[Corpora-List] Google Books, copyrights, and corpora

Geoffrey Sampson grs2 at sussex.ac.uk
Thu Jun 15 11:35:00 CEST 2006


Copyright laws differ greatly from country to country. Several years
ago I took a legal opinion on how English law as it then stood would
affect corpus research I wanted to engage in; the opinion was quite
complex (several dense pages long), and the upshot of it was highly
liberal -- in broad effect, so long as what I did was not going to
damage the trade of rights holders (which there was no chance of it
doing), I was safe. But the problem with this is that it is one
barrister's opinion; I am pretty sure that another equally-qualified
lawyer might have been found to express a much less optimistic opinion
(such matters never get finally settled until a case actually goes to
court). And that is just one country. So I think it is very hard for a
question like yours to be answered definitely.

In this type of situation, I am a great believer in the maxim that it is
easier to say sorry afterwards than to secure permission in advance.

Regards,

Geoffrey Sampson


............................................................
Prof. Geoffrey Sampson MA PhD MBCS CITP ILTM

author of "The 'Language Instinct' Debate"

Department of Informatics, University of Sussex
Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QH, England

www.grsampson.net +44 1273 678525
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