Re: ethical considerations

From: Stephen Carlson (
Date: Fri Oct 20 1995 - 15:05:21 EDT

Will Wagers wrote:
> However, there is no implied copyright on E-mail unless a notice appears,
> anymore than material in a postal letter is presumed copyrighted.

Notice has not been a requirement for copyright protection since the
United States joined the Berne Convention in 1989. "Implied copyright"
is not a legal concept.

> Copyrighted material must, of course, itself be an original expression. It
> is not designed to safeguard privacy or great ideas.

Yes, copyright does protect expression, not ideas. It seems to me that
the ethical standards within academic communities are meant to protect
the reputation of those who produce ideas. Thus, it is plagiarism to
take someone else's idea without attribution. And that goes for taking
ideas from this list, too.

Furthermore, since the ideas that are posted here have not gone through
the editing process that publication requires, I think that B-Greek
ought to be viewed as "personal communication" for ethical purposes.
So, I think that permission should be required. I know that I certainly
would not want my half-baked ideas cited (unless I actually published them).

Am I out-to-lunch here?

Stephen Carlson

Stephen Carlson     :  Poetry speaks of aspirations,  : ICL, Inc.  :  and songs chant the words.     : 11490 Commerce Park Dr.
(703) 648-3330      :                 Shujing 2:35    : Reston, VA  22091   USA

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