Re: Fair use and the sharing of information

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

Tom Madden wrote:
. . . But John's hypothetical response is no different from Tony referring questioners to his PFE
book, or to Vol. 17 of the SP Rolling Stock Series. Is it because John lacks the cachet of the Signature Press publishing empire?
Gosh, now I now know far the series goes <g>. Glad to hear of the cachet, though.

Whatever the reason, if we can no longer upload scans of purchased prints without concern, list members are going to have to accept references to commercial sources without grumbling. Referring
questioners to Bob's Photos will be tricky, since you can only buy from him at shows.
Like Richard does with jpegs, sending an individual copy is permitted. Often a Xerox will show what you want, too. But the danger with a jpeg is that an unscrupulous recipient may post it on the web without telling you. I'm a little more reluctant to send such images.

I have dozens of prints from the CSRM Library, and literally thousands of microfilm images, scans and paper copies of Pullman drawings and documents from the Newberry Library. . . it's pretty clear in talking with them that even "one copy for a friend" is frowned upon.
If the agreement you signed says this, then yes, you are so bound. But the copyright law does NOT have any such restriction, nor can an archive claim one on that basis.

One unintended consequence of all this may impact clinic handouts. I commonly take over 100 handouts to Martin's and Mike's meets. Guess I can show images of protected material in the presentation but can't include them in the handouts. Can o' worms!
This is indeed a gray area. Where does "educational" or "personal" use stop and "publication" begin? The Signature Press attorney stated to me that he doubted use of images in Powerpoint or comparable uses would be a problem, but handouts are problematic, as Tom says.
The way around it, of course, is to get permission. The foregoing comments only relate to images used WITHOUT permission.

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

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