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Re: Are copyright laws applicable to non-profit groups?
From Nicholas on 28 April '00
replying to Re: Are copyright laws applicable to non-profit groups? posted by Jason Reed

>I understand, and thank you, as well as the others for the prompt input to this topic. There were two reasons why my situation was unclear to me.
>(1) some sites state that it is unlawful to copy for commercial purposes. Their attempt to strengthen the issue by elaborating is possibly backfiring, since non-profit sites will take advantage of this.
>(2) information that my group wants to copy is general knowledge. For example, a listing of campsites in the state of Michigan can be found in many places. copying it from a website is a conveinient way to obtain it. Unlawful according to copyright laws, but how am I supposed to present the information without "copying" it from somewhere, i.e. a book, or pamphlet, or park guide, that all have "copyrights"? Calling the state of Michigan would be my first guess, but that is not fully acceptable to me, since the information in question was not an original work from anyone. It's merely public information.
>Please don't consider this any argument to your statements (as I agree), but simply a point for all to think about. I do believe the copyright laws could use some work. If I compiled a list of animals that can be found in the state of Illinois, I would not accuse anyone who presented the same list, of copying me since I have nothing to do with what animals do or don't inhabit the state.

Yeh, databases (and damn near everything touched by the softaware
industry) are in a state of copyright uncertainty, thanks to a bunch
of nutty lawsuits. The telephone companies many years ago tried
to enforce copyright for "name and phone number," but the courts
told them to forget it. As electronic databases have become more
complex, the issue has reared its head again.

Of course you do need to copy the *data* from somewhere; just
be sure not to copy the data *structure*. People who are paranoid,
or perhaps realistic, take the time to obscure the source of
the data before handing it to employees, either trimming headers
off copies of printed data, or reducing electronic data to
simple ASCII records.

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