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Boxer
08-18-2004, 11:30 PM
Just a quick question guys...

At the end of studies it says something like this...'it's content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holders express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use'.

Does this mean that if I have a study that I want to share with a friend it is within the journal rules to e-mail them the study as long as I don't send the study to anyone else?

Sorry for the silly queston but i'm just trying to make sure that I have interpreted this right :)

Simon
08-19-2004, 11:03 AM
Dunno, the legalise is a little open to debate, frankly I wouldn't give it a seconds thought , one friend or 5 friends big deal, everyone want's their studies out there otherwise they wouldnt' publish em.

Sorry not the most helpful answer but my answer is don't worry just do it.

elissalowe
08-19-2004, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by Boxer
Just a quick question guys...

At the end of studies it says something like this...'it's content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holders express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use'.

Does this mean that if I have a study that I want to share with a friend it is within the journal rules to e-mail them the study as long as I don't send the study to anyone else?

Sorry for the silly queston but i'm just trying to make sure that I have interpreted this right :)

Quick questions don't always get quick answers...

I'm not an attorney, of course, but had some peripheral exposure to the subject w/regard to using journal articles within a University setting. What you're asking about is a definition of the "Fair Use" of copyrighted materials. Unfortunately, there are no clear, precise standards for fair use - copyright infringement is decided on a case by case basis, taking legal precedents into consideration. I've pasted a definition of fair use from the University of California at Berkeley guidelines (I used to work for the University of California at Davis - Berkeley's version is similar to my understanding of the Davis policy).

Certain uses of copyrighted works are not considered to infringe the rights of the copyright owner and are allowed under copyright law as Fair Use. From the text of the Copyright Act of 1976, as Amended, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

Fair Use is a common defense in copyright infringement lawsuits. It is important to understand that the law does not grant individuals the right to determine if they are making a fair use of a copyrighted work, rather, it provides guidelines for courts to make this decision on a case by case basis. Fair Use analysis is not simple and the outcome of a Fair Use defense is not predictable. It is unwise to assume that you are not infringing a copyright unless the specific use has been determined by case law to be non-infringing based on Fair Use, such as video taping television broadcasts for home use or copying a portion of a work to provide comment or criticism.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered include:

the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
the nature of the copyrighted work
the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work

The Supreme Court has established the effect on the market value of the work to be the most important of these factors. It is important to understand that just because you may wish to use a work for educational purposes, it is not automatically a fair use of the work. For example, recent litigation has found that copying a work in its entirety rather than buying the book or journal, is not a fair use, even if it is copied for educational purposes. In another case, it was found to be infringing to copy and distribute copies of journal articles for many people in an organization when only one copy of the journal was purchased.

So, if I understand the policy correctly, e-mailing the text of a journal article to a friend is defensible under "fair use." Even two or three friends should also be OK - it's still private use, for educational purposes. Republishing on the WWW is another matter, since you could potentially be affecting the market value of the work (for example, if you republish or widely distribute something you acquired through a subscription-only site, you could be depriving the publisher of subscription fees). Whether or not you would be held liable would depend upon if the journal: a) found out about it, and b) decided it was worth acting on. Republishing on a quasi-private forum like this is a grey area - my guess is that it would be considered a no-no - but then again, the publisher would have to persue the matter - copyright violation is a civil, not criminal issue. So I don't think it's likely to happen.

So Simon's response is (as usual) the correct one. I wouldn't worry about it.

Boxer
08-19-2004, 02:26 PM
Excellent, thanks Simes and Elissa!

erp7e
08-19-2004, 04:34 PM
Thanks, elisa, because I never know how to interpret this either.