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Copyright Infringement

From: Waddell, Cynthia <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2000 10:36:38 -0700
Message-ID: <0A005268C8DED311A23E0008C75D1EFF4768AA@sj-exchange.ci.sj.ca.us>
To: "'W3C interest group'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "'Multiple Recipients of List'" <uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu>, "'ISTF-participants'" <istf-participants@lyris.isoc.org>
Cc: "'Fergus, Gary S. (Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison)'" <gfergus@brobeck.com>
On August 15, 2000 it was reported in the Wall Street Journal that a lawsuit
was filed in US federal court demanding that writers of web-published
copyrighted material be paid back royalties from three major online
publishers.  The lawsuit is seeking payment from Bell & Howell Information &
Learning Co., a unit of Bell & Howell Co., in Skokie, Illinois, USA;
Northern Light Technology Corporation in Cambridge, Mass.; and Toronto-based
Thomson Corp. and two of its subsidiaries, Gale Group Inc. and Thomson
Business Information.

According to the suit, database operators of online search engines are
paying publishers for access to articles and books and are charging
customers to download them from thousands of publications.  However, the
operators frequently pay the writers nothing.  According to the San
Francisco lawsuit, copyright law is violated because the authors contend
that they never signed their rights away and still own their work.  The new
suit seeks class-action status on behalf of all writers whose works are in
the databases.

If you have published an article on the web and find that a search engine is
selling your work without your permission, I would encourage you to contact
Mr. Gary S. Fergus, attorney with Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison at
mailto:gfergus@brobeck.com.  I have a call in to the lawfirm to request that
I be joined as plaintiff since my articles on US law and policy and
accessible web design are being resold without my permission.

Best regards,
Cynthia Waddell
Cynthia D. Waddell   
ADA Coordinator
City Manager Department
City of San Jose, CA USA
801 North First Street, Room 460
San Jose, CA  95110-1704
(408)971-0134 TTY
(408)277-3885 FAX
Received on Friday, 25 August 2000 13:39:03 UTC

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