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mailing lists, reposting materials, and links to other sites

Nov 06, 2001 07:03 AM
by Eldon B Tucker

At 10:50 PM 11/6/01 +1100, you wrote:

Those who subscribe to this site and make use of
the fruits of Muehlegger's theft must accept that
they compound her offence.

Dr Gregory Tillett
If you or anyone identifies a message that someone has
posted to the list that is in violation of copyright,
let me know and I can delete it from the archives. (If
you browse the archives, you'll see there's a message
id associated with each posting.)


Being an unmoderated mailing list, it's up to the
individuals on the list to behave themselves. Messages
aren't screened in advance for suitability.

On internet mailing lists, you'll often see people
reposting news items or short articles they see
elsewhere, sometimes in violation of copyright. This
is done for discussion purposes, and is not generally
a problem. An example would be if someone saw an
article in the NEW YORK TIMES and wanted others to
read and comment on it.

For a large publication or organization, their
readership, circulation, and reputation aren't
affected by a small number of people reading and
commenting on a news article. Perhaps it's different
in theosophical things. With a small, specialized
area of study, any mailing list may represent a
point of contact to a much larger segment of the
total readership, and the consequences of having
materials taken and/or misrepresented are much
more significant.

With an unmoderated mailing list, I cannot control
in advance what someone on the list will forward
to the list or write on it. But if someone challenges
particular messages, I can take them out of the

Regarding links to other sites, where someone
refers readers to material elsewhere, the
situation is different. A link to a website is
like a citation to someone's works. The link
does not contain any of the content that someone
may challenge, but only states the name and
location of the offending passages. It's up to
the author of a particular web site to police
the material on it.

If a particular web site republishes materials
of yours without your authorization, and perhaps
misrepresents them, you could make a case that
it would be unethical for people to refer others
to the site. That reference, though, is like
someone telling friends to buy a book that
misrepresents you; it's not a copy of the
offending materials itself.

Materials may show up on mailing lists, web sites,
and in usenet news groups. The only way to keep
an eye on what others may being doing to your materials
would be to join all the mailing lists, and do
periodic searches, perhaps on, to see
if anything has shown up somewhere new.

Given how easy it is for anyone to put materials
on the Internet, and how there's no screening nor
standards applied, like is done by publishers for
manuscripts or articles submitted for publication,
I'd say people don't accept things with the same
level of acceptance as they do with materials
they read that are in print.

Internet sites are given a level of credibility
based upon who or what organization puts up the
site, and upon the consistent quality of the
materials on a site. A mailing list is more
like people talking with each other. It has a
high degree of spontaneity, and gets people to
think, but is not necessarily a source for the most
accurate information.

-- Eldon

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