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Re: Copyright Laws
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: Copyright Laws
- From: "Virginia B. Sauer" <vsauer@JUNO.COM>
- Date: Fri, 5 Sep 1997 20:46:11 EDT
- Message-Id: <199709060050.RAA15406@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
After reading Doug Philips <dwp+@TRANSARC.COM>'s post, I am
unsubscribing from this list.
However, I will first address his public complaints:
(1) "On Sunday you (Virginia) posted a recipe from a
copyrighted book (1), without indicating you were doing
so with permission."
I was _INQUIRING_ about an ambiguity in a very short
(and common) recipe, and asking whether or not it could
be converted for a saucepan. Recipes can never be
copyrighted (and this was a very short, simple, and
common one), and there was nothing unique about the
words or procedures. I also gave full credit; if
anything, it was a recommendation to purchase the book.
However, I was clearly wrong -- just as I was clearly
wrong to have ever posted anything to this list.
(2) One day later you post a recipe for paste, without
giving or explicitly claiming credit(2).
As with the wheat paste, the process is ancient; in
this instance, since I was not requesting
clarification, the words were mine. I had not had it
copyrighted, and was merely trying to share step-by-
step directions to help list members. Clearly a
mistake which I will never repeat.
(3) When you then turn around a mere three days later and
prominently display copyrights for your description of
an old and well known process, that is surprising.
Why? Anyone who knows anything about copyrights knows
that it is the _WORDS_ and _DIAGRAMS_ that are
copyrighted (along with any particularly unique
techniques; I have already addressed the issue of
derivative copyright fraud) -- and I would have
expected anyone who did not know that to have had the
courtesy to either privately E-Mail me to inquire, or
to publicly post _WITHOUT_ referring to my post.
>> If you (and Julia and whomever else) choose to be
offended, that is your choice. But it is a choice. You
are free to change it at any time. I hope you will.
Well, if I wasn't offended before, I certainly am now.
Although I had hoped to move forward and forget this sorry
incident, your vitriolic post makes that impossible. I will
be unsubscribing from the list at the same time I post this
This is not an issue of "wanting credit" ... Anyone who knows
me at all knows that that definitely isn't my style. Having
seen my original craft directions plastered all over the
internet, I learned the hard way of the necessity of
copyrighting them. It seemed like such a simple way to be
able to share my directions while protecting myself should I
later publish them <sigh>.
The problem is that for many of us this is our livelihood.
As such, if people re-post one's ideas all over the internet
(without even attribution), when one goes to publish one's
own original ideas in a book or magazine, it will look as
though he or she has simply stolen them from the net -- when,
in reality, the reverse is true. Having seen many of my
original craft ideas and directions posted all over the
internet without even attribution, I found it necessary to
protect myself by having them copyrighted (so that at least I
would still be able to share them with people). Although
some of you clearly resent this, I have received private
E-Mails from a large number of people who fully understand
the problem and situation, have seen firsthand what it is
like to have their hard work re-distributed by others, and
fully understand and support my decision. Moreover, since I
was merely trying to share something I had worked hard to
perfect, I cannot understand being attacked for trying to be
Ironically, I had originally looked forward to sharing step-
by-step directions (including all the tips and techniques
I've learned the hard way) for other forms of books, ranging
from simple accordian books to gratitude and graduation
journals (text, as well as binding) and the Japanese
stab-bound journals I am struggling to perfect. So at least
I'm glad that you and Mona posted your messages before I made
It just seems so sad that this occurred as a result of my
having tried to share with the group.
Since you have won -- and I will have left the list by the
time you read this -- kindly do not ever contact me again.