Subject: Re: the value chain
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 10 Dec 1999 11:32:13 -0500

   Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 11:17:14 -0500 (EST)
   From: Lynn Winebarger <owinebar@free-expression.org>

   > I think it's hard to become rich controlling data you don't create
   > yourself.  Information wants to be free.

      Try Westlaw - they have a huge database of public documents (court
   decisions) that they charge access for.  They're a big backer of the
   attempts to extend copyright protection to databases.

Based on your description, they're selling a service, not control over
the data.  The service is better access to the data.

Anybody else could go into competition with them by scanning in the
decisions themselves.  I don't see how a database copyright could
prevent that, any more than the existing compilation copyright can
prevent someone from putting together their own compilation.  A
copyright, unlike a patent, controls copying, not recreation of the
same data by another means.

Ian