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From: John Cowan [mailto:jcowan@reutershealth.com]

Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

>> Contract law is the emerging governing force.  My guess is that as has
>> said in the past, one has to assert all claims prior to publication.

>That is a patent-law rule, and irrelevant to copyrighted material.

No, it is a common practice.   While the copyright is in effect when 
the piece is put into a fixed form, beyond copyright claims for reuse should
be explicitly 
stated.   It is a proactive move that establishes the fact of the claim.

> This 
> means stating explicitly what other systems can do with your copyrighted 
> material.

>Because if you don't, they cannot copy, distribute, modify, publicly
>display, or publicly perform the work, except according to legal
>provisions for fair use/fair dealing.

Yes.  If you consider having ads pasted on your work by third parties 
to be a violation, and the system you work with enables that 
without regard to checking the copyright, it is a good move to specifically 
reserve the right to this.  At this point, the claim may be more than 
copyright covers, but you have made claim to the right to refuse that 
service or to be engaged by it.

>> The real problem is enforcement which must start at the 
>> the source to ensure any subsequent party is subject to the contract.

>No contract is required.

Explain all those statements on web pages that require the user 
to acknowledge use of the site under local laws.  Explain the provisions 
in the W3C specifications for use of the copyrighted material.  A contract

Don Park wrote:

>> 1. who owns the copyright on transformed data?  At what threshold does
>> butchering stops and originality starts?

>Transformed data is a paradigm case of a derivative work.  Assuming
>the original is subject to copyright at all (which it may not be),
>the right to transform belongs to the original creator unless
>delegated or sold.

Possibly.  Usually true under copyright, but this is murky and tends 
to be decided case by case.  That is the difficulty of copyright; the 
owner has to make the claim and ensure the case is carried forward. 
Best practice is to assert all rights reserved at publication. 
If one is unsure that current local law covers you, assert the 
extra provisions.  That way you have at least made the claims 
publicly and that may be considered as informative.   

At the end, the judge decides.  Web law may end up being like 
the American drug laws:  expensive and mostly a boon for the 
lawyers, but a drag on the legal system itself.  For that reason, 
a lot of legislation is in the hopper.  God help us.