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Copyright Issue

Discussion in 'Other' started by Jason76, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. Jason76 Cat Moderator

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    If your running say a computer code website or social media group, you could run into issues of copyright. Of course, the big problem is being sued, not really you making a lawsuit, as well, who can afford New York lawyers? What is a way to protect yourself?

    How can one make stuff original?
     
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  2. jimbob Cat Moderator

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    The last I heard, short quotes are permissible. But not taking an entire work, rephrasing it and claiming it to be your own.
     
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  3. Jason76 Cat Moderator

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    One guitar teacher online, a popular one, was running into problems because he was doing lessons about copyrighted songs. However, note simply giving generalized music lessons cannot be prosecuted.
     
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  4. jimbob Cat Moderator

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    I can understand that. Either get permission or write your own stuff.
     
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  5. Quality Checked Bird Moderator

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    What Jimbob is talking about is the "Fair Use Doctrine". It's more theory than hard law, but it generally applies. If, for instance, you are teaching an art class, you can show the whole class photographs of a famous work -- sculpture, painting, drawing, stain glass window, whatever. You don't have to get permission to do that, under fair use, because you are not affecting the value of the original work in question.

    Similarly, a library can buy a record or a CD and make 1 copy of it. They can then lend the copy out. They can not make a copy for everyone that wants to borrow the work. Again, the library is not decreasing the value of the original work, because they are circulating one copy.

    If a teacher wants to make his or her own 'book' out of copies of various articles, and have the campus print shop sell copies for students to use, that does violate fair use. In essence, the teacher is selling copies of articles way beyond "fair use". University teachers used to do this all the time. Not anymore. Now, what happens, is the campus print shops still prints the collections of articles, but before they do, the University has to get clearance for each and every article that's included, and pay royalties.

    Is this burdensome? Well, universities have to have several people on the payroll who do nothing but get authorizations from publishers to copy pieces, and find out how much the publisher wants for the copies (usually pennies per article per copy). Then, when the student buys the pile of copies, the royalties are sent to the publishers.

    How did this come about? It started around 50 years ago, when publishers sued the Archdiocese of Chicago for copying bits and pieces of copyrighted music and text and publishing their own Sunday missals. The courts declared that the Archdiocese had gone beyond fair use, and was, essentially, stealing the material -- depriving the publishers of income. So... now institutions ask first, rather than seeking forgiveness later.

    Using art work to make more art work is generally covered by fair use, but only up to a point. If I take an ad out of a magazine and use it in a collage, (1 single collage) that's fair use. No matter how famous my collage becomes, it's legal. If I start selling copies of the collage for $1000 each, then we're in a different ball game. Musicians who sample other musicians work and use the samples in their published music generally get nailed once the original publisher discoveres the sampling was used for profit.

    After a certain number of years (it's quite a large number, something like 70) copyrighted material goes into the public domain UNLESS somebody renews the copyright. The heirs of famous authors generally keep copyrights alive as long as they can--for the money. Some Podunk U professor's book about horseshoes published in 1903 will almost certainly be in the public domain -- and you can copy it to your hearts content, over and over and over again.
     
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  6. Jason76 Cat Moderator

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    Whether the targeted person is copying isn't the issue, but whether another person claims, and probably lying, that the targeted person copied them. Many targeted people don't have New York lawyers to punish whoever wants to copy stuff, nor the resources or time to search and hunt people down, but they can at least have a protection against the situation I explained above.

    Note big companies might do this scheme against small time people who threaten them.
     
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  7. jimbob Cat Moderator

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    Money is normally the bottom line issue here. Who is earning money from the original production? If you don't have the legal rights to the work then you shouldn't be earning money from it. That is the right of the legal owner.

    Back in the old days of Apple computers the Beagle Brothers published many utility programs for the Apple II series of computers. They would always remind people to make one backup of any program they bought. Yes, only one. For your own use.
     
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  8. Alexandoy Bacteria

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    I have attended several seminars and workshops of WIPO - World Intellectual Property Office. Copyright is something that is like an inborn right. For example, a song. You have the rights to it even if you don't have a registration. All you need is proof that you had composed it.

    For the user, the issue if infringement is applicable when you use a copyrighted item for business. For a private party, it is okay to use copyrighted songs. But for a disco club, it has to pay for the rights.

    The copyrighted items I know as of now are the composition and the performance of a song, that is you have to pay the composer and the singer too. Also copyrighted are books and other printed items that include designs aside from the textual content. Photos fall in the same category. As for the organization handling each category, they are the ones responsible for collecting payments.
     
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  9. Gabe Cell

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    I studied IP at University, and it can be a complex issue. Basically copyright exists as long as it is created in a tangible form, if there is an infringement, it is up to the copyright owner to sue for damages. It is really about money, but also reputation, and each country has it's own laws, in terms of rights.

    Now, to protect your work you need to state it is copyrighted to be on the safe side, or if it available to be used under Creative Commons. It gets tricky when people share photos on social media because sites and forums reserve the right to use material for publicity reasons without having to pay. This is called a transfer of rights, which is why many photographers won't use social media platforms or post thumbnails which can't be copied, or they watermark their work.
     
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  10. Psi Atom

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    Jason you seem to think people are being oppressed by false claims of copyright. Really? Anyone who is a creative professional is plagiarized and stolen from constantly, and the remedies are few and it is rare that anything is achieved beyond making the thief desist.

    If you are a teacher or creating a website there are vast amounts of public domain or very inexpensive royalty free materials available. Plagiarizing is not some accidental thing where you happen to use a common phrase or idiom. Prove-able cases happen on purpose and the remedy is to not do it.

    Even my most ceaseless efforts just reduce the rates of my materials being used by others, I have never received so much as a cent of actual compensation. So how is it the plagiarist who is the poor victim here? If they do not have the talents to create what they need, they must invest the effort or funds necessary to procure it, legally, from other sources.
     
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