Re: How can Walnut Creek continue ?


Bernhard Muenzer (
Thu, 13 Apr 1995 12:02:59 +0200

Frank Gadegast <> wrote


Try <URL:>; it should be
archived there.

>I still don't get how Walnut Creek got away with producing
>a CD-Rom full of copyrighted material from the Internet, just
>by sending everybody a complementary copy, who
>wanted one, but without having to ask everybody for the

They did ask for authorisation, but way too late; and they didn't contact the
authors individually but only this mailing list.

They got their share of spanking for this, and it seems that they've learned.

>Like you maybe recognized, I gonna produce a CD-Rom including
>lots of Internet-material too, but I'm asking the contributors
>BEFORE I include their work.
>The points I need to get cleared are:
>o What's with all those FAQ-maintainers, that DON'T want to
> be on the Walnut Creek CD-Rom ?? Was there the possibility
> to be taken OF the CD ?
>o Did they get any chance to get OFF the CD-Rom ?


>o How can Walnut Creek continue producing NEW CD-Rom's
> without having the permission from the maintainers ?

Hopefully, their current version only features FAQs they have
permission for.

(BTW could anyone who owns a copy grep for "Archive-Name:
de-kinder-faq/windeln" ?
This one should _not_ on the CD ... Thanks !)

Lots of FAQs include an explicit permission to be copied on CD-ROM.

>German Copyright Law is maybe not as strict as the law's
>in America, but: if I would put somebodies stuff on my
>CD-Rom without asking him/her and he/she would complain using a

A FAQ maintainer _could_ start legal action, but most wouldn't.
Most of us do this voluntary job to help spread the information in the FAQ;
and for a large number of FAQ maintainers reaching a larger audience via
CD-ROM distribution
is a good thing(tm). There are FAQs that their maintainers feel are not
suited to CD-ROM distribution, and some maintainers don't like the idea of
someone making a profit out of their voluntary work.

Walnut Creek made a large blunder, but they tried to make up for it rather fast,
and they seem intent on being good net.citizens.

It wouldn't be easy to explain the differences between Usenet (which is not
and a CDROM subscription (this is not as easy as it sounds !) to a lawyer and a
judge. Sueing CD-ROM producers will do damage to them, but the FAQ
maintainer won't
necessarily benefit from that.

Furthermore, most FAQ maintainers are rather proud of the net and their
way of settling their problems on their own without calling in the law.
Once a legal precedent on the application of copyright laws on Usenet has
been made,
the net may become a different place - and not the one we learned to love.

>I really like to know, how that problem got solved to
>prevent me from making any faults and using the work of the
>contributors to my CD-Rom for something, that is not
>fair nor allowed.

Maybe you are even a bit over-anxious to have everything legally unambiguous
for you.
Having to sign all the legaleze in your authorization form is just an
example of what
I wouldn't want my job as FAQ maintainer to become.



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