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Can I sell access to viewing a compiled list of business emails?

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quincy

Senior Member
I missed this post the first time around. I get about a hundred such emails a week and I've never seen one that wasn't protected by copyright and the subscription "reprinting" of them would be a violation of the copyright holders rights.
Certainly if there are copyright notices on the emails, it would be foolish to republish the emails.
 


Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
I am not sure eliminating identifiers is the smartest move. Passing off material as his own comes with its own set of problems.
He need not pass it off as his own. He could clearly indicate that the e-mails were created by others, that identifying information has been changed, and give attribution where appropriate or necessary. But scrubbing the identifying information, trademarks, etc would at least remove one layer of potential problems, I think. Certainly the best thing to do is take the e-mails he wants to use to intellectual property lawyer for review to see how he might be able to make this work without facing legal or other unwanted problems from the creators or senders of the e-mails.
 

quincy

Senior Member
He need not pass it off as his own. He could clearly indicate that the e-mails were created by others, that identifying information has been changed, and give attribution where appropriate or necessary. But scrubbing the identifying information, trademarks, etc would at least remove one layer of potential problems, I think. Certainly the best thing to do is take the e-mails he wants to use to intellectual property lawyer for review to see how he might be able to make this work without facing legal or other unwanted problems from the creators or senders of the e-mails.
I agree that a personal review of the particulars will be necessary to determine legal risk.

Again, however, unless the email's copyright was registered with the US Copyright Office prior to infringement, the email creator will be limited to collecting demonstrable actual damages and profits instead of statutory damages, this assuming the email has the (granted, minimal) creativity and originality required for copyright protection and the email creator wins a (potentially costly) copyright infringement lawsuit.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
I agree that a personal review of the particulars will be necessary to determine legal risk.

Again, however, unless the email's copyright was registered with the US Copyright Office prior to infringement, the email creator will be limited to collecting demonstrable actual damages and profits instead of statutory damages, this assuming the email has the (granted, minimal) creativity and originality required for copyright protection and the email creator wins a (potentially costly) copyright infringement lawsuit.
I understand that, and my suggestions go more towards concerns about problems other than copyright — my suggestions would not really help avoid a copyright problem at all (if there was one to begin with).
 

quincy

Senior Member
I understand that, and my suggestions go more towards concerns about problems other than copyright — my suggestions would not really help avoid a copyright problem at all (if there was one to begin with).
Yes. A personal review of all potential legal risks would be needed, with copyright infringement just one risk out of several.

I see other areas more likely to give rise to a lawsuit than copyright infringement.
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
I understand that, and my suggestions go more towards concerns about problems other than copyright — my suggestions would not really help avoid a copyright problem at all (if there was one to begin with).
Considering where the OP said she got them I would bet that there are certainly copyright issues.
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
Considering where the OP said she got them I would bet that there are certainly copyright issues.
Perhaps. But without actually seeing the e-mail involved there is no way to really know one way or the other. I've seen some spam e-mail that would not be copyright protected.
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
Perhaps. But without actually seeing the e-mail involved there is no way to really know one way or the other. I've seen some spam e-mail that would not be copyright protected.
Fair enough but, what the OP described doesn't sound like SPAM. It sounds more like legal or tax e-newsletters you might receive or HR ones I might receive.
 

quincy

Senior Member
Fair enough but, what the OP described doesn't sound like SPAM. It sounds more like legal or tax e-newsletters you might receive or HR ones I might receive.
We don't really know what he is talking about. We can guess but that is never very helpful.
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
I think it is much more than a guess because the OP wrote "The emails come from just signing up for newsletters, free downloads, etc."
 

quincy

Senior Member
I think it is much more than a guess because the OP wrote "The emails come from just signing up for newsletters, free downloads, etc."
Well ... it depends on the newsletters and downloads. And his purpose for sharing them.

The legal risks are fact-specific.
 
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