Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 2003)
 

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Subject: Re: So I got this 411 spam this morning...
From: "Bernie Cosell" <bernie @ fantasyfarm . com>
Organization: Fantasy Farm Fibers
Date: Thu, 01 May 2003 14:13:05 -0400
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: <3EB15841 . 7020103 @ louisiana . edu>

On 1 May 2003 at 12:24, Istvan Berkeley wrote:

> situation with e-mail is quite curious. The copyright status is 
> determined by reference to the law as it applies to letters. For 
> instance, when you receive this e-mail, you own the (quasi-)physical 
> object. However, I own the content. For this reason, without an explicit 
> release, it may be a violation of copyright to post the message to an 
> archive. Note also, that this makes the activities of third-party 
> archives especially troublesome.

What does he say about the license implicit in posting an email message 
to a public forum?  The summary above isn't very controversial, I don't 
think: it is basically what I've understood about the copyright issue 
essentially since the start of email.

But what's more insteresting is what happens when you post something to a 
public forum [be it usenet or a mailing list].  There is clearly *SOME* 
copying-license granted [else the MLM or NNTP server would be violating 
your copyrigh in propagating your message]... but beyond that it gets 
REAL murky.  Murkier, IMO, on usenet than on mailing lists [where 
presumably the list manager can, in the 'welcome' message, make exactly 
clear what the copyright "rules" are for the list], but still the issue 
is a mess [e.g., is a malinglist->usenet gateway a copyright violation?  
Am I forbidden from forwarding a message received over the list to a 
colleague?]  [I emphasize public forum, because if my colleague would be 
perfectly able to subscribe and get his *own* copy of the mailings to the 
list, it is hard to argue, from a copyright point of view, that I'm 
violating anyones copyright; restricted and private lists are a different 
matter, of course].  As an interesting analogy, I discovered this 
morning, somewhat to my surprise, that the NYTimes has letters to the 
editor available via its website -- I wonder if the license implicit in 
sending a letter to the editor of a newspaper included putting that 
letter on the web...

  /Bernie\

-- 
Bernie Cosell                     Fantasy Farm Fibers
mailto:bernie @
 fantasyfarm .
 com     Pearisburg, VA
    -->  Too many people, too few sheep  <--       





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