Re: Back to the Future (Web -> WinHelp)

Ron Resnick (
Thu, 21 Aug 1997 15:35:02 +0200

Dan Connolly wrote:
> Rohit Khare wrote:
> > Downloading an entire Web site may cause copyright concerns. You should be
> > protected under the fair-use exception for copyright if you download
> > the content of a Web site purely for your own reading.
> BZZZZZT. Whoa! They've opened themselves up to massive
> liability.

I don't get it. Why is their liability (WebTwin) any greater
than Netscape's, or Microsoft's, which have a 'save as' command
on their browsers, letting you locally store all the html files
on the web, to your heart's content (or till your disk fills up)?

Sure, WebTwin can automatically go out and suck up lots of
pages, whereas with 'save as' I have to get them one at a time.
Still, the point is that both are tools - the decision on which
pages to download remains the user's. Is the vendor of a tool
that can *potentially* be used to breach copyright themselves
liable of anything? Esp. if they issue a disclaimer on appropriate
use, as WebTwin did? If so, then I think MS & NS are just as

I think what this really points out is what we all know - that
copyright as we know it just can't doesn't make sense in bitspace.
The rules need to be changed.

>10 Big Myths about copyright explained
> - by Brad Templeton
>4) "My posting was just fair use!"

Ok - so the wording of their disclaimer above is no good - downloading
for personal perusal clearly isn't 'fair use'.
Is that all you meant Dan?
That they should fix their wording? Or that the very existence of their
product is an invitation for lawsuits?


> --
> Dan

Ron Resnick                       IBM:
IBM Haifa Research Lab HRL        world:
MATAM 31905 Haifa, Israel
Tel: 972-4-829-6491

"A shadow is the .. ... mobile, persistent, distributed, self-descriptive, self-contained, pro-active, cooperative, trustworthy, object-oriented, software analog of some real world object" -- Sandor Spruit