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Re: Copyright Issues

May 04, 1998 01:54 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

This is a good rule of thumb, but there are exceptions.  Some examples:

1. Material that explicitly waves copyright. For instance, the Peace Pilgrim
wrote several short works concerning the spiritual path, and explicitly asked
that they may be freely reprinted by anyone, providing they are given away, or
sold for no more than the cost of printing.

2. Material that predates copyright.  For instance anyone may reprint Mother
Shipton's prophecies.

3. Translations that predate copyright.   For instance, anyone may reprint the
1610 King James Bible and sell for a profit.  On the other hand, the New
English translation done in the 1960s is protected by copyright.

The original purpose of copyright law was to assure that the author had first
rights at making a profit from his/her work.  More recently, the interpretation
has been expanded to cover rights of privacy.  Therefore, private
correspondence is now the writer's intellectual property, and upon his/her
death, they become the property of the surviving family.

OTOH, official memos, letters of policy, public notices, or otherwise public
material would be neither private nor a work created for commercial purposes,
therefore not covered by copyright law.  In these cases, they sometimes may be
protected under the military as "classified."  But this is a different

Bjorn Roxendal wrote:

> Everything that is published, regardless whether it is in printed or in
> electronic form, is automatically copyrighted.
> M K Ramadoss wrote:
> >
> > I recently came across a couple of instances of silly to outrageous
> > copyright claims on the cyberspace. Is anyone knowledgeable in copyright
> > matters in cyberspace want to comment for the general benefit and benefit
> > of Humanity?
> >
> > mkr

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