Re: Newsl article re:copyright

Subject: Re: Newsl article re:copyright
From: Stephen Victor <svictor -at- HOUSTON -dot- GEOQUEST -dot- SLB -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 11:24:12 -0600

Kyle, Charles wrote:
> I plan to respect each person's right to determine what happens to the stuff
> they write.

Thanks. For me, the issue is one of professional courtesy more than law.

> However, my personal opinion is that applying copyright laws to something
> like
> electronic written discussion is as silly as trying to apply it to phone
> conversations.

Well, I don't mean this as a personal flame, but you have an interesting
(alarming?) opinion of privacy. Are you saying you don't see a problem
with recording and publishing a telephone conversation?

> Besides, I believe that most copyright laws tend to deal with comerical
> ventures
> or profit making activities. If an instructor wants to make 20 photocopies
> for a class,
> I think copyright hassels are an invasion of a basic right to desiminate
> information
> freely. However, it would be a different matter if an instructor made 20
> unauthorized
> copies of a book .

Yes, copyright laws include "fair use" provisions for education. Check
out some of the URLs on copyright that people have posted here.

> Most of what I write I want to be of use and so once its written, I don't
> worry too much
> about it. However, if I wrote a novel or a poem, I would be outraged by
> someone else
> "stealing" it.

A novel or poem isn't "of use"? I'm sure I missed your point entirely.

> I raised this issue in the first place because I think its a gray area that
> needs some discussion.
> How many of you would care if someone made a few copies or a few hundred
> copies
> of a manual that your company had paid you to write.

Well, I don't see the connection between copying manuals and quoting
from emails, but my company holds the copyright on manuals I write, and
they guard it zealously. I think it has something to do with money or

> BTW: What is the meaning of WRT in Mary Jean Fitzgibbons post?

"with regard to"

You mentioned that the email quoting issue is a gray area, and I think
you're right. Web publishing is another gray area that would make an
interesting discussion. However, recording telephone conversations and
copying published books are (I think) most decidedly not gray areas.

Stephen P. Victor Phone: (713) 513-2552
Technical Writer, Software Training Fax: (713) 513-2019
Schlumberger GeoQuest svictor -at- houston -dot- geoquest -dot- slb -dot- com
5599 San Felipe, Suite 1700
Houston, Texas 77056 USA

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