Copyright: The Gospel according to CompuServe
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Date: Thursday, 3 December 1987 07:16-MST From: august at VLSI.JPL.NASA.GOV (Richard August) To: info-modems Re: Copyright: The Gospel according to CompuServe! (Their position) --WHAT IS A COMPILATION COPYRIGHT? CompuServe has copyrighted the contents of the CompuServe Information Service as a compilation copyright, just as many magazines and newspapers reserve such a copyright on the contents of their publications. This copyright is held in accordance with the 1976 Copyright Act of the United States. A compilation copyright is granted when an organization collects information in a lawful way, adds value to it, and offers it to others. In this case, the CompuServe Information Service is a value-added product; CompuServe Incorporated has committed substantial financial resources to collecting more than 400 databases and offering them in an organized, structured way to a defined user base through a nationwide telecommunications network. The compilation copyright is intended to protect that substantial investment from unauthorized exploitation. This does NOT mean that CompuServe assumes ownership of individual programs and databases provided to the system by subscribers or information providers. --IF I UPLOAD A SOFTWARE PROGRAM I'VE DEVELOPED TO COMPUSERVE, DO I STILL RETAIN OWNERSHIP OF THE PROGRAM? Yes, you do. CompuServe's compilation copyright does NOT supersede individual ownership rights or copyrights to any of the material furnished to the Service by subscribers or information providers. For example, a subscriber who creates a program and uploads it to a CompuServe forum data library STILL OWNS that program, and may upload it to other information services and bulletin board systems. It should be noted, however, that CompuServe cannot grant any redistribution rights for materials copyrighted by the author, unless specifically authorized to do so, CompuServe does not own the material or the copyright. These rights must be obtained directly from the author. --WHAT IS COMPUSERVE'S STANCE TOWARD COPYRIGHTED, PUBLIC DOMAIN, AND SHAREWARE PROGRAMS? Each of these types of property have special characteristics, and deserves separate explanation: COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL CompuServe does not allow copyrighted material to be placed on the CompuServe Information Service without the author's permission. Only the owner(s) or persons they specifically authorize may upload copyrighted material to the Service. Any subscriber may download copyrighted material for their own use. Any subscriber may also non-commercially redistribute a copyrighted program with the expressed permission of the owner or authorized person. Permission must be specified in the document, on the Service, or must be obtained directly from the author. See menu choices 5,6 and 7 for more information about redistribution guidelines. PUBLIC DOMAIN Any subscriber may upload public domain programs to the Service. Any subscriber may download public domain programs for their own use or non-commercially redistribute a public domain program. See menu choices 5, 6, and 7 for more information about redistribution guidelines. SHAREWARE Only the owner or an authorized person may upload shareware programs. Any subscriber may download shareware programs for their own use, subject to the terms provided by the owner. Any subscriber may non-commercially redistribute a shareware program subject to the provided terms explicitly displayed in the software itself, or with permission of the owner or authorized person. See menu choices 5, 6 and 7 for more information about redistribution guidelines. --AS A COMPUSERVE SUBSCRIBER, CAN I DOWNLOAD PUBLIC DOMAIN INFORMATION AND SHAREWARE PROGRAMS FOR MY OWN USE FROM COMPUSERVE FORUM DATA LIBRARIES? Yes, you can. Public domain information and shareware programs are uploaded to CompuServe data libraries by their authors for use by other CompuServe subscribers. --MAY I DOWNLOAD PROGRAMS FROM COMPUSERVE FORUM DATA LIBRARIES AND SHARE THEM WITH A FRIEND, OR UPLOAD THEM TO ANOTHER BULLETIN BOARD SYSTEM? In keeping with the spirit of the development of public domain information and shareware, it is not CompuServe's current policy to prevent casual redistribution of this type of information -- this is low volume and low frequency use or redistribution of information where no commercialism is involved. This means that a customer may download a file and share it with others for no commercial gain -- either via a bulletin board service, diskette, or other means. A subscriber may not, however, download a large number of files for redistribution via any means, nor is it acceptable for a subscriber to update another bulletin board regularly with files obtained from CompuServe. It's important to note that CompuServe cannot grant redistribution rights for programs clearly copyrighted by the author, unless specifically authorized to do so. Such permission must be obtained directly from the author of the program. --MAY I DOWNLOAD AND RESELL A PROGRAM FROM A COMPUSERVE FORUM DATA LIBRARY? Commercial exploitation of material contained on the CompuServe Information Service is specifically prohibited by the CompuServe Service agreement, to which each subscriber agrees before being permitted to access the Service. Therefore, subscribers cannot lawfully download and redistribute public information or shareware programs for personal gain. In addition, mass redistribution of public domain information or shareware is also prohibited. Mass distribution is defined as high frequency and/or high volume transfers. --WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING THE COMPILATION COPYRIGHT OR SERVICE AGREEMENT PROVISIONS? When a situation involving exploitation is brought to CompuServe's attention, we investigate and, if warranted, remind the violator of the terms of the Service Agreement. If subsequent violations are reported, access to the CompuServe Information Service may be terminated for the violator and, in extreme cases, a letter is sent from our legal counsel asking that he or she cease and desist, or risk further legal action. This is done as a positive step to protect the value and use of the material for CompuServe Information Service subscribers, and to discourage unauthorized redistribution of that material. 1. The CompuServe Information Service (the "Service") consists of the use of the computing services, software and databases so designated by CompuServe. These Terms and any Operating Rules published over the Service constitute the entire Agreement for the Service and supersede all prior and contemporaneous statements, communications and documents. 2. Upon notice published over the Service, CompuServe may modify these Terms, the Operating Rules, or the Service. Such modifications may include, without limitation, price changes, implementation of user priorities and discontinuance of parts of the Service. Upon at least six months' prior notice published over the Service, CompuServe may terminate the Service. 3. Customer's use of the Service is not transferable and is subject to any limits established for Customer's credit card or any limits established by CompuServe. 4. Customer is responsible for and must provide all telephone and other equipment necessary to access the Service. 5. The Service is provided on an "as-is, as-available" basis. NEITHER COMPUSERVE, ITS DISTRIBUTORS, NOR ITS SUPPLIERS MAKE ANY WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THOSE OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICE. Customer is responsible for implementing sufficient procedures and checkpoints to satisfy his/her requirements for accuracy of data input and output and for maintaining a means external to the Service for reconstruction of any lost data. 6. Customer will not reproduce, sell, publish, or in any manner commercially exploit any information obtained through the Service or participate in or allow such reproduction, sale, publications or exploitation by any person. 7. The provisions of paragraphs 5 and 6 are for the benefit of CompuServe and its data suppliers; any such data supplier shall have the right to assert and/or to enforce such provisions directly on its own behalf. 8. In addition to connect time charges, monthly minimums, and purchases made through the Service, Customer will be responsible for payment of all premium program charges, transaction charges, and/or add-on connect time charges when the Customer utilizes such services that generate these charges, and for any surcharges incurred while using any supplemental networks other than CompuServe. 9. This Agreement will be performed in and governed by the laws of the State of Ohio. Any claims or causes of action related to the Service must be instituted within one year after the claim or cause of action has arisen or be barred. Service Agreement I agree to pay the CompuServe Information Service rates in effect for the billing period in which the services are purchased and billed. I agree to pay the validation charge in effect at the time this Agreement is accepted by CompuServe. I agree to the terms and conditions of the Billing Option which I have selected and as published over the Service. I shall maintain confidentiality of my password at all times and take responsibility for its security. I have read and fully understand the Terms of this Agreement and agree to be bound by them.