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Intel's Moore Mag Bounty Effect

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A day after Intel said it would offer $10,000 for a copy of a magazine in which Moore's Law was first announced, a University of Illinois engineering library noticed that one of its two copies had disappeared.

There was a glaring space on the shelf where the bound volume containing the April 19, 1965, edition of Electronics Magazine sat for years, said Mary Schlembach, assistant engineering librarian at the Grainger Engineering Library at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Another librarian heard a student talking on a cell phone about the volume the same day, Schlembach said. Ordinarily, the magazine is not a popular item.

"We don't know when it walked, but it walked," she said. "A lot of copies will go missing."
Librarians at Stanford University, the University of Washington and other universities say they are angry at Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel for posting on eBay a $10,000 bounty for a copy of the magazine. The bounty went up on April 11. Since then, others have posted bounties too.

Although Intel specifically said it would only buy library copies from libraries, the situation is creating problems. Stanford has pulled its copy off the shelves, said Karen Greig, head of reference at the engineering library at Stanford.

A second copy owned by the University of Illinois is under lock and key. The school has no intention of selling it. "We want to keep the original for historical and archiving purposes," Schlembach said. "This is not a good idea."

The April 19, 1965, issue of the magazine contained an article by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that described how the number of components on integrated circuits was doubling every year. The article became the foundation for Moore's famed dictum and has been a cornerstone of the entire IT industry for decades.

Intel, which has now spoken with several people or institutions that have copies of the magazine, will close down its eBay listing on Thursday night, a company spokesman said.

"We feel we have enough candidates for this," said Manny Vara, a company spokesman. "The people we're talking to are individuals that have been engineers for a long time and who seem to have (copies) in their collections. We're also talking to libraries who might want to sell" their copies.

However, "we certainly were not looking to cause any problems for any of the libraries out there, and we did go out of or way in our posting to point that out," Vara said. "We actually have in our posting that we will not buy library or museum copies from anyone other than those organizations themselves."

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