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MatPlus.Net Forum General Open Letter
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(1) Posted by Rauf Aliovsadzade [Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 21:40]

Open Letter

This is published in the latest issue of the Azerbaijan chess composition magazine "`Şahmat Bəstəçılıyı`.
I think the world chess composition community will be interested.

Dear Mr. Avner,
Taking the opportunity given to me by the official publication of the Azerbaijan Chess Composition Commission, I am applying to you as President of the FIDE's PCCC with a constructive proposal.
Chess Composition, as it's known, is creative work, and, the results of this work should be accepted as the author's intellectual property. No doubt intellectual property has to be protected which is emphasized in Chess Composition Codes in many countries. But, in fact, it is more declarative rather than legitimate. It is because that there is no mechanism to implement the protection of intellectual property in regards to Chess Composition.
I won't go into greater details on the matter but just touch a big issue that is quite possible to take measures about.
Modern Chess Composition is almost obligatorily thematic ,and ,generation of new ideas should be attributed to the highest phase of intellectual creativity. However, the ascertainment of priority in discovering a new theme and giving it a name is in the hands of individuals and publications. That means that the PCCC practically plays no role in this process. While, in my view, it is the PCCC's direct prerogative because this organization is the highest legislative body in the world's chess composition. And as a result of this, some morbid feelings and situations have been taking place which are uncharacteristic of Chess Composition.
The established practice of determining the priority of a new theme by its first appearance in print is totally wrong. While in science and technology, the mechanism of copyrighting works well. It would be absurd if inventors in technology would be asked to build first a machine and only later be given the patent. And this is how it is the case in Chess Composition. Psychology tells us that, creative folks can be conditionally split into two categories, those who prefer to generate new ideas and those who have abilities to masterly realize ideas in practice. Of course, there can be a synthesis, too. Normally, either of the above-mentioned categories is more strong in its field. So, proposing an idea and its realization are two different entities and neither can hinder the other. Let's say that a composer generated a new theme and has two ways to go. First, to keep it secret and try to realize it. But, for some reasons, this may take a long time which ,in turn, would retard the development of Chess Composition. Moreover, there may be the possibility that someone else may hit upon the same idea. In which case Composer 1 may losethe rights on the theme. Second, to inform others about the idea which also is practically a loss of priority.
I do not understand why the PCCC doesn't adopt the internationally accepted practice of patenting and protection of author's right? I think it is high time to do something about that in Chess Composition. Here is what I'd like to propose:

1. The PCCC handles all the matters concerning new ideas and for this it sets up a sub-commission consisted of highly knowledgeable experts;
2. At the first stage of its work the sub-commission develops a database of existing themes, establishes rules and regulations;
3. The sub-commission, as its responsibility, accepts presumably new ideas from authors and informs the authors about receiving those claims.
In the claims, the authors have to give the full definition of the ideas accompanied, whenever possible, with explanatory schemes;
4. The sub-commission makes an examination of the claim .And if it is new ,the claim gets published in a special bulletin and also on the PCCC's Website for possible objections.
5. After it is proven that the idea is new the author is given a patent.
6. Patented ideas, even those not realized yet, will make an Ideas Bank, that will stimulate the progress of Chess Composition. Everybody should have a full access to the Ideas Bank.
7. In the case of a claim being declined, the author gets an explanation on that. The author has the right to appeal.

Dear Mr. Avner,
I hope that my proposition is quite logical and will be met with understanding and support from you and many composers in general.

Yours, Mejnun Vahidov,
Azerbaijan National Master of Sport in Chess Composition.
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MatPlus.Net Forum General Open Letter