ethical considerations

Date: Mon Oct 23 1995 - 09:01:19 EDT

Hello, all. Let me first express my appreciation to those of you who sent such
considered responses to my question.

I detect a consensus among most respondants, to wit: one should not use
messages from B-Greek outside this forum without specific permission from the
authors of all these messages. Before that consensus is set in stone, please
consider the following.

1.) What we do here is really not analogous to a lecture hall or a journal or a
newsletter, is it? In those places, one expects to find fairly polished,
fairly "final" expressions of someone's views.

What we do here on this list is most analogous to a bunch of people sitting
around a table at Denny's drinking coffee and talking shop (although I've never
taken thousands of dollars of reference books to Denny's!) No one expects--or
at least no one *should* expect--that the opinions expressed here represent the
whole or final form of anyone's thinking on a particular topic. (Pass the
cream, please.)

2.) According to the consensus stated above, I would be transgressing if I were
reading this list in the computer center in the library and buttonholed another
religion major to show them a message on the screen, would I not? I would be
showing material from the list to people it was not sent to--people *not* on
the list. This seems a bit onerous to me.

3.) I know that IPLA (an agency that handles international questions of
intellectual property rights) has done some work in the area of Internet
Newsgroups, but I don't know what provisions they've set forth. Would it be
worth our while to check this out?

4.) When dealing with the printed word, we have "fair use" principles that
allow us to use the material for educational purposes with some degree of
freedom. Would we not all be well served to formulate some sort of "fair use"
agreement for the B-Greek list?

Perhaps our moderator/list owner (who's kind of like God, if you think about
it: everybody knows he's there but no one knows what he looks like, and he
hasn't spoken to us in a long time) has some thoughts on the subject.

Anyway, sorry about the copious spewage. I just think there are some issues
here we should address.

Grace and peace,

Perry L. Stepp, Baylor University

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