Re: Newsl article re:copyright

Subject: Re: Newsl article re:copyright
From: "Walker, Arlen P" <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 1997 08:18:45 -0500

Besides, I believe that most copyright laws tend to deal with
comerical ventures or profit making activities.

Look, I realize the pay ain't much, but tech writing *is* a profit-making
activity. ;{>}

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.

Surely you can't be serious. (Yes he is. And don't call him Shirley.) There
is not, nor has there ever been, a right to disseminate information freely.
The right of free speech does not imply the right of intellectual theft. I
am, of course, free to write down what I know, in my own words, and
disseminate it. That does *not* give me the right to disseminate what *you*
know, written in *your* words.

However, it would be a different matter if an instructor made 20
unauthorized copies of a book .

That seems like a highly arbitrary distinction. I suppose, then, if the
instructor made a copy of every page but one or two it would be completely
all right?

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.

But you just said we all had a right to freely distribute information. Or
do you mean that right only applies to information not created by you?

I raised this issue in the first place because I think its a gray
area that needs some discussion.

I don't see any grey at all. The words are mine; anyone wanting to
redistribute them should have the common decency to ask first. Perhaps I'll
care; perhaps I won't. But you can bet I'll care if you do it without
asking.

Knowledge is a wonderful thing; we all can own the exact same chunk of it
and still not deplete the supply. But the expression of that knowledge is a
personal thing; what I write and how I write it is as much a part of me as
my blood. Sure, you only want a few drops of it and I'll not feel the loss.
But you'd still better ask me before taking it.


Have fun,
Arlen
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
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