18th Century mentality in the 21st Century

Barry Roth barry_roth at YAHOO.COM
Tue Nov 20 15:40:59 CST 2001

I think this was the case with my school and department too.  Upon  graduating, I fully intended to transform the bulk of my thesis into one or more published papers -- after suitable cleanup, of course.  It is just as well that I didn't do that (the thesis wasn't very good), but now I wonder whether if I had followed through with my plan, University Microfilms could have sued me for copyright infringement.
Lawsuits, of course, are normally filed for economic reasons (less commonly to establish a principle that may have economic impact down the road); and it is unlikely that my papers, had they been published, would have deprived University Microfilms of any economic advantage.  (The six or eight oil and gas companies that might have had any business interest in it apparently all bought copies within a few months of my filing -- or maybe they bought one copy and passed it around.)  But does anyone know of a case where someone was sued by a copyright holder like UM for subsequently publishing the content of their thesis?
Barry Roth

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