[permaculture] Re: Holmgren Collected Writings (Thilo Pfennig)

Pacific Edge Permaculture + Media pacedge at magna.com.au
Wed Mar 27 18:08:40 EST 2002

> From: Toby Hemenway <hemenway at jeffnet.org> Reply-To:
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002 13:01:16 -0800 To:
> <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Re: Holmgren
> Collected Writings (Thilo Pfennig)
> Heide Hermary at heidehermary at pacificcoast.net wrote:
>> do we have different copyright laws in different countries?
> Most countries signed the Berne Convention, which places nearly all nations'
> copyright laws in agreement.
Within countries covered by the Berne Convention, some details of the laws
of copyright may vary.

> There is a gray area called "fair use" where it's okay to copy certain things
> without permission for educational purposes as long as it doesn't harm the
> author, if society will benefit. But you can't put your name on it.
I think it is in this educational area that you might find variances on
copyright legislation within signatory countries to the Berne Convention.
Also, in the US, there's a fair use provision that enables you to make a
copy of a piece of recorded and published music for your own purposes (such
as ripping a CD to MP3 to use in a portable player).

Educational institutions can make use of copyright materials under different
circumstances that vary from country to country. Universities have
agreements with national copyright councils to cover the copying of material
to hand out to students.

As a journalist, I am entitled by law to quote from copyrighted materials,
not to reproduce substantial segments of the work, but to review, comment
on, criticise and to use the quoted segment in a work of my own authorship.

>> I am less interested in the earnings of PC authors than in the PC ideas in
>> practice.
I see that these two seemingly different things could be, in fact, the same

Why? Because if permaculture is to be a real option for making a livelihood
then it must be able to spin a dollar. Otherwise, it remains a hobby. I'm
all for people making money by developing a livelihood in permaculture
because financial reward validates permaculture as a viable livelihood and
gives it standing in society.

Authorship of permaculture books, website content and multimedia and
journalism in the form of print, photography, video, radio or online content
production focused on permaculture themes is as valid a way of practicing
permaculture as growing food, which remains only one of a multitude of
permaculture practices. That's why the Permaculture Institute (Australia)
recognises media work in permaculture as worthy of the presentation of a
diploma of permaculture design.

Furthermore, journalism and the authorship of books is probably the most
contentious of permaculture practices if it goes further than PR-style prose
on how good particular permaculture things are to provide analysis. It's not
something you do to become popular if you apply journalistic standards and
news values because you might end up writing things that annoy people.

> Most authors--myself included--are happy to let people distribute parts of
> their work for free,

Yes. Asking to make use of someone else's content is simple. Journalistic
ethics calls on you to acknowledge the author, publication, date of

You can base your permission for reproduction of your own material, as I do,
on the ability to pay. If a major publisher or established, commercial
magazine asks to reproduce a substantial part of, or entire article or
photograph, then you should negotiate a fee. If it's a community-based or
small, non-profit, newsletter or magazine or website, then they may be given
free use of the material provided they acknowledge author and publication.

I don't see why it is necessary to take other people's work. If you wish to
add it to a website, then negotiate a link. Better to take the ideas
developed by the original author and develop them further. Then you move
them into new territory, give them a new twist and use and make a larger

...Russ Grayson (Sydney)

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