Re: Permission on the Web

Subject: Re: Permission on the Web
From: Richard Mateosian <srm -at- C2 -dot- ORG>
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 10:16:07 -0800

I've received a lot of private email (electronic mail, not French enamel, in
case you were confused) about my posting about copyright & the web.

I'm not a lawyer. I just have the ordinary level of interest in the subject
that members of our profession ought to have. So those of you who have asked
about marginal cases like stick figures and such would be better off taking
these to a lawyer. Someone asked about cruising the web and copying things
they like for use in their own web pages. It sounded to me more like
copyright infringement than fair use.

A number of people wondered why I cautioned against pointing at other
people's stuff without permission. In general, I don't think there's any
problem pointing at someone else's "home" page, unless you've put the
pointers in a questionable context like the famous Babes of the Web site.

On the other hand, suppose you see a graphic design that you like, and you
simply put a link from your page to the gif file that implements it at the
original site. To the untrained observer, it looks like your work. The
designer gets no credit for it and has to pay for the additional traffic.

If I did such a thing, I wouldn't be surprised to find at some later time
that the gif file had moved and its original URL now pointed to a text file
that called me a crook (or worse). ...RM


Richard Mateosian http://www.c2.org/~srm/ President, Berkeley STC
Freelance Technical Writer srm -at- c2 -dot- org Review Editor, IEEE Micro


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