Sir James, may I have your legal opinion on this matter – a colleague on biodiversity research is asking me to share some of my pdf's on Philippine biodiversity with other Filipino researchers and students who don't have subscriptions to journal databases. I will be posting every month lists of pdfs which I have acquire from the authors of the papers through request in their e-group. He said that this is perfectly legal because this is sharing work between colleagues and you are not posting pdf's in a website, and that it's being done in other e-goups as well. We all know that there are existing scientific protocols regarding the sharing of technical papers especially that I’m not authorized to divulge these matters. Thank you.
Atty. James, actually, I don't have any subscription to journal databases. Most of my pdfs were sent to me by the authors after I requested copies of their papers. However, since those authors sent the papers for my personal consumption, will I violate anything if I will be sharing those pdfs in an e-group?
Did the author inform you that these files are confidential and cannot be distributed? If not, then you can share it with your colleague in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine of the Intellectual Property Code. This law states in Section 185 that:
Section 185. Fair Use of a Copyrighted Work. - 185.1. The fair use of a copyrighted work for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching including multiple copies for classroom use, scholarship, research, and similar purposes is not an infringement of copyright. Decompilation, which is understood here to be the reproduction of the code and translation of the forms of the computer program to achieve the inter-operability of an independently created computer program with other programs may also constitute fair use. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is fair use, the factors to be considered shall include:
(a) The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes;
(b) The nature of the copyrighted work;
(c) The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(d) The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
185.2. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not by itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors. (emphasis supplied)