Re: WEST-THOMSON- DOJ Lette

From: <johnl[_at_]ibm.net>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 96 17:22:14 -0400

On 09/12/96, sjamar[_at_]law.howard.edu (Steve Jamar) said:
>
> Watergate predates the Berne amendments to the Copyright Statute and so
> there would have had to have been notice and claim and registration etc.
> for there to be copyright claims.
>
> If it is a federal government document, there is no copyright.
>
> The original question was, I thought, about a letter from a
> non-governmental person to the government. That, it would seem to me,
> is not covered by the government waiver of copyright.

Not to single this comment out of several, but doesn't it inpress you all that there is something fundamentally wrong when we are discussing copyright as a means of preventing the dissemination of letters sent to the government which may form the basis of its actions?

Is this the progress of knowledge that the Constitution posits as the reason for copyright?

Might there be something fundmentally wrong with the Berne convention's premise that *all* material should be locked up in the vaults of licensing?

The political discourse, the advancement of science, the sharing of ideas that our founders regarded with such importance seem to have become minor anomalous exceptions under a system whose overriding imperative seems to be to be to avoid the possibility that people may not pay for their videos.

Regards,

John Lederer
<johnl[_at_]ibm.net>

Oregon, Wisconsin
(Using Merlin--and liking it) Received on Thu Sep 12 1996 - 22:32:06 GMT

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