Re: ownership of works & FAQs

Subject: Re: ownership of works & FAQs
From: Vicki Rosenzweig <murphy!acmcr!vr -at- UUNET -dot- UU -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 1994 17:10:22 EDT

It's worth noting the basis on which the court case Chuck
cites was decided: the court cited the constitution, which
says that the purpose of copyright law is to promote useful
arts and sciences (that's a paraphrase, from memory--I don't
have a copy here at work), and said that allowing reproduction
of the information in a phone directory would serve that
end. Whether this applies to an FAQ, and in which direction,
I don't know.

Ethically speaking, I would certainly feel better about giving
away my time and efforts (as we're all doing on this list) if
I knew that everyone else involved was basically doing the
same. We pay the phone company for the connection, but nobody
is collecting a nice fat fee by arguing that this list includes
contributions from X, Y, and Z, so it's worth $30/month to you.
OK, maybe that's not exactly a matter of ethics, but of a
practical question: is anyone going to compile or update FAQ
lists if they know that it will cost them something (if only
their own electric bills) and profit someone who doesn't even
have the courtesy to ask permission?

Vicki Rosenzweig
vr%acmcr -dot- uucp -at- murphy -dot- com
New York, NY

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