Copyright at times is an issue in different ways in connection with anthroposophy and the publication of works by Steiner (books and web pages) and by others, and between different anthroposophical, Waldorf education, and non-anthroposophical and non-Waldorf education mailing lists and web pages.

The internet tends to dissolve borders in more than one way, the dissolving of the borders of copyright being one of them.

A page at the site of the Task Force on Intellectual Property at the University of North Carolina more in full mentions literary works, musical works, including any accompanying words, dramatic works, including any accompanying music, pantomimes and choreographic works, pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works, motion pictures and other audiovisual works, sound recordings, architectural works as protected by copyright.

It also tells that it not is necessary to register a work in the Copyright Office to get a copyright. A copyright is automatic as soon as the work is created and when it is put into a fixed form. It also tells that works no longer have to be published to be copyrighted and that United States law does not require the use of copyright notice for copyright to apply. The no notification law became effective on March 1, 1989. This holds automatically for works created 1-1-78 or later.)

The following is an effort to analyze present U.S. copyright legislation and presently developing regulations of copyright on the Internet, in relation to the full republishing of numerous articles from Newspapers and Journals, the republishing of postings from other mailing lists and web pages than ones own, and personal mails, as practiced by the Secretary of PLANS and main owner and administrator of the WC-list and the Webmaster up to last year of the site of PLANS.

The analysis below indicates that the Secretary of PLANS continuously and repeatedly violates copyright legislation and rules and supports the violation of copyright in

  • without permission publishing and supporting the publishing by others on the WC mailing list of private mails that have been sent to persons on the list, mainly to the Secretary himself, from Waldorf school administrators (example), Waldorf parents, present of former Waldorf pupils (example), Waldorf teachers and others (example). This includes a personal mail from the author of this article to a person like a Peter Zegers, one of the participants on the WC-list, in expressed violation of claimed copyright on the letter in question. It also includes mails from people at the anthroposophical center in Egypt to Gary Bonhiver, as co-administrator of the WC-list and Webmaster of the site of PLANS,
  • without persmission quoting or in full republishing mails that have been sent to both public anthroposophical and Waldorf mailing lists, like the Waldorf mailing list at St John's University (example), and private anthroposophical mailing lists without public archives, like anthropos-science and the Ark, without the knowledge and permission of the persons originally sending them, and ignoring protests from the original posters and/or owners of the lists in question to Mr Dugan,
  • without permission in full republishing anthroposophical and other web pages (example) and articles on the WC-list without asking for permission.
The last point includes 
  • on the WC repeatedly in full republishing any published article by any magazine or journals like New York Times and Newspapers and Journals found on or outside the net, mentioning or describing anything related to Waldorf education (some very few examples: example, example, example, example, example, example).

As can be seen at the site of PLANS, it also 

  • in translation republishes one of the TV-programs in Germany by REPORT-Mainz on Waldorf schools as described by a number of anti-Waldorf lobbyists (for a comment ot the TV-program, see here), as also
  • copyrighted pictures from a book by an anthroposophical author.


In defense of the violations in question, the Secretary of PLANS has argued that he considers PLANS to be an 'educational' organisation and as such free to do the quoting and republishing first on the WC with its public archives, and then at the site of PLANS, within the frames of 'fair use' as described by US CODE COLLECTION, TITLE 17 > CHAPTER 1 > Sec. 107.

The Section on this point states:

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; 

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work; 

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and 

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Does this 'fair use' clause allow for the Secretary of PLANS to  appeal to it in PLANS' publishing and republishing of a number of copyrighted works (texts and pictures) at its public site via among other the WC-archives, by appealing to an alleged status of PLANS as 'educational institution' and doing it for the purpose of 'education' and 'criticism'?


No. The Office of General Council at the University of Texas on one page describes its policies and recommendations regarding "Fair use" of copyrighted material online as course materials for the purpose of distance learning. The situation parallels the way PLANS, as self-proclaimed 'educational' site publishes material at its site as 'information' on Waldorf education.

The Office of General Council at the University of Texas describes four Rules of the Thumb for "Fair Use" of copyrighted material by the educational institutions at the university:

  1. Incorporate performances of others' works

  2. - sparingly
    - only if a faculty member or the institution possesses a legal copy of the work.
  3.  Include 

  4. - any copyright notice on the original
    - appropriate citations and attributions to the source
    - a Section 108(f)(1) notice.
  5. Limit access to students enrolled in the class and administrative staff as needed. Terminate access at the end of the class term.
  6. Obtain permission for materials that will be used repeatedly by the same instructor for the same class.

The Council also summarizes the three keys for the proper use of copyrighted material in the context of distance learning,

- limiting the use to "small parts" of the copyrighted material in question
- limited times and 
- limited access
The policy of Texas University, summarized in the three keys, is in harmony with the view of the U.S. Copyright Office, in recommendations issued to the Congress in 1999 on the use of copyrighted materials in classes taught over computer networks, telling that educational institutions will have to take steps, using technology like password-protection mechanisms, to allow only students authorized to view the material to get access to it.


The described view of the U.S. Copyright Office, and present and developing legislation and practice regarding "Fair use" of copyrighted material on computer based systems for educational purposes, including via the internet, does not support PLANS' way of claiming support by the clause in question for its way of continuously and repeatedly publishing and/or republishing copyrighted material related to Waldorf education from numerous sources on the WC mailing list, via the WC-archive, and in other ways at the site of PLANS.

This holds for all of the copyrighted material it publishes without the expressed permission of of the holders of the copyright to the material it publishes. It includes a number of articles and pictures from different newspapers, journals, books and web pages, at least one of which in turn constitutes one big violation of copyright in its republication of a number of copyrighted articles from different sources. It concerns both the copyrighted material for which PLANS has not expressly received permission to republish it directly and primarily at the site, or in a first step via and in postings to the WC-list, to then in a second step republish it as Archives of the WC-list at the site of PLANS.

The violation also holds for the repeated publication through the years of private correspondence from different people to the Secretary of PLANS on the WC-list with comments on them, to then re-publish the correspondence once more at the site of PLANS as "Archives".


This is another fairly new issue in terms of copyright. The Copyright Website discusses Newsgroups, being basically similar in nature to mailing lists with continuous publication of the postings as public archives, as is the case with the WC mailing list, that not is owned by PLANS, but personally by the Secretary of PLANS together with the Webmaster of PLANS as administrators of the list, depriving the WC-list of the more general application of "Fair use", that may apply to educational institutions.

While pointing to the lack of by all agreed rules for republishing between Newsgroups (and implicitly mailing lists) the Copyright Website mentions an evolving theory of implied license regarding copyright on the internet.

The proposed implied license theory, states that if you post to a newsgroup, you thereby implicitly grant permission to other people to copy it from one message area to another message area on the same system, and from one forum to other similar forums on the same conferencing system.

But it also points to the criteria for deciding the limits of the proposed implied permission, being

  • if the copied message will reach a different audience than the one for which it was posted, and
  • if the copied message is introduced to a different distribution system than the one on which it was originally posted.
Like the basic legislation and developed practice regarding "Fair use" in general of copyrighted material, the proposed implied license theory - describing a sort of "Fair use" of quotes from postings in one forum in another forum - means that the reposting of material from not only anthroposophical mailing lists with public archives, but also private anthroposophical mailing lists with no public archives, on the WC-list, as repeatedly has been and is the habit of the Secretary of PLANS, constitutes a repeated clear violation of "Fair use" of copyrighted material in all senses of the word.

The Secretary of PLANS has to appeal and pray to other authorities than Copyright legislation and internet regulations for absolution from his repeated and continuous internet sins.

Copyright: Sune Nordwall
Stockholm, Sweden

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