I've mentioned David Griffiths in these posts a number of times. I often wonder how many people know about him and his work. The short version is that in the early twentieth century, the US Department of Agriculture, in an effort to establish new commercial crops, began a series of endeavors to establish the cultivation of flower bulbs here in the United States. David Griffiths was the Department's point man for these activities. Although there were sporadic efforts to work out programs in several parts of the country, the centerpiece of the effort was the Bellingham Research Station in Washington State. To put things into a broader historical perspective, Griffiths died in 1935. Here's what prompts me to bring this up. I was talking to a hybridizer friend recently, and they mentioned that they had received absolutely no royalties for some bulbs which are now widely grown and marketed. In this particular case, the hybridizer and marketer are good friends, and the hybridizer had in effect told the marketer that royalties were not expected. When Griffiths was managing the development of commercial bulb culture here in the US, the source of the cultivars used was the Netherlands. Dutch bulbs were imported into the US and used as the foundation stocks for the crops to be developed in this country. The subject of royalties to the Dutch developers of these stocks was never mentioned, and doubtless no royalties were ever paid. One of the issues much discussed in the media these days is the problem of pirated, black market music and video CDs which originate in Asia. It seems to me that what those Asian black marketers are doing is no different than what was done to establish commercial bulb cultivation in this country. I wonder if the Dutch press in the early part of the twentieth century had articles condemning our theft of their bulbs? How do the rest of you feel about this? How would you feel if you found out that someone was selling a plant you raised without your permission? And do you think my comparison of the black market video industry and what was done to establish commercial bulb culture in the US fair? Jim McKenney Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where we didn't see the sun today.