I recently received a mass e-mailing of a pdf entitled, "AMERICA IS BORN Out-of-Sample Tests and Predictions for the Regulus USA National Horoscope" by the anonymous Dr. H. This is another in his series of mundane/geo-political astrology works.
Whatever the merits of his work, I was highly disturbed to find this in the front of the pdf.
Regulus Astrology LLC asserts the moral authority to prohibit any astrologer from making any prediction of harm for any American, its elected officials, or the President based on the Regulus USA National Horoscope . By continuing to read this document the reader agrees to the conditions of this disclaimer."
Aside from the question of the propriety of death prediction, Dr. H is asserting that he has total control over how you, the reader, use the ideas and information contained in his article, in particular his personal view as to what the correct US birth horoscope is, which he proprietarily terms the "Regulus horoscope"
Now there is no doubt that Dr. H, like any author has the right to stop people from simply copying and plagiarizing his work. But under US law it is not possible to copyright or patent ideas or information. This is because of the importance of the free interchange and discussion of ideas.
What Dr. H is doing is copying the hard ball corporate tactics of the large software companies like Microsoft and their end user license agreements ("EULA"). A EULA is a private contract and thus can go beyond what is allowed under copyright and patent law.
Just by reading Dr. H's article, Dr. H insists that he can tell you what you can and cannot do with the information in it. This is like the first ornithologist to discover a bird insisting that no one can talk about the bird, without the ornithologist's permission. Dr. H could just as easily start charging for any use of the "Regulus horoscope" or start censoring people's opinions of it.
This is a direct attack on a key principle: free debate and exchange of ideas and information. The horoscope of the US is not a private possession of some individual, that they can use, abuse, charge for and control. We all, including Dr. H, benefit from the free interchange of knowledge. Personally, I am boycotting Dr. H and any discussion of the "Regulus horoscope" until he removes this disclaimer and makes clear his acceptance of the free interchange and expression of astrological ideas and information.
NEWS FLASH As of June 22, 2015, Dr. H e-mailed me and indicated that he had removed the disclaimer on his article. This is great news and Dr. H is to be commended for his commitment to the free interchange of ideas.