Re: What not to post!

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Tue Oct 05 2004 - 14:40:06 CDT

At 2:21 PM -0400 10/5/04, David Mertz wrote:
>On Oct 5, 2004, at 1:58 PM, charlie strauss wrote:
>>Here is the kitcat paper on source code. While I have no qualms
>>about sharing a discussion paper with OVC colleagues, I dont think
>>this should be internet published wholesale. Therefore I would
>>suggest that this e-mail attachment be deleted from the archives
>>of OVC if possible.
>
>OK... I guess this means it's time I need to explicitly say this to
>the list. Basically, it's NOT a good idea to post things to this
>list that you don't want archived! I've removed or redacted a few
>items in the archive, at specific request of their original
>authors--but I'd really rather not have that responsibility on a
>regular basis. Moreover, I only control the archive at
>gnosis.python-hosting.com, I cannot stop someone else from archiving
>their own copies of posts; or (perhaps accidentally) letting their
>mailboxes become world-readable.
>
>Unfortunately, there's a big legal quagmire we--really I--can get
>into if I am EDITOR of the archive, not simply maintainer. That is,
>so-called common carriers have many exemptions from liability over
>transmitted contents. But as soon as one starts using editorial
>judgment over the content of a site (including a website, a mailing
>list, a list archive, etc), one acquires responsibility over it. So
>if someone posts something libelous, or that violates copyright, and
>so on, I can be sued as the editor of that content. And even just
>selectively deleting posts puts me in the role of editor (but
>especially if I delete posts from members who don't specifically
>request it).
>
>It's true that even common carriers are required to (provisionally)
>remove content that is alleged to violate IP, under the DMCA. But
>this is a very different thing than facing criminal or large civil
>damage suits for publishing the content in the first place. And
>that's only the copyright part. If someone had a trade-secret,
>libel, PATRIOT-act "material aid", tortious interference, etc.
>claim, simple "take down" doesn't offer me protection.
>
>I *do* minimally escape editorial discretion by neutrally removing
>anything an original author requests. But if I start being asked to
>do this manually with too great a regularity, I'll probably balk at
>serving as archive maintainer at all. Partly it's the extra
>incremental effort, but mostly it's the potential, very tricky,
>liabilities.
>
>In Charlie's case, he should have put the mentioned resource on a
>URL he controls (with a robots.txt file that tells search engines
>not to index it, or possibly even access control)... and have
>interested individual request the resource (or it's password, etc.)
>off-list.

In the future, if you want to send something to members of the list,
but not have it archived, I can do that.

Best regards,
Arthur

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Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
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Received on Mon Nov 1 15:28:43 2004

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