Sarah Frias-Torres sfrias_torres at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 6 16:10:34 EDT 2008

Dear coral-listers,
a quick read of copyright laws indicates the following.
Under the Copyright Law of the United States of America and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code, applicable also to non-U.S. copyrights based on the Berne Convention, of which the U.S.A. became a member on March 1, 1989: 
No part of any copyrighted material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or in any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
However, Limitations on exclusive rights, as established by Section 107 (“fair use”) of the Law, indicate that:  
the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. 
 So.... when you need a scientific article, and you cannot afford the journal subscription, and your purpose to read / share the article is one or many described in the "limitations of exclusive rights" above... just e-mail the lead author (or corresponding author), identify yourself (I'm a scientist, high-school teacher, journalist, etc), and ask nicely for a pdf of the article. 
This is just the high-tech version of the old "request for reprint" system. 
You will see that most of the time the author/s will indeed send you the pdf.  

Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. 
Marine Conservation Biologist

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