copyright on description

Arthur Chapman> <with opt1 DIGEST taxacom1 at ACHAPMAN.ORG
Thu Jun 2 15:18:06 CDT 2005

If you continue to have any doubts after you have read Richard's comments, then the simplest thing to do is to contact the author and seek permission - explaining whjat you want to do.


Arthur D. Chapman
Australian Biodiversity Information Services
Toowoomba, Australia

>From Richard.Zander at MOBOT.ORG on 2 Jun 2005:

> Here's my take on copyright in a scientific context.
> Aside from any ethical questions, the main thing to think of is "will I
> get
> taken to court?" or get fired, or similarly punished.
> Law is based, so I understand, on what's reasonable. If it is reasonable
> that you will not be taken to court (or get fired, or incur the
> detestation
> of your peers) for copyright infringement, then it is probably okay. You
> can
> be sued in court if (a) the original author loses money when you
> infringe
> the copyright, and (b) a tame lawyer tries to prove his worth to a
> company
> by making a fuss.
> Generally, you (should) get a warning first like "Kindly take such and
> so
> off your Web site," or "stop selling so and so." That's reasonable. You
> can
> then decide on your response.
> Given that you generally get a warning, and assuming that you are not
> committing huge amounts of money during your possible infringement and
> can
> probably undo something an author would complain about, you should be
> able
> to plan to make use of another's work in what most people would consider
> a
> fair and reasonable manner. On that preserves the original author's
> intellectual investment and/or profit. Guidelines for extracting
> portions of
> a work are published, doubtless, on the Web.
> Not being able to use a species name is unreasonable, especially because
> it
> was published to be used by others, and the intent of the original
> author
> would be a factor in any court action. You have my permission to punish
> whoever told you that.
> Information cannot be copyrighted. Any special way the information is
> presented can, unless you add so much more information and modify the
> manner
> of presentation that it is essentially a new work: as value added.
> (Note: I am not an attorney, and depending on anything I say above is
> actionable.)
> ______________________
> Richard H. Zander
> Bryology Group, Missouri Botanical Garden
> PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA
> richard.zander at <mailto:richard.zander at>
> Voice: 314-577-5180;  Fax: 314-577-9595
> Websites
> Bryophyte Volumes of Flora of North America:
> Res Botanica:
> Shipping address for UPS, etc.:
> Missouri Botanical Garden
> 4344 Shaw Blvd.
> St. Louis, MO 63110 USA
> -----Original Message-----
> [mailto:ricardo at ANS.COM.AU]
> Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 4:24 AM
> Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] copyright on description
> Few days ago I have been told that even name of insect is intellectual
> property and therefore cannot be used without author AND publisher
> agreement.
> Regards
> Ricardo
>   ----- Original Message -----
>   From: Ken & Nette
>   Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 12:42 AM
>   Subject: Re: copyright on description
>   Dear Richard,
>   Copyrights are applied for, and if the item appears in a document that
> is
> copyright protected, it probably is. However, how many ways can a person
> scientifically describe a species. I would guess only one or two are
> generally accepted and therefor difficult to enforce. As in other
> copyright
> protections, the individual holding a copyright would be responsible for
> enforcing it. So, the best way to be sure is to ask the author.
>   IMHO, you are probably safe if it isn't narrative. If it is, simply
> ask.
>   Regards, Ken Sayers
>   On Jun 1, 2005, at 3:02 AM, Vr.R.E.M.J..-B. BEJSAK-COLLOREDO-MANSFELD
> wrote:
>     Dear colleagues
>     I like to know if copyright apply also on description on genera or
> species.

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