Re: Another internet copyright question

Subject: Re: Another internet copyright question
From: Beverly Parks <bparks -at- HUACHUCA-EMH2 -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 1996 09:44:12 MST

Someone asked:
> 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?

Arlen replied:
> The opinion on this list seems to be divided about the legality of the
> issue ....

> 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.

Arlen, different people draw different conclusions from
discussions on this list, but I think in this case the majority
of techwr-l subscribers agree with you. The concensus, I
believe, is that stealing Internet discussions for publication
without the author's permission is indeed a copyright
violation. However, paraphrasing or summarizing such
discussions are probably outside the reach of copyright law.

I'm no expert, either. These are the conclusions that I have
drawn from the discussion of this issue. I don't recall anybody
taking the stance that anything posted on the Internet is free
(as mentioned in the original query). If someone did post such
an opinion, I may have just passed it over as the ramblings of a
psychopath. ;-)

Beverly Parks -- bparks -at- huachuca-emh2 -dot- army -dot- mil
The opinions expressed are my own.

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