Re: Copyright Advice Needed
Steven G. Tyler (sgtyler@EROLS.COM)
Wed, 15 Apr 1998 12:32:34 -0400
Lawrence Tuck wrote, in part:
> Rick Seymour wrote:
> > I would be willing to put Hillcourt's material on a web site if someone
> > could figure out the copyright on old Scoutmaster Handbooks.
> Unless there's a copyright lawyer around who can offer better advice,
> I'd suggest writing to BSA, probably the publications division, and ask
> for permission to post the material to the Web for historical and
> educational purposes. The worst that can happen is they might say no.
OTOH, this seems like an area to apply one of my favorite maxims: "It's
almost always easier to apologize than it is to get permission!"
Translation: just post the material, with a letter of notification to
BSA. If they want to go to the trouble to inspect the site and object,
just withdraw the material if you can't convince them to allow it to
As it happens, yes, IAAL, though not versed in copyright law. With that
disclaimer, though, in a non-commercial setting I can't imagine BSA
would seek damages or do anything more than have their lawyers write you
a nasty letter. Even then, there's as good chance you'd be able to
convince them at that time as you would up front, IMHO, and you may not
have to penetrate the typical "corporate inertia" and "default to no"
responses to any unusual request. In fact, I think the case could be
made that a limited republication of some of the classic BSA material
via the Web could actually *create* a demand for hard-copy versions.
After all, it's a bit difficult to connect to the Web and read from your
laptop while sitting at the campfire! ;-)
Steve on Cattail Creek - email@example.com <Steven G. Tyler>
Severna Park, MD, USA
"The Computer Counselor," Technology Consulting for the Law Office
Advancement Chair and de facto Webmaster, Troop 339,
Baltimore Area Council, BSA (http://members.aol.com/troop339/)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City