Kenneth Hixson
Sat, 26 Mar 2005 13:42:33 PST
.Dear Members:
         I'm certainly no legal expert on copyright law, but my understanding
is that any work original to you, whether written, pictoral, artistic, or 
in electronic
format, is copyright to you, and users must obtain permission.  This is partly
obviated by the fact that PBS has been declared a public forum, and searchable
by the public.  It is further confused by the fact that email originated by you
is copyright to you and should not be forwarded in its' entirety without
permission, something that is frequently ignored.   Thus, material you post
on PBS may be quoted, but the email you sent is still copyright to you, even
though it is the same material posted on PBS.  Perhaps it would help to
read some comments:
"Copyright laws grant the creator the exclusive right to reproduce, prepare 
derivative works, distribute, perform and display the work publicly. 
Exclusive means only the creator of such work, not anybody who has access 
to it and decides to grab it. "

Top ten copyright myths explained

         Copyright law does permit quoting, where such quoting is not the sole
body of work of the person doing the quoting.  In other words, Jane McGary's
comments on western american lilies, and my comments in response, could be
quoted if the person compared them, provided some additional comment(s)
or comparison.  (And acknowledged the original sources of the comments).
Simply grabbing something you see and posting it yourself without adding to
it is as much a form of theft as using someones' car without 
permission.  Returning
the car undamaged does not obviate the lack of permission.
         Modern computers have made it possible to access, and copy, many
works which are copyright, as record companies have found.  Technology
almost always precedes the law, and this issue is still in transition.  Is 
is also
complicated by the fact that material can now be distributed worldwide, where
laws vary widely on what is or isn't legally permissable.
         Again, I am not an expert, and doubtless have, and will, make mistakes
in this area.  What is right, and legal, and best for everyone, does change 
over time.
I am interested in hearing what others feel is fair in this matter.  I 
resent being used as an expert (ie, quoted), without my knowledge, as 
I make comments intended for one particular situation, which I know to be 
in other circumstances.  Particularly with email, it is difficult to be 
both brief, and
cover the subject properly.  As an instance, there once was a question about
apomixis in Lilium regale, and I responded with a couple paragraphs, 
despite knowing
of several articles of many pages on the same subject.  I provided what I 
felt was
the answer the questioner needed, rather than all I knew, or knew of---and if
someone had quoted me, I would have been embarrassed if a third party had 
me why I didn't include other facts that are fairly common knowledge.


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