I Guess There Are A lot of Copyright Infringers

Well, that article was an interesting read, there is a lot of case law.

If I have understood it, the sender of an email retains the copyright and a right to privacy. The recipient of an email owns the content but cannot make a copy without consent of the copyright owner. Forwarding an email creates an electronic copy. Letting someone read the email on your computer screen is OK, as no copy is made.

Does making a back-up constitute making a copy? Possibly.

Does printing an email constitute making a copy? It seems to me it does, but I am no expert.

BCC and CC muddy the water on the side of the sender’s copyright. But if all the recipient names are in the To box the sender retains copyright.

If you forward an email using BCC that implies intent to secretly copy, I imagine. There is an extra layer of intent in the eyes of the law. If you forward an email and use CC, then you are acknowledging that you are making a copy implicit in the choice of CC.

Wow this area is a lot more complex than I thought.

So, if you have forwarded, for example, one of my emails to a friend or colleague you have infringed my copyright, whether you realise it or not. Unless I have given you permission so to do. You may have infringed my right to privacy too!

People forward emails willy-nilly.

It is OK to publish your own sent emails but you cannot put someone’s contact details in them unless those contact details are already in the public domain.

In the article Prof. Snow suggests that a man’s letter to his mistress is the property of the mistress but she cannot publish it or copy it without his prior consent. I guess technically if she threatened to blackmail him by publishing the letter, he could sue her for copyright infringement if she went ahead.

It comes down to permission and consent.

Apparently the everyone does it defence does not wash in a court of law.

As an aside it is quite interesting to see how legal minds argue largely on the basis of precedent.

I am a little wiser now…

Far out…