Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Fisher1949, Apr 9, 2012.
I respect you greatly for this.
Legally he owns the copyright to the contents of his emails.
SFO was also the airport where I had forgotten that I had a lead weight crystal paperweight in my bag (yes, my bag was extra heavy). It showed up as a big black square on their x-ray machine. The screener asked me what I had in the bag that would show up like that. I truthfully told him I didn't know but that he was welcome to search my bag to find it. He declined. So. I didn't know what was in my bag and he didn't know what was in my bag, yet I was good to go, no search needed.
Whoa. What law says that? I've always been told that once you put it out there in the ether, it's not yours anymore. I've been told this by lawyers. Not to mention there's no "copyright" involved.
Thank you. But believe me, it's way more compunction than a lot of reporters have (including ones who've pontificated to me about "ethics").
Writing about what was in the email doesn't require disclosure of the document. Just the thought that some people will say they would be acceptable to a cavity search in order to fly commercial air is enough topic to carry the discussion. I'm betting their tune would change when it was time to drop drawers.
Copyright law -- very simple, actually: The copyright on a work is owned by its creator, unless the copyright has been transferred to someone else. Giving you a copy (or even the original) does not convey the copyright.
The best-known example involves an unauthorized biography of J.D. Salinger that was based in large part on letters that he had sent to others over the years. In Salinger vs. Random House, the U.S. Court of Appeals wrote:
To deny a biographer like Hamilton the opportunity to copy the expressive content of unpublished letters is not, as appellees contend, to interfere in any significant way with the process of enhancing public knowledge of history or contemporary events. The facts may be reported. Salinger’s letters contain a number of facts that students of his life and writings will no doubt find of interest, and Hamilton is entirely free to fashion a biography that reports these facts. But Salinger has a right to protect the expressive content of his unpublished writings for the term of his copyright, and that right prevails over a claim of fair use under “ordinary circumstances.”
Also note the part in bold red. Facts are not copyrightable, and the court recognized that. If Salinger went fishing on a particular date, that fact could be reported. But other things that went through his mind on that date and were written in the same letter? Likely not.
"Once you put it out there in the ether, it's not yours anymore" is very bad legal advice.
I also just found this:
Though, of course, plenty of people -- hundreds if not thousands -- have been burned by having their "private" emails published for all to see. And the ensuing embarrassment hasn't seemed to encourage them to file a lawsuit, at least in the high-profile cases I've read about.
By the way, here's just one of many articles where Michael Dresser reveals his true colors:
Separate names with a comma.