Re: Fair Use Law

Subject: Re: Fair Use Law
From: "Walker, Arlen P" <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 09:46:12 -0600

Factual works are also public domain according to the next paragraph.
"Factual works are those that legitimately may be classified as
nonfiction. Histories, instruction manuals, trade catalogs, travel
guides, and biographies are all examples of factual works. Under
copyright law, factual works receive less protection than works of
fiction because the underlying facts are legally considered to be in
the 'public domain'. Therefore, factual works do not contain as much
protectable material as fictional works."

Before putting too much faith in these words sanctifying future actions,
you might want to check what effect the recent WIPO activities are having.
Among other things, they were attempting to widen the definition of what is
copyrightable to include many things the above text would claim was not
copyrightable. West Publishing, for example, was attempting to expand its
monopoly by making even it's page numbering and case referencing system
copyrightable, so that it would be an infringement of copyright even to
cite
a West source in another book. (Since West is the officially sanctioned
"bible" of legal research, the effect would be to completely freeze all
other publishers out of the legal publication niche.)

The trend is for copyright law to expand to cover more things in a more
restrictive manner. (Remember when copyright was two renewable 28 year
periods? Now they're talking 75+ years.) After all, there's money toe made
by restricting your access to information, so don't count on something
that's legal to copy today still being legal tomorrow.


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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