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Re: Intellectual Property
gary l meyers wrote:
> My comments were not an opinion I quoted them from Copyright Law
Copyright Law, like most laws, is in several places. The original statute is
only one. Government web pages are another, often different, source.
Subsequent court decisions may modify, clarify or repeal all or some the
words in the written statute. Many laws are even rewritten in the Federal
Register, where Congress has tended to abandon its responsibilities and let
the regulators write their own full-employment laws. Each state usually has
something to say, and the 9th and 10th Amendments are frequently ignored by
Federal Courts. The law is what the court tells you it is, once you have
exhausted all appeals, and certainly *not* the written statute or a
bureaucrat-serving web page.
After serving as Assistant Patent Engineer for the Stanford University
Electronics Labs, and after over 30 years of running a small
manufacturing/R&D company, I have wasted a *lot* of time talking to the
legal types about such issues. While not a lawyer, my experience tells me
that Donna's version is just about right, and Gary's original 3 points
possibly are a bit off base. [See my specific comments, below.]
> On Sat, 11 May 2002 15:50:29 -0400 "Donna M. Recktenwalt"
> <dmrecktenwalt at prodigy_net> writes:
>>Gary, I beg to disagree with you here a bit -
>> All material has "implied copyright" once it reaches completed
>>the author, whether it is publicly published or not. Yuo can, of
>>formally apply for copyright through the copyright office, but that
>>time and money. For anything less than a book length manuscript it
>>isn't worth the effort for most of us.
>> However, if you have a manuscript that you wrote (totally
>>if you used a number of credible reference sources) and its
>>someone uses chunks of your text without permission, that is
>>copyright. Likewise if you have something original on a web page and
>> That's why you need to to be so careful about using other
>>material, whether copyright marked or not. If push comes to shove,
>>you've used someone else's material, when (if) the author prosecutes
>>prove that he had the material in either electronic or hard copy
>>you used it, and you don't have a written permission ... well, the
>>copyright are clear and the penalties severe. USE CAUTION and ASK
>>PERMISSION before using someone else's material - especially on a
>>----- Original Message -----
>>From: "gary l meyers" <garymeyers at juno_com>
>>To: <killietalk at aka_org>
>>Sent: Saturday, May 11, 2002 12:03 AM
>>Subject: Re: Intellectual Property
> Three Points -- 1. All material not protected by copyright is "PUBLIC
> DOMAIN" material.
There is precious little of that, since copyrights last so long and can be
renewed, It takes a specific act or statement to *make* something public
domain, any more. All original work is protected until some act removes the
protection. Period. Most 19th-Century novels are now in the public domain,
but I think Mark Twain's writings have been renewed, recently! Almost
nothing written, painted, filmed, sculpted or photographed in the 20th
Century is clearly in the public domain.
> 2. Use of a copyright notice is important because it
> informs the public that the work is protected by copyright.
Not really very important, but it sure keeps you from pleading ignorance if
you violate it after seeing the marking. <VBG> It is just a carry-over from
the days when filing was required to establish the copyright, but has much
less significance, today.
> 3. From
> the Law "Innocent infringement occurs when the infringer did not realize
> that the work was protected."
Case law here, tends to side with the author, and not the copier. You will
play hell proving it was copied innocently unless you can produce an
affidavit that made you think it was converted to public domain. The
underlying assumption is that *all* original work is protected from the time
of its creation until the time expires.
All that said, courtesy is the way society really functions, and when it
comes to personal property, great care must always be used. To the extent
folks think of their holograms, photographs, WORD files, etc. as their own
personal property, it behooves us to respect that opinion and act
accordingly. The Golden Rule is wonderful social lubricant, I find.
I've written a few newsletter and JAKA things and have received great
courtesy from those who wanted to reproduce them. I appreciate that. For
those who don't know it, I'll repeat *my* normal policy about such stuff here.
I like to be quoted accurately and in context if someone wants to use my
list postings or private e-mails, but please consider such "publication" as
free for any non-commercial use that is useful to the hobby.
Articles, photos, holograms or other more labor-intensive efforts are also
free to the non-commercial use of the hobby. I appreciate it if I can be
asked/notified, and can receive a copy of the way my stuff is being
displayed. [I may object if it is made part of some flame war or other, for
For any commercial (such as ad-supported) publication I should be
compensated adequately. I want to share the gravy as much as the next guy. ;-)
Basically my works are free for rational hobby-group use and not in the
public domain for commercial publication. Please contact me off list if you
want any clarification of what will keep me happy in this area.
Wright Huntley -- 650 843-1240 -- 866 Clara Dr. Palo Alto CA 94303
Ask of politicians the ends for which laws were originally designed, and
they will answer that laws were designed as a protection for the poor and
weak (...) but surely no pretence can be so ridiculous(...). -- Edmund
Burke, A Vindication of Natural Society, 1756
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