creative references (was Re: CPAC Quotes Templeton)

Michael Stutz stutz at
Thu Aug 21 10:46:27 PDT 1997

On Wed, 20 Aug 1997, Adam Back wrote:

> Is it possible to include text in a web page?  I know you can do
> images (as in the above example) by doing:
> 	Look what the silly copyright police are doing...
> 	<IMG SRC="">
> 	isn't that a daft claim?
> And is serving their own image so they have no
> grounds for complaint.  (Moi? I just referenced it... it was Joe Q
> Publics web browser which combined my text and your copyrighted
> image).

Right, so this isn't an infringement on their so-called rights because your
document does not contain the image but just the link. The problem, I think,
is in thinking of the HTML document as a completed work and not a set of
instructions, for which it is. The completed "page" exists soley on the
screen of the browsing party, and the copyright-image.gif graphic in
question was obtained from the web site and not yours.

Plus, I think it could be further argued that by putting any information on
the Web implies that you are allowing any other party on the Web to link to
it in any way they so choose.

> Now I don't think you can do
> 	<TEXT SRC="">
> directly, but I'd be willing to bet you could do it with javascript/or
> java, in such a way that the viewer wouldn't really figure out where
> the various parts of the current "page" were coming from.

A very useful program would be one which could obtain a portion of text from
any page, or obtain the text from a page _starting_ at a certain point, not
unlike the <> notation, but without the
<a name="foo"> tag having to exist. Then, any portion of text from any page
could be easily referenced.

> Anyway, the copyright police, WIPO, SPA etc. are the enemy in my book.
> The difficulty of trying to applying these old laws to the internet
> where they hardly make sense, suggests that copyright is going to have
> to "give" longer term to adjust to reality.  Legislation against
> gravity never works out long term.

For sure. In a geodesic network, the center will not hold.


email stutz at  Copyright (c) 1997 Michael Stutz; this information is
<>  free and may be reproduced under GNU GPL, and as long
                     as this sentence remains; it comes with absolutely NO
		     WARRANTY; for details see <>.

More information about the cypherpunks-legacy mailing list