This is a series of messages that were recorded on The Ledge PCBoard (818) 352-3620 regard

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This is a series of messages that were recorded on The Ledge PCBoard (818) 352-3620 regarding the presence of Adult oriented material on BBS systems. The files in question are mainly READMAC graphics, which are digitized photographs that are viewable on both the Apple Macintosh and IBM PC/Compatibles. Date: 12-03-87 (10:01) Number: 1674 To: SYSOP Refer#: NONE From: FELIX GUTIERREZ Read: YES Subj: COMMENT Status: RECEIVER ONLY I AM A REPORTER DOING A STORY ON COMPUTER BULLETIN BOARDS AND WOULD LIKE TO INCLUDE THE LEDGE IN MY STORY. ARE YOU AVAILABLE FOR A TELEPHONE INTERVIEW? PLEASE CALL ME AT THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, 213-746-1200 SO WE CAN ARRANGE A TIME. IF I AM NOT IN PLEASE LEAVE A NUMBER WHERE I CAN REACH YOU. ASK FOR FELIX GUTIERREZ. THANK YOU. DECEMBER 3, 1987. Date: 12-11-87 (08:58) Number: 1934 To: ALL Refer#: NONE From: SYSOP Read: (N/A) Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE I was contacted this week by a reporter from Associated Press who said he was doing a story on Bulletin Board Systems. He said he wanted to to an interview with me regarding The Ledge. Naturally, I was quite excited, and returned his call. Later a photographer called to set-up a time to shoot a picture of me with my 386, and one of the "Adult Entertainment" MAC Pics on the screen. It seems that the article they are doing has a focus on the softcore, and sometimes hardcore graphics and games available on many boards. I thought about it for a few mintues, then called them back and cancelled out. The reason being that this has become a very large and respected board. We do have an Adult section as do many other respectable boards. But that is not our main focus. I was afraid that if this interview and photo were published that all kinds of people, including kids might be in here trying to get at the adult files. Early on when the adult stuff first started appearing here, they just went into the graphics directory. Then I began to worry that someone might download one of the files not realizing that it was an explicit graphic, run it and be offended. So...I moved the files into a password protected area and told users that they must request the password before being able to download the files. Then I realized that it was stupid to just have users request the password because a kid could request it, show a MAC pic to his mom, tell her he got it from The Ledge and I'd be in trouble. Instead of removing them all together, I just put them in a directory and placed a warning on the top. I've had no complaints. Today, I put a high secuity level on all adult files unitl I can figure out what to do with them once and for all. I think that my options are: 1. Remove them totally, and not allow adult files on the board 2. Put them in a private conference, and require mail-in registration including a signed statement that the caller is an adult. 3. Do nothing and wait for a bomb to drop one day. I would like some advice on this matter from anyone who would care to comment. Callers might want to first download and read the file TELESYS.ARC before commenting to see what I could be up against one day. I do believe that adults have the right to read or view anything they like as long as it dosnen't hurt anyone else. But, I also don't need to be hassled. Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions! -Joe Date: 12-11-87 (10:15) Number: 1936 To: SYSOP Refer#: NONE From: JERRY DEHAAN Read: YES Subj: COMMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE I just read your bulletin about the Adult Section. I haven't had time to read telesys.arc yet, but I know you are between a rock and a hard place. Probably 99.9% of the people couldn't care less about the adult section, or appreciate you having it...after all it is a matter of choice. No one HAS to look at the stuff. But the other .01% of the nuts can make live miserable for you...although since you are not charging anything for the service, I doubt that anyone could do anything to you. Your idea about a mail in registration is a good one, but what a hassle..for both you and the participants. Also, most of the adult material is available without that hassle on other boards. I feel you did the right thing in cancelling your interview. I am a published author, and have been on many radio and TV shows. I write about Sex, and sex therapy, etc, and the damned media makes it very titillating, but not very informative. You have to figure, what is in it for you. Doing theinterview is great for the ego, but you already have a great and prominent board...so if they malign you, or ridicule you (and they surely will) what will you have gained? THEY are the ones to gain with another titillating story. You have nothing to gain from that kind of publicity. I am not an attorney, but I do believe if you state, as you do, that the material in the adult section is of an explicit sexual nature, that users should beware...I believe you have done all that is hunanly possible. It is up to parents...not System Operators...to police their kids. Besides, what the hell is the fuss all about. I am sure that any kid that sees these stupid graphics also has acess to video tapes, magazines, and other sources far more erotic and revealing. I am not convinced, as a sex therapist of some 20 years, that kind of material is harmful...if it isn't made to be so damn forbidden. I have rambled on enough, but these kinds of matters of censorship and irresponsibility on the part of parents bugs the hell out of me. Good luck. Jerry Date: 12-11-87 (10:31) Number: 1941 To: SYSOP Refer#: 1934 From: BOB ALBERT Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE It's obvious that the reporters, as is popular these days, are more interested in the sensational aspects of the BBS rather than anything like honest, balanced reporting. This is what has made our society the raging mess it is today. I am proud of you for resisting the temptation for some sort of fame in favor of honesty. As for restricting the content, I'm not sure either. I guess if you verify certain users, you can allow them access to those files. The freedom for adults to see whatever they choose is important, although this could be considered a private system. The fact that money is accepted may be a problem; do you have a business license? Let's make sure not one attorney gets one penny here; I just got finished with a financial hassle with one of those rotten types. The joke about St. Peter thinking the attorney was 250 years old is no joke. If I never deal with another one it will be too soon (and he didn't cost me one penny - it's the principle). Date: 12-11-87 (13:55) Number: 1945 To: SYSOP Refer#: NONE From: JOE SLACKIE Read: YES Subj: COMMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Hi Joseph I down-loaded Telesys.arc but of course haven't had a chance to unarc and read it. I understand your concern, but hope you don't have to turn-off the adult section of you board because I enjoy it very much. Any thing I can do to help, let me know Joe Date: 12-11-87 (14:05) Number: 1946 To: SYSOP Refer#: NONE From: JOE SLACKIE Read: YES Subj: COMMENT Status: RECEIVER ONLY PS Stay away from the news media as much as you can. My experiance has been that they are after a story that sells papers and you are just meat. They will realy screw you over if they can get a story out of it (sorry for the swear word but its real). Bottom line....STAY AWAY FORM THE NEWS MEDIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DANGER DANGER DANGER jOE Date: 12-11-87 (15:03) Number: 1948 To: JERRY DEHAAN Refer#: 1936 From: SYSOP Read: NO Subj: COMMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Jerry, I really do appreciate your comments. It's just a stupid thing that seems to have gotten out of hand. The Ledge is clearly not the only online service where this tĚpe of stuff is available. I got my first MAC Pic from American PeopleLink (PLINK) which is a commercial database like Compuserve. The way I feel right now is...hey, GEnie and Plink have all the money, let them fight the war! I'm just trying to run a nice little BBS in Tujunga as a hobby. Why should I get involved in this issue? Thanks again, and take care! -Joe Date: 12-11-87 (15:43) Number: 1954 To: SYSOP Refer#: 1934 From: OZ OSBORN Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE JOE, I CAN SEE YOUR POINT ABOUT THE ADULT STUFF. DEFINITLY SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT. MY FEELINGS ARE KEEP THEM AVAILABLE PERHAPS ONLY TO THOSE WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED OR A MAIL IN REGISTRATION. I WOULD HATE TO SEE THEM GONE FOR GOOD, AS I FEEL IT MY RIGHT TO VIEW AS LONG AS I KNOW AHEAD OF TIME WHAT THE CONTENTS ARE .. THANKS FOR A GREAT BBS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOURS, OZ Date: 12-11-87 (17:18) Number: 1956 To: SYSOP Refer#: 1934 From: MICHELLE HASS Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE I think that the private conference idea is a great one. It will keep your booty covered, and also will mean that you will still be able to run it. I may not like porn, but this is America, we have the protection of the first amendment, and if someone gets their jollies looking at a READMAC pinup, it's their business, not mine. Didya see the mention about porn boards in "Modern Love" the unintentionally hilarious Geraldo Rivera documentary last week? They had this guy at a PC asking someone on the other line "Are you naked???" To each their own, I guess....MK-H Date: 12-11-87 (17:38) Number: 1957 To: SYSOP Refer#: 1934 From: LEN ANDERSON Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Can't answer for anybody else, but there is little labelled "XXX" that seems pornographic to me. At least on this board. There are a couple out of my calling area (may or may not be up any longer), one of them a FIDO node, that have carried considerably more graphic stuff. I would suggest a mail-in registry for those who really want those files. Or perhaps include that as part of the subscription. Talk Channel (a more likely candidate for a reporter looking for "XXX") had a text file a while back relating a whole heaping lot of messaging and legal tangles due to one "users" ideas of what was porno and what wasn't. Sounds more like its one of THOSE people bugging you, not a legitimate reporter. If its a hassle, take it down, perhaps suggest some other BBSs for the material. There are always "bluenoses" who insist on foisting their own moral standards on others and this board ought to remain the mature board it is... Date: 12-11-87 (20:07) Number: 1972 To: SYSOP Refer#: 1934 From: ROGER VARGO Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Joe---I think the way you have been handling the adultection is just fine. There is just no shure way of avoiding problems. You could make that file section available upon request (through feedback) only. That way you have demonstrated a "good faith" effort to resrtict material that may not be suitable for some people. Date: 12-11-87 (21:26) Number: 1974 To: SYSOP Refer#: 1934 From: SANDY FRITH Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Joe, Your message regarding the adult files was most interesting. Personally I appreciate your declining the interview. The questions you left us with are quite heady. I think the way you handle it now is best, that is keep them, but post a warning. Although you are well within your rights to just decide to remove them. Its kind of like having a variety store open to the public isn't it! I am going to have to think about this a little more. Personally I'm not too interested in those files but I have nothing against anyone who does....its just not interesting enough for me to pursue them. The issue of being responsible concerning the children is the one thats provocative to me most. It leads to arguments concerning the absolute overall effects that type of media has on them, etc. But these somehow miss the point. I'll be thinking! Thanks for your sensitive treatment of this matter. Sandy Date: 12-11-87 (21:39) Number: 1977 To: SYSOP Refer#: 1949 From: SANDY FRITH Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: RECEIVER ONLY Joe, Back to the variety store analogy, just because you have it (softcore) here, doesn't make it a softcore board. Its just one of many things offered here. Although I know you must for your own peace of mind, I hope you can just project positive future thoughts. If the negative happens, then deal with it, knowing that all the options were well thought out once. All will be FINE!!!!!!! Take care and thank you so much for the Christmas card! Sandy P.S. If the negative does ever happen, don't forget all the support you have here. Date: 12-11-87 (23:07) Number: 1983 To: SANDY FRITH Refer#: 1974 From: SYSOP Read: NO Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE This whole issue is kind of getting to me right at the core of why I started my own BBS and how I decided to run it... I've been online since 300 baud was top speed. I've always loved BBS systems and admired those that ran them. As boards got bigger, and people started buying modems in droves I began to see all kinds of restrictions go up. Upload/Download Ratios, closed boards...all kinds of restrictions. I wanted to start a board where there was as little restriction as possible. I've never had an upload/download ratio, yet I have built one of the largest file bases around in less than a year....of that I am proud. I have never restricted the message base, and in over 5000 messages I only remember having one abusive message, I'm happy about that. Many users seemed interested in uploading and downloading sexually oriented files...I put them in their own little section and after over 15,000 calls there have been no complaints. I feel that the Adult section is well enough marked, and the expicit files are clearly described. I think if some adult is stupid enough to download one of those files and becomes offended, he or she deserves it. There is adequate warning. The think that has concerned me is the argument that the files are available to children. I don't feel it is my place to babysit people's kids...but I do have two young children of my own, and I don't know that I wouldn't be a little upset if my son or daughter showed up with sexually explicit material that was made available, knowingly or unknowingly by an adult. It's an interesting problem. I will do something about it. Not sure what yet, but until I do, the files will remain unavailable for download. Thanks for your comments! -Joe Date: 12-11-87 (23:47) Number: 1986 To: SYSOP Refer#: 1934 From: GORDON HUYCK Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Joe * Here is my two cents. I feel your concern is well warranted and add that the F.C.C. is looking at making things tough on us as it is. If I wanted to make things tough this would be a good issue to publicize to get my way even if you were doing it properly. The news media would take the issue up and how do you sell newspapers? Not with how nice things were in church last Sunday. I l;ook at the other side which says no big brother act fella, I have a right to choose for myself as an individual. I feel the middle of the road would require at least written request. If it is not worth that to me I don't want it enough to bother and I have no right to ask you to stick your neck out because I am lazy or tend to pout. You take care of you and your responsibility to BBS's in general. I feel you have one of the best boards around and my hat is off to you for the personal efforts you put in to it. I know it is a lot of work. I am satisfied to be a supporter and let you young pups do it. Thanks Joe for a good board! Gordon Date: 12-12-87 (00:22) Number: 1989 To: SYSOP Refer#: 1949 From: BOB ALBERT Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Well, you learned some things. 1) There is no justice. 2) Greed motivates all. 3) The media are irresponsible. 4) If you go by the good old American credo of hard work, honesty, and caring about your fellow man, you will get buried. These are things of which I have been aware for some time, and I am always glad to see others learn them also. My reaction to them is not, as one might think, to change my personal philosophy. It has been to back away from society and lead a private life of my choosing and not get involved with the ugly world out there. It does play hell with my social life, though... To: SYSOP Refer#: 1962 From: BOB ALBERT Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE I stopped collecting READMAC pictures a long time ago. They have served their function well - proving that the computer works well as a graphic illustrator. I too was impressed by the job that was done, and tried to find out how the guy did it. Many of them came from Basi Angulo and his BBS in Los Angeles, and he told me that he didn't write any of the software. They use a digitizer to create the file and I don't know much more. The PCRGB131 file enables one to read and edit several types of picture files, and that's interesting also. But I keep a few of the pictures around to fool around with; the one I get the most out of is the one that converts them to Windows (MAC2WIN.COM). Then I can edit to my heart's content while in Windows Paint, but can't convert back to READMAC. Incidentally, I don't think I ever saw the adult conference on here; at least I don't remember it. Did I miss anything? Date: 12-12-87 (05:35) Number: 1996 To: SYSOP Refer#: 1934 From: BILL CART Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE I agree that it is a drag but with the current state of our legal system you must protect yourself. The mail-in registration sounds like a good compromize but the only way to be relly shure is to dump the adult stuff I would hate to see that but the risks are not worth it. I just read in the paper that the FBI had set up a porno mail order store that sold an illegal type of material and then busted anyone who bought from them! Date: 12-12-87 (05:57) Number: 1997 To: SYSOP Refer#: 1934 From: JIM FOUCH Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE There are some boards in Memphis that require a copy of ones drivers liscense for access to adult sections - I don't believe in cenorship but the potential problems are not worth it to me to have an 'adults' section... Date: 12-12-87 (07:51) Number: 2001 To: BOB ALBERT Refer#: 1989 From: SYSOP Read: NO Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Yes...I guess idealism, like crime dosen't pay . It does beging to make me understand how people go from having a nice friendly board to one that looks like a concentration camp when you first log-on. It seems that sooner or later, so many nice young Sysops end up Nasty old men. Gee...does this have anything to do with the fact that I was one year older the day before "the interview"? -Joe Date: 12-12-87 (07:56) Number: 2002 To: BOB ALBERT Refer#: 1993 From: SYSOP Read: NO Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE It wasn't an actual adult's conference. For a few days, I put password protection on everything in the Adult file directory and told everyone that they had to request the password. A few embarassed callers did, but the whole process reminded me of the first time I went to the drug store as a teenager and had to buy...uh....well..u no... This may sound as if it's comming from left field..but to you get a feeling that with the aids thing, and safe sex that we are headed for another '50's? -Joe Date: 12-12-87 (08:05) Number: 2005 To: JIM FOUCH Refer#: 1997 From: SYSOP Read: NO Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Jim, Thanks for your comments. I'm glad to hear from another Sysop on this matter. Most of systems seem to allow the adult files, but kind of shove them in between pacgal and pacman, while others just don't allow them. I chose to stick them in a special section so that people would be warned. It looks like now that idea called unwanted attention to the whole thing. -Joe Date: 12-12-87 (08:51) Number: 2007 To: SYSOP Refer#: 1934 From: DAVID MACCHIA Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Perhaps some kind of mail in verification will work, or call them at a business phone in person. ie: send a copy of driver licence/voter reg card ect. to you. Few minors will have a personal phone at their place of work. Dave Date: 12-12-87 (10:02) Number: 2009 To: SYSOP Refer#: NONE From: DEXTER SHOULTZ Read: YES Subj: COMMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE What are the requirements to be fulfilled in order to download BEAVER.ARC I read the TELESYS memo - that sysop is holding on! Thanks Dexter Date: 12-13-87 (02:39) Number: 2011 To: SYSOP Refer#: NONE From: GEORGE SEYMOUR Read: YES Subj: COMMENT Status: RECEIVER ONLY hi joe... just for the record, my vote is for the mail in registration. why limit us adult slimes. it's all in fun, but keep the kiddies out before they nail you. regards....George Seymour Date: 12-13-87 (07:06) Number: 2015 To: SYSOP Refer#: NONE From: CHARLES SHAPIRO Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Good morning Joe, I don't know if you have seen this yet, Check it out. Taken from The Lunacy 12-13-87 06:49 am. December 12: X-RATED DIGITAL PICTURES The policy of this board with regards to X-Rated pictures is they will NO longer be available for downloading from this board. They will also be unacceptable uploads to this board. Please do not upload X-rated digital pictures to this board. If you want these type of pictures to look at, there are other boards that do allow these types of "art" form to be distributed, or better yet, pay a few bucks at 7-11 for the magazines. I will be the ONLY judge on this board as to what I consider X-rated...period. Nude pictures will be acceptable, but some pictures just go too far in what they show. So, remember, please do not upload those so-called X-rated digital pictures to this board anymore. Thanks for your cooperation. Sorry about the way it looks I used DEQview Mark & Transfer to do it with. It looks like those pictures are gone forever. Wouldn't you say?? Bye, ..Chip.. Date: 12-13-87 (07:57) Number: 2019 To: CHARLES SHAPIRO Refer#: 2015 From: SYSOP Read: NO Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Chip, Interesting info out of Lunacy. I had called there a couple of days ago and let Ken know what had happened to me. I had a feeling that if they couldn't get one Sysop, they'd just find another and didn't want Ken to get caught in a trap. If they had been just a little smarter they would have just shown up for the "interview" and started popping questions. I'm glad Ken won't be giving them that opportunity. -Joe Date: 12-13-87 (08:39) Number: 2021 To: SYSOP Refer#: 2000 From: GORDON HUYCK Read: NO Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: RECEIVER ONLY Hi Joe, Sounds like a good idea to me. I like the part where you have control over your own BBS. I don't know where you are taking the board, purpose and long range goal but it is your child and you must be in charge of it and give it aspects of your personality as such. I really feel that BBS's are valuable to the computing public as a learning medium and sometimes I get concerned that through success we get fat and lazy which affects our ability to compete with other nations on the market. I don't want to change languages to be a citizen now. Public Domain software has helped my computer comprehension a great deal. Heck, we don't use all the stuff, its the communication and learning. We connect with new friends and ideas this way. To important to risk for porno. As I said, you have my vote. *Gordon* Date: 12-13-87 (15:51) Number: 2036 To: SYSOP Refer#: 2028 From: JON BADEAUX Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Joe, I've been reading the Adult Entertainment string since it began. I understand your dilemmas, yet I recognize what your callers are feeling, as well. I know you must also be thinking that if you permanently eliminate the adult section, you are then a censor. If you keep it, it's potentially a hassle... or worse. You probably have dozens of ideas for making membership requirements, which in turn makes you a policeman. Also, how can you possibly enforce supervision of the members who download the files, and they still fall into the wrong hands. As a fellow system manager, I have had to take a stand based on economics: what can you gain versus what can you lose. Not too many of us are in this for the money. If we were, we'd starve before putting the board online for the very first time. For my own set of circumstances, I feel the risks outweigh any perceivable benefits. This is why I let others take that risk, while I try to offer a variety of other services. The Ledge is, without any question in my mind, the best board I have ever called. Your consistent dedication to it is obvious simply by comparing it to any other board I've called.. nationwide! As I mentioned to you in private the other day, I have been featured in two "friendly" articles in the past few months. To have the savvy, on your part, to know when to say "Thanks, but no thanks" to the interview is a valuable lesson which every system manager should learn. It's just too darned easy to think of your name, your words and your picture in print, and lose sight of everything else. Someone suggested that, perhaps, it was not really an Associated Press reporter. The truth is, all the information he provided you with was totally legitimate, and I checked on that right away. Sandy Frith hit the nail on the head about your responsible and sensitive handling of this matter. You already know you have a very tough decision to make, and I don't envy your situation. You should also have the knowledge that I, for one, will support your final decision. In a very short period of time with The Ledge, you have earned enormous respect from me, and it's obvious the same holds true for the others who have responded. Jon Badeaux The Hotline Date: 12-13-87 (09:42) Number: 2022 To: SYSOP Refer#: 1934 From: ROBERT BOURNE Read: NO Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE It seems a shame to have to be 'threatened' by outside forces into the way we shape our Boards. The BBS world has been running smoothly for the most part with little or no interference so far. But this seems to be a sign of the times. Big Brother can't stand anything runnig sucessfully without his fingers in the pie or holding the whole damn thing on a string. (Hope I am not rambling) The need for sensationalism will never cease to ammaze me. Yellow press, it seems, will always survive. Their need to warp things out of their context to sell a paper is childish and intollerable when it attacks a repected institution. For a suggestion I can only say that I hope that the adult material can be left around in some form. It does, after all, represent another important freedom we take for granted.   ╔═══════════════════════════════════╗  ════╣ December 13: ADULT FILES REMOVED ╠════════════════════════════════════   ╚═══════════════════════════════════╝ I have decided to remove all the XRATED files from the board. I appreciate everyones' comments and support on the matter. It just seems that it would be too difficult to control access to these files. I have archived the excellent message thread concerning this topic. For the complete story, download LEDGE-X.ARC. Date: 12-13-87 (13:03) Number: 2024 To: SYSOP Refer#: 1985 From: SANDY FRITH Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Joe, I note your decision and reinforce it. It was an interesting week wasn't it! As you know I've been calling for awhile and its been a long time since I've seen a topic play this long and so heatedly. Actually it really wasn't so heated, now that I think about it. It seemed like it touched raw nerves, including mine. Take care, Sandy Date: 12-13-87 (13:46) Number: 2028 To: SANDY FRITH Refer#: 2024 From: SYSOP Read: NO Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Yes, it was an all time great topic. In the end, I had a choice to keep the files, but I would have had to do a lot of extra work to restrict them. Then I realized that I could be doing a lot more with my time than trying to make sure that people could get the same sexually oriented files here as they can get on any other BBS. I know that at least one other board has shut down the adult section this week. It could be that soon those that want those files will just have to join private Adult BBS's that already have security measures in place. I'd rather keep this BBS a place where anyone can call and get full access on the first call, for now anyway. Thanks again for your support! -Joe Date: 12-13-87 (21:17) Number: 2053 To: SYSOP Refer#: NONE From: LEN ANDERSON Read: YES Subj: COMMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Heck, I was trying to comment further on this "censorship thing" and it didn't come out right. I will try to put up something on Tcimpidis' board to you (maybe a general broadcast) after some off-line thinking. It seems that this large, national organization "threatening you in effect" called the AP is abusing the First amendment through some sensationalist petty representatives. If the AP stringers wanted some juicier stuff, they could try to contact "King Diamond" of "Camp Crystal Lake" in the 352 exchange for really SICK teen-age stuff. "King Diamond" is the new handle of the old "Charles Manson," the "Ultimate Thrasher" so you can get an idea of how sensible those with more money than brains can be. It is/was run on an Atari ST (my system)(without PC-Ditto) and I'm ashamed to admit it. Another ST system in the 352 exchange area is Inner Realm, straighter now that the participants are somewhat older. I can't get a good line to either so I haven't bothered with them and their survivalist and anarchist files and possible private file areas with purloined commercial goods (an obscene act only if one's media is carrying ads for the software company...). Anyway, there's a lot of commentary that can be made on a lot of different areas/subjects. Hang in there...! Date: 12-14-87 (06:03) Number: 2058 To: LEN ANDERSON Refer#: 2053 From: SYSOP Read: YES Subj: COMMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Len, Thanks for your encouragement. I'm truly impressed that you can spell Tom Tcimpidis's last name....I'm not sure I can. Tom is the grandfather of hassled BBS operators. Funny, the day I met him in person...I thought, this guy dosen't look old enough to be my grandfather! I was on Tom's Mog-urs EMS yesterday and just for fun did a text search for the words XRATED and ADULT....seems Tom dosen't support those types of files either. I guess it's a case of "live and learn". Ken Ough pulled his Adult files off this week. I think we are on the brink of another compu-sex dark ages. I said to Doug Piezak (the photographer from AP) on the phone friday, "You, know...there ARE Boards that specialize in nothing but adult themes...I'd be happy to give you some num..." Doug: "No, we are already writing ALL about them, we wanted to also feature a mainstream board that also offers these files" If I had a degree in law and was just sitting around the house with nothing to do...I might just dare them to come and get me, but, unfortunately..I'm just a poor 'ol working stiff and I can't afford to take on the press and the legal system. At least not this morning. -Joe Date: 12-14-87 (14:20) Number: 2065 To: SYSOP Refer#: 2058 From: LEN ANDERSON Read: YES Subj: COMMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Thanks for a long and thoughtful reply. The whole situation makes one think about some sacred cows running loose in Constitution fields... There is tremendous POWER of some petty representatives from the media, any media, in just a brief mention of writing about something in a certain style. Doesn't matter WHAT the subject is about, just as long as there is a large minority in the public that is against it. In this case it is misrepresentation, or perhaps "disinformation" about a "mainstream BBS" that "also happens to be..." in the story-to-be. Anyone with any sense can gather what will happen when a story is printed and the yahoos come out of the woodwork. Its a terrible power wielded by a very few and there is not one damn thing we can do about it. It is legally possible to make something out of it in court but monetarily impractical without winning the Lotto. The odd thing about all of this is the activity done BEFORE the fact, before anyone actually having published anything other than messages. And the press is not at fault (if they were they would still gain support by shouting "Freedom of the Press") since they have yet to do anything - no basis for a court case on implication to do something. I've always thought it ironic that Mog-Ur's EMS was the target of our "favorite" legal eagle in Center City, Ira Reiner. Ironic in that there was only ONE allegation of wrong-doing (a telephone credit card number allegedly stolen) while there were at least four pirate boards in operation within one Zum-span, all of which were not only carrying copyrighted programs but also one with anarchist information about civil disobedience and giving information on various bombs and explosives. Now there is essentially "harrasment" of other board sysops through different channels by other exploiters... strange world sometimes... Date: 12-14-87 (23:39) Number: 2091 To: SYSOP Refer#: 2002 From: BOB ALBERT Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE I must say that this is a strange time in history. Much of the effort of the 1960s and 1970s is being washed over, and the world once again is filled with rednecks and violent people. Yes, the 1950s are back, in some ways. I hope the trend doesn't continue, but it's beyond the control of just you and me. I remember the 1970s as a wonderful time. People were honest with themselves and each other, and we had a great time. I miss it, but am glad I was there. Violence was "out," and love was "in." It's not like that any more; too bad... Date: 12-15-87 (08:39) Number: 2109 To: ALL Refer#: NONE From: SYSOP Read: (N/A) Subj: HOT READMAC! Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Well... If you'd like to look at dark ages READMAC "art" download SPUDS.ARC. It's a picture of America's favorite beer guzzling dog. Please note the Spuds appears FULLY clothed. -Joe Date: 12-15-87 (17:10) Number: 2119 To: BOB ALBERT Refer#: 2097 From: LEN ANDERSON Read: YES Subj: COMMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE I think that what we have here with the AP (or any other press or service) is the IMPLICATION of publishing something rather than the publishing per se. To use your measurement analogy, it would be just the expressed thought of "going to measure something" (not the measurement itself) that can change the situation. THAT is what I find reprehensible in the AP's actions. Date: 12-16-87 (01:02) Number: 2134 To: SYSOP Refer#: 2005 From: JIM FOUCH Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE I will be interested to hear what you decide to do - actaully most of the "adult" fare that I have seen on bulletin boards, I considered to be a bit juvenile - but beauty is etc etc... Date: 12-17-87 (10:43) Number: 2162 To: SYSOP Refer#: 1964 From: MICHELLE HASS Read: YES Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE I think you wound up making a pretty safe decision, but one that is right for this board. I would hate to see some hysterical mother try to shut you down because she saw Junior looking at some T&A Readmac. BTW, are there any good CLEAN .MACs out there? I am going to be purchasing First Publisher soon, and guess what kind of graphics the program accepts! You can actually buy graphics for the program, but isn't it so much better to get them for free? Such a deal! Maybe you *can't*, in your precarious situation as a SysOp, get into a big first amendment fight, but this is truly an issue of the first amendment. Perhaps you handled this a little differently than how I wouldv'e, but I don't blame you at all. Keep on keepin' on, MK-H Date: 12-17-87 (13:51) Number: 2164 To: MICHELLE HASS Refer#: 2162 From: SYSOP Read: NO Subj: ADULT ENTERTAINMENT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Michelle, I just did what I thought was best for myself and the board (in that order). There were a lot of ways to handle it..but simply not allowing the files was an easy permanent solution. There are some clean readmacs here, you might want to use the [Z]ippy scan and search for MAC to bring them to the surface. There is a new one of Spuds Mackinzie with an IBM shirt on in the Recent Uploads section right now. -Joe Date: 12-26-87 (08:54) Number: 2334 To: SYSOP Refer#: NONE From: SANDY FRITH Read: YES Subj: AP ARTICLE ON BBS'S Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Joe, I found the article on BBSs in yesterday's Times. It must have been the one you were intially contacted for. Its interesting and makes some points. If you havent seen it, check it out. If you dont have it, I saved it and will type it and send it up. Happy holidays to you and your family and all the Ledge callers. Sandy Date: 12-26-87 (14:50) Number: 2345 To: SANDY FRITH Refer#: 2334 From: SYSOP Read: YES Subj: A P ARTICLE ON BBSS Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Sandy, Thanks for letting me know that the aritcle appeared. I hadn't seen it, but had yesterday's Times here at home. The after reading the article, I'm glad that I removed those files from the board. The article seemed to imply that BBS like The Ledge are being used by pedophiles to exchange child pornography. I certainly would have NEVER allowed such a thing here, and I associate with most of the Sysops in this area on the Sysops BBS in Van Nuys and have never even heard of such files showing up on a BBS. I also note that even though Mr. Guiterrez seems to paint a picture that Kiddie porn is rampant on public BBS systems, he failed to turn up any evidence that such files exist on any of the public boards in Southern California. I am not saying that it isn't possible that there are some private systems specializing in that sort of thing...there probably are, and the people that run them and their callers that exchange illegal material should go to jail. I am a father of nine year old boy and three year old girl. As a parent I am outraged at that sort of activity. I certainly support any law enforcement action taken to contain such crimes against innocent children. As the Sysop of The Ledge though, I am outraged that my BBS is discussed in the same article as boards that cater to pedophiles. I do admit to one count of stupidity for EVER allowing any sort of sexually explicit material to be on this board, and I will NEVER allow it again. -Joe Date: 12-27-87 (02:11) Number: 2349 To: SYSOP Refer#: 2345 From: BOB ALBERT Read: YES Subj: A P ARTICLE ON BBSS Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE What a shame. I sure hope this incident makes at least some people realize how the news media manipulate the public. Every single "news" article I have ever seen, where I knew something about the situation, was misleading to the point of telling outright lies. I tell people, again and again, not to believe what they read, but they believe it anyway. Look at the AIDS epidemic scare, for example. And if you think that the truth about international politics is being told, then tell me where, because it's definitely not in the newspapers or on television. Publilc radio is not one whit better; they just say they are. I don't even believe traffic or weather reports any more... Date: 12-27-87 (10:49) Number: 2368 To: BOB ALBERT Refer#: 2349 From: SYSOP Read: YES Subj: A P ARTICLE ON BBSS Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Bob, Thank you for your comments. Yes, it is a real shame. The Sysops in th area work very hard to maintain a level of quality. I know I speak for all Sysops when I say we are extreamly proud of the work we do for the online community by providing Bulletin Board Services. An article such as the one that appeared in the Los Angeles Times really damages our public image. I am very sorry that I gave them the opportunity to do that, but if it hadn't been my board it would have bee someone elses. There wasn't one adult file here that couldn't be found o most of this area's BBS systems. I would imagine that John Q. Public who dosen't have a modem or computer probably things that all we are doing here is: 1. Exchanging stolen credit card numbers 2. Exchanging pirated commercial software 3. Exchanging child pornography For your information, the author of the AP article, Felix Guiterrez call this BBS a total of one time. Here is his log: ************************************************************** 12-03-87 (09:52) (1) FELIX GUTIERREZ (1200) (NG) * NEW USER * Registration information saved. Bulletin Read: Main Board # 5 Comment Left: Main Board # 1674 (D) PORNO.ARC Aborted using C T/E=0 Minutes Used: 17 12-03-87 (10:09) (1) FELIX GUTIERREZ Off Normally ************************************************************** In seventeen minutes he registered, read my buletins, left me the messag asking that I contact him regarding the article, attempted and FAILED to complete a download of an Adult file and left. Not exactly what I call intensive research. I guess the content of PORNO.ARC had to be left up to his imagination...but dosen't that make good reading anyway? I am sure that myself and the Sysops of this area will continue to do th best job we can despite this sort of abuse. But does tend to make one stop and wonder why... -Joe Date: 12-27-87 (12:11) Number: 2370 To: SYSOP Refer#: 2368 From: JAMES NG Read: YES Subj: A P ARTICLE ON BBSS Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Joe, Well said!! Well said, indeed!! Since I am in NY, I am sure that you and others in the area will represent us back here East well! James Date: 12-27-87 (13:30) Number: 2376 To: SYSOP Refer#: 2368 From: BOB ALBERT Read: YES Subj: A P ARTICLE ON BBSS Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE I strongly suggest you take your message 2368 and send it in the form of a letter to the editor to the offending newspaper. Perhaps the editor himself would be surprised to learn of his employee's sloppy reporting. Perhaps it will get put in the letters-to-the-editor column and change the minds of one or two readers. In any case, this points out what I have said many times; i.e., the news media are irresponsible on EVERY issue. Nothing you read is free of the taint of their manipulative "reporting." Wake up, everyone, you are being manipulated. (cough! cough!) ('scuse me, just my AIDS acting up. Doesn't everyone have it yet?) Date: 12-27-87 (19:39) Number: 2388 To: SYSOP Refer#: 2345 From: SANDY FRITH Read: YES Subj: A P ARTICLE ON BBSS Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Joe, I agree that had you consented to be interviewed, it would have put you in a defensive position, regardless of what type of board you have. I was talking today with a fellow who bought my other modem. I showed him the article because he had two very small children also (4 and 6 years I believe). He was very much in agreement. He said his children boot up the computer now, know how to get their various games started etc. He also said that it wouldn't surprise him if, in a very short amount of time, they were learning to call boards, up and download files. From there it would be a short step to learning PKXARC. Since its been awhile since I've been around kids I was amazed at how things have changed. That article did seem to focus on the "pedophile" issue alot. I think, now more than before, that removing the files was wise. If what that article says is true, there plenty of other places where those files as well as others are available. Wish I knew who the author was and the appropriate rebuttal format. This should probably be done, if only as a letter to the Times editorial page. Take care, Sandy Date: 12-28-87 (11:10) Number: 2406 To: SYSOP Refer#: 2368 From: VADIM ISRAILEVICH Read: YES Subj: A P ARTICLE ON BBSS Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE What the article proves is that some U.S. media agencies have a very limited understanding of what morals are. They are hasty to accuse others, without due research, as long as it serves their purpose, and proves their point. Such practices are responcible for numerous law suits against such organizations, and are a black spot on what otherwise be a very good media service agency. If I were the sysop, I might consider suing the jackass... Vadim. Date: 12-28-87 (12:44) Number: 2408 To: VADIM ISRAILEVICH Refer#: 2406 From: SYSOP Read: YES Subj: A P ARTICLE ON BBSS Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Luckily, for everyone involved they didn't mention this bbs or my name, although I and everyone that knows this board and has followed the story documented in LEDGE-X.ARC knows without a doubt that at least two paragraphs of the story are attempting to describe The Ledge. While no real damage is done to this BBS specifically, I think the story does damage public BBS systems as a whole, and also makes everyone who CALLS a bbs appear to some to be participating in activites that really don't exist here or on any other legitimate system I know of. I still feel that the READMAC pictures that were available here are harmless, and I never laid awake at night worrying that my children would see some ladies breasts digitized on a CRT. I did attempt to screen out anything I thought was too bizarre. In over 15,000 calls there was never a complaint, nor a message of concern over these files from any user. I was just going on the idea that if something isn't broken...don't fix it. As I have admitted earlier, I feel that I did make a mistake by not verifying ages before allowing access to those files, but it hadn't been a problem. I never really thought about the "danger" of children seeing those, and none of the 15,000 callers ever worried enough about it to call my attention to that "danger". Until the AP contact, as far as I knew there was NO problem. When it appeared, I took what I considered to be appropriate action by simply deleting the files. Some people thought I should have left the files online and instituted a age verification system, but I'm not a damned (whoops! cover your eyes kids!) babysitter, and I feel that anything on this public system that can't be viewed by the public without a problem should just go. Thank you for taking time to comment on this very controversial matter. I appreciate your input. -Joe Date: 12-28-87 (13:52) Number: 2412 To: SYSOP Refer#: 2408 From: BOB ALBERT Read: YES Subj: A P ARTICLE ON BBSS Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE I wonder why the nude female form is considered obscene, and yet it's okay for kids to see horror and shoot-em-up stories. I tend to look at it from the opposite viewpoint. Is it better to be shot at than to become pregnant? What a strange society... Date: 12-28-87 (23:22) Number: 2438 To: SYSOP Refer#: NONE From: STEVE YORK Read: YES Subj: DIGNITY Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Joe, I have quietly followed this whole bullsh*t episode without saying anything. You have conducted yourself with quiet dignity in a situation which could easily have led to all sorts of name calling and/or embarrasment. I cannot think of any better way of dealing with this AP situation than the one you used. Congratulations on a job well done. Steve Date: 12-29-87 (06:46) Number: 2450 To: STEVE YORK Refer#: 2438 From: SYSOP Read: NO Subj: DIGNITY Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Steve, Thank you for your support and kind words regarding the Associated Press incident. I am happy that it has been handled in a way that kept my reputation and that of this BBS intact. I was speaking with an officer of a local Sysops organization. He feels certain that in the very near future the authorities will be picking a BBS to take on to establish legal ground to work from in the future on this Porno issue. Unfortunately, they don't normally pick a private pirate system that specializes in REAL porno. They usually go after somebody more mainstream. So, I'm happy that I'm at least out of the picture when/if that ever comes down. Funny thing is that I've been on the local Sysops BBS a number of times trying to stir up interest in this issue, trying to warn other Sysops that they might be a target. But, I've not received a single reply to any of my messages there. It seems that many people are like me...just sitting waiting for a problem to happen before they take action. I don't think that EVERY Sysop should remove X-Rated files, but it would be a VERY good idea for anyone who has those sort of files to beging instituting an age varification system. That was my mistake, but now it has been corrected and the problem is history. I spoke to another Sysop on the telephone yesterday who had sat thru an hour of interview time with Mr. Guiterrez of the A.P. He said that Guiterrez didn't let him know in advance what the focus of the story was, but kept steering the interview toward the X-rated issue. Each time, this sysop would change the subject to something more positive. The result was that not one word of that Sysops interview was printed. -Joe Date: 12-29-87 (19:18) Number: 2470 To: SYSOP Refer#: NONE From: JOHN DESANTIS Read: YES Subj: PRESS Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE I can not believe the artical they printed. I wish they knew all the good your board has done. Example I am a quadpraligic and as soon as sysop found out he gave me unlimited access and all the help I needed what about people who can not afford store programs. and they have a1cces here hope you post tel. number I would like to call and give you my support Date: 12-29-87 (20:20) Number: 2480 To: SYSOP Refer#: NONE From: JON BADEAUX Read: YES Subj: L.A. TIMES ARTICLE Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE Joe, Just finished reading the paper that I got last Friday, and felt obligated to write a letter to the editor telling them how I feel about the article by F. Gutirrez. And, in doing so, I thought I'd share it with you: As an avid personal computer hobbyist for ten years, as well as a community bulletin board system (BBS) operator for three years, I take great exception to an article which appeared in the Los Angeles Times [There's an X-Rated Side to Home Computers, Parents Warned, December 25, 1987, Part 1, Page 47]. Writer Gutierrez makes an admirable point of the fact there are many bulletin boards available to anyone with a home computer and an inexpensive modem. However, his narrow-minded view that would lead most parents to believe that finding "comic strip sex" on almost any of the bulletin boards is absolute nonsense. The notion that most bulletin boards prey on young children is equally absurd. They belong with those other assertions that all bulletin boards offer illegal (pirated) software, which bilks the computer industry of millions of dollars, as well as another crazy belief that by dialing any other bulletin board will yield stolen credit card numbers which are "safe to use" in addition to Sprint, MCI, and AT&T credit card numbers, which robs the consumer of billions of dollars. There are more community bulletin boards in Southern California than almost anywhere else in the United States, perhaps more. But we are not a bunch of inhuman thieves, pornographers and child molesters. Mr. Gutierrez made no mention of the fact that he could also have called my BBS and, without as much as giving his real name, find out about such things as services for the disabled. The concept of the bulletin board is to share information with the community, provide a message base for computer enthusiasts with similar specific interests, and exchange computer software written expressly for what is called the Shareware Market. Shareware is an avenue for struggling software developers to let computer users evaluate a computer program, and pay the author only if the user finds it to his or her liking. The authors of these programs are able to collect donations of $25 to $75 per user, without going broke due to lack of packaging, marketing, advertising and promotional skills. As a result of Shareware, computer owners can sometimes find software better than bestsellers for a fraction of the price. Yes, it's clear that with computer bulletin boards, as with "free press" journals, advantage will be taken. Anyone can start a BBS with no experience, no license, and a small start-up fee. Those of us who are responsible citizens and residents of Los Angeles and happen to also run a BBS, do so for either no money or a small amount in contributions. We spend twenty to thirty hours a week for the passion of making and having friends, doing something for others, and the point Mr. Gutierrez must have simply overlooked that Friday, Christmas Day: goodwill toward men. It's too bad he missed the boat. Jon Badeaux System Operator The Hotline Information Network Jon Date: 12-30-87 (08:03) Number: 2505 To: VADIM ISRAILEVICH Refer#: 2495 From: SYSOP Read: NO Subj: A P ARTICLE ON BBSS Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE You know....when I think back, I really have never been aware of any kids on the board at all. I think they (kids) are really looking for a Commodore BBS. They must get turned off when they see all the business oriented files and messages here. As far as a kid of 8 or 9 years old, figuring out how to get on this BBS in the first place...then finding out how to download one of the files...then figuring out that they need READMAC to view the file, then figuring out how to UN-ARC and run everything just to see a horrible disgusting naked lady or man, seems a little far fetched to me. My 9 year old son is no dummy...but I think that it would take quite a bit of instruction to get him to the point where he could call up a BBS and do all that. The AP article seemed to suggest that you could call here, hit a button and get an instant peep show. I remember how, at age 23 I hit my first BBS and was baffled for months as to how to deal with these files in a way that would make them useful. I'm not trying to say that I was right for not verifying that the people downloading the adult files were indeed adults. I admit that it was a bad move on my part. I'm just saying that I think the danger of your typical child ever really getting one of those files off this board and viewing it was really minimal. -Joe Date: 12-30-87 (12:59) Number: 2513 To: SYSOP Refer#: 2505 From: BOB ALBERT Read: YES Subj: A P ARTICLE ON BBSS Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE I agree with you. For years, I used to miss all the young, bright people who I remember from my school days. I would see street people, people into violence and drugs, but no "brain" types. Well, I found them: here they are, at their keyboards! Believe me, any young person capable of doing all that is required to make a computer function well is not going to be swayed into a life of sin by a few sexy pictures. Their reactions might be more like "Wow, how do they do this? I gotta look at that file and see how they made it," rather than "Hey, what are those people doing? I gotta try that."

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