RE: ASJA Contracts Watch

From: Karen Coyle <kec[_at_]>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 96 09:02:34 pdt

On 03 Sep 96 09:59:09 EDT ASJA/Alexandra Owens wrote:
> digital property." In his editor's column, James W. Michaels argues
> that the early Internet culture view that digitized information should
> be free for the taking is an idea whose time has passed. "That attitude
> changes," Michaels writes, "as digital content becomes more
> valuable...."

This isn't the first time that I've heard that "free for the taking is an idea whose time has passed", but I don't see that as true. There is now, and will continue to be, a large amount of non-commercial information on the Internet. Non-commercial, of course, does not mean not copyrighted, just as copyrighted does not mean that you have to pay to view it.

I believe that educational institutions, government at all levels, social service and non-profit organizations will continue to provide free digital information just as they provide information without charge in the analog world. The problem I see is that some interests are asking users of online services to distinguish between commercial and non-commercial information (even though it looks the same to the user) and to understand the difference in acceptable use (even though no one ever explains that to the user).

Karen Coyle <kec[_at_]>
University of California - Library Automation Received on Wed Sep 04 1996 - 16:14:08 GMT

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