Subject: Re: Filk, puns, and other time wasting.
From: (Rob Warnock)
Date: 1998/10/21
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <70kr33$>
Kent M Pitman  <> wrote:
| (Georg Bauer) writes:
| > Copyright on aphorismns and short rhymes and silly jokes? 
| > You must be kidding ...
| No, I'm not.
| And I think you owe the same to each and every creator of a joke.  To
| those who only in their lifetimes ever create one joke or poem or
| song, that creation is certainly a precious thing and certainly they
| are entitled to control its destiny.  You owe them that out of respect.

An excellent example of "innocent sharing" run rampantly out of control
may be found in the "computer-error haiku" collection that is so frequently
seen zooming across the humor (and other) lists. You know, the set of haiku
like this one:

             Serious error.
             All shortcuts have disappeared.
             Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

How many of you knew that that collection is a copyrighted work? ...and
that each individual haiku *originally* had its author's name attached?
The original list was the winning entries in a contest that was put on
by Salon Magazine's "21st Challenge" (whatever that is). See:
        "The case of the hijacked haiku", by Scott Rosenberg

for the story of these -- though by now they've pretty much given up
trying to defend their copyright:

        Within 48 hours of our Web page's posting, the error haikus were
        hopping from mailing list to mailing list and newsgroup to newsgroup.
        Though it'd be easy to fulminate about the evil practice of grabbing
        copyrighted material and reposting it across the Net, it'd also be
        futile. And though Salon would certainly prefer that folks read
        what we publish on Web pages that we serve, we aren't likely to
        sic lawyers on people who recirculate our material when they're
        not doing it for a profit.

But the really sad thing is that the individual contest winners had their
names stripped off of the bootleg versions, thus denying them even their
brief moment of fame -- exactly what Kent was warning about.


[p.s. Apologies in advance: Email'd replies may get
a "vacation" bounce message while I'm on sabbatical...]

Rob Warnock, 8L-855
Applied Networking
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