[R] Wikibooks

Sarah Goslee sarah.goslee at gmail.com
Fri Mar 30 21:49:44 CEST 2007

On 3/30/07, Alberto Monteiro <albmont at centroin.com.br> wrote:
> Deepayan Sarkar wrote:
> >
> > I was just looking at this page, and it makes me curious: what gives
> > anyone the right to take someone else's mailing list post and include
> > that in a Wiki?
> >
> Thinks there were posted to public mailing lists are freely
> copied and distributed. It's a scary thought; I may have posted
> things in 10 or 12 years ago that might cause me problems today,
> but I was pretty aware that I was posting to the whole world.

It's not that simple. Dealing with international contributors it's even worse.
Under US law (the only one I'm familiar with), the author of a mailing list
post or any other written work _automatically holds copyright_ to that
post (although not to the ideas contained therein, but to that particular
description of the ideas). (Of course, if the ideas are original to the author,
it's good form to acknowledge that regardless of whether the exact words
are used).

So, in the US, nobody has the right to take one person's words and put
them in another form. The mailing list archive is one thing, but putting
material from that archive into a wiki (rather than linking to it) requires
the author's permission, at least technically.

I'm by no means an expert on copyright, but this is something that
comes up periodically on many email lists.

Sarah Goslee

More information about the R-help mailing list