The excerpts below are from sworn statements of witnesses, taken prior to June 1998 when USDJ Charles Siragusa issued his Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order in Meru Foundation's lawsuit against Daniel Winter for copyright infringement and disparagement. With the advice of an attorney, Daniel Winter stipulated to the facts as set out in the Findings of Fact, above, so there was no need for these expert witnesses and eyewitnesses to testify at trial in person.
Sworn Testimony of Expert and Fact Witnesses
Excerpted from Affidavits and Depositions, as noted
Compiled by Cynthia Tenen, Meru Foundation, November 1997
Copies of the original documents available on request
From the Affidavit of Louis H. Kauffman, Ph.D., 11 November 1994:
"He [Mr. Winter] has used Mr. Tenen's ideas, his terminology, and his specific designs with no credit to Mr. Tenen."
James Fournier: Award-winning industrial designer; contributing editor to Innovation, the professional quarterly of the Industrial Design Society of America; graduate studies in MIT Masters of Architecture program; 7-year professional in 3-D computer graphics and modeling.
From the Affidavit of James Fournier, 5 November 1994:
Quotation: Page 2, line 23 through Page 3, line 18
"When one looks at Mr. Winter's spiral form, it is immediately obvious that all but one of the segments fall along one smooth and continuous curve. The final segment (on the outside of the toroid, approaching the equatorial plane) is obviously discontinuous with all of the other segments. This is a direct result of a "truncation" of the curve, which Mr. Winter himself refers to in his "Proof of Golden Mean Values in Origin of Symbol Mapping," (submitted to the Court by Mr. Winter as Exhibit 5 accompanying his Response to Mr. Tenen's original complaint). This truncation was necessary for him to force his 3-D curve to meet the x-y plane in a near-perpendicular manner. It has nothing to do with the golden mean geometry which he is claiming. It is impossible for rotation of a golden mean spiral about the z-axis perpendicular to the plane in which it lies, to by itself cause the "backbend" (the above-mentioned discontinuous segment). This bend is an artifact of intentional manipulation of the curve, by himself or others. I can only conclude that either Mr. Winter himself does not understand geometry which was in fact created by others, or he is lying."Mr. Fournier's Conclusion: Page 5, lines 7-17.
"Regardless of whether or not Mr. Winter started his projection process with a golden mean function, he has altered the true projection of a golden mean form so that his depictions cross the equatorial plane at a near-90-degree angle. He has also arranged for the "flame-vortex" to be exactly one and one half turns. This occurs only on Mr. Tenen's sculpture; it is not technically determined. For all these reasons I conclude therefore that Mr. Winter chose parameters for his computer modeling program, not to match the golden mean, but specifically and primarily so that the result would duplicate Mr. Tenen's copyright sculpture."From the Deposition of James Fournier, 22 January 1996
Quotation: Page 14, Lines 6-24
"All right. What I believe he [Mr. Winter] did differs vitally from what I understand he claims he did. The two are the same in that the first thing that he did, and that I did, in attempting to duplicate his work is to plot a Golden Mean Spiral in the XY plane. The Golden Mean Spiral can only be plotted in a plane, in a single plane.Mr. Fournier's Conclusion: Page 32, Lines 11-14
"If you then want a three-dimensional representation of it, you must project it onto some other additional surface. The projection is not, strictly speaking, a Golden Mean Spiral. But if you want to claim that your work is based purely on a Golden Mean Spiral, it should be a projection of a Golden Mean Spiral.
"The columns in this spreadsheet appear to feed the 3-D representations picked in his testimony. From looking at these pictorial representations, it is clear that the curve has, what would be called in mathematics, a discontinuous point. That is, a point where it is not smooth, where it is bent. This point can only be introduced into that curve if the figures deriving the curve are manually manipulated."
"If it were a truly mathematical function representing a projection of a Golden Mean Spiral, it would meet the equator at a much gentler angle, that is, a smaller numbered angle with respect to the horizontal plane, the XY plane."
Erol O. Torun, Physical Scientist and Computer Mapping Expert, U.S. Defense Mapping Agency
From the Affidavit of Erol Torun, 20 October 1994
Quotation: Page 2, Lines 9-15
"I have compared the Meru Foundation sculpture with the geometric form that Mr. Daniel Winter of Crystal Hill Farm, Eden, New York, has been marketing in the form of books, videotapes, and CD-ROM, without attribution to Meru Foundation. I understand that Mr. Winter contends that the geometric form in question is derived from a simple mathematical function (the Golden Section) and is therefore not subject to copyright."Mr. Torun's Conclusion (1): Page 4, lines 17-20
"In summary, it is my conclusion that the Meru Foundation sculpture appears to be a unique work of art. Furthermore, the form pictured and marketed by Mr. Winter appears to be a copy of the Meru Foundation sculpture."Mr. Torun's Conclusion (2): Page 4, line 27-Page 5, line 7
"There is no simple mathematical derivation for a form of this type, and this leads me to conclude that Mr. Winter's form and its presentation are directly copied from Meru Foundation."From the Deposition of Erol Torun, 15 January 1996
Quotation: Page 43, line 5 through Page 44, line 21
"Q [Mr. Coyne]: Same question. Do you see any significant difference in any of those spirals from Mr. Tenen's spiral?
"A [Mr. Torun]: No, I don't.
"Q: Then can you, going back to this concept that Mr. Winter claims to have created the spiral I have just shown you on the computer using a golden mean spiral, can you account for the -- how can you account for the fact that using a golden mean spiral projected onto a toroid surface, Mr. Winter was able to obtain two-dimensional representations of a three-dimensional object that looks so similar to Mr. Tenen's two-dimensional representations?
"A: No, I can't account for it, other than knowledge of and copying of the work by Mr. Tenen.
"Q: Okay. Now, Mr. Winter, we understand, has contended that Mr. Tenen should not be entitled to any copyright on this three-dimensional form he's using to project computer images of Hebrew letters because it's only a mathematical object. Through your analysis and mathematics, are you able to tell whether Mr. Winter's form is a mathematical object?
"A: I know of no way to produce this mathematically. As I said previously, if I were, I'd have to do it directly by making tracings of it in various orientations and copying it as if it were a furniture leg or some other three-dimensional object.
"Q: Let me ask first: You earlier stated that the spiral flame letter form that both men are using was one and a half turns; is that correct:
"Q: Is there any mathematical reason for terminating this golden mean spiral projected onto a torus after one and a half turns only?
"A: None whatsoever.
"Q: How many turns does a golden mean spiral take?
"A: It is -- mathematically, it is an infinite object, in both directions."
Nathaniel Hellerstein, Ph.D. (Math., Logic) U.C. Berkeley; Undergraduate Teacher; author of "Diamond: A Paradox Logic," Vol. 14 in the World Scientific mathematical book series, "Knots & Everything"
From the Affidavit of Nathaniel Hellerstein, 27 April 1995
Quotation 1: Page 3, line 19 through Page 4, line 6
"When Mr. Tenen told me about Mr. Winter's activities, I was at first surprised at Mr. Tenen's vehemence and outrage. Later, when Mr. Tenen showed me what Mr. Winter was actually doing, I began to understand the damage done. As I examined Mr. Winter's crude imitations of Mr. Tenen's careful efforts, I too became concerned. I saw that Mr. Winter has done the worst possible kind of harm, for he has damaged the work itself. I believe that Mr. Winter has not only stolen Mr. Tenen's magnum opus, he has also done it poorly, and in a technically inaccurate and embarrassing manner."Quotation 2: Page 9, line 21 through Page 10, line 21
"When I inspect Mr. Winter's work, I see that Mr. Tenen's point is proven; for the spirals Mr. Winter uses resemble the Golden Mean only up to a point. Beyond that point it is clear that Mr. Winter resorted to "finagling"; i.e. he manipulated individual data points to force his theory to fit the facts. ("Finagling" is a polite academic euphemism for this practice; a more direct but less diplomatic term is "cheating". Massaging data is as unacceptable in Academia as counterfeiting currency is in the Market, or falsifying testimony is in the Law.) To repeat: in my professional opinion, Mr. Winter has not only stolen Mr. Tenen's work, he has done so poorly and in so misleading and so technically unjustified a manner as to discredit the work. If, as a mathematician, I had seen Mr. Winter's misleading and technically unjustified materials and claims before I had seen Mr. Tenen's originals, I might have hastily concluded that Mr. Tenen's work was as worthless as Mr. Winter's copy, and I might simply throw Mr. Tenen's work, unread, in the trash, to join Mr. Winter's.Dr. Hellerstein's Conclusion: Page 12, lines 8-10:
"Mr. Winter's case is so absurd and brazen that it resembles a well known fictional lawsuit where the Defendant claimed:
1) that he did not borrow the Plaintiff's vase';
2) that it was already cracked when he borrowed it;
3) and that it was in perfect condition when he returned it."
"In spite of Mr. Winter's ineptitude and misleading claims, his plagiarism of Mr. Tenen's original work remains clear and obvious."From the Deposition of Nathaniel Hellerstein, Ph.D., 22 January 1996
Quotation: Page 29, lines 8-22
"Q [Mr. Coyne]: And I'm going to put the same question to you: Is there any way, mathematically, without fudging or bending or moving data points arbitrarily starting with Golden Mean Spiral, to project the Golden Mean Spiral onto a toroidal surface, snip it off after one and a half turns and obtain through a one-tenth rotation around the spiral axis to create a ribbon form? Is there any way to obtain that shape?
"A: Well, if you massage the data enough, yes. But in a natural way, no. Looking at this at present, I'm seeing a spiral, all right, but it is not a golden mean spiral."
Below are excerpts from the Deposition of Richard Leviton, who met Mr. Winter in mid-1987, and lived with Mr. Winter at his home in Eden, New York, from February 1990 through April 1991. This was the entire critical period during which Mr. Winter began plagiarizing our materials.
NOTE: The complete deposition transcript (over 50 pages) is
Quotation: Page 26, lines 5-13
Q: [Mr. Coyne (Meru Foundation lawyer)]: Did there come a later time when you moved in and lived there [Crystal Hill Farm, Mr. Winter's residence]?Quotation: Page 33, line 23 - Page 34, line 16
A: [Mr. Leviton]: Yes, early February, 1990, moved in; started paying rent on two rooms; very modest amount, $100 for each room, plus food. One room was my bedroom; one room was my office.
Q: For a total of $200 a month rent?
Q: Moved in February of 1990, and stayed how long, until when?
A: Until I was forcibly thrown out in April of 1991.
A: I would say within a few months of becoming a resident of the house, I was aware of that dispute and problem between Dan Winter and Stan Tenen. I heard talk of lawsuits and possible litigation, and various other legal terms and strategies early on.Quotation: Page 35
Q: As part of what you became aware of, did you become aware that Stan Tenen had cautioned Mr. Winter that dissemination of this vortex shape for generating Hebrew letter forms and associated written materials should be on a limited dissemination basis and for scholarly purposes?
A: Yes, and on many occasions.
Q: Is that what you observed Mr. Winter doing in the manner in which he sold and/or gave away his Alphabet of the Heart and/or his video tapes that contain Hebrew letter forms? Was he doing that, limiting dissemination to scholars?
A: No, he had a flagrant disregard for everything Stan Tenen said regarding copyrighted material.
Q: Did Dan Winter ever make any comments to you about his attitude towards copyright?Quotation: Page 47, line 26 - page 48, lines 19
Q: What did he say?
A: He said, in effect, it didn't apply to him; that intellectual material should be "shared;" that people -- that he didn't believe in intellectual secrets, which in his mind he equated with copyrighted material; and that this information should e sent freely to whomever was interested; and if people, such as Stan Tenen, were not willing to cooperate, tough, he would send it out anyway.
Q: Did Dan Winter's description or characterization of Stan Tenen change during the period you were with him?Quotation: Pages 50-51:
Q: In what way?
A: Originally, it was adulatory. In other words, he presented Stan Tenen's work to me and other people as a revelation, as an amazing new material, as a brilliant synthesis or articulation of previously revealed or perhaps never revealed, information. This began to degenerate into a kind of sullen, confrontational attitude about Stan Tenen. And his attitude was exacerbated by the possibility or promise, shall we say, of litigation that was happening during the period 1990-1991 on Stan Tenen's part. In other words, leave my material alone.
Dan Winter's response was, "I don't intend to do that. If you're not into having your material popularized, too bad. I'm going to do it anyway." Later on, he began to have more of a scornful, pejorative, unpleasant attitude about Stan Tenen. So again, it was a devolution, you might say, of attitude.
Q: Did Daniel Winter ever tell you anything about his belief in being reincarnated from previous personalities?Quotation: Page 51, line 24 - Page 52, line 21
A: Quite often. In fact, he often presented that as part of his public talks. he gathered some of his material from a group of women who claimed to be psychics. There were perhaps two, three or four women in this group. I met two of them personally.
These women gave him some of his core beliefs, or attributions as to previous personages. These include King Tutankhamen of Egypt; Lazarus of the Jesus Christ fame. He claimed that he had been a Nazi in his previous life and had done some nasty things in a cave in Banff, Alberta, something to do with children and very nasty things.
There might have been one or two other attributions. He took these seriously. There was no circumstantial corroboration from the psychics, and he dished it out in public. When he got into an intimate moment with his audience -- let's put it this way: Sometimes he would explicitly say it. And most of the time, he would come a millimeter away from it, saying, "When I was King Tut," or "When I was Lazarus." It was pretty wild.
Q: Did you observe Daniel Winter, at his computer, actually attempting to derive a vortex shape capable of creating the Hebrew letter forms by shadowgrams? Did you actually see him at his computer attempting to do that?
A: Many times.
Q: He told the court that it took him thousands of hours to do that. Can you state, from your personal observation, whether that's accurate or not?
A: It's not accurate. Two to three weeks. He was a quick study.
Q: How do you know it was two to three weeks?
A: In what sense do you want me to answer that?
Q: Were you there at the time?
A: Yes, I was there during the time in which -- out of frustration with Stan Tenen's reluctance or inability to animate or illustrate, in a 3-D manner, the flame letters, Dan Winter said, "I'm going to do it on my Mac." And in my opinion - Richard Leviton - he did this in rather quick time, because soon after that, he was marketing it and using it in his talks. I don't think it took him very long to do it. He did stuff in the evenings and weekends, two to three weeks, maybe a Monday, maximum. That's calendar time, not like 40 hours a week time. I'm saying my impression is that it was a short study for him.
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