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Re: [govtrack] Public Domain vs CC/Other Licenses

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  • Joshua Tauberer
    ... I think it s pretty fair. Before the ~1979 changes to copyright law, you had to pay a fee and formally register works with the goverment to obtain a
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 24, 2005
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      Scott Beardsley wrote:
      >>You need to see a specific "I allow you to do
      >>this" message to use anything.
      > I think this is very sad but also very true.

      I think it's pretty fair. Before the ~1979 changes to copyright law,
      you had to pay a fee and formally register works with the goverment to
      obtain a copyright, which was a somewhat prohibitive process if you're
      an individual and not a big publisher. So, the fact that everything is
      automatically copyrighted puts us on the same playing field as the big
      corporations. There are other aspects of copyright law that I'd agree
      are sad but true...

      > It'd be interesting to know what "signifiacntly
      > altered" really is... Can i just change the case of a
      > few words?

      No, but the law is generally vague about this. The only way to know if
      it's a legitimate action is if you're sued and ultimately found not
      guilty. Not a great way to find out.

      >>If the source is copyrighted, I would
      >>avoid doing anything with it without permission.
      > I agree. So we have to find the grant into PD for all
      > our sources.

      Except legislation (I'll go looking for some precedent about this at
      some point, but I'm pretty sure it's already been tested in court) and
      the status of legislation (which are facts and, IMO, not copyrightable
      in the first place). For these things, I really wouldn't worry about
      it. If you're gathering other types of data, it's more of a concern.
      (Are you gathering other things?)

      > Imagine ten years down the
      > line with a huge repo of data and no idea what's legal
      > and what's not.


      > So basically we are obligated to determine the
      > licensing status of the content we host.

      Most definitely.

      >>First, a blurb in the New York Times about GovTrack
      >>> is supposed to appear one of these days.
      > Congrats. That's excellent news. I'm happy to see
      > mainstream media catching up with what's happening.

      Well, hold the congrats till we actually see it in print. :)

      >>Hopefully in the next few weeks there will be a new
      >>> website that will be
      >>> a place for a community about this to develop.
      > Is this the govshare that I've been seeing random
      > places?

      In the preliminary RDF files. That was my original idea, but that may
      not pan out. We'll see.

      > I also wanted to add that I think many people
      > (particularly those currently serving as elected
      > officials) may feel threatened by govtrack and its
      > spawn.

      Excellent! :)

      - Joshua Tauberer


      ** Nothing Unreal Exists **
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