Copyright Concerns, Vieques Article

Oceanwatch at Oceanwatch at
Fri Dec 17 13:58:12 EST 1999

Coral Listers

A fellow Coral Lister raised copyright concerns about my posting of a New 
York Times article on Vieques.  I am posting this with Jim Hendee's approval.

I was worried about having done something that might harm the List Serv 
because I also value the service it provides, with Jim Hendee's hard work. 
Oceanwatch has a copyright attorney on retainer so I asked him about the 
issue.  First, he agrees that the safest approach is to provide a link, as 
Jim suggests.  

But the bottom line is, it's extremely doubtful the New York Times would 
worry about copyright infringement in this case.  

The first consideration is, was proper attribution to the source material 
provided?  Yes, I gave full attribution.  Second, was the posting done for 
commercial purposes or commercial gain, or for purely educational reasons?  
The latter is true, since the purpose of the Coral List is purely information 
exchange and I shared the article for that reason.  

Finally, you have to consider the nature of the publication.  The NYT is a 
widely available daily newspaper.  If I had copied material from a 
professional journal that includes information on laboratory equipment or 
scientific protocols, and the limited market happened to be coral reef 
scientists, then doing so might take away several hundred potential customers 
from the publisher.  But it was a newspaper item that as a matter of practice 
gets copied into List Servs, clipping services, media books and interoffice 
mail at major corporations by the hundreds or thousands of copies.

I don't mean to belittle the importance of the issue and I appreciate the 
Coral Lister raising it.  I just think we need to keep it in perspective.  

Cliff McCreedy
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