Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams

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Catalogue Distribution Policy

The following policy statement and statement of copyright applies to the distribution of the printed and electronic forms (including diskettes) of the Catalogue of Cometary Orbits, Catalogue of High-Precision Orbits of Minor Planets and Catalogue of Orbits of Unnumbered Minor Planets issued by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT) and Minor Planet Center (MPC), as well as datasets obtained from the Computer Service and Extended Computer Service:
  • Under no circumstances should catalogues be posted to Usenet newsgroups or bulletin boards or made available on ftp sites.
    • Extracts of orbital elements for individual objects may be posted as long as the source of the information is clearly referenced.

  • Catalogues are intended for personal (scientific) use only and may not be redistributed.
    • Inclusion of CBAT/MPC datasets in third-party collections (such as, but not limited to, data sets supplied on diskette or CD-ROM with planetarium or sky-simulation software) is not permitted.
    • Inclusion of CBAT/MPC datasets in other collections is permitted only for those intended for the sole use of the subscriber/purchaser.

Copyright Information

The collections of orbital elements are copyrighted , whereas the individual orbital elements are not. This distinction is consistent with the usual ruling that it is the form of a publication that is copyrightable, not the information actually contained in the publication. The copyright is held by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams and Minor Planet Center at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory on behalf of the International Astronomical Union.

Statement: We regret having to impose these restrictions on the redistribution of our datasets, but there have been so many abuses and infringements of copyright over the past few years that our funding situation is now precarious and will continue to worsen if these steps are not taken. In the past the catalogues have not carried copyright notices as an explicit statement of copyright is not necessary. However, all future editions of the catalogues (both printed and electronic) will contain such notices.

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