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From Ted Mittelstaedt <>
Subject Re: Should Emails Have An Expiration Date
Date Wed, 02 Mar 2011 10:13:16 GMT
On 3/1/2011 1:41 AM, Per Jessen wrote:
> Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
>>    From a legal perspective I will point out that any e-mail you
>> receive is (at least in the US, but most other countries too)
>> considered copyrighted by the sender.  Under copyright law the
>> sender has the right to control expiration of content they create,
>> the movie houses are doing this with digital copies that are
>> time-limited and included with blue-ray disc purchases.  Thus if
>> a corporation suddenly has e-mail disappearing from it's servers
>> due to expiration dates inserted by the e-mail creator they are
>> absolutely protected from a legal point of view - because of the
>> demands of copyright law.
> I guess this means places like and are in gross
> violation of all kinds of copyrights.

no, because fair use is defined in copyright.  those are fair use.

> As well as anyone keeping
> email-archives (e.g. for legals reasons).

archiving is also specifically spelled out in the 1996 treaty as

> Regardless, copyright is not the same everywhere.  Far from it. The
> Urheberrecht in e.g. Germany and Switzerland is quite different.  I
> doubt if anyone here would be able to claim Urheberrecht for an email.

Any country that is signatory to the 1996 WIPO treaty and the Berne
Convention is required by those to adjust their national laws to
match those treaties.  Most countries are signatories and most have
done so.  So yes, copyright IS mostly the same everywhere.  There
are some differences but they are not as significant as you think.


> /Per Jessen, Z├╝rich

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