Re: ethical considerations

Date: Fri Oct 20 1995 - 21:25:11 EDT

In a message dated 95-10-20 16:07:33 EDT, you write:

>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).

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how B-Greek could possibly be
regarded as "personal communication" (at least if by "personal" something
like "personal correspondence" is meant). B-Greek is a PUBLIC forum of sorts,
since contributors for the most part have no idea of who all will be reading
their messages. If one is concerned about the "ownership" or "proprietorship"
of a particular idea or expression, then perhaps that is something that
should be reserved for copyrighted publication instead of dissemination on
B-Greek. When I read a message on B-Greek, it is not as though I were opening
up someone else's mail. Rather, it is like receiving a newsletter; and I
cannot see how copying and sharing that "newsletter" with someone else (even
without the author's permission) could possibly be construed as unethical or
offensive. Of course, I think it is to be expected by the dictates of
courtesy and common sense that one should clearly give credit to the author
of a particular post (e.g., by copying the post in full without any
redaction). But I believe that if someone does not want something he or she
has written to be absorbed into someone else's pool of knowledge, which they
in turn share with others, then perhaps he or she should simply not post his
or her thoughts on B-Greek. Such intermingling of pools of knowledge is at
the very heart of what B-Greek is all about!

Anyway, that is my opinion on the matter. But I have one final pointless
point: I get enough e-mail without having people send me requests for usage
of my posts in some fashion or other (of course, I do not intend to be so
haughty as to think that any of my posts would generate that many requests,
but this may well be true for other more prestigious contributors to

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