It ain't no sin if you crack a few laws now and then, just so long as you don't break any. ~Mae West


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The file found here since 1995, A History of Censorship In Canada, from 1914 to Now, has been effectively censored due to... Well, instead of us boring you with the details we'll let these actual e-mails do it. -- The Library Staff

From: "Sandra Bernstein"
To: "staff@lectlaw.com"
Date sent: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 12:33:13 -0700
Subject: serious copyright infringement
@lectlaw.com>
@sbernstein.on.ca>

I found by chance today that you have a site that is an almost complete plagiarism of a site I have written and maintained since about 1996.

Please remove this site immediately or I will consider taking legal action. The offending site is www.lectlaw.com/files/int02.htm

My site is www.efc.ca/pages/chronicle/chronicle.html

Thanks,

Sandra Bernstein, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.
sandra@sbernstein.on.ca
www.sbernstein.on.ca/sandra/

===========

From: "Library Staff"
Organization: The 'Lectric Law Library
To: sandra@sbernstein.on.ca
Date sent: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 14:54:33 -0700
Subject: Re: serious copyright infringement
@lectlaw.com>

Hi Sandra,

The file you refer to is one of more than 6,000 in The 'Lectric Law Library. As near as we can determine we found it in the ca.legal newsgroup and have had it on-line since May, 1995. Other than that, all we know about it is what's in the file's attribution:

from: News: can.legal
From evans@reptiles.org Tue, 16 May 1995 01:27:33 GMT
Subject: FWD: A CHRONICAL OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN CANADA
Forward article written by Robert Ruzic

While we have no way of determining the merits of your authorship claim we suggest your dispute is more properly with Mr Ruzic or perhaps with the newsgroup or the article's submitter.

In any case, it is the Library's policy to comply with all legal requirements and respect intellectual property rights. We will be happy to alter the attribution, or take other proper action, once the facts are clarified. Therefore, please advise on how you suggest we proceed.

Also, I explored your websites a bit and was impressed by your writings and abilities. Would you be interested in placing any of your law related materials in the Library. My impression is that most of it is of a non-commercial nature, so there would be no charge (compared to the $1,000+ [US] annual rate for commercial ads).

Hope to hear from you soon.

Jeff Liebling, President The 'Lectric Law Library staff@lectlaw.com

===============

From: "Sandra Bernstein"
To: "Library Staff"
Date sent: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 00:20:48 -0700
Subject: Re: serious copyright infringement
@lectlaw.com>
@sbernstein.on.ca>

Thank you for your prompt reply.

I have no way of reaching Mr. Ruzic. You are my only contact. I sent a guest book comment yesterday but have had no reply.

Finding something in a newsgroup is not a great provenance, but as he was claiming the work as his own you appear to have been duped or merely careless. The question is what will you do about it now that you have notice of the infringement. My virtually identical site is copyright 1995 and is hosted by Electronic Frontier Canada. The manager of that site and president of EFC, Prof. David Jones PhD: djones@insight.mcmaster.ca - of the McMaster University Computing Science Dept., can attest to the authenticity as he personally moved it onto the site around that time. The site was also mentioned in the UTNE Reader, annual Freedom to Read Kits published by the Book and Periodical Council, one of the MIT journals a number of years ago and numerous other books, academic and other articles, and websites, dating back many years.

I don't know how things end up on your site, but this is an obvious and flagrant infringement. I repeat, I want it off. I am content to have it replaced by a link to my site, provided it is not presented as an original work of someone else. Leaving it up is not an option. I update the site from time to time; indeed, it was in the course of preparing an update that I found the infringement. (a bit behind because of going to law school.) I do not want a bunch of out of date versions that someone else may have changed out there out of my knowledge and control.

If Mr. Ruzic has a business relationship with you, please (preferably) contact him about this matter or tell me how I can reach him. You may point out that Canada's Copyright Act includes statutory damages for copyright infringement of $500 per infringement, and that could arguably be tallied by the day once you have notice. Getting a judgment in small claims court would be like falling off a log, given this is actually kind of a famous site in its way. If copyright infringement is against your acceptable use policy, you are also on notice. This is, at the end of the day, your site, your library, your responsibility.

Thank you for the kind words about my web sites. I cannot consider placing any materials in the library at this time, given that this has been my only contact with the organization. However, I do appreciate your cooperative attitude so far and it does appear at first glance that this was not your doing. In any case, unless it is a labour of love like the freedom of expression site, my usual rate for writing is $100/hr.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sandra Bernstein

===============

From: "Library Staff"
Organization: The 'Lectric Law Library
To: sandra@sbernstein.on.ca
Date sent: Sat, 18 Aug 2001 15:06:10 -0700
Subject: Re: serious copyright infringement[2]
@lectlaw.com>

Hello Again Sandra,

A few points in response to your 16 Aug 2001 "Re: serious copyright infringement" e-mail:

1. As I thought I made clear we have no business - or any other - relationship with Mr Ruzic, a purported author of the "A History Of Censorship in Canada, from 1914 to Now" file. We will leave it up to you to inform him of the legal situation and take whatever other action you feel necessary.

2. We have made the disputed file available to the Library's thousands of daily visitors at no cost, have reaped no economic benefit from it and have no desire to get embroiled in your (or Mr. Ruzic's) various litigious plans concerning it. In fact, without some court determination we have no way of knowing who the author is so any link to your version is inappropriate and we will follow our policy and remove the disputed file.

3. We don't really appreciate or understand your negative innuendo and implicit aspersions, but we understand even less your demand the file be removed. It seems to us that depriving potential readers of access is rather self-defeating and effectively a form of the very censorship you seem to claim to oppose. However, we have better things to deal with than a Canadian lawyer-wannabee's threats and misinformed over-reactions. However, we do invite you to place the file back in the Library once/if your authorship is established to everyone's satisfaction.

4. Finally, given the various problems in eliminating long- existing Library files, and to assist Library visitors in finding information they seek, we are in the process of substituting the e- mail correspondence between us for the content of the disputed file. We think this is a fair and equitable solution, but should you have a problem please let us know and we'll do our best to work it out.

Sincerely,

Jeff Liebling, President
The 'Lectric Law Library
staff@lectlaw.com

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