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Re: Copyright of previous public domain

Is the agreement structured so you can modify the language, in a preamble
to the list of restrictions, stating, "Subject to U.S. Copyright Law,
Title 17 of the United State's Code, . . . "  thereby rendering the
assertion as to copyrighted gov't docs moot since applicable law would not
recognize an enforceable copyright in the gov't docs?

I have utilized such a preamble to unacceptable or overly broad use
restrictions arguing somewhat incredulously that the Publisher cannot
really intend that the license obviate Title 17, or that my institution
waive applicable copyright law and accept more restrictive contractual
limitations on content use.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lofts, Kalletta Kathleen" <klofts@ku.edu>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2002 11:17 AM
Subject: Copyright of previous public domain

> I am currently negotiating with an electronic database vendor who has
> included in their license copyright restrictions on government documents
> that were previous public domain in print form.  The vendor argues that
> all contents of their database are copyrighted, and do not want to delete
> like license clause.  This concerns me because our patrons are used to
> these documented being free from copyright.  But even more distressing -
> this issue brings up a bigger problem of third party copyright
> restrictions of any electronic contents, and whether libraries can fight
> that.
> I would like to know how anyone has handled a similar case, and especially
> if anyone has been able to get electronic content vendors to changes such
> restrictions.  What was the outcome, and how have you handled this sort of
> third party copyright restriction of electronic content?
> Thanks,
> Kalletta Lofts