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Re: point of clairity

To: Eric J Petrevich/LRM <>
Subject: Re: point of clairity
From: Marc Sayer <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 21:45:27 -0700
Eric J Petrevich/LRM wrote:
> OK, now that we have someone here from a magazine, I've got a couple of
> questions about copyrights.
> First off, this is NOT a flame at all, it's just a couple of questions
> about the law.
> I've always thought that I can not reproduce any writing material ONLY if I
> was either claiming it as mine own OR if I was making money with it.  It
> was my understanding that as long as I gave credit to the author (and
> publisher) that I wasn't breaking any laws.

If you quote someone briefly in the course of writing something and give
them credit, that's fine. If you reproduce their work without their
permission its theft, no matter whether you charge for it or give it
away. You can't give it away cause its not yours. It would be like me
renting a car and then giving it away, I am not making any money on the
deal but it still isn't legal. If you put your name on someone else's
work, claiming it as yours, that's plagiarism, which is just as wrong
but is something else entirely.
> So, if I read a magazine and give it to a friend, am I breaking the law?
> What about if I post the info on a web page, am I breaking the law (a FREE
> web page)
> What about if I use the info in a school report?

If you bought the magazine and you want to give it to a friend, that's
fine. You bought the right to one copy of that magazine, you can read
it, throw it away, resell it, or give it to someone, that's your
business. But you can not reproduce it in any way without permission.
You may not photocopy it, publish it, put it on a website, or in any
other way distribute copies or versions of it, other than that one copy
you paid for. That right is retained by the publisher and/or author. The
thing most people do not realize is that publication is not limited to
the print media. You are publishing something when you put it on a web
page, or audio or video tape record it, or post copies of it on
billboards or hand copies out in the street, or whatever. Any
dissemination of material to the public or to any other groups or
individuals, no matter how it is disseminated, that is done without the
permission of the owners of the rights to that material, is illegal.

> Quite frankly, I'm more confused now.  FWIW, I have lots of material on my
> web page (I also have the shop-talk  file archives among others)  and if
> the stuff is not legal for me to have there, I'll remove it.  My intention
> is just to share info (what the internet was created for) not to steal
> others work.

If someone else produced the work(s) in question and you did not get
their permission, or permission from whoever it is that has the rights
to that work (such as the publisher), then you are in violation of the
law if you reproduce it or otherwise disseminate it. In some cases you
may copy the material for your own use only, but most often even that is
not allowed. Read the info that comes with any software you buy and it
pretty clearly spells out what you can and can't do with things
(software is one of those intellectual properties that really takes a
beating due to illegal reproduction and so the software company lawyers
and the courts really work out on defining the consumers rights and
limitations to those rights). With software you can make one copy for
backup purposes, but generally with print media a copyright is just that
the right to copy. If its copyrighted, and you don't own the copyright,
then if you copy it you are wrong. 

I hope this clears things up for those of you who care. I don't mean to
give anyone a hard time. Since someone was asking, I just wanted to make
things as clear as I could. 

Marc Sayer
Z Car & Classic Datsun Magazine
Voice 541-726-6001
Fax 541-746-0863/726-6001

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