Copyright ethics

Subject: Copyright ethics
From: Tim Lewis <TLewis123 -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 1995 10:18:14 -0400

I'm new to this list so forgive me if this has been addressed before. My
interest in this subject has been renewed because of a discussion on another
list. And, it is not my intention to flame anyone.

I used to receive a newsletter from a small technical writing business until
I pointed out that the President (an active member of STC) was violating a
copyright. He mails a newsletter to his customers and prospective customers.
In one issue, he copied a syndicated cartoon from the local newspaper. (It
included the copyright notice.) He did not ask permission to use it nor did
he pay for its use. I wrote to him and told him tactfully that this is a
violation of copyright. He maintains that it okay because he does not charge
for the newsletter. He also says that his lawyer said it is ok too.

I am a video producer and have read numerous articles on copyright and talked
to our company lawyer. They all tell me that the company is violating the
copyright because the newsletter is a sales tool for the company. If they do
not expect to gain exposure and business from it, they would not go to the
expense of publishing and mailing it.

So, my question is: Do you agree that he violated the copyright and is it
worth my time to convince him to not do it again? If so, how should I do it?
Mail copies of the copyright laws and related articles?

Tim Lewis
TLewis123 -at- aol -dot- com

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