TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Review: E-Mail Program Lacks 'Wow' Factor

Re: Review: E-Mail Program Lacks 'Wow' Factor

Garrett Wollman (
Fri, 24 Dec 2004 01:01:31 +0000 (UTC)

In article <>, Lisa Minter
<> wrote:

> By ANICK JESDANUN, AP Internet Writer

[entire text of wire-service news story deleted]

> I believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted
> material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright
> Law.

Having actually read 17 USC 107,[1] I believe quoting an entire
wire-service article verbatim is far from "fair use", in particular:

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in
relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

Copying an entire work verbatim is rarely considered "fair use"
regardless of the purpose; even a university professor who wants to
distribute chapters of an out-of-print source to her class is expected
to get permission from the copyright owner.

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or
value of the copyrighted work

The authors of these wire-service articles frequently work as
independent contractors, paid by the article for stories they write.
News organizations are in turn charged substantial fees to reproduce
the wire service's material. If every wire-service article that
happens to catch Lisa's eye (apparently without regard to its
relationship to telecommunications) is reposted here, the end result
will be that news organizations will no longer pay to have the stories
written. That would be a bad result for everyone.


[1] I had to consider carefully the implications of the copyright law
for my own Web site, which contains many short snippets of broadcast
radio programming. I came to the conclusion that my use did
constitute "fair use", in part because my snippets are very small
relative to the whole, and because they have no effect on the
commercial value of the works quoted. Only one station has ever
objected, and (although it was clear to me that they did not
understand the law) I complied with their request immediately.

Garrett A. Wollman   | As the Constitution endures, persons in every  | generation can invoke its principles in their own
Opinions not those of| search for greater freedom.
MIT, LCS, CRS, or NSA| - A. Kennedy, Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. ___ (2003)

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