>From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @
>Date: Sat, 12 Jul 1997 16:26:57 -0700
>At 2:47 PM -0700 7/12/97, Adam H. Kerman wrote:
>>Intellectual property is different; a list of subscribers doesn't qualify.
>I'll disagree. It's my resource. I spent the money and energy to create
>the list of subscribers (or the service that creates it). Therefore I
>think intellectual property is a perfectly valid argument -- it's my
>sweat equity and pocketbook, so I sure better have a say in its use.
Several years ago, the publisher of the official telephone directory sued the
publisher of a rival publisher. It was apparent that one directory was a copy
of the other. Nevertheless, the court ruled that the telephone directory isn't
copyrightable. A classified list, like the yellow pages, could be.
In the example we were discussing, the advertiser didn't copy the subscribers'
names from the list owner. She took them from the From header of messages that
appeared in her mailbox. The list manager doesn't own this information.
>>>In the case of commercial advertisements, you could conceivably prove that
>>>they made money by breaking a contract...which doesn't look good in court. :)
>>Regardless, you aren't entitled to this money.
>Why not? It's my service that generated the list. If I create a service that
>attracts users to it, I should be able to reap the benefit of that service, or
>choose who does by licensing those benefits out. That I choose *not* to reap
>those benefits doesn't mean they don't exist or that users can take them
>without my permission.
You don't own those potential benefits. You can't control what people do with
information once you have set up a forum to get it out there, particularly
information you don't own, like a list of e-mail addresses.