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[Fwd: FYI: Supreme Court to Hear Case of Freelance Author's

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Howard Flack        http://www.unige.ch/crystal/ahdf/Howard.Flack.html
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Date: Thu, 09 Nov 2000 12:17:20 -0500 (EST)
From: Gail Hodge <Gailhodge@AOL.COM>
Subject: FYI:  Supreme Court to Hear Case of Freelance Author's Versus
 Publishers
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MY APOLOGIES FOR MULTIPLE POSTING.

The U.S. Supreme Court has announced that it will hear a case between 6
freelance authors and Time, Lexis/Nexus and University Microfilms.  The
question is whether or not the publisher and database producers had the right
republish print publications by the authors in electronic databases online
and on CD-ROM without express permission to do so.  The Copyright Act
indicates that the publisher can incorporate articles in revisions of the
original publication.  The argument is whether or not the electronic version
constitutes a revision.  The original case before a federal judge went in
favor of the comparies, but this was reversed in favor of the authors by the
2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in September 1999.

The final decision could have a major impact on publishers, libraries, and
database producers.  One could imagine that it may also call into question
whether the publisher had the right, without specific permission, to allow
database producers to use authors abstracts in electronic bibliographic
databases.  It should be noted that most publishers have now incorporated in
their copyright arrangements with authors the rights to electronic
republication .... publication in all formats and worldwide.  Some have even
spoken of Martian rights!!!!!

An article can be read at
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23007-2000Nov6.html

Gail


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