X-Message-Number: 1157
Date: 18 Aug 92 21:56:18 EDT
From: Charles Platt <>

Re copyright:
Surely, the real reason why Keith Henson recently threatened 
to sue Paul Wakfer for infringement of copyright is that 
Keith didn't like the book in which Paul reproduced Keith's 
postings. In this case, legal threats served mainly as a vent 
for anger. I like to think that Keith's subsequent copyright 
message on the net was a slightly heavy-handed attempt to 
poke fun at himself, after his initial anger had worn off. 
Either way, the copyright issue is serious and needs to be 
settled. My feeling is that our postings should not be 
protected by copyright. I cite four arguments for this: 
1. Postings are not as textual as they seem. A lot of the 
interplay is really a form of verbal debate; and I doubt that 
anyone would want to copyright a conversation. 
2. Cryonet exists because we want to encourage people to 
think seriously about cryonics. Therefore, we should want our 
words to be quoted as widely as possible. 
3. Cryonet postings aren't going to earn money for anyone. 
Therefore, we won't suffer any financial loss if the postings 
are quoted or reproduced. 
4. Anyone who uploads bytes into a network is, in a sense, 
asking for it. We all know how easily data can be copied. To 
post something here, and then threaten to sue if it turns up 
someplace else, seems like scattering jellybeans all over the 
house and then complaining when someone eats them. It's not a 
reasonable or realistic response to the situation. 
As a writer, I respect copyright, because it protects my 
ability to earn a living. However, in this case, I suggest 
that Kevin should include in his "administrivia" a general-
purpose warning that we assume there is NO copyright on 
cryonet messages, unless the message states otherwise. 
In the meantime, I will continue requesting permission before 
I quote postings in Cryonet Digest, because I have no idea 
whether other people agree with me on this subject. 
--Charles Platt

[ Charles, I put a new notice in tonight's "Administrivia" section,
  although it doesn't specifically mention copyright.  Thanks for
  continuing to ask permission for posting in Cryonet Digest,
  though.  The "netiquette" by which we normally operate,
  which I described in message #1126, makes asking permission
  good practice. - KQB ]

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