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Message 00255: Re: US Postal Service

I asked Corynne if she has a few cycles to look at this for us. If so, we can assemble some stuff for her ... show her the data we got and the data we propose to redistribute, let her look at the license agreement, etc... If she won't do it, we'll figure out a plan b. But, before we unveil this, we need to convince somebody else that we're presenting just the facts and nothing but the facts. it's a good reality check. You and I are not the target demographic that needs to see this as a reasonable action. :)

Yes, it would be an important precedent.


On Sep 16, 2008, at 2:19 PM, Aaron Swartz wrote:

I think our best bet is to go the route of facts. The stocking stuffer
is only about copyright, it doesn't assert any additional rights over
the facts. And strengthening the facts line of defense will be good
for other database-freeing projects. How should we go forward?

On Tue, Sep 16, 2008 at 5:16 PM, Carl Malamud <xxxxxxx@media.org> wrote:

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

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

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.