1994-02-01 - Re: Archiving mail-lists…

Header Data

From: “Perry E. Metzger” <pmetzger@lehman.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 880c2036a09e5bfb65a6f48c89d8f75e2b8974d1e9e0af0cf5bc486f9ad1b10e
Message ID: <199402012121.QAA03308@snark>
Reply To: <Pine.3.85.9402011507.A5791-0100000@netcom9>
UTC Datetime: 1994-02-01 21:25:46 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 1 Feb 94 13:25:46 PST

Raw message

From: "Perry E. Metzger" <pmetzger@lehman.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 94 13:25:46 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Archiving mail-lists...
In-Reply-To: <Pine.3.85.9402011507.A5791-0100000@netcom9>
Message-ID: <199402012121.QAA03308@snark>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Kirk Sheppard says:
> On Tue, 1 Feb 1994, Chris Knight wrote:
> <Perhaps we should try this.  You sell archives of the net, and we'll file
> <a class action suit...  I'll back up my beliefs with actions, how about you?
> This appears to be merely hot air, since despite all his talk Master 
> Knight hasn't taken any "action" and it is doubtful that he has the money 
> or other "necessities" requisite for doing so. Also, notice the term 
> "beliefs", which explains a lot. I thought were were having a discussion 
> on a legal or academic basis, not one involving religeous or 
> philosophical "beliefs" or faith.

Archives of the net are already being sold. Furthermore, some folks at
the FBI got a newsfeed from uunet years ago by magtape when they
didn't have a direct uucp link. I'd say that anyone who thinks they
can actually succeed at such a suit is welcome to try, but I wouldn't
break a sweat worrying about it.

Yes, you have a copyright over your work -- however, once you've
posted it to the net it is likely practically impossible to restrict
distribution. Since you've already allowed it to be distributed on
demand to anyone for free it is hard to claim damages if it is
distributed to anyone via some medium you don't like.

Archives of all of usenet already exist. I was talking with Eric Fair
at Usenix about using a Cray at Apple to produce an index of all
usenet traffic thus far -- it likely won't happen, but those worried
about such possibilities are welcome to have their lawyers send me
nasty letters.

If you want your stuff to have limited distribution, you have to make
a conscious effort to limit distribution or you have likely lost all
cause of action. Posting to the net is likely implicit concent to
unlimited distribution, since it is in fact what will happen and you
have no reasonable expectation of anything else.