"Joshua D. Baer" <josh @
Just because something is publicly available for free
doesn't mean anyone can start making and distributing
copies on their own. Content has to be explicitly
placed into the public domain for that behavior to be
legal, and making something available over the net for
free does *not* place it into the public domain.
I don't think that applies here. This is more like a newsgroup.
It is a public forum. When you post, you know it's a public
Those who ultimately will decide these issues use predecessors,
precedents. What would be the forerunner for the notion that anything
you write to a `public forum' may be freely copied? Letters to a
magazine? A radio call-in show? `Any reproduction or other use of
these broadcasts without the express written permission of -'
The poles are generally set up with the phone company at one side and a
newspaper on the other when applying a matrix to electronic
communication. Neither sets their goods out as a public buffet, though
both be general carriers, public forums.
There are three attorneys writing the current email tutorial on
copyright from the Cyber Law Institute, and one of them is of the
opinion that even newsgroups will evolve with more private protection
than is generally believed. In any event, a mailing list would seem to
be another hurdle for the public domain scavengers to jump, because it
is after all conducted by subscription only and often carries a caveat
org (Tim Bowden)
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