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    Re: Nautical Almanac copyright
    From: Lu Abel
    Date: 2011 Feb 7, 08:14 -0800
    Jeremy:

    There's a difference between authorized reproductions and unauthorized reproductions of copyrighted materials.  Royalties for reproduction are an entirely different matter.   So what I read the USNO copyright notice as saying is "it's okay to reproduce this -- IF you get our permission first."    An important part of copyright law is that if one does nothing to stop unauthorized reproductions, one can lose one's copyright.   I'll suspect, for instance, that the commercial (blue cover) version of the NA is an "authorized reproduction."

    Speaking of weird copyrights, I've just started reading "Weighing the World" by Edwin Danson, a history of early mapmaking, chartmaking, and geodesy (it devotes, for example, a couple of chapters on the early fight among scientists about whether the earth was an oblate or prolate spheroid).  One of the earliest attempts at high-quality mapping was a map of Scotland by British General William Roy in the mid 1700's.   The book includes a detail of the map -- along with a "Crown copyright" notice.  Maybe the British have different views of copyrighting, but I always thought they were supposed to expire after a reasonable period of time.

    Lu Abel


    From: "Anabasis75@aol.com" <Anabasis75@aol.com>
    To: NavList@fer3.com
    Sent: Mon, February 7, 2011 7:09:42 AM
    Subject: [NavList] Nautical Almanac copyright

    I have a copy of the official USNO Nautical almanac here on the ship.  It is the orange hardcover version.  It is obviously mostly British in origin because of the spelling of certain words and the following note on the first page "the following United States government work is excepted from the above notice... cover, title page and reverse, Preface, pages 6 and 7, pages 286 to 317."
     
    So what does this include?  Well pages 6 & 7 are the eclipse pages.  The block between 286 and 317 are the concise sight reduction tables that are included in the NA.  Are these pages omitted from the British version?  If so, not a big loss for most users.
     
    Also puzzling is the fact that the Preface allows anyone to apply in witting to reproduce the data in any language and then it goes on to say that many governments do this for their navies.  Does this mean that the format is what they are worried about?
     
    I also find it funny that Frank points out that the arrangement of the stars is copyrighted.  I don't see anything special or unique about the alphabetical list of the main navigational stars or the grouping of all of the listed stars by ascending SHA. 
     
    Jeremy
     

       
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