Re: Comment please?

Subject: Re: Comment please?
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 1996 06:58:00 -0600

Was it unreasonable of me to be rather miffed that this was done
without asking me first, and to say so in a note to the person
involved (whom I will not name publicly)?

In this case, yes, it *is* unreasonable to not expect that the publisher
be informed of what you said about their product in a public forum. Just
as it is unreasonable for a newspaper book reviewer to expect that the
publisher will get a clipping of the review he just wrote. Nor will it be
unreasonable (now) to expect a quote from your review to be added to a
list of favorable reviews, and the date and venue of your post quoted as a
source. (I'm sure the list lawyers out there will not hesitate at all to
correct me, but I think the collecting and distributing of short quotes
from publicly-made statements comes under "fair use.")

When you posted it to the list, you made it available to anyone in the
known (and unknown) universe. Don't be surprised at how far the words fly.
This sort of thing is what clipping services do, provide copies of
copyrighted material for their clients.

True, to remain strictly within the law, the person should have not
forwarded the post but rather told the the publisher where and how to
obtain it for themselves. But I suppose it could be argued that this
person acted as their agent in obtaining the information and did not
procure for them information which they would have been unable to legally
acquire for themselves (from either a news server or the list archives,
both of which will gladly provide a copy of a past post to all comers).

In reality the person who forwarded the review was a great deal more
courteous than most. It would have been the ultimate in courtesy to ask
you first -- truly an action above and beyond the call of duty. But I
daresay most wouldn't have even told you afterward; this person did.

To me, the determining factor was that you posted it in a public forum.
Had this been a private email, you would have been quite right to be
miffed (even furious) about it. But never post anything in a public forum
that you'd be upset to see as the lead story of the Weekly World News.

Have fun,
Arlen

arlen -dot- p -dot- walker -at- jci -dot- com
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