Did You Violate Copyright Law Today?
All of us have done this at least once, I'm sure: circulated an electronic article from an e-newsletter or other publication to which we subscribe. But what you probably didn't know is that re-circulating these articles may violate copyright laws -- and according to this story from CNET, publishers are starting to crack down on offenders.
According to the article, the Software Information & Industry Association (SIIA) entered into a $300,000 settlement with a research company over distribution of the company's "press packages" without a license or permission. But while widespread circulation of information might violate copyright law, what about fair use? Generally, fair use allows reprinting for non-commercial purposes, which means that occasionally passing on a story to inform a colleague could fall within fair use exceptions. However, regular forwarding of a copyrighted electronic publication suggests that the material is being used for business purposes (because of the regularity of transmission) rather than education.
So the next time you send those articles off to an associate or colleague, give some thought to copyright issues.
Posted by Carolyn Elefant on August 16, 2007 at 07:11 PM | Permalink
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