Re: Humor (English Essay)

Subject: Re: Humor (English Essay)
From: Matt Ion <soundy -at- NEXTLEVEL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 12:02:13 -0800

On Mon, 14 Apr 1997 12:07:23 -0600, Eric J. Ray wrote:

>In addition to Elna's copyright point, this
>essay is not appropriate fodder for TECHWR-L.

Are you saying that Elna's copyright point itself is not suitable for

All due respect, as "you're the boss," but it seems to me that
copyright of quoted "word bytes" is a prime concern to us, as technical

> * If it is about technical communication and of general
> interest, post it.

I'd say avoiding copyright-infringement suits is of general interest

That said, I'd like to make one quick point to Elna, further to Mike
Wing's comments: It's a fairly safe bet that Melonie did not know the
original author of the piece she posted, and if she did, would have
included the proper credit. Your concern about giving credit where
credit is due is important and well-taken, but do keep in mind that
such information may not always be readily available to the person
quoting it.

In this case, Melonie is not attempting to take credit herself, but
does indicate that she doesn't know who the author is. That seems fair
to me, especially as she is not attempting to profit from her use of
the quote, but merely sharing a humorous piece with her peers. It's
not much different than telling a joke at a party or business luncheon
- one wouldn't be too concerned about crediting the proper author in
that instance, either, if one didn't know offhand who that author was.

Your friend and mine,
<insert standard disclaimer here>

And if you're certain, certain your life is some cosmic mistake
Why do you shake?
And if you're certain, certain that faith is some know-nothing mask
Why do you still ask?
They don't grade here on the curve,
We both know what we deserve...
- Steve Taylor, "Jesus Is For Losers"

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