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RE: Legal Question

Copyrights includes the right to make derivations of (or from) a
copyright protected item.  

[Sidebar:  No one asked Lieber & Stoller if Elvis could record and
release "Houndog."  Nonetheless, Lieber & Stoller made a lot of money
off of Elvis's release of "Houndog" not because it was a lot like a
song they had written years before and that had been floating around in
bars since then, but because it obviously was derived from their
original work.]

So large but incomplete excerts and revised texts won't necessarily
exempt one from copyright issues.

Scott H. 

--- Charley Bay <Charleyb@Cytomation.com> wrote:
> > Question - What are the legal issues surrounding the posting of
> scientific
> > papers? Can you order a copy of a paper and then post it to the web
> if you
> > place the information concerning the original copyright holder with
> it
> > (like, the Journal it came from, etc.).
> This is a copyright issue.  I'm not an attorney, but I've 
> studied this issue from a number of sides for various
> reasons and I'll echo a couple things off the top of my
> head:
> (1) The author is implicitly the copyright holder, even
> by doing nothing.  However, the copyright holder often
> makes the work explicitly copyrighted when a 
> "(C) Copyright by AUTHOR" appears on the work, and
> that gives extra copyright protection in some countries.
> (2) Just doing a "(C)" doesn't count... it actually has to be
> a "c" inside a circle for some countries to honor the copyright.
> (3) Copyrights can be filed with a country's government, but 
> typically this isn't done with most works.  Filing is cheap ($15
> or so in the US) and easy and is often done by the copyright 
> holder for computer software, because the copyright holder 
> can sue for damages if someone infringes on a software 
> copyright that has been filed.
> (4) In general, violations of the copyright law aren't punished
> as severely if the violator is not intentionally violating the law,
> or if the violator has no financial gain for violating the law.  In
> other words, minor "exemptions" are given to people for
> academic purposes such as instructors/professors, critics
> and reviewers, or other reporter-type people.
> (5) A copyright in one country (more or less) is honored by
> all countries as a result of international agreements from 1974
> and before.
> (6) Since 1974, the term "All Rights Reserved" doesn't mean
> anything.  Prior to 1974, it enforced full protection in some
> countries.  Don't use it (it's meaningless now).
> (7) It's really not a good idea to try to reprint an entire article
> or work, especially if that article or work is already published
> in a journal (magazine).  Publishing selections or subsets of the
> work is much easier to defend.  The publisher usually requires full
> copyright ownership (controlling all reprint requests) for a given
> work it publishes.  Exceptional effort is usually required for
> an author to get something published in a magazine that was
> already published elsewhere.
> (8) The copyright holder can at any time explicitly make
> the work freely available (distributable) within the public
> domain.  This is usually done with a public statement.
> If that happens, it's that way forever.
> ------
> In short, making references to a publication is never a problem.
> Making links to a site or article is never a problem, although
> (of course) it's a courtesy to ask permission to reference
> a "personal" or "private" web site.  You can include quotes
> and subsets of any article, although the bigger the excerpt
> the more likely you are violating the copyright.  Always cite
> sources for any quote.  If you make any money at all, directly
> or indirectly, you are most likely violating the copyright law
> (and much less likely to get leniency from a court.)  Quotes
> on a hobby web site are probably fine, but if that hobby web
> site has hobby products for sale, don't tempt fate without
> explicit permission.
> If it's been published, the publisher probably has (or would
> have) the article posted on a web site if the publisher wanted 
> free public access (but that still does not permit re-distribution;
> you can't copy the page to your web site, even if you cite the
> original source).  Most professional journals or organizations
> allow for some level of online access, although many are
> member-only or subscriber-only sites (so they can show
> financial damages if you publish their work without 
> permission.)  So, for these articles, we're probably going to
> have to stick with summaries, small quotes, and references
> to the article posted on the web unless the publisher allows
> (explicitly) for us to copy/distribute them in this forum.
> I hope that helps.  In short, I think a "synthesis" or "critique"
> type approach that summarizes salient points is the best (you
> are now a journalist or academic, whether you are paid or not.)
> If something is really good and you're feeling ambitious, contact
> the author/publisher directly to get explicit permission.
> --charley
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