At 4:46 PM -0800 1/2/97, Stan Ryckman wrote:
>You are assuming that DejaNews isn't violating copyright -- something
>that I don't assume. Sooner or later, someone will probably sue them.
I wonder. They're only taking information avaialble on a public news
feed and distributing it to users. Their only difference is they're not
distributing it via NNTP, but repackaging it with different front end.
I don't see that their decision to make it available via HTTP using a
huge mother search engine instead of using INN and NNTP protocols does
a thing about copyright.
Why is what they're doing different than what UUNET does? As far as I
can tell, it's only protocols and presentation. Both are publically
distributing public information. How is one therefore a copyright
>If they give it away freely, but surrounded by all sorts of advertising
>(some of which you may object to), is it "selling?"
Yes. And, in fact, they can give it away and still be in violation.
Copyright violations don't need a monetary value attached -- it's the
loss of rights that causes the violation.
>Not that selling's relevant to copyright law; you have no right to take
>a book I write, photocopy it, and give away the copies.
Brings up an interesting question -- is Alta Vista in violation of
people's copyrights? They suck down web pages, index them, and
distribute the consolidated data. So are all the other crawlers. If
Alta Vista is legally clean, why wouldn't findmail.com be? They seem to
be doing effectively the same thing, only against e-mail. Why is it
okay to do it to web, and not e-mail?
Is it because we don't like the concept? Or because we already know the
value of Alta vista and not these guys, so they don't count? Or is
there soem essential difference that makes it okay one way but not the
>>I'm not saying _all_ mailing lists are public forums, but some are designed
>>as such, including most of the lists I run.
>Which ones are? Unless you require submitters to explicitly transfer
>copyright to you, and then explicitly place the contents in the public domain,
>they (the submitters) *still* maintain copyright even if "public" by whatever
>definition you may have of "public."
Generally, I don't think it matters. The user retains copyright on the
individual message, and the list owner maintains copyright on the
compilation of messages that is "the mailing list". Compuserve, et al,
have shown and used compilation copyrights for a long time. It's pretty
clear from a legal standpoint...
>>Some obviously aren't.
>What makes that "obvious" as opposed to a mailing list discussing
I don't think it's at all obvious, especially in the strict legal
definition, which is what really matter. We're looking at two witches,
calling one good, and one bad, based on the clothes they wear, when
taste in clothes is a personal opinion, not a legal fact....
Chuq Von Rospach (firstname.lastname@example.org) Software Gnome
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