18th Century mentality in the 21st Century

Mary Barkworth Mary at BIOLOGY.USU.EDU
Tue Nov 20 17:02:36 CST 2001

I really do not think that the issue would arise.  There are theses that
consist of several publications, sometimes with an intro and an 'outro'
chapter (sometimes called conclusions).  I am not sure whether
institutions that require that a copy go to UMI (ours does) every worry
about that as a copyright issue - and I am sure that UMI knows of this
tendency.  Other theses have chapters that are intended to be published
but my, admittedly limited, experience suggests that these are often
significantly modified before actual publication (even if they get that
far).  And then there is the next point - how many of us are worth

-----Original Message-----
From: Barry Roth [mailto:barry_roth at YAHOO.COM]
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2001 4:41 PM
Subject: Re: 18th Century mentality in the 21st Century

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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