Ownership/Copyright of Comments and Email

  1. David Goodman raises a question in response to this post:
    December 18th, 2006 at 11:33 pm e excerpted and adapted from my Dec 18 posting on the SPARC-OA list:As an example, relevant to this very posting, I quote from this blog:
    “You own the copyright in your comments: but you also agree to license your comments under the the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.”
    When you act as a publisher, you do not license commercial use.
    David Goodman,

When we set this series of blogs up we thought it was important to consider the ownership of comments. I’ve been in positions before when I have been unable to distribute a collaborative work because we didn’t address this issue. So we took a stab and picked a license for the comments. I’m quite happy to be convinced that “commercial use” would be better, but we omitted it because we thought it might put off some readers (we thought that even requiring a license might cause problems).
So, readers (and commenters) what is your view? Would you be happy with a license that allows commercial exploitation? Are any of you put off by the current license? (If you are, and don’t want to use the comments, please mail me.).
David – I do not understand “you” in the last sentence. Does it mean:
“When PMR acts as a publisher, PMR does not license commercial use” (i.e. a statement of fact) or
“When anyone acts as a publisher, that person does not license commercial use” (i.e. a metasyntactic variable applying to all publishers) (and perhaps “does not” implies “should not” or “cannot”).
or something else…
David’s other comment refers to the SPARC Open Data list which has had a discussion about copyright on email. David writes (Mailing List SPARC-OpenData@arl.org Message #85):

If you mean quoting, that is protected fair use. When it is for the
purpose of criticism, and especially scholarly criticism,
as it usually is on these lists, this can be very encompassing.
If you mean reposting without permission on a different list, I
think youy will find that most of the posters report
that they have permission--the usual statement is
"reposted with permission from the X list";
I know that i have always asked. I think that Heather
has always asked.
Once or twice the original poster did not want a larger or different
audience, and in those cases I did not repost.
And, as Heather says, posting or quoting from a private letter is
totally unethical without explicit permission, print or email. I have
not seen anyone I know do it.

So this quote (almost all David's mail except for the address) is quoted here under fair use.
The penultimate point is important. I have been embarrassed in the past because someone took one of my posts to a fairly small list (A) and reposted it in a much larger list (B) with the wrapper “from Peter Murray-Rust”. This post caused harm, because it appaered that I had deliberately posted it in list B where its content and attribution was seen as agressive while on list A it was normal discourse in the community. Unfortuantely the person (an open source evangelist) made a habit of this and I took to including something like “please do not repost without  explicit statement that this  was not done by the original author”. I don’t know the answer to this.
A typical scenario might be:
I post here something that says “I think it would be a good idea if all publishers added InChIs to their chemistry” . This is fine on this blog. If, however, the post was copied to the Computational Chemistry List (where the person copied my material) and attributed to me, then those members might see me as spamming, uncritical, intrusive, etc. If he had written (I found this quote on PeterMR’s blog …) I couldn’t complain.
So metadata and transclusion matters. But we don’t want any more hard stuff before breakfast…
Sometimes when someone writes to me I extract part and comment:

“A correspondent asked me:

“When should I use cml:property and when should I use cml:Parameter? Here is some code to highlight the problem… ”
[code included in quote]

and I’m replying in public because I think many people will be interested.”

I hope  that this does not break confidentiality and fair use. Otherwise I will have to write a lot more emails.

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3 Responses to Ownership/Copyright of Comments and Email

  1. Bill says:

    I’m not put off by the current license (as you will have noticed from my clogging up your comments!). I don’t object to allowing commercial uses in principle, but I confess to a deep-seated distrust of all things commercial and tend towards the “copyleft/share-alike” position for important things. (On the other hand, my own blog’s IP stance is basically: do whatever you want”.)

  2. Pingback: Copyright 2.0 and Open Science

  3. Jessi23 says:

    I don’t object to allowing commercial uses in principle, things commercial and tend towards the position for important things. associating a copyrighted work with a Numly Number, which is a unique numerical identifier Numly may also offer a solution to the problem

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