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Re: Copyright law and Internet re-mailing lists

Mike Lowe wrote:
> An Internet "Mailing List" is a rather odd sort of animal in regards to
> copyright law.
> The area has not been addressed, specifically, to date, by any
> jurisprudence anywhere and there are far more pressing matters on dockets
> than mailing lists. Custom and courtesy presently rule here.
> When a message is posted to an internet mailing list, that sending persona
> is in theory, sending said message to every man, woman and child on earth,
> individually and severally. An unmoderated list is freely available to any
> entity with the technical facility to subscribe, i.e., in theory all
> encompassing. [The exact description is: an internet RE-MAILING list. The
> possible list of subscribers is not bounded.]
> By submitting utterances to an unlimited, unbounded, unsupervised,
> mechanical distribution system, said utterance has been firmly placed into
> an exceedingly public domain.
> Your deathless prose could be quoted, in time, in a very distant system indeed.
> Somewhat 8-;
> Mike

I believe Mike is right on this one. Because there is no limitation
placed on who may subscribe to such a list or who may read/browse such a
list (even without subscribing), it is doubtful that copyright law could
be brought to bear. (Libel still applies, though.)

If subscriptions to the list were restricted or if the list/web page
itself were copyrighted, as is done on virtually all corporate and
commercial home pages, and someone lifted something directly from it and
posted it to either their own web page or to a publicly available place
without permission or credit, copyright law could be applied to stop
such publication.

BTW I got to see MAYTAG RED before it was removed and thought it was
very clearly labelled as a spoof and very well done. I would also like
to see it put back.

Jane Mattei
43F fog & drizzle
Thawing out after last week's bitter cold and wind
(14F/-10C + wind chill to -23F/approx. -40C)

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