> 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?
Because Alta Vista doesn't provide the full-text of the web-pages at
their site. They only provide content-based URLs pointing to the
original data and a fair-use excerpt.
> Or is there soem essential difference that makes it okay one way but
> not the other?
Yup, you can point to my actual content, you can review it, you can
index, you can excerpt. But you cannot provide the actual full-text
content itself without my permission. *BIG* difference. *CRUCIAL*
> 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....
There is a cooking oriented book out which is nothing more than an
index to several popular cookbooks. They indexed all the recipes, by
title and ingredient. If you wanted oatmeal cookies you could look up
in this book and it would tell you what page it was on in Joy of
Cooking, in Betty Crocker, etc. You could then compare the recipes.
Or if you remembered there was a recipe for stuffed zucchini in one of
the books, but didn't recall which one, you looked it up in this index
and found out which cookbook had it. This large recipe index book
didn't have the actual recipes, just pointers based on the content in
the cookbooks. This recipe index is like the web search engines.
Findmail would be like doing this same indexing, but including all the
recipes from all the books verbatum. The first is not a violation of
copyright (and actually exists, BTW), the second would be.
This is not a matter of "taste" at all.
Michelle Dick firstname.lastname@example.org East Palo Alto, CA