3.264 scanning and the law (48)

Tue, 18 Jul 89 19:31:16 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 264. Tuesday, 18 Jul 1989.

Date: Tue, 18 Jul 89 09:16:39 EDT

There hasn't been much correspondence on this subject
-- perhaps because none of us is in a position to offer
legal advice on such a complex issue, though
Lou's contribution was helpful and reasonable in
its interpretation.

Although I have no intention of offering any advice on
the matter because I am not qualified to do so, it is,
however, probably worth pointing out that publishers
are generally quite agreeable to individual scholars'
using their material for purely research purposes. But of
course scholars must first ask permission and then operate
purely within the terms of their agreement with the
publisher. For many years OUP has granted such
permissions, and the terms under which the
material may be used have of course been restricted.
The agreement between scholar and publisher (or copyright holder
if not the publisher himself) are not open-ended. If the
scholar wishes to use the material for purposes other than
that for which permission was originally granted (e.g. making
multiple copies of a text for classroom use), then he must
negotiate a different type of agreement.

Surely the message is simple:
if you wish to capture electronically a text that is
not your own, for whatever purpose, *ask permission*.
It is at the very least courteous to do so. This
is a trivial matter of writing a letter and
stating the purpose(s) for which permission is
sought. Invariably a publisher will be happy to help you
in your research and you can then wave the permissions
letter at the appropriate university body who is (rightly)
concerned about infringement of copyright.

Ruth Glynn