Message 2003-07-0002: RE: Validity of *Tyrannosaurus stanwinstonorum* Pickering (1996)

Tue, 08 Jul 2003 08:08:50 -0400

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Date: Tue, 08 Jul 2003 08:08:50 -0400
From: "Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." <>
To: "Jaime A. Headden" <>,,
Subject: RE: Validity of *Tyrannosaurus stanwinstonorum* Pickering (1996)

> From: Jaime A. Headden []
> Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2003 3:44 AM
>   Pickering supposedly used the name "stanwinstonorum," but does this
> pulbication of Glut's validify the name "stanwinstonorus"? This question
> is in part also to clarify issues of publication. According to the ICZN,
> which Glut follows, Art. 18--19 clarifies what validates publication, and
> does not permit the issuance of a newsletter, which Pickering's 1996
> publication accompanied and may be subjected to in essential format;
> however, according to Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 101 (in the U.S. Code,
> under which the issuance of the booklet is presided upon), in defining
> copywrites:
>     " 'Publication' is the distribution of copies or phonorecords of a
>   work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental,
>   lease, or lending. The offering to distribute copies or phonorecords to
> a
>   group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public
>   performance, or public display, constitutes publication. A public
>   performance or display of a work does not of itself constitute
>   publication."
>   [citation:]
>   By the context of this message, Pickering's work constitutes
> publication, but is not reflected by the ICZN's consideration, which holds
> a rather stricter interpretation of what is NOT published, though the US
> Code under which it was produced does permit it to be.
>   Thus, I appeal to these three lists as to their considerations or
> interpretations of these qualities. Typically, I can print out a sheet
> with a new name, diagnosis, even figure, and say, make "Rinchenia"
> official, and be standard by US law to have published, by sending 1,000+
> copies of this to the SVP membership. How far am I from the truth with
> this hypothetical scenario, or are we left with a "public rules" standard
> of aggrement to what constitutes a validly published name, apart from the

The U.S. Code has no bearing on what constitutes *taxonomic* publication;
only a biological nomenclatorial body (such as the ICZN or the future ICPN)
has authority in such cases.

For an extreme example, if the U.S. Code were used for nomenclature, than
Stephen Dedman's 1998 name _Borogovia holtzi_ would be a nomen vanum (given
that there is no physical specimen, only a fictional description...).
However, just because it is a *copyrighted* work doesn't mean it is a work
of taxonomy, and so _B. holtzi_ is not a nomen anything.

As a recipient of the Pickering newsletter in which T. stan... was named, I
can confirm that it WAS a newslette.  It was concerned with rather
far-ranging topics (a Nazi/Freudian interpretation of King Kong, racism, and
mixed in there some rather unhelpful attempts to coin new species of
Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus).

Furthermore, there is a sort of community rules standard: if the community
of scientists ignores an (in this case invalidly and inadvisedly proposed)
name, then it isn't used.

		Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
		Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology		Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland		College Park Scholars
		College Park, MD  20742
Phone:	301-405-4084	Email:
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661	Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796


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