Copyright ethics summary

Subject: Copyright ethics summary
From: Tim Lewis <TLewis123 -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 14:09:05 -0400

Howdy 8-)

This is a summary of the posting that I asked your thoughts on: > 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.

The response was terriffic. I received about 24 replies. Everyone agreed that
the president of the company violated the copyright. Several people suggested
that I notify the syndicate about it or have a lawyer contact him (at my
expense). These are all posible suggestions, however I feel that I did the
only thing that I should do. That was to bring the violation to his
attention. Since I do not feel vindictive, I can only hope that he will come
to his senses. Rose the Advice Lady reminded me of this when she said,
> It is never worth or time and effort to convince anyone of >anything,
except maybe to give us a job or to stop stepping on >our toes. My advice is
to drop it, unless it directly effects >your welfare. You brought up the
subject, now it is the >company's president's responsibility to either look
into or >ignore it. It's possible that he just didn't want to admit you >were
right, but has decided to change his behavior in the >future. If you press
it, you are "stepping on his toes" by >pushing on his ego and you won't be
making any friends or >influencing people....

An other positive response came from Larry Kunz, STC Assistant to the
President for Professional Development, when he said that he was going to
send the posting and replies to John Bryan, manager of the Ethics Committee,
with the suggestion that he use it for the case book. Later, John wrote, > I
agree that the use as described does violate copyright, not >coming under the
provisions of the fair use doctrine. Missing >in the discussion though is the
ethical issue. When we get >bogged down in arguing the law, we often forget
the moral >side of the issue.
John wrote an interesting message about the history and reason of copyright,
and you will find it interesting reading. Larry posted it on Oct. 6. If don't
have it, let me know and I'll e-mail it to you.

So, I want to thank all of you who responded. I am encouraged by your
responses. 8-) I hope it helps us to remember to respect other's works. I
also hope that the president of that company will reconsider his position on
the issue. If he does, then perhaps I helped him too. Maybe he'll see himself
in the case book.

*Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhiaration of victory.*
Gen. George S. Patton

Tim Lewis
TLewis123 -at- aol -dot- com

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