Re: any standard FAQ releases?


A. Lester Buck III (buck@Compact.COM)
Mon, 18 Aug 1997 01:04:46 -0500

# copyright to the list administrators? I was looking for something
# that clearly states the authors retain full copyright to their
# individual works, but give an irrevocable license to the list
# owners for non-commercial use in whatever way they see fit to
# advance the goals of the list, including generation of derived
# works. In particular, is it necessary to have this release as a
# physical piece of paper, or is a signed email message good enough
# these days?
# If you have any pointers or tips for such a release, we would
# very much appreciate hearing from you.

>I find it hard to imagine that anyone would sign such a release.
>If I own it, I own it. There really is no middle ground.

We have entire team of new FAQ authors ready to work under exactly
such conditions. Q.E.D.

And a recent query to Terry Carroll, attorney and maintainer
of the Copyright FAQ, brought the following reply:

>Only assignments (or exclusive licenses) need to be in signed
>writing. Just a simple statement of how it's going to be used,
>and that that use is okay is all you need.

>As the author has spent a massive amount of time trying to do
>the list a favor and add value, I can see why the author is upset.

Make no mistake about the situation: The Russian-Women-L is a
major resource for people considering the option of intercultural
romance and marriage, and it can save many men and women much
heartbreak and huge amounts of wasted money and time IF IT'S
KNOWLEDGE BASE IS AVAILABLE. Many people's lives are direclty
affected by the information on this list. While "the author
has spent a massive amount of time" in compiling the document,
he has requested the removal of his document from all locations,
both public and private. Referring to this as "doing the list
a favor and adding value" is rather bizarre, to say the least!!

>Now, had someone just taken it upon themselves to start from
>scratch to write a new FAQ then the author could have complained
>but with little recourse.

This is exactly what we will do if a limited right to use is not
forthcoming from the current FAQ author. I also suspect that
virtually every list member whose contributions were used in his
compilation will assert their copyrights and deny that author
the use of his own work.

>If you get someone to respond that they have what you are looking
>for, it should be posted to this list for a nice 'conversation'. :)
>I have no doubt that you *won't* find it. The reasons you are
>asking it for might be understandable but the rights you are
>asking the authors to give up are unacceptable. Sigh... Only
>one man's opinion...

I will be happy to post what we work out in a few days. The only
unacceptable thing is the sequence of events that has occurred
in this instance, and I can assure you this sequence of events
will never be repeated.

>Of course, even with such a thing, if it were legally supportable
>(which it would likely not be in an international forum such as
>yours), it would not be retroactive...

Not sure what you mean here. The current author either agrees
to an irrevocable, non-commercial right to use or we write a new
one under those conditions. There is no issue of retroactivity.

>I'd be ticked off myself! And I would not sign that kind of agreement!

Which is why you will not be on the team writing a new one. :-)

>>Now, had someone just taken it upon themselves to start from scratch
>>to write a new FAQ then the author could have complained but with
>>little recourse.
>I'd be a little upset about that but as long as they titled it
>different and archived it in a manor that didn't conflict with
>my work, I couldn't complain!

Uh, "Russian Women Mailing List" is a list I started and currently
control. We will name the FAQ exactly that, thankyouverymuch!
Since the only reason we are having to write another FAQ is
because our pissant current author is not allowing ANY access to
his work, I don't forsee any archiving conflicts. :-) In fact,
the original FAQ was under password control to prevent search
engine access. The list administrators are moving to make the
FAQ a public document. Archiving it in some public forum (any
public forum!) is another thing to be gained from a rewrite.

>According to the reported size of this work, I'm thinking it
>must be a "Every Question Ever Asked" instead of a "Frequently
>Asked Questions"!

Bingo! :-)

Thank you all for your comments.

Best regards,


A. Lester Buck