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The dispute over the unattributed and unauthorized distribution of my photographs has been resolved in principle to the satisfaction of the involved parties. The dispute had been exacerbated by Army lawyers, but once the matter was brought forefront and examined by Brigadier General Brooks, Chief of Public Affairs, it was resolved by another more senior Army attorney. At the end of the day, the Army did the right thing. I greatly appreciate the efforts of those involved, including the blogosphere and Brigadier General Brooks, whose determined attention and immediate action removed the obstacle.
As the process unfolded, I’ve seen yet again how, in a large institution, those who focus on instantaneous minutia often impel serious and damaging repercussions to the collective goal. When looking up as the avalanche they started rumbles directly at them, they often redouble their defenses. But if they had maintained a wider field of vision, escape routes would have been clear. Fortunately, with the help of media colleagues, both mainstream and alternative, we were able to divert that impending disaster.
Looking ahead and thinking of keeping us all focused on a common goal, Brigadier General Brooks assured me that should I have further problems getting embedded with the military, there is now a person to call for immediate assistance: him. Thank you, General Brooks. As to the larger issue raised by the tussle over this individual embedded writer’s claim, namely that of how the Army regards the principle of intellectual property rights, General Brooks has the authority to speak to that policy; and he assured me that he would issue a statement in the near future. I assured General Brooks that he’d find space available here to post it and a very attentive and informed audience eager to listen.
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