Founders Message: Pet peeve

I just finished reading The Kiplinger Letter for September. I believe that it has been the number one business newsletter in the country for 89 years. A guy named Kiplinger still writes it and I must assume he aint the founder. On the other hand I still write my monthly column after 50 years and Im still around. Lets do the math. 50 from 89. Thats only 39 years. I tell people that I founded the Real Estate Journal in 1963 when I was sixteen. That would make me 65 now. I like being 65. Okay? Kiplinger would have had to have founded his newsletter when he was maybe ten. Hmm. Maybe he likes being 99. At the end of his letter he says, "Quoting for political or commercial use is prohibited." So I guess that means that I cant tell you that the housingmarket is coming back that will add Jobs, add to consumer spending and economic gains. Years ago another publication started a Real Estate Journal, a name I had come up with 50 years ago. I wondered if I should sue. A trusted business adviser strongly suggested that when someone steals your idea, instead of going to court over it, be flattered. So I was flattered, and when anyone uses material from the my Real Estate Journal - New England or New York, I am flattered. And I recently found that we are quoted weekly all over the web, so I am flattered. So here is this months pet peeve that has bothered me for many years. When someone joins a business organization, pays money for the use of the symbol, they should automatically assume that the organization will do everything they can to promote that person and not keep the membership a secret. Unless, of course it is some terrorist organization. You know what Im saying? A few years ago I printed the names of a commercial real estate affiliated group and received a telephone call from an organization official threatening to sue me. Needless to say I was shocked. I thought I was doing a service to print the list and that some of them would actually get business out of my effort. I phoned a few lawyer friends and they assured me that if I was taken to court I would win the case but did I want to spend the time and money, so I decided to be flattered and apologized for printing the list. The losers? The members of that particular organization. I recently went to their website. Guess what? No list unless you are a member. I really dont think an organization is doing their members a service by keeping the names a secret. Do you? Meanwhile, if Mr. Kiplinger (and I assume he is the fathers son or grandson) is reading this, he still has the best business newsletter in the country and I promise I wont ever use any of his quotes. Okay Knight? Roland Hopkins is founder of the NEREJ, Norwell, Mass.