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Message 00253: Re: US Postal Service

On Sep 16, 2008, at 1:53 PM, Aaron Swartz wrote:

I'm happy to give you the extracted facts if you want to put them up;
I presume you'll want to check with your lawyers first.

I don't have anyone at Berkman; your quote from me was kind of out of context.

sorry ... was trying to nail eff down on the core issue of copyright.

There's an infuriating law passed that allows NIST to copyright
standards on behalf of the US government and some leg history
suggesting this applies to USPS too.

I agree!!  Really!  I wouldn't be spinning cycles on this otherwise!

Look, let's not give up on this. I agree that this is public data and that it needs to be available. The only issue is how. We tried the easy way: clearly a government a agency and clearly not in copyright. That's the game I can play on some of the legal archives.

This one isn't as cut and dried.  There are a few angles of attack:

1. Your argument that they really are government and can't or shouldn't copyright (either in general or for this specific data).

2. The fact that these are facts (and facts of a public nature) that can be extracted.

3. The issue of the unreasonable license agreement and whether it applies.

4. The question of whether there are other paths to be able to create the desired outcome (which would influence a judge).

Either way, we probably want to get a lawyer working with us and helping us scrub the issue so when we go public it is a solid, clear case and we have a concise message about what exactly it was we did and why.