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Copyright, injured feelings, &c.



>Date: Sun, 7 Sep 1997 14:16:11 -0700 (PDT)
>From: Janice Esther Westley Braun <jbraun@xxxxxxxxx>
>To: pdverhey@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Subject: Copyright, injured feelings, &c.
>
>Hi Peter:
>
>Can you please post this on the list for me. I tried to send it, but the
>listserv doesn't recognize my address (I have this problem all the time,
>so I know it's someone on my end....) Thanks
>
>^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>Janice Braun
>Special Collections Curator
>Olin Library, Mills College
>jbraun@xxxxxxxxx
>^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>
>(Warning: this message is kind of long winded)
>
>As a longtime lurker on this list, I must say that I am amazed at this
>conflict. I, too, have thin skin, but give it a rest already! In any case,
>I send this post in peace and with some information that will hopefully
>clear up some confusion, re: copyright. I am the first to admit that
>copyright is a difficult and mysterious subject. There are many grey areas
>(someone said "ambiguities") and the electronic environment (i.e., the
>Internet) has made the issue all the more topical and litigious. It is my
>understanding (and I am *not* a lawyer--do not quote the following when
>someone tries to sue you for copyright infringement!! This is for
>informational purposes only) that posting on the Internet is considered
>the same as publishing something. That said, U.S. copyright law is
>different for unpublished v. published material:
>
>Published material: a work published before Jan. 1, 1978 has a term of
>copyright that continues for 50 years after the author's death. In other
>words: life of author plus 50 years and then the work is *probably* in the
>public domain, meaning that the copyright has expired. Publications after
>Jan. 1, 1978 have a copyright period of the author's life plus 50 years or
>until Dec. 31, 2002 whichever is later.
>
>Unpublished material: Materials written/created before Jan. 1, 1978 are
>protected until *at least* Dec. 31, 2002. They will be in the public
>domain on Jan. 1, 2003 if the author died before 1953 and if the law isn't
>changed by then. Materials written/created after Jan. 1, 1978 have a
>copyright period of the author's life plus 50 years.
>
>There are also provisions for fair use. There are also materials such as
>federal government publications that are in the public domain. Remember,
>there are **lots** of exceptions and qualifications to these laws. There
>are recent court cases that have set precedents pertaining to copyright
>infringement. A couple of common misconceptions on copyright are: if you
>physically own a manuscript (or letter, or other unpublished material)
>then you own the copyright...  Wrong. E.g., if you own a letter by Mark
>Twain, then you own a valuable artifact, but you do not own the copyright!
>If you publish the letter you will probably be sued; Also: copyright must
>be registered... Wrong. If you write someone a postcard, then it is
>protected by copyright according to the above provisions (as is your
>laundry list or your unpublished manuscript of the great American novel).
>If you author some instructions on making a book, your words/drawings are
>copyrighted, but the idea is not. However, you cannot sue for damages
>unless you register for copyright. I don't think a jury is going award a
>large sum of money for the words that describe the making of simple wheat
>paste. Be sensible and realistic:  take care when you assume something is
>in the public domain or when  you assume that your use falls under "fair
>use." Be reasonable if you think your copyright has been infringed, but
>also know that you do you a right to protection.
>
>Please correct me if you *know* that there are any inaccuracies in the
>above information. Please do not flame me on the finer (or broader) points
>of copyright. I did not write the law and I'm not in the mood for the sort
>of debate that promulgates misinformation. The fact is if someone
>felt insulted, then they are insulted; if they want off the list,
>they can get off the list. It's still sort of a free country. Apply
>copyright on a case-by-case basis and stay informed. Please release the
>book arts discussion list from this holding pattern.....
>
>Have a nice day :)
>
>(BTW--one more disclaimer: the above is not endorsed by my employer)
>
>^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>Janice Braun
>Special Collections Curator
>Olin Library, Mills College
>jbraun@xxxxxxxxx
>^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
>
>
>


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