FAQ
Can a copyright notice containing the sender's name be automatically placed in
regular mailman list messages?
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  • Mark Sapiro at Apr 27, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    Brandon Sussman wrote:
    Can a copyright notice containing the sender's name be automatically placed in
    regular mailman list messages?

    Not really. You could put the notice in msg_header or msg_footer, but
    even if the list is personalized, the sender is not one of the
    available substitutions for these (It could be added by modifying the
    code in Mailman/Handlers/Decorate.py).

    Even if you modified the code on Decorate.py to enable a substitution
    for the sender in the header and footer, it wouldn't appear in the
    digest version of the message.

    I think I would do this with a generic sort of header/footer along the
    lines of "posts to this list are copyright by the poster..." and
    "mesages in this digest are copyright by the individual posters...".

    If you reall want a notice with the poster explicitly named in the
    notice, I suggest a custom handler (see <>) that would add the notice
    to the message body (or as a separate part as done by Decorate.py for
    message bodies that can't easily be added to). This way, the notice
    would also appear in each message in the digest (unless it was a
    separate part and scrubbed).

    However, is this even a good idea at all. What if I post something
    which includes significant material quoted from someone elses post and
    I don't preserve the copyright from that post. Or I do preserve the
    copyrights from the quoted material, but the attributions aren't
    clear. I foresee a post with material from several authors and
    multiple copyright notices with no clear identification of what is
    copyright by whom.

    --
    Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net> The highway is for gamblers,
    San Francisco Bay Area, California better use your sense - B. Dylan
  • Dragon at Apr 27, 2007 at 7:33 pm
    Mark Sapiro sent the message below at 12:20 4/27/2007:
    Brandon Sussman wrote:
    Can a copyright notice containing the sender's name be
    automatically placed in
    regular mailman list messages?
    <snip>
    However, is this even a good idea at all. What if I post something
    which includes significant material quoted from someone elses post and
    I don't preserve the copyright from that post. Or I do preserve the
    copyrights from the quoted material, but the attributions aren't
    clear. I foresee a post with material from several authors and
    multiple copyright notices with no clear identification of what is
    copyright by whom.
    ---------------- End original message. ---------------------

    I've got to agree with Mark, I think it very quickly becomes
    problematic to do this. It's very common for attributions to get
    mixed up or be ambiguous in replies, especially in long discussion threads.

    If somebody is truly concerned about their own copyright protection,
    that person should be making such a disclaimer on their own as part
    of their post and such a disclaimer should take a form something like:

    "Except where otherwise indicated, all material in this post is
    copyright <current year> <poster's name>, all rights reserved."

    The problem with this is that the poster using it must be extremely
    careful to ensure that all quoted material is indicated unambiguously
    as being not under the copyright notice.

    It's fraught with all sorts of legal implications if it is not done correctly.



    Dragon

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Venimus, Saltavimus, Bibimus (et naribus canium capti sumus)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  • Stephen J. Turnbull at Apr 28, 2007 at 6:01 am

    Dragon writes:
    Mark Sapiro sent the message below at 12:20 4/27/2007:
    Brandon Sussman wrote:
    Can a copyright notice containing the sender's name be
    automatically placed in regular mailman list messages?
    However, is this even a good idea at all.
    I've got to agree with Mark, I think it very quickly becomes
    problematic to do this. It's very common for attributions to get
    mixed up or be ambiguous in replies, especially in long discussion
    threads.
    That's right. However, the OP may be in a situation where
    attributions are uncommon, or everybody invariably top-posts. The
    real issue is that it has absolutely no legal effect establishing
    copyright in about 140 countries.

    Copyright is automatic under the Berne Convention and other relevant
    international treaties, including WIPO. Unless the poster makes
    explicit assignment of the content, or the post constitutes a work for
    hire, she owns copyright in all original expression in her post.

    In some jurisdictions, such as the U.S., additional protection is
    contingent on registering the work. But a notice is insufficient.

    However, there is legal risk involved, in that such a notice might
    indvertantly make a false claim. Suppose the poster forwards
    another's message? Or quotes enough to be a copyright issue? How
    about attachments? Then the list has made that false claim on behalf
    of the poster, which is a real mess, especially for the list admin,
    who can presumably be sued by both sides.

    So what we're left with is nannying people to be respectful of others'
    copyrights, and that can be done with a generic disclaimer: "Please
    remember that all material distributed on this list is copyright by
    somebody, and get permission from all copyright holders before
    redistributing in any way. See the FAQ for description of use that
    does not require permission."

    If the OP is being nagged by his lawyers, I suppose there are
    conditions I'm not aware of. But please be very careful. Creating a
    disclaimer that covers all posts is not possible. Crafting posts that
    conform to the disclaimer is likely to be nontrivial, and require
    careful user training, unless the disclaimer is as vague as the one I
    suggested.
  • Mark Sapiro at Apr 27, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    Mark Sapiro wrote:
    If you reall want a notice with the poster explicitly named in the
    notice, I suggest a custom handler (see <>) that would add the notice
    to the message body ...

    Ooops. That should be

    If you really want a notice with the poster explicitly named in the
    notice, I suggest a custom handler (see
    <http://www.python.org/cgi-bin/faqw-mm.py?req=show&file=faq04.067.htp>)
    that would add the notice to the message body ...


    --
    Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net> The highway is for gamblers,
    San Francisco Bay Area, California better use your sense - B. Dylan
  • Jeffrey Goldberg at Apr 28, 2007 at 4:29 am

    On Apr 27, 2007, at 1:37 PM, Brandon Sussman wrote:

    Can a copyright notice containing the sender's name be
    automatically placed in
    regular mailman list messages?
    As others have pointed out, it would probably be a mistake to do that
    unless you can be absolutely certain that all of those who post to
    the list want such a copyright statement. There will be cases where
    it won't be appropriate.

    I suspect that your intention as a list manager isn't so much as to
    assert copyright, but to disclaim responsibility. For this you could
    just add text to the footer saying that the responsibility for the
    content of a posting belongs to the poster.

    -j
  • Brandon Sussman at Apr 28, 2007 at 1:02 pm
    Thank you all for your comments. They have been helpful.
    On Apr 27, 2007, at 1:37 PM, I wrote:

    Can a copyright notice containing the sender's name be
    automatically placed in regular mailman list messages?
    My inquiry was technical, not legal, social, or creative.

    The justification for what I asked about is "Because my (paying) client wants
    it". Unless there is possible harm and his lawyer objects, this is good
    enough for me.

    Perhaps I should have asked instead: "Where are is the documentation stating
    what (if any) fields are available for insertion into default header and
    footer blocks?".

    ~From the responses so far, I think "Mailman doesn't provide the facility and
    or field" is the answer.
  • Mark Sapiro at Apr 28, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    Brandon Sussman wrote:
    Perhaps I should have asked instead: "Where are is the documentation stating
    what (if any) fields are available for insertion into default header and
    footer blocks?".

    In the "details for" links for msg_header, msg_footer, digest_header
    and digest_footer.

    Note that if OWNERS_CAN_ENABLE_PERSONALIZATION is set to Yes in
    mm_cfg.py, additional replacements having to do with the individual
    message recipient are described for msg_header and msg_footer and are
    available if personalize is set to Yes or Full.

    An example is the Unsubscribe: link in the footer of the
    mailman-users at python.org list.

    --
    Mark Sapiro <msapiro at value.net> The highway is for gamblers,
    San Francisco Bay Area, California better use your sense - B. Dylan
  • Brad Knowles at Apr 28, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    On 4/28/07, Mark Sapiro quoted Brandon Sussman:

    Perhaps I should have asked instead: "Where are is the
    documentation stating
    what (if any) fields are available for insertion into default header and
    footer blocks?".
    In the "details for" links for msg_header, msg_footer, digest_header
    and digest_footer.
    Which can be found in FAQ 3.41.

    However, I would also suggest searching through the FAQ Wizard for
    "footer" and reading all articles that are returned. There's lots of
    technical issues here that have to do with how mail clients structure
    MIME and MIME/HTML messages and the limitations on what Mailman can
    do.

    Also, the FAQ 3.40/3.18/3.37 set of articles is another good one to
    look at, when it comes to making customizations to Mailman, and the
    limits on what you can do to change the look & feel, etc....

    --
    Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>, Consultant & Author
    LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>
    Slides from Invited Talks: <http://tinyurl.com/tj6q4>
  • Brandon Sussman at Apr 30, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    Brad Knowles wrote:
    On 4/28/07, Mark Sapiro quoted Brandon Sussman:
    Perhaps I should have asked instead: "Where are is the
    documentation stating
    what (if any) fields are available for insertion into default header and
    footer blocks?".
    In the "details for" links for msg_header, msg_footer, digest_header
    and digest_footer.
    Which can be found in FAQ 3.41.

    However, I would also suggest searching through the FAQ Wizard for
    "footer" and reading all articles that are returned. There's lots of
    technical issues here that have to do with how mail clients structure
    MIME and MIME/HTML messages and the limitations on what Mailman can
    do.

    Also, the FAQ 3.40/3.18/3.37 set of articles is another good one to
    look at, when it comes to making customizations to Mailman, and the
    limits on what you can do to change the look & feel, etc....
    Mark/Brad - thanks, that helps!

    - --

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postedApr 27, '07 at 6:37p
activeApr 30, '07 at 12:28p
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