|Not so scientific -- abstract|
work by Paul Klee
"Where an article on a scientific or technical subject is published in a periodical accompanied by an abstract indicating the contents of the article, it is not an infringement of copyright in the abstract, or in the article, to copy the abstract or issue copies of it to the public".This is echoed in a somewhat different form by the Irish Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000, section 90 of which states:
"Where an article on a scientific or technical subject is lawfully made available to the public in a periodical accompanied by an abstract indicating the contents of the article, it is not an infringement of the copyright in the abstract or in the article to copy the abstract or to make available to the public copies of the abstract or to include the abstract in any other work".I was wondering whether the availability of scientific and technical abstracts emerged from as an idea: I don't recall seeing it as a defence or an exception under the Berne and Universal Copyright Conventions, and it's not in the US Title 17 or the EU Directives. Nor, despite its obvious value to the patenting community, is it mentioned in the Paris Convention or the Patent Law Treaty.
Three quick questions: (i) do any other countries make specific provision for the unauthorised use of abstracts in this way? (ii) in the absence of such a provision, is it even an infringement to do the specified acts, or could we argue that there is a presumed implied licence to use an abstract for this purpose, by virtue of its very existence and function; (iii) do we even care -- or are people actually litigating over abstracts?