Re: Good Samaritan

<< Previous Message | Next Message >> (Philip Oshel)
Date:Tue, 09 Mar 1999 18:20:15 -0600
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Here you bump into the "fair use" concept. You can quote reasonable amounts
from a copyrighted work for review purposes. You can copy parts of a work
*for your personal use only*. What this means is subject to argument.

A scientific journal isn't likely to sue someone for making one copy for
themselves of an article, but they possibly) could. Some journal publishers
allow single, personal use copies, others require a fee to be paid. These
latter require the photocopying person to send in the fee, or buy a
reprint, if one can't be gotten from the author.

A book publisher likely won't sue someone for making one copy of "a few"
pages or a chapter of a book, but could for copying the whole book.

Then of course, if anything is copied to hand out to a class, the publisher
can sue, and has. Ask Kinko's.

If the work is out of print, and not available to be bought, the legal
"fair use" questions become more fun. "Out of print" does not mean that the
copyright has expired, so copying an OP book, for example, is a violation
of copyright law. Even though it's commonly done.

Generally speaking, one copy for yourself of a limited amount of material
won't cause problems. If for no other reason than that it happens too much.
But ...

An instrument manual is no different in this regard than any other
copyrighted work. It's the copyright itself that matters, not what's

Next on Jerry Springer ...


>This is an interesting point.   Does this, copyright law, apply to books
>that are at the library?  For instance, what about reference books and
>other controlled literature that you are not able to check out?  Can you
>then make a photocopy of the articles or information and be within the
>law?   People make copies of procedures from books and manuals everyday.
>Is there a fine line here?  How is this different from a instrument
>procedure manual?  I think we all need to have a law degree also:)
>Kathy Liucci
>Mesa, AZ

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Philip Oshel
Technical Editor, Microscopy Today
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