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Re: request

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Friday, Sergio Brandano (sb@dcs.qmw.ac.uk) wrote:

  >   We are talking about written words, carrying the name of the author.
  >   These written words are being archived, indexed and re-published.
  >   The legal owner of copyrighted material (as any author is, unless a
  >   legal transfer has occurred) is the only legally-entitled distributor
  >   of any such material. By subscribing to a mailing list, a person is
  >   pretty far from transfering the copyrights of any posted material.
  >   Mailing lists (non-commercial, as Debian is) are in fact a forum of
  >   friends. Archiving, indexing and allowing re-publication of this
  >   material by other sites is now going *well beyond* the mere posting
  >   of an email to a list of friends.

Except that the lists for which archives are available are *public*
mailing lists. Now, I don't know you, yet I'm reading your postings now. I
have copies of these postings in my personal archives, and they will
probably stay there for a very long time, and I'm sure others will do the
same. Equally, I could provide a web interface to my archives of these
public mailing lists, and AltaVista, et al, could then index those.
Anybody on any of the public lists who was suitably inclined could do the
same. In fact, if you type my name into Google, the first eight pages or
so of matches are my past postings to mailing lists.

My point is this; are you going to attempt to contact everybody who has
archives containing mail from you posted to public mailing lists, and ask
them to remove older postings, or prevent them from being indexed?

If the mailing lists were closed-subscription, and subsequently had
archives published, I could see where you were coming from, but they're
open lists, and as far as I know, always have been, and the fact that
archives could or would be published is something that you took on board
when posting, implicitly or otherwise.

I'm pretty sure it's not explicitly stated that this MAY happen to your
postings when you subscribe to a list, but the very fact that the archives
are there, common sense, and nettiquette would suggest that it's fairly
likely. There's also the issue as to whether open-subscription mailing
lists are considered public fora as most USENET newsgroups are. I'm pretty
sure they are.

Apologies if this sounded like a bit of a rant, but I know that if I stand
in the middle of Trafalgar Square and shout, I've got little right to
request whoever tape-records or transcribes what I'm shouting doesn't
publish it. Similarly, if I post the USENET, I expect it to be copied,
archived and indexed. The same applies to public mailing lists. Part of
the point of archives is that they keep track of old threads and messages,
so that people *can* refer to them at any time. Whether they do or not, or
in your opinion should have a reason to, doesn't play much of a part in

I'm not having a go, just trying to (probably badly) put a few points
across :)


- -- 
Mo McKinlay                   mmckinlay@gnu.org           http://ekto.org
                Read http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1855.txt
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