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I appreciated getting a copy of the SF Examiner article.
It gave me a boost and I would have a bit of difficulty
getting my hands on a copy of the paper (I'd have to go
downtown!).  However, I think the publishers of the news-
paper would have a case - less than 10% of the NEWSPAPER
was copied, but 100% of the ARTICLE was copied.  What is
the basic unit of information? Nobody knows.  Chances are a
big publisher could afford a lawyer who could convince a judge
that the ARTICLE is the unit, not the NEWSPAPER.  Also,
the standard rights-reserved message often states that
NO part of the material may be "transmitted in electronic
form".  In this case, the article was sent electronically
to 2,000 mailboxes, and is now available free of charge in
every site that archives and mirrors MEDLIB-L.  Whoa!
I don't think the publishers would go to court over this -
it's silly, no-one profits, no one is harmed, and the demand
for the original article is not demonstrably reduced.  (As
there wasn't much demand outside S.F in the first place)
But according to the law itself, it was a no-no.  On the
other hand, I think this whole issue of electronic
transmission needs a serious challenge these days so let's
have more challenges. Please note I am not volunteering to
type in newspaper articles!
 
Jenny Reiswig
Toronto East General Hospital
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