[LINK] Is quoting a small snippet of fact/opinion from Link, with proper attribution, fair game?

Fernando Cassia fcassia at gmail.com
Tue Nov 15 01:01:54 AEDT 2011

More often than not I end up saving snippets from Link, due to the
always-interesting exchange of opinions on relevant topics from
Internet regulation to current affairs on the IT world etc etc.

Then every once in a while I think I could write a news story about
recent events -say, software security or lack thereof, copper-vs-fibre
debate etc- and that I could use some of the opinions exchanged on
Link as sources (ie "Tom Koltai from Australia thinks otherwise" ;)
"...he said... [small paragraph snippet] " ;-)

But then I realize that if I decided to err on the side of caution, I
would have to collect all quotes beforehand, and ask for permission to
quote, and if someone -for whatever reason- says ´no´, then it´d mean
removing one valuable source from the opinions. So that´s basically
why I never quoted Link before.

The other half of my brain says "hey, wait a minute, if someone sends
a message to an open mailing list with public archives -not only Link
but any other mailing list- and it gets indexed by Google
http://mailman.anu.edu.au/pipermail/link/ , then whatever he or she
posted becomes searchable material on the internet, and thus quotable
in small snippets -per ´fair use´ limits- as any other public forum
comment, blog post or newsgroup message.
Following that logic, nobody should really feel upset to be quoted
about his public opinion on a public mailing list by means of a small
snippet or verbatim quote.

To be honest, I never asked this before, and a few years ago I
wouldn´t even have bothered, -for instance I remember quoting from the
kernel.org mailing list about a small controversy on some Linux kernel
issue I now forget, without asking anybody- yet, I guess I get more
cautious wrt netiquette as time goes by... so, is taking small
snippets of opinion from Link fair game, with proper attribution and
citing the list by name (and possibly URL -or not if you tell me

Also let me remind you that the rules also apply to me, so *you* can
quote whatever I say on Link at your blogs -if any-  or any other
mailing lists, too. :-)... and that I only write for small internet
based news sites.. so it´s not like you´d be quoted on the NYT front

Thoughts? Comments? Expletives? ;-)

Thanks in advance.


PS: I should have asked Tom and Marghanita instead of bothering the
list, as both are the top two I end up wanting to quote more often. ;)

PS#2: rest assured if the general concensus is yes, that it won´t
happen too often. I am, like any other hobbyist programmer, lazy.

"The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers."
Richard Hamming - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamming_code

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