Re: reverse engineering or copying?

Tony Thompson

John Barry wrote:

Al Westerfield had it right with his story about the proprietary hinges, ask and ye shall receive.  Joe Fugate had to pull an article from his first edition of Model Railroad Hobbyist because the author had not obtained permission of the copyright holder for much of what he wrote.  In that case, as the case you cited, ask not and ye shall receive a lawsuit if you do not desist. Joe did, your respondent didn't, and the intellectual property owners prevailed in both cases as they should have.

       Well said, John, and I agree. But remember, it may be that you will ask and they will say no. It's their right, and if they take that position, your project is over. In most cases, what's needed is a fee or an acknowledgement, but the copyright owner does have the complete right to simply say no. Don't assume that because you ask, the answer will necessarily be "yes."
        In one of our book projects, we simply had to leave out a group of photos for which the owner would not budge. Too bad, but it's the owner's right.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

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