From: "Carlo A. Balistrieri" <cabalist at facstaff.wisc.edu> on 1997.02.20 at 21:41:47(404)|
Some of the posts on this issue have been confusing issues of privacy and
copyright. Copyright protects the authors expression of ideas. I too belong
to other lists which are considering these issues. On one of them, I sit on
a copyright committee. While the internet is a very public medium there is
still concern over the use/misuse of information posted to it.
The concerns fall into a number of categories but primarily involve using
posts without the permission of the writer (face it, we may share things
with our Aroid friends that we don't want everyone to hear --especially
about Amorphophallus!). The issue is not so much that a third part could dig
around and find it anyway. Rather, common courtesy and respect are the
Another concern is that many people who contribute make all or part of their
living writing. They are particularly sensitive to copyright and may be
reluctant to post if there is not some understanding on proper use,
permission for reproduction, etc.
Their is also concern about republication intended to look like original
material, i.e. taking credit for another's work--plagarism.
These are not "toss-off" concerns. Granted issues of enforcement, pursuing
these matters legally and the economics of doing so, may not rise to a level
where it is practical to do much. At the very least, however, asking an
author's permission to republish a post is the right thing to do.
Most lists archive their own material and I would encourage Aroid-L to do
so. A policy on use of the list's postings beyond that, and protection of
members work, should be carefully thought out.