« March 22, 2005 | Main | March 24, 2005 »

March 23, 2005

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice furnishes guidance to bookofjoe on "Fair Use"


You will observe that I regularly reproduce, in their entirety, articles from various newspapers and magazines, whenever possible with detailed information re: author, source, and date.

Though I have yet to receive a "cease and desist" letter from anyone regarding this practice, the recent flurry of legal actions by Apple against bloggers and the occasional mention of a site having to take down something or other has spurred me to look more deeply into this issue.

Am I doing something wrong when I publish a copyrighted story or article in bookofjoe?

Is it illegal?

It all depends on what the meaning of "fair use" is.

The definition is fluid, changing with every individual circumstance.

Thus, I was delighted to have my crack research team late last night, while I slumbered and dreamed of wizards and wonders, return from their nocturnal forays online with the following "Copyright Reminder," issued on October 30, 1998 by then–Stanford University Provost Condoleezza Rice.

A close reading of the document seems to imply that

1) because the use of copyrighted materials in bookofjoe is not of a commercial nature (I make no money from the website) but rather for "nonprofit educational purposes" and

2) the effect of my use upon the potential market or value of the copyrighted work is likely to be insignificant,

then my republishing such material in bookofjoe is likely to fall within the "fair use" exemption and thus be completely legal.

Full speed ahead, then, say I.

Condoleeza Rice's "Copyright Reminder" follows.

    Copyright Reminder

    October 30, 1998

    TO: Members of the Faculty, Hoover Institution Fellows, Academic Staff, and Library Directors

    FROM: Condoleezza Rice, Provost

    RE: Copyright Reminder

    This memorandum provides a general description of the applicability of the copyright law and the so-called "fair use" exemptions to the copyright law's general prohibition on copying. It also describes "safe harbor" guidelines applicable to classroom copying.

    The federal copyright statute governs the reproduction of works of authorship. In general, works governed by copyright law include such traditional works of authorship as books, photographs, music, drama, video and sculpture, and also software, multimedia, and databases. Copyrighted works are protected regardless of the medium in which they are created or reproduced; thus, copyright extends to digital works and works transformed into a digital format. Copyrighted works are not limited to those that bear a copyright notice. As a result of changes in copyright law, works published since March 1, 1989 need not bear a copyright notice to be protected under the statute.

    Two provisions of the copyright statute are of particular importance to teachers and researchers:

    • a provision that codifies the doctrine of "fair use," under which limited copying of copyrighted works without the permission of the owner is allowed for certain teaching and research purposes; and

    • a provision that establishes special limitations and exemptions for the reproduction of copyrighted works by libraries and archives.

    The concept of fair use is necessarily somewhat vague when discussed in the abstract. Its application depends critically on the particular facts of the individual situation. Neither the case law nor the statutory law provides bright lines concerning which uses are fair and which are not. However, you may find it helpful to refer to certain third party source materials. Guidelines for classroom copying by not-for-profit educational institutions have been prepared by a group consisting of the Authors League of America, the Association of American Publishers, and an ad hoc committee of educational institutions and organizations. In addition, fair use guidelines for educational multimedia have been prepared by a group coordinated by the consortium of College and University Multimedia Centers (CCUMC). These guidelines describe safe harbor conditions, but do not purport to define the full extent of "fair use."

    The guidelines, as well as other source material, are available through a variety of resources, including through the world wide web site http://fairuse.stanford.edu. Stanford University Libraries & Academic Information Resources, in collaboration with the Council on Library Resources and FindLaw Internet Legal Resources, are sponsors of this web site. The site assembles a wide range of materials related to the use of copyrighted material by individuals, libraries, and educational institutions.

    I hope that the discussion below helps to clarify further the nature of "fair use."

    I. Fair Use for Teaching and Research

    The "fair use" doctrine allows limited reproduction of copyrighted works for educational and research purposes. The relevant portion of the copyright statue provides that the "fair use" of a copyrighted work, including reproduction "for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research" is not an infringement of copyright. The law lists the following factors as the ones to be evaluated in determining whether a particular use of a copyrighted work is a permitted "fair use," rather than an infringement of the copyright:

    • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

    • the nature of the copyrighted work;

    • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and

    • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    Although all of these factors will be considered, the last factor is the most important in determining whether a particular use is "fair." Where a work is available for purchase or license from the copyright owner in the medium or format desired, copying of all or a significant portion of the work in lieu of purchasing or licensing a sufficient number of "authorized" copies would be presumptively unfair. Where only a small portion of a work is to be copied and the work would not be used if purchase or licensing of a sufficient number of authorized copies were required, the intended use is more likely to be found to be fair.

    A federal appeals court recently decided an important copyright fair use case involving coursepacks. In Princeton University Press, et.al. v. Michigan Document Services, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concluded that the copying of excerpts from books and other publications by a commercial copy service without the payment of fees to the copyright holders to create coursepacks for university students was not fair use. The size of the offending excerpts varied from 30 percent to as little as 5 percent of the original publications. Although the opinion in this case is not binding in California, it is consistent with prior cases from other courts, and there is a reasonable likelihood that the California federal courts would reach a similar conclusion on similar facts.

    Where questions arise, we suggest that you consult the guidelines for classroom copying and other available source material available on the fair use web site, cited above. Please note that the guidelines are intended to state the minimum, not the maximum, extent of the fair use doctrine. Thus, just because your use is not within the guidelines, it is it not necessarily outside the scope of fair use. In the absence of a definitive conclusion, however, if the proposed use deviates from the guidelines, you should consider obtaining permission to use the work from the copyright owner. In instances where the fair use question is important and permission would be difficult or expensive to obtain, a member of the Fair Use Advisory Group (described below) or the Legal Office can assist in analyzing whether a particular proposed use would constitute "fair use."

    Some photocopying services will obtain copyright permission and add the price of the royalties, if any, to the price of the materials. A request to copy a copyrighted work should generally be sent to the permission department of the publisher of the work. Permission requests should contain the following:

    • Title, author, and/or editor, and edition

    • Exact material to be used, giving page numbers or chapters

    • Number of copies to be made

    • Use to be made of the copied materials

    • Form of distribution (classroom, newsletter, etc.)

    • Whether the material is to be sold

    Draft form letters can be obtained from or reviewed by a member of the Fair Use Advisory Group or the Legal Office.

    For certain works, permission may also be sought from the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) which will quote a charge for works for which they are able to give permission. The Copyright Clearance Center can be contacted at www.copyright.com or (978) 750-8400, but it may be easier to go through a copying service that deals regularly with the CCC.

    II. Course Reserves

    Some libraries at Stanford will refuse to accept multiple photocopies or to make photocopies of copyrighted materials needed for course reserves without first having permission from the copyright holder. Other libraries on campus will accept a limited number of photocopies for course reserves. Consult individual libraries for clarification of their policies.

    While the libraries have blanket permission from dozens of journals, obtaining permission sometimes takes a good deal of time. Experience in obtaining permission has shown that an inquiry addressed to a journal publisher frequently produces information that the copyright is actually held by the author, and four weeks is often inadequate to obtain such permission. Four to six weeks is considered the norm.

    Permission may be obtained in a number of ways:

    • Upon request, some libraries on campus will obtain materials for course reserve. In these cases, the librarian will write to obtain permission to photocopy or to purchase reprints. However, most libraries do not provide this service.

    • Written permission may be obtained by the academic department.

    • Oral permission may be obtained by faculty members, departmental secretaries, or library staff, in which case a written record is needed of that action.

    Note that filling course reserve requirements may require two to three months before the quarter begins if the library does not already have a copy of the publication, if the publication is out of print, or if the copyright holder is not readily available.

    III. Resources

    Additional information on copyright issues may be found on the world wide web site http://fairuse.stanford.edu.

    Questions about the copyright law as it affects faculty and staff in their University capacities should be directed to a member of the Fair Use Advisory Group (see attachment) or to Linda Woodward in the Legal Office (3-9751), who can put you in touch with the appropriate lawyer to respond to your specific question. Questions about library policy and course reserves should be addressed to Assunta Pisani, Associate Director, University Libraries (apisani@sulmail or 3-5553). Information concerning the application of copyright law to computer software can be found in the memorandum "Copying of Computer Software" distributed by the Library and Information Resources and in Administrative Guide Memorandum 62.

    Thank you for your cooperation in ensuring the observation of these guidelines.

March 23, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

iBeam™ LED Watch


No, it's not Apple's long-rumored Wi-Fi/Cellphone.

Rather, it's a tricked-out iteration of the magnifier watch featured here on February 12.

To refresh your memory, that was a wristwatch with a flip-up 5X magnifying glass over the face.

The creators of the iBeam™ have taken the magnifier watch to the next level by placing a "discreetly hidden" high-powered LED light in the watch's casing.


Turns on and off with a touch of a button.


$99.95 here.

March 23, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Expert's Experts: How to win at Scrabble


Paul Berger of the Washington Post asked the best Scrabble players in Washington, D.C. for their tricks of the trade.

He wrote, "Most living-room players don't know that by learning a bit of basic strategy and memorizing some new words, you can improve your game by more than 50 points in a matter of weeks."

Why, with that degree of improvement, your family and friends will think you're on some sort of brain steroids or something.

But I'll never tell your secret.

So, without further ado, here's Berger's article, which appeared this past Sunday.

    Win at Scrabble

    Tired of being whipped at Scrabble by a smart-aleck spouse or friend?

    Most living-room players don't know that by learning a bit of basic strategy and memorizing some new words, you can improve your game by more than 50 points in a matter of weeks. We asked D.C.'s word experts how to do it.

    VICTORY IS A TWO-LETTER WORD — Learning words like AA (rough, cindery lava), XI (Greek letter) and OE (Faeroe Islands whirlwind) will allow you to make plays all over the board. According to the "Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary" (OSPD), there are 96 of these permissible combinations -- but three quarters of them, like AB and ID, you probably already know. (For a complete list of two-letter words, see www.yak.net/kablooey/scrabble.html.)

    DITCH THE Q — Because it usually requires a partnering U, the Q, while worth a big 10 points, is the most difficult letter to play in Scrabble. You should memorize the Q words (and their plurals) that don't take a U -- QAT(S), QAID(S), QOPH(S), FAQIR(S), QANAT(S), TRANQ(S), QINDAR(S), QINTAR(S), QWERTY(S), SHEQEL (SHEQALIM) and QINDARKA(S). But most of the time, you'll want to just shuck the letter, PDQ.

    YOU CAN BINGO — Making a word using all seven of your tiles is called a "bingo" and scores a bonus 50 points. Many players go through their whole Scrabble lives thinking it's impossible -- but of course it's not. The first stage is to recognize the most promising bingo combos: vowels A,E,I and consonants L,N,R,S,T. (They can be remembered as STARLINE.) The second: Be vigilant. Even if they have AEILNRT, says Bob Linn, co-director of Washington Scrabble Club, many people "will play LINER or TRAIN, and not even spot LATRINE, RETINAL, and RELIANT." You have to keep looking: "Experts know that in every single rack, even the ugliest, there is the potential for a bingo."

    BLANK EQUALS BINGO — The blank tile mixed with the key letters above is a surefire way of making a bingo. Try not to let it go for less.

    S EQUALS SUCCESS — The S is a great "hook" letter, meaning it can be added to the beginning or end of another word for additional points. For example, if your opponent plays TEAM, you could play the word GOODIES, with the letter S creating either the word TEAMS or the word STEAM, and win the points for making two words. Hooks are also helpful for playing bingos. Other good ones are A, R, D and Y.

    RACK MANAGEMENT — If you have poor letters -- say, three I's and two V's out of your seven -- don't be afraid to swap a few tiles and miss a go, instead of taking three turns to get rid of nuisance letters. Ted Gest, co-director of Washington D.C. Scrabble Club, says to increase chances of finding a bingo, players should move their letters around. Look for prefixes and suffixes like RE, UN, IN and ERS, EST, IEST, ING and ENT, and the rest should fall into place. Stefan Fatsis, Washington-based sports writer for the Wall Street Journal and author of "Word Freaks: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players," separates good and bad letters as soon as he puts them on his rack. On his next turn, he'll try to play off the bad letters and hope to pick up more bingo-friendly tiles.

    THINK LATERALLY — If you can't play a bingo but want to maximize your score, try making a parallel play. With your two-letter word knowledge you could lay a four-letter word above or below another four-letter word, for example, playing TAXI above AMID, making TA, AM, XI, and ID. (If the X were on a triple-letter square, you would score the triple twice.)

    WHY BOTHER? — Stefan Fatsis says: "The first time you learn UM or make an overlap play or create three or four two-letter words like AE, MM or PE, not only are you scoring more points, but it's more satisfying. Ultimately, whether you aspire to beat your boyfriend or win a tournament, Scrabble gives you that little rush of endorphins. You are able to say, 'I have done something cool with my brain, and in the process, I am beating somebody sitting across from me.'"

March 23, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Pagan Power Hour


Yesterday's post on the rise of Godcasting contained a reference to the Pagan Power Hour.

In fairness to my many Wiccan readers, it seemed only appropriate to investigate further.

The show is a podcast which began this past January, providing spells, cooking and crafts with the aim of educating people about Wicca, said Malcolm Waterstone, host of the show produced in Quincy, Illinois, the previously little-known heartbed of American witchcraft.

And you thought it was somewhere in Massachusetts still — aren't you glad you have bookofjoe to set you straight? But I digress.

A recurring topic of the Pagan Power Hour has been the dearth of public worship spaces in small communities.

The show also provides authoritative information on Wiccan practices and rituals and, equally important, what's not part of Wicca.

For example, correct practice excludes animal sacrifice and Satan worship.

Turn on, tune in, you know the rest....

March 23, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thermometer Earrings and Necklace


Rhode Island designer-artist LeeAnn Herreid designed these great accessories to let you know if the temperature's rising or not.


Each handmade, waterproof piece contains a functioning alcohol (mercury-free) thermometer set in sterling silver.

Fahrenheit scale on one side, Celsius on the other.

The earrings ($32) are for pierced ears only.

The necklace ($43) hangs from a beaded sterling silver chain.

Both earrings and necklace are on permanent display at the Porter Thermometer Museum


in Onset, Massachusetts, should you be in the 'hood.

March 23, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: How to judge a hospital's operating room even if you're not a doctor


A recent week spent delivering anesthesia (passing gas, in the idiom) gave me much time to reflect on the subtle but telling indicators that serve to predict all too well the level of care you'll get when you come to surgery.

Here are a series of signs to help you in your assessment.

    • Doorstop Sign — are the doorstops effective? If it takes several kicks and careful positioning of the door thereafter to keep the door from swinging closed, this is an indication that no one really cares much.


    • Pole Sign — this has two variants. The Vertical Pole Sign is positive when the IV pole is frozen in one position, or won't stay fixed at one height but, rather, falls to the lowest position no matter what efforts are made to lock it.

    The Lateral Pole Sign (synonymous with the Wheel Sign) occurs when the IV pole's wheels are locked in position, such that the pole must be physically lifted off the floor and carried along with the patient's bed. This is, alas, something I've become quite practiced at over the years.


    • Fire Extinguisher Sign — this is one of the more subtle signs in medicine. In fact, only after I've pointed it out to others have they noticed its occurrence.

    This sign is positive when the bright red sign painted on the wall, with a big red arrow pointing down which reads FIRE EXTINGUISHER, points not to the fire extinguisher but to empty space. In both of the ORs at my little hospital, the fire extinguisher resides quite happily approximately 18" to the side of the center of the indicator arrow.


    • Calendar Sign — applicable to areas other than the OR, this is simply a measure of "who cares?" When it's a month or two behind, well, you can kind of understand how that could happen. But a 2002 calendar still up on the wall, like I saw last week? Somewhat troubling, it seems to me.

March 23, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



The internet outpost of one Johnny Bitter.

He runs a lunch spot in Charlotte, North Carolina called Johnny Burrito.

He's become famous not on account of his enchiladas or taquitos but, rather, for his collection of "ugly money" — money which has been mutilated, defaced, written on, dyed, and whatever else can be done to paper that renders it still currency of the realm.

He has a few coins but they're a sideshow to the main event.

He has over 300 bills on his web site, and is truly big-time, what with this tip of the cap along with the current (March) Playboy magazine's devoting a page to some of his masterworks.

If you've got a taste for what happens to money once a person starts to question its sanctity, you're ready to meet one of the most original thinkers I've ever encountered.

That would be the currency artist J.S.G. Boggs.


The subject of a lengthy New Yorker magazine profile many years ago, Boggs' work is featured here.

March 23, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How to speak British — Part 2


The first installment of this new feature appeared on February 27.

In less than a month I've accumulated a new group of variations on a[n English] theme.

Without further ado, then:

    doddle = easy

    crisps = chips

    gobsmacked = utterly astounded

    nil = nothing

    near the knuckle = risky

    saloon = sedan

    estate = station wagon

    spanner = wrench

    high street = principal thoroughfare

    at university = in college


March 23, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

« March 22, 2005 | Main | March 24, 2005 »