Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Email & copyright

Author:Jason Levine
Posted:8/13/1999; 2:19:58 PM
Topic:re: Walter Crosby's email
Msg #:9500 (In response to 9497)
Prev/Next:9499 / 9502

Awesome question. From my trawling on the US Copyright Office website, the apparent answer is yes, that it would be a copyright violation.

From the Copyright Basics circular (warning -- a PDF file lurks at this link), copyright is immediately affixed to a literary work (which is supposed to be very broadly read -- the Office even says that computer applications are considered literary works) at the moment of authorship, even without a little (C) symbol or anything like that. Only the original author has copyright on the work, and thus has the right to directly control republication and reuse.

Granted, there are exceptions to this -- like the Fair Use exception. But to claim that exception, you generally can only quote small passages for the purposes of comment; members of the press have been allowed to quote entire tracts, but then that would mean that the standard press handling of requests for confidentiality would also apply here.

Very interesting question indeed...


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