Think about it:
The basic structure of NBI (the “Nathaniel Branden Institute)) was as follows:
- A “headquarters” organization which mostly just staged “lecture courses”, and made tape-recordings of those lectures
- “Affiliate” locations would then stage their OWN “lectures” by merely playing back the lecture-tapes which had been produced by the “flagship” organization
- The primary “purpose” of the organization (beyond the “lectures” themselves) was to convince people to buy Ayn Rand’s novels, subscribe to her (shitty) newsletter, and buy the (vanishingly few) “books” Rand/the Brandens had managed to cobble together by excerpting articles from the aforementioned newsletter.
Quite frankly, BOTH ARI (the “Ayn Rand Institute”) and “Atlas Society” are essentially indistinguishable from the above. The only “difference” (if you can call it that) is: nowadays, both organizations post a fair amount of the audio/video of their respective lectures online, in addition to selling physical copies.
The truly galling thing for “Atlas Societey” folks has to be the fact that Leonard Peikoff “inhereited” Ayn Rand’s copyright. Thus, every time one of their members buys a “new” copy of Atlas Shrugged (for example — they are effectively funneling money into Leonard Peikoff’s pockets — and thus (tacitly) also funding ARI (the Ayn Rand Institute), by way of whatever percentage Peikoff “donates” back to what is effectively his own organization.
This is one reason (among many) why I have always utilized the “first sale” doctrine with respect to both Ayn Rand AND Leonard Peikoff’s published works:
- Barring relentless RIAA/MPAA cronyism, copy”right” terms would still be the (somewhat reasonable) maximum of 14 years. In other words, in a sane/rational world, ALL of Ayn Rand’s works sould already be “public domain”, for decades.
- I honestly don’t believe that Leonard Peikoff deserves to have “inherited” copy”rights” on works which should have become Public Domain decades ago
- Leonard Peikoff is a sub-mediocrity who just happens to have some half-assed skill at marketing what amounts to philosophical “snake-oil”