Re: Another internet copyright question

Subject: Re: Another internet copyright question
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 1996 09:46:00 -0600

I have found a great deal of excellent material for newsletter
articles and such in this forum. If I want to reprint, say, someones
anecdote about finishing a project on time, can I just copy that
email, use that story in my article about corporate politics, and
submit it for publication? Or do I need to email the author and get

I have heard that if something is placed on the internet, it is *
free* information for everyone to use and redistribute. Does this
apply when using this list-group as a source for articles?

The opinion on this list seems to be divided about the legality of the
issue (yes, the subject has come up before -- about every six months or so,
it seems). I would think common courtesy demands that you ask someone
before taking what they say and publishing it in any forum other than the
one in which they originally said it.

I"m one of those who think that practice (taking someone's post and
republishing it elsewhere without the poster's permission or knowledge) is
not only discourteous, but also illegal. Others don't seem to think so. One
of our comapny lawyers agrees with me (or should I say *I* agree with him)
but once again, that's no guarantee, as (if I may paraphrase an old adage)
if all the lawyers in the world were laid end to end, they'd point in
different directions.

I don't know why anyone would want to quote someone without talking to them
about the specific quote first. Even investigative newspaper jounalists
call to confirm quotes before using them (generally just before
publication, to prevent any attempts to forestall it). If the quote is
real, and isn't going to be used out of context, there'll most likely be no
problem in using it. (For my part, I've been contacted several times for
permission to use pieces of my posts in other arenas. I've never turned the
request down, nor demanded royalties. This is not to say I'll always agree,
but I can't envision very many circumstances under which I wouldn't.)

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 124

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

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