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Subject: Re: copyright law vs. mailing list archives
From: "Bernie Cosell" <bernie @ fantasyfarm . com>
Organization: Fantasy Farm Fibers
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 09:36:22 -0400
To: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <19990510194312 . E21433 @ smoe . org>
Reply-to: bernie @ fantasyfarm . com

On 10 May 99, at 19:43, Jeff Wasilko wrote:

> As a normal part of maintaining the mailing lists, we also keep
> archives of the mailing lists, and we make them available on the
> web. The archives are not edited, nor are they inspected by a
> human as they are produced.
> 
> I received the mail below today, and upon inspecting the mailing
> lists archives, I've found 6 copies of the poem in various list
> archives. 
> 
> Do mailing list archives have any protection against being held
> liable for copyright infringement?

Well, IANAL [but I moderate a law newsgroup on TV :o)] and I think you 
may have problems.

There has never been a court case to test whether 'archives' are legal or 
not.  BUT: that question usually arises in the context of trying to 
define the boundaries of the 'implied license' granted by posting/mlm'ing 
the orginal work.. that is with the presumption that the poster HAD the 
copying-rights to have posted the work in the first place.  I'm assuming 
that the poem was not posted by Mr. Fendelman, because then it isn't near 
as cut-and-dried as the lawyer would have it seem and, indeed, you might 
be headed to be the dread 'test case' we've all been waiting for [testing 
just what the limits of the implied license are]

It seems that this is apparently different --- your forum [and your 
archive] have apparently been used to infingingly-distribute copyrighted 
material.  Alas, I don't think that your role fits under OCILLA [online 
copyright infringement liability limitation act], so I don't see an 
obvious way for you to duck liability.  You probably need to consult with 
a lawyer [or at least post an inquiry to misc.legal.int-property..:o)]

  /Bernie\
-- 
Bernie Cosell                     Fantasy Farm Fibers
mailto:bernie @
 fantasyfarm .
 com     Pearisburg, VA
    -->  Too many people, too few sheep  <--          


References:
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