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VMs: RE: hi-res VMS images

> I don't recall Beinecke placing any special confidentiality
> constraints on that scan when they made it available to us. (I
> certainly didn't sign anything!) Nevertheless they
> definitely retain
> the copyright on those images, just as they own the
> copyright on
> their photo scans. Please treat them accordingly.

Absolutely correct.  There is a big difference between making
something available to the public and making something "public
domain".  Bad choice of words on my part.  A gathering together of
images released for public consumption for the purposes of
research does not appear to violate Beinecke's copyright
restraints, but there is a technical question of whether ANY
website that reproduces an image without permission falls under
the heading of 'reproduce' or 'publish'.  Why this is a technical
difficulty is the fact that my browser must 'reproduce' or
download a 'copy' of any web image in order to display it on my
computer.  A temporary file is made of that image, and when the
"file save" function has not been blocked by the originating
website, this implies that I have a license to store at least a
personal copy of that image.

The web poses some very new problems to copyright rules by its
very design, but if we attempt to follow the spirit of such rules
as they regard the ability to conduct and exchange research, this
should not be a problem.  The EVA font has files that must be
distributed with the font as part of its copyright, a very
reasonable request by its authors.  Beinecke tends to regard any
use of its material used in commerce, such as a book to be sold
for a price, as an enforceable area of its copyrights.  EEBO
allows copy and transfer of documents as long as they are used for
research and not for profit, etc.  It would seem that as long as
we are indulging the research aspect of these images, we maintain
the spirit of these rules.  The moment one of us starts selling
Voynich mugs and t-shirts on our site, we're probably crossing the
copyright line by incorporating commerce into our research.

This line of questioning is a very good one because of my selected
transcription format.  I've clipped the text from each page, line
by line, and displayed my transcription under the text for easy
reference.  This avoids any image on the page, drawing the focus
only to the subject of study - text.  At no time is an entire page
reproduced, etc.  I believe it prudent that I send a sample of
this work to Beinecke and ask their permission before it is
released, but in the strictest sense of research, I'd be surprised
if they said 'no' to this.  The very fact that the text is
currently open to so many different interpretations necessitates a
very detailed (and long overdue) presentation and study.

The VMS does not fall into the standard category of manuscript
material that covers most books in the Beinecke collection, simply
because its meaning is open to interpretation.  I may be wrong,
but I think they consider us too small a group to be concerned
about, and given the nature of our relentless pursuits, we are
given a certain amount of latitude other enthusiasts may not
enjoy.  Let's do what we can to maintain the status quo and not
abuse our privileges.