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IMHO, he has violated a copyright or a licensing agreement. (How
many times have we seen a close resemblence to Garfield or Dilbert
or Calvin & Hobbes used on a college T-shirt?) I don't have any
research on the subject, however.
Whether you can point this out to him without causing a huge mess
may be another matter.
One suggestion: STC does have newly published Ethical Guidelines,
and they have an Ethics Committee. While the committee, as I
understand it (I'm not a member of it) are not out to police the Society,
they do print ethics questions in the newsletter/magazine, _Intercom_.
Perhaps if you submit the problem to the column, the offender will
get the message from the responses that he should quit his practice.
Just one idea...
From Tim Lewis' posting:
>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.
LaVonna F. Funkhouser Immediate Past President, OK Chapter
lffunkhouser -at- halnet -dot- com Program Manager, 1995 Region 5 Conf.
COREStaff Communication Svcs. Society for Technical Communication
My opinions do not officially represent anyone other than little ol' me.