TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: copyright - posting TECH-L From:Tracy Boyington <trlyboyi -at- GENESIS -dot- ODVTE -dot- STATE -dot- OK -dot- US> Date:Mon, 11 Mar 1996 08:52:37 +0000
> I had been going on the theory that if used for educational value, that
> many things could be copied, perhaps the only requirement being that the
> reference be made.
This is a myth that my employer (a developer of instructional
materials) has to deal with on a daily basis. People have wrongly
assumed for many years that educators are allowed to blithely copy
and distribute anything they want because it's for "educational
purposes," and this is simply not true.
"Fair use" for educational allows a duplication under certain
conditions. One condition is that the intended use must be a
one-time, immediate use. For example, a teacher could copy a journal
article to discuss in class the next day. But if the teacher plans to
include this article in next year's class, he or she must get
permission from the copyright holder.
It used to be fairly common for college students to be sent to
Kinkos to buy packages of copied materials their professors had
compiled for class. After Kinkos was held liable in a big hairy lawsuit,
they started requiring proof of permission to reprint before making
copies of copyrighted materials. Even when the customer was an
educator. Trust me, Kinkos wouldn't be turning this business
away if educators could legally copy anything they wanted for class!
Gordon, I apologize if it sounds like I'm jumping your case, but you
just gave me a soapbox to stand on. :-) The motto of this story is,
if you don't own it, don't copy it.
Please note that this has *nothing* to do with whether techwr-l posts
are copyrighted. I'm staying out of that one for now.
Technical Communication Specialist
Oklahoma Department of Vocational & Technical Education
I never express opinions, but if one slips out, it belongs
to me and not ODVTE.
"I think I did pretty well, considering I started out
with nothing but a bunch of blank paper."
-- Steve Martin