Copyright (was PDFs and tapeworm descriptions)

christian thompson cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Tue May 14 10:13:01 CDT 2002

Thanks, Susan, for the informative up-date.

But there is another aspect that one need to worry about now. That is The
DIGITAL Millennium Copyright Act which is quite different from your standard
copyright law and applies to anything is "digital" format. So, as your WWW
site declares "In fact, the frightening reality is that almost everything on
the Net is protected by copyright law."  Also, remember EU copyright law is
different from US, and for us, the critical difference is that EU copyright
protect "databases," so the Bibliotheque Nationale de France could protect
their collection of pdf pages as a database.

It should be noted that the old "fair use provisions" DO NOT apply to works
in "digital" format. In fact, this is one of the basis of the legal
challenges to DMCA that are now underway.

Remember last Summer the FBI just went up on the podium and arrested a
Russian scientist giving a paper at confernce because he had written some
de-coding software which was used by OTHERs to de-code Adobe e-books. He
spent a lot longer in the USA and in a different place than he had expected
to be.

Oh, what fun ...

>>> "Susan B. Farmer" <sfarmer at GOLDSWORD.COM> 05/14 10:00 AM >>>
My favorite copyright web site used to be

Another good web site is:

There is still some good information there, but they've jazzed it
it, and it's difficult to find the information that you want.
There's a good piece about what Fair Use is and the 4 criteria

        1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether
           such use, including whether such use is of a commercial
           nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
        2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
        3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation
           to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
        4. the effect of the use upon the potential marked for or value
           of the copyrighted work.

>From an earlier edition of their web site I have the following information
on the duration of copyright.

        1. if the work was published before 1978, the copyright expired
           75 years from the date of publication *IF* the copyright was
           renewed -- otherwise the copyright expired in 28 years.
        2. works published 1978 to present, duration is life of the
           (last surviving) author plus 50 years.

Susan Farmer
sfarmer at
Botany Department, University of Tennessee

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