[muglo] Re: Web Site Copy

In the newspaper business, unless the story carries a copyright, once it's
published its in the public domain. Net law is, as you can imagine, still in
its infancy, but it seems to me that if anything is on the net it is by
definition in the public domain. An opinion obviously not shared by record
companies, hence all the MP3 battles.
  If I were going to lift an article for use in a column - something I
wouldn't do ethically, forget any legal issues - I would cite the source,
even though i'm not sure I'm legally obligated. One of the problems facing
us these days has to do with people picking up stuff off the web and then
using it or passing it along as fact without checking its authenticity.
   I once used some statistical data from an article I found on the web in a
column I wrote on the Great Lakes. But I called the author (an American
university prof.) first to make sure the article's source was valid.
  In short, unless you doing something with it you'll receive money for, my
opinion is go for it. Otherwise acknowledge the source. None of this should
be taken as gospel, of course, it only comes from impressions gained after
40-plus years in the biz and not from any lawyer. jim


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