A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

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Ed
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A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

Post by Ed » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:03 am

I hope that Neil will bear with me if I have a quick go at answering a few of the points that were brought up by others after my post.

I think after that, I will make some additions to the 'Image Posting Guidelines' and we can leave it at that.

I am only going to go back the last page but here goes:

David H. Lots of us make our living by 'creating' words or images...and I completely agree with you that it is important that our right to make a living from our graft is respected and protected.

Like you I have been horrified by the approach GoogleBooks is taking. I have always been a fan of Google, but their latest plan to digitise everything, largely without asking permission or paying anything for it is just plain bullying of the worst kind. Copyright is currently in 'freefall' and it feels like Google is just trying to 'break' the whole thing.

It is not just the Chinese that are pissed with Google, the French have just taken Googlebooks to court over their attitude to their French authors and demanded that they remove thousands of French books.

4 or 5 years ago, Neil and I discussed digitising the Ian Proctor books (and others) and putting them on the website, but decided we just couldn't do it......but now Google has. I am pleased that they are there.....but I really don't like the way they are going about doing it.

Nigel

You are right, copyright protects 'original creative work', but no-one puts a quality judgement on 'creative'. It does not have to be good, you just need to do it and it is copyrighted. As you say, facts can not be copyrighted, so some stuff about a boat could be 'copied', but you still couldn't scan the page as there is likely to be some copyright in any diagrams, and there would also be a typography right, although this only lasts for 25 years from publication.

On the whole though, I agree with you, I don't think it is likely that we would get sued for repeating marketing material or for reprinting material for a boat out of production. I would normally let this run, but as I said in my post. By my saying that I 'thought' it was possibly illegal, makes it a very easy case to prove...if they should so wish. I had just admited to it!

You are also right that it would take a 'creative lawyer' and that they could only ever go for 'damages' which should surely be too low to make it worthwhile. This doesn't mean that that it isn't illegal, just that we think the chances of being taken to court for it are low enough that shouldn't be too worried about it.

I hope this makes it a bit clearer.

Michael Brigg

I will update the 'image posting guide'.

You are too right - copyright is pretty much in meltdown right now due to the pressures of the digital age and the internet. We have yet to see whether those with a financial interest will let it go with a whimper of push it for a big bang. There is no doubt that whereas some authors are giving in and rolling over......other copyright owners are working with lawyers to fight back. On the big stage this might be Google vs Sony, but the same thing is happening at a much smaller level as well.

Believe me......If we had Beken Images on the site without permission, it wouldn't be long before we got a phone call or letter.

I sympathise about your records at 2p each, that is daft.

Material is not really affected by the domain name. .org and .com are no different to .org.uk and .co.uk. The key thing is that our servers are in the UK, so we have to abide by UK law. Copyright law does vary by each country, but the Berne Convention provides an agreement across all those countries who signed up to support each other's copyright laws. So not exactly sure.....but....yes american courts 'could' go after us though the UK courts on the basis of UK law.

(I think!)

I agree with you about the british courts going for 'intent' rather than the 'letter' and I think you may be right....a defense lawyer might well claim that a poster was released into the public for publicity and therefore free game. Interestingly enough....there is also a copyright exception that allows the copying of works of art on 'permanent and public display'. But the problem is that all of these are 'defenses' and not 'rights'. You could still be taken to court, there would still be a case to answer. And of course the one thing you are trying to avoid is court. In the end MGM, do have a legal team....and the CVRDA don't.

I agree I thought this was a pretty low-risk item and I would't of pulled it except for the fact that I had put into print on the forum that I considered it to most probably be illegal. This would make is a sinch for any lawyer to win their case and so....to make the point really, I pulled it.

Mike, totally agree with second post....but:

<you say>

1.) That you had no intention to pay such a fee, and continue to refuse even when it has been reasonably demanded ,


If you had an intention to pay.....you would surely of asked and not posted it to the forum instead. If you made an effort to contact the owner, but had no success, this item would become what is called a 'orphan work' and your attempts to contact the author would be recorded as due diligence. If you went ahead and published and the owner found it and complained - you could show that you tried to ask but had no luck so went ahead. But if you had not made that effort, a lawyer would simply say that it is obvious that you didn't intend to pay.

...and 2.) That the legal owner of copyright has suffered some sort of secondary loss, for example if the user of his copyright was taking credit for the material and gained a business advantage as a result.

No, not necessary. These would provide extra complaints but are different and not required for there to be a transgression of the law.

Copyright is 'property' law. You can only sue for the value of the lost earnings by having your work used. This makes it very hard and unlikely that you will get sued....BUT....it doesn't make it legal, just less likely to get sued for doing something that is illegal.

Point is as I said....MGM have legal departments....we don't. And remember they can sue for the 'costs' too.

As you say, this really makes it unlikely that we would get sued.....but it doesn't make it 'legal' either.

Jon711
Just wanted to say 'thanks'. This is all getting very 'heavy' and it is easy to forget the basics of all this are based on simple good manners.

If you want to use a photo........just ask!!

I live in a village where my door is often left open. Friends come in and ask me whether they can borrow some tools. I would normally say yes, but if someone came in whilst I was upstairs, went into my workshop and took the tools without asking....I would be a bit pissed off! It is the same with my images. If someone asks, I will nearly always say 'yes' but when people use my images without asking, my first reaction is to remember that for 20 years I fed myself by selling photos and this person is just plain steeling.

So just ask!

AG

Thanks for the link to is4profit. I don't think I have come across that site. I read tons of them....and have had to write a few too!

<snipped>

Hope that all makes some sense.

Don't worry if it brings up more questions than answers. It has taken me years to get my head around and is now one of the skills that keeps me employed.

Maybe we should call it a day now as this is supposed to be a forum about dinghies after all.

cheers

eib
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Re: A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

Post by Ancient Geek » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:56 am

And then you quote a private message that was supposed to be that! I say no more but agree with your final sentance absolutely, though if non the wiser we are better informed!
Simples.

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Re: A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

Post by Ed » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:52 am

You are right.

have removed all reference to pm

sorry

eib
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Re: A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

Post by Rupert » Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:20 pm

So, back to boats. Where does this leave us when someone asks about a type of boat, and one of us scans a page from an old dinghy book and posts it as a reply? I know at work I'm allowed to photocopy an odd page from a book for someone, but not whole chunks. Is this similar, or does the fact that it is going up somewhere where all can see it make it illegal? After all, the photocopy I make could be put up in a window on a busy street, and be seen by as many people...
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Re: A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

Post by Michael Brigg » Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:55 pm

If caution is needed I would think a PM to the interested party to arrange a fax or email of the relevant detail.

One could see a see a rule on posting arising where Photos could only avoid the moderators scrutiny by a Declaration by the poster that the photo is either produced "with Kind permission" or appropriate copyrights such as purchase or ownwership.

In the meantime like many other things on this forum one might hope that like the moderators, we will moderate ourselves appropriately, and only occasionally if inadvertently push the envelope.

As I have noted already, the Law can when provoked kick like the mule it very often is seen as. Especially if it sees Contempt.

I know this isn't classic boats, but it is an important issue that does need occasional airing and does I think make for a relevant and interesting thread that is appliccable to many other areas of interest.
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Re: A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

Post by JimC » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:37 pm

Michael Brigg wrote:the Law can when provoked kick like the mule it very often is seen as. Especially if it sees Contempt.
I can foresee a massive backlash from International Governments on the current cavalier attitudes on the net to intellectual property, privacy etc...

The thing that really stinks for me are companies who seem to think that its just fine for them to make a fortune out of flogging advertising on pages of content they expect the creators to supply for free.

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Re: A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

Post by Ancient Geek » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:04 am

Sadly or gladly depending on your view,
the cat is out of the bag
, and there is no way back on the way the "Interweb" works or is used. No Government or organisation can control (Except pro-tem.) it in any realistic way thank God.
If you feel that that is wrong the basic mistake was by its inventors, for all the right reasons making it free!
Simples.

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Re: A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

Post by Michael Brigg » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:50 am

I edited this post a bit and cant find a way to remove it other than deleting the whole post . Ignore this and read the post below
Last edited by Michael Brigg on Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

Post by Michael Brigg » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:55 am

JimC wrote:I can foresee a massive backlash from International Governments on the current cavalier attitudes on the net to intellectual property, privacy etc...

The thing that really stinks for me are companies who seem to think that its just fine for them to make a fortune out of flogging advertising on pages of content they expect the creators to supply for free.
First of all I should say that I am not being an apologist for this sort of activity and I am fully in favour of the rule that this site adopts a morally correct stand on the matter.

...and I agree Jim, that the advertising smells a bit but they will argue that that is what a free market is about.

A massive backlask might happen one day but the cynic in me says "not until the legal system has found a way of making a (significant) profit from it." For the moment they are content simply to establish the principal of the right to pursue a case. Its about investment in the future.

A lawyer friend of mine ("some of my best friends are lawyers!" :P ) told me that like all the oldest professions they are never out of business because they are always needed. In prosperity there are fees for conveyancing and contracts to tie up, and in recession, when people have more time to reflect on their problems there is litigation and divorce.

So then, we live in dangerous times.

The Government of most democracies I thing are mainly interested in regulation of the net for prevention of Criminal activity. I would see issues of National security, pornography and financial fraud as being the current priorities here, but like the Space Programme the success of an investment may not neccessarily be in acheiving the original purpose.

The Space programme gave us the Non-stick Frying pan (Amongst other things,) and HIV research has led to huge advances in treatment of Cancer and Immunologically mediated diseases.

Effective regulation of the net may well lead to spin offs that will favour the government more than the user. Ben Elton has already hinted at a society in which the Air can be Taxed; the most recent Bond film see's the concept of creating a Bull market for a commodity as basic as Fresh water, and I forsee the current process of legislating and controlling Radio communications (See previous dicussions about how this might affect the RNLI) as being the foundations being laid down to find a way to Tax use of Mobile phones.

Mobile phones are an example of something we have almost all become dependent upon, and the Internet is another. When there is adequate electronic means to reliably identify users quickly and cheaply, and in a legally watertight manner, (and I am not talking about the deep forensic methods currently in use such as Electron microscope analysis of the hard disc, or recovery of data from the "File slack") then we can soon look forward to the inland revenue exercising their powers.

The situation will continue to evolve however. Even with the protectionism af the worlds richest company (well not any more) but very rich anyway, we have a net that is already in danger of melting down as a profusion of software is developed in an unregulated system. The alternatives are between a Tower of Babel, or an autocratic restriction of what is possible.

The society that this can lead to is explored in films like "Brazil," or "The Matrix" trilogy, and for the boys amongst us, the "Terminator" films. How far will the sequels to those carry on is anybody's guess...
Terminator-Bear--33237a.jpg
(19.81 KiB) Downloaded 258 times
I'm not sure what the present or future copyright on this picture is, but I think its safe! The film hasn't yet been made, but if in the future it is released... :(

Given the current difficulties in pushing through even white papers on legislation for quite simple things like ID cards, I feel we are still a longish way away from having to have certified ID tags on all of our net usage and I really don't see Google.gov or Internet Explorer Version1(UK) ever happening in any kind of society that enshrines priciples of freedom, so the legal backlash for the moment is really going to depend on Test cases.

The people who really loose out on this are the Music industry. They are rather crying crocodile tears. My nephew is in (quite a good) band, and the net is life blood for them. They do not have agency fees, and they are not dependent upon EMI, or Apple ( the original one) or whover their record company is deciding whether or not they should be promoted or not. The bubble of legalised creation of a monopoly in the music industry is well and truly burst, and allows a huge increase in the promotion of smaller bands and musical interests. That this is so is perhaps on reason (if you a for conspiracy theory) that the BBC is seeking to axe BBC6 and their assossiated internet services. I think even that is a stalking horse to sell the service anyway. In music terms, the internet has forced performance art back onto the stage. That can only be a good thing.

Photographs are difficult,but there has always been forgery out there, and while only a few well equipped organisations were able to do this to produce bootleg copies, these had precisely the same effect on the livelihood of the artist, but also served to finance criminal organisations. Its another bubble that has been partially burst. Artists can use the net to make a wider public aware of their work, and gain hugely from this kind of massive and cheap promotion of their work which becomes easily accessible to their indended audience. There are more than enough ways of making material on the web secure or at least useable only in very limited form. Corrupting the freely downloadable image, publishing only low resolution images or publishing the full image only in a secured website for one thing would protect this trade from the worst excesses.

What about the principles expressed by Linnux, that everything on theire system must be "copyleft?"

Going after the user of these images is choosing a weak target, and won't solve the problem any more than conviscating the stolen car from the person who thought they had obtained it fairly. (Honest?)
Michael Brigg

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Re: A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

Post by Pat » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:24 pm

Complex or what? Just to note, the photos I use on the main web site are those either taken by myself or by other photographers who have passed them on to me for display on the site, thus giving consent for their use.

Garry R

Re: A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

Post by Garry R » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:43 pm

Don't worry Pat, we'll send you some food parcels and come and visit Sandy in Barlinnie.

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Re: A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

Post by davidh » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:13 pm

Great,

the Scots are getting Sandy back...... to show how generous we all are south of the border, we'll not even ask for anything in exchange. Pat - with Sandy behind bars would you accept an offer for 'Love over Gold'? (working on the principle that by the time Sandy serves the time for his many, many sins,he'll need a passport to come south for sailing)!

D
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Re: A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

Post by Ancient Geek » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:11 pm

Panamara are doing a 30 minute special on BBC1 tonight at 8.30, on Web Downloads probably major on music but may be something of interest, sadly I can't get BBC1 at the moment but I'll try on the interweb!
Simples.

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Re: A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

Post by JimC » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:16 am

Ancient Geek wrote:...there is no way back on the way the "Interweb" works or is used.
Don't you believe it. That's propaganda that is widely put about, but its not the case. There are all sorts of ways and means that governments could put restrictions in if they cared enough.

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Re: A Few Final thoughts on Copyright

Post by Ancient Geek » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:31 am

So far people have found a way round it even in the most draconian societies and more and more Governments are going internet for day to day government business, why Gordon Brown himself was saying yesterday it was the only way to keep costs down! So that must be right!
Simples.

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