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RE: Intellectual Property
At the moment I don't have the time to respond to all the points in you long
letter. In any case my personal views about copyright and the use of MY
materials on the internet (or in print) are quite clear to me regardless of
opinion expressed on this list. The extent of disrespect shown for my
intellectual property rights on the web has been such that I now no longer
allow my materials to be used on the web - period. Those photos of mine that
are on the AKA web site are the last that you will see on the internet. I
know there are arguments for and against allowing the use of such materials
but there are principles involved (that of common courtesy being one) and I
have experienced too many violations of those.
I could give you MANY examples but just a couple will suffice:
Recently, by chance, I found one of my images of the Caprivi area on the web
site of a commercial company in Southern Africa that promotes and arranges
tours and safaris. This image was taken from the AKA site and was displayed
on their site with the lower part of the image truncated so that my
copyright notice was very conveniently removed. This company were using my
image to promote tours to Namibia (a commercial venture) without my consent.
I wrote to the company pointing out that this action was contrary to their
own very long and detailed copyright statement (on their web site) regarding
the use of their own materials. In reply, the manager expressed concern,
requested the references to the images, etc. and promised to investigate and
right the situation. That was about 6 weeks ago and the image is still on
their web site. Because this is a matter of principle, I will now have to
write again and perhaps again.....
Last year, someone in Germany was using my N. rachovii image taken from the
AKA web site to promote sales of his art work via the internet. Again, my
copyright notice had been removed from the image. It took numerous letters
and about 6 months before he removed the image.
I have had complete sections of some of my letters to KillieTalk copied and
reproduced word for word on personal web sites without the author checking
with me and in many cases without even recognising the source of the
statement. At best, that consitutes plagiarism.
I could go on and on, but most who read this would be bored with it. The
bottom line is that if people cannot act in a decent and courteous manner
then everyone ultimately loses.
I will comment on just one or two of the points you make:
> On the matter of the law as a principal, I live in an "actual damages"
> state. Therefore no monetary damage, no case.
In your scenario regarding the use of KillieTalk letters you included the
sale for profit of a compilation - that would certainly involve monetary
> By the way, as you know, our discussions are archived on an affiliated
> website. And under your concept of absolute prohibition, of any
> of the steps
> I listed below, you would have to think that that is a violation of our
> copyrights. I believe that I have also seen items from killitalk
> on another
> web site. It is my opinion that the archives are in the public
By joining KillieTalk one automativally agrees to the archiving aspect but I
disagree with your opinion that that places them in the public domain. If
you are correct then I assure you that would seriously inhibit what
information some people will provide on KilliTalk.
> When I was writing papers in college, I was required by my professors to
> copy information from publications and even learned how to footnote same.
> Certainly these papers were for my benefit more so than the original
> author's. I do not recall ever obtaining permission to use any of the
> material from the author or publisher.
That is a quite different matter that falls under the category of "Fair Use"
exemption. However, the source still has to be recognised.
> I recently wrote several college
> papers for someone and I followed the same procedure with
> material from the
> internet. (I know there is something not quite virtuous about
> writing papers
> for someone else, but rather than going into that, I am illustrating my
At my institution, if caught, the student for whom you wrote the paper would
certainly be given a zero grade and expelled from the course, and probably
also thrown out of the University. We have very strict rules about that sort
of thing. And it happens because, in general, those of us with many years
experience in teaching and reading student essays can quite easily
distinguish between the writing of the average student and that of a
professional person or something lifted from a text book.
> In your reply below, you added a link to another web site.
> Legally speaking
> you are including it in your message by reference. And as the
> link is active
> it is certainly even more than that. It is actually "attached" by
> the click
> of the mouse. Is that really any different from cut and pasting
> the material
> into your e-mail if you appropriately referenced it? Are you not
> reusing it to make your point? Do you have the author's permission to
> material for your post? Should you be required to obtain same? Is there
> really any difference if you attach a copy of someone's photo or
> just attach a link to it?
Yes, as a matter of fact, I DID have the author's permission to link to his
site. Obviously, you have not looked at the site that I referenced because
if you had you would have seen a specific statement therein giving
permission for anyone to link to it.
> I propose that the differentiation is minor and the same net
> effect is achieved. If I were selling a fish and included your photo it
> would be absolutely wrong! Agreed! But what if I attached a link
> to the AKA
> web site where your picture is found? Different methodology same
> net effect.
In my opinion, linking to the AKA site is fine but linking directly to any
of my images is not. Yes, one can debate this but that is my opinion and
they are my images. If you want those images to stay on the AKA site then I
would ask that people have the courtesy (that word again) to conform to my
> But I do maintain that the internet is not a book or magazine.
I strongly disagree; I see no fundamental difference with regard to
intellectual property rights. However, I am not going to argue the point
with you - I have already wasted too much time on this issue.
Brian R. Watters
University of Regina
Regina, Sask. S4S 0A2, Canada
Ph: (306) 584-9161 (home); (306) 585-4663 (work)
Fax: (306) 585-5433
E-mail: bwatters at sk_sympatico.ca
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