RE: Re: How Many Trees? (WAS: URGENT: Immediate ethical issue

Subject: RE: Re: How Many Trees? (WAS: URGENT: Immediate ethical issue
From: DaLy <swiggles247 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 12:49:37 -0700 (PDT)

If I am understanding both Jan and Mark correctly,
variations on the same theme constitute copyright
infringement. If this is the case, two of the largest
Hard Drive manufacturers "share" (not verbatim though)
the same installation instructions in their
independent guides (which I have just read). The
terminology is the same, the concepts are the same,
the steps for hardware installation are the same and
the steps for software installation also are the same.

As Eric stated - a company has to prove a loss in
income to sue for copyright infringement. People do
not usually choose a product based on its
documentation (or lack of it), so loss of income is
not easily proven. Neither of these companies would
sue the other for copyright infringement.

I think that as technology keeps growing, the
copyright infringement line will get narrower and
narrower until it finally disappears.


A OT PS for Jan - Is GmbH the same as Inc.? I could
not find any information about GmbH itself.

A PS for Mark - Most Technical and Scientific writing
is a derivative of another's work (i.e. an idea made
tangible via the use of words) - in the purest sense.
I am not an advocate of stealing another's work, but I
do find the topic and how people respond to it very

Your mixing two concepts here that are not directly
related: "(copyright) infrigement" is a legal concept,
"originality" is a creative one.

Your rewriting of John's paragraph certainly isn't
original - no argument there. And it probably would
constitute copyright infringement. Simply replacing
words isn't enough to circumvent that.

Just where the line is between illegal copying and
legal stating of the same information with other words
is hard to tell in a general manner - this is the
stuff that lawsuits are made of (and lawyers' fortunes
:-). But with simple word substitution, you are almost
certainly on the wrong side of that line.

Jan Henning


You have created a derivitive work, and that is an
infringment. Copyright law prohibits dirivitve works
made without the owner's permission. Copyright
protects the author's work, not their ideas. But the
protection of the work is not limited to verbatim
transcripts but extends to anything that is
manifestly a derivitive of their work.

It is possible to look this stuff up folks.

Mark Baker

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