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Professor Apologizes to ‘Radix’

September 2, 2002

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) _ A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology apologized to the creators of the comic strip ``Radix″ for using the image of their main character without asking.

Edwin L. Thomas, director of MIT’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, used a picture of the strip’s armed and armored character Valerie Fiores by artists Ray and Ben Lai to announce a $50 million government grant.

``If I had known it was your work, I would not have used it,″ Thomas wrote in an e-mail to Ray Lai, five months after the brothers complained to MIT.

``MIT strongly supports the rights of creators and greatly regrets using the image without permission or credit,″ Thomas wrote. ``I am very sorry that this happened; it won’t happen again.″

The apology was posted on MIT’s Web site.

Thomas said he used the image to show ``what the soldier of the future might look like″ in a news release on the university’s biggest-ever grant for military research.

Ray Lai told The Boston Globe the apology was just a ``first step.″ ``If MIT was to do the right thing, they would put out a press release like they did before,″ he said.

Lai said he expects some financial compensation and an acknowledgment of wrongdoing from MIT as an institution.

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