Weekend Reading . . . UPDATE: All FPN Issues Resolved

It's taken me a while to get caught up on my reading after being away for a weekend.  So some of these may be a bit older than usual . . . but by no means stale!  

  1. Ray from FPQuest reviews two gorgeous Sheaffer Balance II's.  I've been looking for one of these for a while, but I haven't been able to grab one at a reasonable price (probably because of Ray's reviews)!  I'm still sold on the Aspen.  First review here; second review here
  2. Mary at From the Pen Cup reviews the Apex Pen (yet another Kickstarter pen that I missed).  Mary also shows off her new Cult Pens Mini Pen.   
  3. Gourmet Pens takes a look at the new Pelikan Edelstein Ink of the Year:  Amethyst.  
  4. MyCoffeePot reviews the Edison Beaumont Stealth.
  5. The ClickyPost reviews the Edelberg Sloop.  The review was so good I ordered a dozen or so to hand out to people at work.  Everyone could use a good ballpoint. 
  6. Mark from WriteAnalog reviews the Platinum Balance.  Another sub-$50 pen I have yet to try, and another great fountain pen review from Mark. 

And, of course, all the Atlanta Pen Show Recaps I can find are linked below.  If I'm missing one, let me know and I'll add it.  

And on a more serious (and extremely disappointing) note.  It's come to my attention, via The Pen Economist, that someone over at the Fountain Pen Network has been essentially republishing my blog and others on the site as an "RSS feed".  To both the FPN Admins and anyone else who is doing this elsewhere, this is not ok and amounts to stealing our content for your own profit.  (Of course, they are serving ads on their site.)  This is especially insulting when FPN's purported "rules and guidelines" prohibit bloggers from linking back to their own content in FPN discussion posts without purchasing a "premium membership":  

In a subject discussed on The Fountain Pen Network, links to other sites (including links to Blogs) may only be posted by approved and paying Premium Account Holders. Links, redirects or pointers to content, which duplicate content as found on The Fountain Pen Network, are not allowed. The Fountain Pen Network is a free service to our members, and The Fountain Pen Network maintains sets of rules, posting limitations, and a fee structure for those advertising goods, services, and external information sources such as blogs and sites which have similar content to the Fountain Pen Network.

In other words, they can steal and profit from our content, but we can't link back to our own websites from within FPN posts unless we pay them money.  It gets better:  

As a registered member of The Fountain Pen Network, you must observe all applicable federal, state and local law, including United States copyright, trademark, and obscenity law. In addition, you will not post any material which is defamatory, abusive, vulgar, hateful, racist, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, which infringes intellectual property or other proprietary rights of any party, advocates any illegal or dangerous activity, or is otherwise in violation of any law, that contains any virus or other harmful component, and/or any material deemed offensive or inappropriate by FPN.

I'm revising my copyright notice on the blog and, more importantly, canceling my FPN account.  Just because I allow readers to download my content via RSS feed for their own personal use does not give anyone a right to effectively stream the content on their own site.  Enough of a rant.  I'll keep you all updated on how this shakes out.  

**FOLLOW UP**  To their great credit, the FPN admins have graciously apologized and removed all of the content in question from the site.  I still disagree with their policy of restricting bloggers' ability to post content and links unless they purchase a paying account.  Ultimately, such policies only serve to limit the amount of content available to FPN members.  But that's their prerogative, and I'm more than satisfied with their response to our concerns.  I consider this issue closed.