Re: THEOS-L digest 1532
May 19, 1998 10:08 AM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck
May 19th 1998
Many thanks for the clarification re: COPYRIGHT
>To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
>Subject: FAQ -- US Copyright Law
>FAQ on US Copyright Law
>1. A minor child, using crayons, scribbles a jumble of words on
a piece of
>paper. Is it copyrightable? Who owns the copyright?
>The moment something is fixed on a paper or some other medium,
>automatically gets copyright.
>The child owns the Copyright.
>2. Are postings to maillists, newsgroups copyrighted? Who owns
> The writer of the message owns the Copyright.
>3. Is registration necessary to obtain Copyright?
>4. Can a message on the maillist or newsgroup be copied and
>(hard copy, electronically or on maillists or newsgroups)
>permission of the writer?
>5. If one has the physical possession of a letter or copy of a
>hard copies be made and distributed or letter posted in
> Distribution of copies or posting on maillists or newsgroups
>permission of the copyright holder is copyright violation.
>6. Can one criticize or reply by quoting the letter in its
> Any reproduction in its entirety is copyright violation.
>7. Can one report the content of a letter, quote, criticize, or
>the letter in print or electronic medium (such as maillist or
> Yes, if "Fair Use" provision of US Copyright law is complied
>8. What is "Fair Use" under US Copyright law?
> US Copyright law defines "Fair Use" as:
> Fair use includes reproduction in copies or phonorecords or
by any other
>means, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting,
>(including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or
>determining fair use, the factors considered shall include --
> (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether
such use is
>of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
> (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
> (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in
relation to the
>copyrighted work as a whole; and
> (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or
value of the
> The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar
>of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all
> 9. In applying the "fair use" defined above, does it make a
>between a not-for-profit use for reporting, comment, critique,
>reporting etc. and for-profit use?
> Not-for-profit use will make it easier to substantiate "fair
>challenged by copyright holder.
>10. X has an *unpublished* document or letter. The copyright to
it is owned
>by Y. Can X disclose and report on the contents of the document
>or comment or critique it under Fair Use provisions of the
> "Fair use" provision of the Copyright law applies to both
> [The US Copyright law was specially amended in 1992
>use" of unpublished material under "fair use" provision of the
>Some links for additional information on US Copyright laws:
>Terry Carroll's FAQ:
>Templeton's Myths about Copyright:
>US Copyright Office:
>Note: The above FAQ is for general understanding of some of the
>aspects of the US Copyright Law. The law in other countries will
>above FAQ is also not legal advise or opinion. Copyright matters
>complicated depending on a case by case basis. If in doubt, one
>professional advise from a copyright attorney.
>The FAQ is placed in Public Domain. Anyone can reproduce or
>in its entirety so long as no changes are made to it.
>5/18/1998 - M K Ramadoss - firstname.lastname@example.org
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