Re: Funbdamenatl Reform of Copyright Law

From: John Lederer <johnl[_at_]>
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 96 09:45:44 -0400

On 07/09/96, Harold Federow <hfederow[_at_]> said:
> My assumption is that most people do know, and copy anyway. Some may
> have heard of fair use and decide what they are doing is fair use, but
> most do it regardless. It's like running a stop sign, the only person
> making the judgement call is right behind the wheel.

With a few amendments. First, we remove the sign<g>. Then we tell you that at crossroads the law will assume that the stop sign is always there if a cop tickets you. Of course, you and I both know that stopping is not needed at many crossroads,that at many you will never get a ticket, and that we cannot reasonably travel stopping at every crossroad.

Which is why I quoted your message and you quoted mine -- we felt that it was probably one where we would not get a ticket.

We probably are also safe copying the Democratic and Republican party platforms. I would have assumed we were safe quoting a treaty, but apparently that is not the case, at least in regard to a treaty on copyright <g>.

A significant amount, indeed I suspect the vast majority of material, is material that we may copy because the author has no desire to have it protected.

Separate for me if you will what is protected and what is not. Tell me how I know when I am violating the law and when I am not.? It is no answer to say that "all is protected" because we cannot particpate in ordinary discourse without violating the law.

Right now copyright protection is akin to "double secret probation". The only sure result is contempt for the law.   


John Lederer

Oregon, Wisconsin
(Using Merlin--and liking it) Received on Tue Sep 17 1996 - 13:54:46 GMT

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