Electronic Newsletters

Subject: Electronic Newsletters
From: Jim Taylor <j -dot- taylor5 -at- GENIE -dot- GEIS -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 14 Aug 1993 17:12:00 BST

Another note copied from the Digital Publishing Roundtable on GEnie.

Jim Taylor
j -dot- taylor5 -at- genie -dot- geis -dot- com

Digital Publishing RoundTable
Category 21, Topic 5
Message 9 Thu Aug 12, 1993
MWHITE [Cowboy] at 23:46 EDT


That's about the clearest, most concise explanation of "copyright confusion"
that I've seen so far.

If I'm reading you right, GEnie's compilation copyright is exclusive of
distribution rights. For example, if GEnie technology evolves to allow
comingling of internet newsgroups with message bases on GEnie's value-added
service, then each writer on GEnie would have to license GEnie to
redistribute their posts on internet -- and by default to any other system
that might pick up the newsgroup and further comingle the messages.

Until the technology automates these interactive "compilations," I retain
rights to grant permission for redistribution of my personal messages, but I
must grant that permission for each and every message as I write it. There
is no mechanism to facilitate or allow blanket permission for all my posts,
and that's probably a bad idea anyway.

However, I believe the technology may advance so quickly that the issues of
ownership and copyright become impossibly blurred and unfathomable. What's
really frightening is that untangling the legal knots will be irresistable.
I'm sure someone out there is trying to address these issues before they
blow up in our monitors.

You're "real-life example" explains the GEnie users' position quite well,
but who owns the compilation copyright on the tech writers newgroup? Have
internet newsgroup participants given tacit permission for redistribution to
GEnie and elsewhere because the very nature of a newsgroup is to facilitate


If you feel like it, go ahead and share my comments (this one and the
previous one) with the tech writers newsgroup. In fact, to go Mr. Ed one
better, I'll try to make it perfectly clear that...

I, Mike White of Kansas City, Missouri, USA, author of two messages about
copyright issues, do hereby irrevocably, and in perpetuity, donate both
messages to the public domain. Read these messages at your own risk
as I will not be responsible for any damage resulting from the way you may
choose to use, misuse, misunderstand, or manipulate the information
contained therein.

(oo)....Mike White mwhite -at- genie -dot- geis -dot- com
DigiPub RT Sysop Member, Digital Publishing Assn

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