[nafex] Re: copyright & "terms of use"

Tom Volkening volkenin at mail.lib.msu.edu
Thu Dec 14 10:19:33 EST 2000

For anyone wanting an authorative summary of current copyright law please
see this Library of Congress website:
http://www.loc.gov/copyright/circs/circ1.html  It provides the basics of
copyright law from the folks who administer it.    

Below is information taken from the above web site concerning notice of
copyright which has been brought up several times.


    The use of a copyright notice is no longer required under U. S. law,
although it is often beneficial. Because prior law did contain such a
requirement, however, the use of notice is still relevant to the copyright
status of older works.

Tom Volkening
Engineering Library
1515 Engineering Building
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1226
Phone:  517-432-1498
Fax:      517-353-9041
Email:    volkenin at mail.lib.msu.edu
              volkenin at egr.msu.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: Greg Jordan [mailto:mgjordan at concentric.net]
Sent: Thursday, December 14, 2000 10:02 AM
To: nafex at egroups.com
Subject: Re: [nafex] Re: copyright & "terms of use"

Well said!

prcenter at webtv.net wrote:

> --- In nafex at egroups.com, fluffy bunny <the.fluffy.bunny at j...> wrote:
> > Tom Booth wrote:
> >
> > I would like to point out that this statement, rather than "holding no
> > force" as aledged by some is actually a very clear and concise PUBLIC
> > LEGAL DOCUMENT and a CONTRACT between NAFEX mambers and contributors to
> >
> > My reply:
> >
> > Uhhh...well...Lets try it this way.
> >
> > Even if one were prepared to argue that this is a contract,
> >
> CONTRACT:"(Random House Websters College Dictionary)
> contract: 1. an agreement between two or more parties for the doing or not
doing of something specified. 2. an agreement enforceable by law. 3. the
written form of such an agreement..." etc.
> Anyone familiar with NAFEX for any length of time and certainly anyone
contributing material to POMONA is aware of the POLICY.
> If you are aware of the notice in POMONA and submit material to POMONA
without making plain that you intend to retain your copyright and or
intellectual property rights you are AGREEING with the notice which
constitutes a "contract". Which is simply "an agreement".
> Most members of NAFEX are well aware of the policy. Contributors to POMONA
are certainly aware of the policy. If you submit an article and choose not
to copyright it, which option is open, you are agreeing to... in effect...
give license to POMONA, to NAFEX and to the general public to reproduce your
> Your personal "copyright"... which really is not in any way violated by
this... since you can do whatever you want with your own material... you
have agreed to allow it to be freely distributed by POMONA, NAFEX, and the
> Technically your copyright is not void, I suppose, but by your own
agreement by submitting material to POMONA without specific copyright notice
it is given away by your own hand to the general public, making it in effect
public domain material.
> >
> >it would then
> > be by definition a "unilateral" contract which in essence means anyone
> > attempting to preserve their copyright status would be afforded the
> > "loosest" interpretation of the law.   This in effect, would negate the
> > alleged merits of the "notice" in POMONA.
> >
> If you are aware of the notice, which I don't think anyone here can say
they are not aware of it... then you either agree to it or you don't. You
have a clear mechanism to indicate which way you want to go. You either
include a "preamble" with the article indicatng your desire to retain your
copyright or you don't. If you knowingly give license to someone to
reproduce your copyrighted materal... you are knowingly allowing this by
your own agreement... If you want to say you still have copyright even
without the notice by "'loosest' interpretation"... you are still by your
own choice allowing your "copyrighted" material to be copied and disributed
by anyone... "NAFEX and OTHERS".
> This is perhaps a radical departure from common everyday logic regarding
copyright but an agreement is an agreement.
> Members of NAFEX who contribute to POMONA quite knowingly and quite aware
of what they are doing... choose not to encumber the free flow of
information regarding what they consider an ultimate good. an ultimate
benefit to society of the highest order... the planting care and propogation
of trees that provide food and pleasure for humanity... for GENERATIONS....
This is the greatest good that can be done in this world by their
estimation, and the knowledge of how to do it should not be hamstrung by
copyright issues...
> Unfortunately... due to the apparent degeneration of this Ideal...
Incredibly valuable information is being witheld, restrained, lost... The
good it could have done will not be done. The Handbook which discribes
better than any other publication I'm aware of... how to graft and propogate
fruit trees will not be republished, will not find a place on the NAFEX
> The Project to publish back issues of POMONA on the same website has been
halted due primarily to copyright issues.
> In my estimation... this issue of free and unencumbered distribution of
information that is too priceless to be withheld... is the heart and sole of
the NAFEX philosophy and spirit. Those who are attacking it are apparently
doing a good job of it so far. It seems to me they are just attempting to
capitalize on a good thing and destroying it in the process.
> >
> > Obviously in such a circumstance the identity and status of the
> > infringing party would be paramount in determing the extent to which
> > copyright protection would be afforded.  Any corporate entity, business,
> > of NAFEX itself would be held to higher standard than would an
> > passing information along to third party.
> >
> >
> > Very truly yours,
> >
> >                       TFB
> >
> As has already been pointed out by others you are wrong... Organizations
performing an educational function, Not for Profit. are virtually exempt
from prosicution regarding alledged copyright violations. and as I have
pointed out... in reprinting articles in POMONA... there is no violatn of
copyright when it has knowingly and freely been given away by the copyright
holders own agreement. as is the case with anything that has been published
in POMONA under the terms/agreement/contract as outlined.
> Tom Booth

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