X-Message-Number: 16338
Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 12:04:12 -0500
From: Steve Jackson <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #16321 - #16333

 Louis Epstein <> wrote . . .

>I believe the copyright laws are exactly the opposite.
>You are not allowed to publish letters you receive without
>the consent of the author,who owns the copyright of the

>The recipient owns *the physical letter*,and can also
>prevent its publication,but it is the intellectual
>property of the sender.Just like buying a manuscript
>doesn't make you the owner of the copyright.

Sorry, Louis, but that's simply not the case. Consult a lawyer if you don't
believe me. If you write someone a letter, you have no recourse if they
choose to publish it. Copyright law is not relevant here.

That is the whole point of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Without an
NDA, the recipient of information (in general) would be free to publish it.

Think it through. Wouldn't it be a hell of a world if you could write any
one a letter with any sort of promise, nonsensical statement, threat, etc.,
and then sue them when they told others?  (But, having thought it through,
don't rely on your idea of logic. That often does not apply to the law. If
it matters, consult a lawyer.)

IN GENERAL, if you have a legal question, don't go to the net. Don't ask a
question online and go by the consensus of random answers; don't believe
anybody just because he speaks with anger, passion, or certainty; don't
believe apparent or self-proclaimed authority (and I'm not even that. I am
not a lawyer. I am a publisher, which is why I have to know some of this

Because on any given DAY there is enough legal misinformation published on
the net to fill a stack of encyclopedias four feet high.

 Steve Jackson - yes, of SJ Games - yes, we won the Secret Service case
  Learn Web or die - http://www.sjgames.com/ - dinosaurs, Lego, Kahlua!
          The heck with PGP keys; finger for Geek Code. Fnord.

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