CDROMS, FAQ's, and the law

Subject: CDROMS, FAQ's, and the law
From: Justin Wells <rjwells -at- UNDERGRAD -dot- MATH -dot- UWATERLOO -dot- CA>
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 1994 10:07:22 -0400

Recently a small company ("Walnut Creek") published a CD-ROM containing
FAQ's from various Internet newsgroups -- *without* getting permission
of the authors of those FAQs.

Apparently there is now some controversy, legally, as to whether or not
they can or should get away with this. At any rate, what is at stake is
the legal ownership of written material that is published through the

There are a lot of people who feel that FAQ authors own the material
they write, and a lot of others who think that anything posted to the
net should be free for any and all to use.

I can post further details if anyone is interested, or you can e-mail
to one "John Frost" who seems to be compiling information about this
issue, and who I think was the first to post about it publically. He
is trying to get a proper legal opinion on the matter, has involved
the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and has contacted the company
in question -- so I guess he probably can fill you in on the details
better than I.

John Frost's e-mail address is: frost -at- netcom -dot- com

I thought this was something technical writers, STC type people, etc.,
might be interested -- especially people who publish things online.

rjwells -at- uwaterloo -dot- ca

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