Christiaan Briggs wrote:
Judging from all the conflicting information on the
net, a lot of it
from reputable sources, it seems anything but clear. I've yet to see
one person cite a conclusive source in regard to law.
There is the argument that anything published is copyrighted unless
stated otherwise, however it is possible that the very word "release"
could be construed as such a statement. Who knows? I don't. And nobody
I've discussed this with on Wikimedia, so far, seems to know either.
You have been given a direct clear answer, but you don't seem to like
Under the law, "Your work is under copyright protection the moment it
is created and fixed in a tangle form that it is perceptible either
directly or with the aid of a machine or device."
Someone calling something a "press release" DOES NOT qualify as a
license which is compatible with the GNU FDL. I do not know of any
court cases arising out of this, and it is easy to understand why
there wouldn't be any: companies love it when people just post their
PR, and have no reason to sue or complain over it. Even in our case,
where we would be modifying heavily, a case would be unlikely to
arise, due mostly to our NPOV policy.
If the status of press releases proves to be
The status of press releases is *not* inconclusive. It is
The idea that news readers should be sheltered from
press releases by
groups of people with superior powers of deduction is elitist (can the
masses be allowed to decipher the world for themselves?)
This is a straw man argument. I do not think that "news readers
should be sheltered from press releases". On the other hand, of
course I am very elitist, so if this was meant to be an argument to
persaude me, it fails on those grounds. :-)
Of course this is all beside the point if there are
copyright issues. :)
O.k., well, there are.
If you can approach the major press release bureaus and persuade them
to release all their work, or some portion of it, under a free
license, or if you can secure a direct release from individual
companies who would like to do the same, then by all means we can
surely publish these on wikisource.