Many know the sad story of the disappearance of one of the Internet's most useful scientific resources, Eric Weisstein's Mathworld. In my outrage over CRC Press's decision to force the closure of this Web site, I wrote a "customer review" at regarding the book version. My review was never published; in fact, a few weeks later I noticed that Amazon decided to remove all existing negative comments that mentioned the CRC Press lawsuit.

Yes, I realize that freedom of speech doesn't mean that anyone is required to provide a venue for your thoughts. Thanks to the Internet, however, I can publish my own thoughts... so here is that customer review that Amazon never published on their site.

Remember the rumor when Bill Gates was said to have copyrighted the name Bob? Well, this story is worse. And unlike the Gates story, this one is, sadly, real.

Eric Weisstein has maintained for many years one of the most valuable FREE mathematical resources on the Web. CRC Press, after entering into a book and CD-ROM contract with the author, chose to interpret this contract as giving them rights to the previously existing Web site. Then, in what I can only describe as vindictive legal action, they forced this site to be shut down, to the detriment of thousands of Internet users, many of whom were active contributors to the site.

It is a real pity, because the CRC Press book and CD-ROM would be excellent companion products to the MathWorld Web site. For now, however, my recommendation is to NOT buy this book or CD-ROM until the legal matter is resolved in a manner acceptable to Dr. Weisstein, and MathWorld is made available again to the Internet public. At that time, do go and and buy the book, and give it the five stars it deserves!