after a few years I would have no case for my own
ownership, because I didn't formally challenged their claim. (If that makes
sense. Legally it is referred to as "the
doctrine of laches".) Civil courts assume that if the first party
knows about another claim to something they own by a second party and does
nothing to resolve the counter claim, then that first party forfeits their claim
of ownership after some years. Because it has been three years since the
Association changed their by-laws claiming ownership of my domain name, and they
have ignored my other requests to correct their error, I really had no choice in
the matter but to submit a formal petition to change the by-laws, so that the
Association acknowledges my challenge to their claim of ownership.
Some background information for you. After my forced resignation as Vice-President of the Association in May of 2002, members of the EB rewrote the Association By-Laws and included a statement (Article IX, Section 1, paragraph c.) that the Association owns the Internet domain name that rightfully belongs to me. That domain name is "281stAHC.org". I purchased and registered that domain name on 26 October 1999 from NameSecure (see document below) using my personal credit card, which was billed on 27 October 1999 to reflect that purchase (see document below). See the other documents shown below also. For security reasons I have removed account number and other personal information, which I'm sure all of you will understand. I have also removed the exact amount I paid for my domain name so no one can create phony receipts to reflect that I was reimbursed by the 281st AHC Association for the said domain name, because I was NOT.
If you are attending the Association's General Membership business meeting in St. Louis, MO in August, 2005, you should be asked to vote on changing the by-laws of the Association to remove my 281stAHC.org domain name, according to my petition, which is also shown below. Therefore, I am sharing with everyone my proof of ownership from 1999. (I do have credit card statements and proof of payment for the subsequent years, but the original purchase should be all that is necessary.)
I have tried for almost three years to get the Association EB to remove my domain name from Article IX of their by-laws, since they knew when they added it to the By-Laws in September 2002 that I owned that domain name (click here for a 19 March 2002 email to the EB, and another email from 28 March 2002 to Jack Green, Assn. President, as well as this email from 4 June 2002 to Jack Mayhew, Assn. Founder, with emphasis added to paragraph 3) because I spent much of early 2002 making it perfectly clear to Jack Green, the Assn President, and the other EB members that I own my domain name and website. Not to mention they have purchased two domain names of their own, including "281stAHC.com", which they do not use except as a rollover URL. With full knowledge and proof that I owned the domain name, as well as EB acknowledgement of such, some EB members intentionally included it in their by-laws revisions in September of 2002. I was ignored by previous Presidents to correct the by-laws, so this year I was told by President Stagman that if I wanted the by-laws changed I would have to write a formal petition for the change in accordance with Article VII of the by-laws. You should have received the Association's letter concerning this matter, but I have also shown my petition below, along with my proof of ownership of the domain name "281stAHC.org". (You can see the Association Secretary's response to my submission below.)
An Association committee has been appointed by President Stagman to again "investigate" the question of ownership of my Intruder Website domain name. Barrister Marshall Hawkins is chair of their committee, but names of any other members have been kept secret. I have provided the same proof of ownership to Barrister Hawkins and President Stagman that I am providing here to you my fellow members.
There are some ugly, biased rumors being spread by some members who are obviously uninformed about the facts of this matter, probably because they were not even involved in the early business of the Association. They are saying that there was an "understanding" of some sort with me that when I became the Association's Webmaster in July 1999, I also gave my already existing Intruder Website to the Association. Let me go on record here and say, nothing could be further from the truth. If Jack Mayhew, Fred Mentzer or Jack Green (the men who founded this current 501c19 nonprofit veterans organization) had even hinted to me that they thought I was handing over control of my Website to become the "Association's Website" I would NOT have become involved with them, or the 281st AHC Association. In 1999 the newly formed Association needed me to continue developing my Intruder Website because they didn't know anyone else who could build a website. And they quickly realized guys were online and finding my Anglefire "Intruder" Website. Since I was already busy with my Intruder Website, I just put the Association's By-Laws and other business onto to my already existing Intruder Website on Anglefire which was a free web hosting service. I continued to try to serve and help the Association for three years. I also helped Fred Mentzer and Bob Mitchell learn how to create Platoon Websites and I linked to their websites. See how they thank me for helping them and the Association.
In retrospect, my biggest mistake was not building the Association their own separate website to post their business material on. But hindsight is 20/20. I have since built websites for other Intruders, John Galkiewicz and Jack Serig had their many stories published to my website originally, but having learned my lesson, I created their own websites which are totally separate from my Intruder Website, and I am only linked to theirs.
I have often stated that my Intruder Website is my contribution to my fellow Intruders, meaning that it is my way of keeping the memories alive and providing a place for ALL Intruders to share their memories, stories and pictures with each other. I never meant that my Website was my donation, or gift for their ownership, to the business organization called the 281st AHC Association, Inc.. The Association numbers only slightly over 300 members, many of whom were given free memberships during a membership drive back in 2000. When I left office most of the Intruders who had been given free membership did not renew by paying dues the following year, but are still listed, as are deceased members, on the Association's membership rolls.
In late 2001 when pressured to share control of my website with other EB members, I told Jack Mayhew that some day when I was tired of, or incapable of maintaining my Intruder Website, I would consider giving control of it to the Association. However, the EB decided in early 2002 that they wanted my website right then, and of course I said; "NO absolutely not!". Even though at that time I was your elected Vice President and Webmaster, I was forced to resign.
My point here is to provide every member with proof that I own the 281stAHC.org domain name. I hope all of you realize that the Association could put in their by-laws that they own the Brooklyn Bridge, but that would not make it true. My petition was for the purpose of correcting the existing Association By-Laws and that will be a matter to be voted on by the entire membership. As much as I would like my fellow members to see my view point and agree with my petition to remove my domain name from the by-laws, I at least have made my claim, and regardless of how the vote actually goes it will not change the fact that I own the Internet domain name "281stAHC.org".
Finally gentlemen, I ask you to ask yourselves these questions, or better yet - ask the Executive Board. Why does the Association want or need my "281stAHC.org" domain name? What harm is my domain name or my Intruder Website doing to the Association that they continue to pursue their claim of ownership for three years, when they own two domain names of their own? Why does the EB continue to be so dissatisfied with their own "Official" Association domain names and website?
I ask you to support my petition to remove "281stAHC.org" from Article IX, Section 1, paragraph c. of the Association's By-Laws. (BTW: That whole article was added in September 2002, six months after I resigned as webmaster. A copy of the approved By-Laws as of 10 May 2002 is at this link.)
Thank you for your time,
"Rat Pack 15" 6/68-6/69
281st AHC Association Life Member #L008
My E-Mail Confirmation from NameSecure of My Domain Name Registration, October 1999
My Credit Card Bill Showing Payment for Domain Name Registration to NameSecure, October 1999
NameSecure's Record of My Domain Name Registration Renewal Until 2012
My Petition Requesting Correction of the Association By-Laws
The Association Secretary's Reply to Submission of My Petition
An Excerpt from the Association's Current By-Laws
281st ASSAULT HELICOPTER COMPANY ASSOCIATION, INC.
ARTICLE IX-OWNERSHIP AND RIGHTS
Section 1. The 281st AHC Association declares the right of ownership of any
and all materials, files and/or research done for the Association by
appointed/elected officers on behalf of the Association. This right extends to,
but is not limited to:
a. Copyrights on the Association Website and all materials contained therein, unless otherwise noted on the individual material. Pictures donated to the Webmaster for inclusion on the Official Website will remain the property of the individual unless expressed otherwise at the time of the donation.
b. All databases and lists researched by individuals appointed by the Association.
c. Ownership of the domain names: 281stAHC.org and 281stAHC-Assn.org.
d. All historical materials and/or memorabilia donated by individuals to the Association.
Proof of Ownership of My Domain Name
The Association's action to keep me
Back to Menu page