Copyright on the Internet by Franklin Pierce Law Center:
"Notice on individual email messages (if blanket notice is not provided, say, in a welcome message) may also be useful. Something as straight-forward as "Please do not forward this message without permission" should be legally adequate as well as honored by most recipients. It is hard to see much advantage to traditional notices."
5 Rules of Forwarding Emails by email@example.com
"keep in mind that if you are forwarding a private email that was sent to you, you must get the sender's permission to forward it on to others (or post it publicly). Emails are copyright protected by their authors. Not only that, common courtesy dictates that you should ask the author first if the email sent for your eyes only can be forwarded to strangers or others for which it was not originally intended."
Forward an email, get sued? by Overlawyered.
"The mere act of forwarding an email or posting an exchange to a website is grounds for legal action, according to University of Arkansas law professor Ned Snow. In a paper to be published in the Kansas Law Review this summer, Snow contends that one of the most common acts of the digital age is a violation of privacy and warns that our courts are running headlong into this issue."
E-mail is not copyright protected once it is sent by firstname.lastname@example.org
"E-mail is a written work that once created is copyright protected by the author. This means you cannot post publicly an e-mail sent to you privately. You cannot post private e-mails to your site, to message boards or to your blog without the author’s specific permission to do so.
Just because an e-mail was sent to you as a private communication does not mean you then own it and can do with it what you like. In addition, e-mail that is posted to a group of people, on a mailing list or Newsgroup does not make the e-mail available for reposting, copying, or any other use - not without the express and written consent of the author."
A Copyright Conundrum: Protecting Email Privacy by Social Science Research Network
"Beginning over two-hundred-fifty years ago, courts recognized that authors of personal correspondence hold property rights in their expression. Under common-law copyright, authors held a right to control whether their correspondence was published to third parties. This common-law protection of private expression was nearly absolute, immune from any defense of fair use. Accordingly, the routine practice of email forwarding would violate principles of common-law copyright"
Who owns email copyright? by ask metafilter
"You own the copyright on anything you write. But it will be very hard to claim damages (that is, how much money have you lost because the email was made public).
I suspect that you are more upset about the information in the email (or the fact that you said these things) becoming public, rather than the specific wording of the email. Copyright does not protect you against this type of revelation. If you did not have a confidentiality agreement with the recipient of the e-mail, then they are free to reveal this information.
Unless the e-mail contained something you planned to publish, and now you have lost potential income, then I don't think the copyright approach will work out for you."
Fair Use by Citizen Media Law Project
"Fair use, which is now a part of the Copyright Act itself, is defined in the Act as follows:
[T]he 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. "
Clear as mud?!
This Post was written by Sam from Becks & Posh