X-Message-Number: 16359
Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 11:10:05 -0500
From: Steve Jackson <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #16346 - #16354

Please talk to a lawyer, Louis, if this is of concern to you. This is
getting way off topic and we're just repeating ourselves, and I want to let
it drop.

>>  Louis Epstein <> wrote . . .
>This is not what I recall the situation was regarding the
>love letters James Hewitt received from the late Princess
>of Wales.He was forbidden from publishing them,I think he
>claimed a right to but lost his case in court.

I don't know what you recall - I don't personally know anything about that
case - and I don't know what special protection British law, or sympathetic
judges, may give the royals. But the libraries are full of published
correspondence. (I have one on my shelf right now. It's called LETTERS FROM
A NUT. The author wrote nut-mail to many businesses and public figures, and
published their replies. It's very funny, though the humor is at the
expense of the people who were trying to be civil to a pathetic madman.)

>Intellectual property IS relevant.A right to publish whatever
>is sent to you is certainly not unrestricted

Red herring, Louis! You can't put someone else's work in the public domain
by sending it to a third party, or in fact transmit to them any rights you
did not yourself have . . . and I didn't say you could. We are talking
about ordinary correspondence.

.I remember back in
>college I looked over the Ogre game rules and came up with a
>Mark of Ogre somewhat more powerful than any in the game.I'm
>sure if I sent my notes to someone and that person had published
>it as a game aid you'd have gone after that person...

Possibly . . . but for violating MY rights, not yours. Note also that
material intended as creative work may (MAY) have more protection than just
letters. Talk to a lawyer.

just as the
>government would have gone after you if you'd tried to build a
>working model of the referenced device in your back yard.

Irrelevant but a very cool image :-)  Could that be what they were really
looking for when they . . . Naaaaah.

To get back to the point - if somebody sends you e-mail absent any sort of
NDA, you can legally copy it to others or post it to the net without their
permission. I agree that there are possible moral issues if the content of
the mail was very personal and the writer was not a public figure or
confessing to a crime, none of which applies of the kind of mail we were
discussing. But the issues are moral, not legal. Don't argue with me -
argue with the courts :-)

 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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