New Policy: Copyrighted material

Board policies and official announcements about Chiff and Fipple and the forums. Please read!
User avatar
Wanderer
Posts: 4402
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:49 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Location: Lovettsville, VA
Contact:

Post by Wanderer »

Walden wrote:
Wanderer wrote:
rich wrote:
Wanderer wrote:However, C&F is hosted in Canada..I'm not sure exactly how they interpret the Berne Convention or how much that would actually shield Dale.


Incidentally, the forums have been hosted in the US since <a href="http://toolbar.netcraft.com/site_report?url=http://chiffboard.mati.ca">November, 2001</a> (with a short return to Canada for part of 2002) -- mostly on a friend's server at various locations in New York City, and now with Dreamhost in California.


Boy am I behind the times :)

It was the ".ca" that throwed you. :)


I'm sure that was it.. :lol:
User avatar
talasiga
Posts: 5199
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:33 am
antispam: No
Location: Eastern Australia

Post by talasiga »

Dale wrote:Don't get me wrong, I've played a bit loose with this issue myself--more than once. But, I think of it this way: If I posted an MP3 here to a copyrighted song, we know that would probably be a problem. I can't think of any reason that it's different from an entire copyrighted article.


A very revealing post because it tends to show that you have not understood how "fair use" may be realised differently in different areas (according to different types of things). Or, if you do understand that, then you are mistaken in applying the most stringent expression of it as a common denominator.

I use "mistaken" within the context of a broad discussion and not in the context of your prerogative to be extra prudent about your forums.
qui jure suo utitur neminem laedit
User avatar
Dale
The Landlord
Posts: 10291
Joined: Wed May 16, 2001 6:00 pm
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: Chiff & Fipple's LearJet: DaleForce One
Contact:

Post by Dale »

talasiga wrote:
Dale wrote:Don't get me wrong, I've played a bit loose with this issue myself--more than once. But, I think of it this way: If I posted an MP3 here to a copyrighted song, we know that would probably be a problem. I can't think of any reason that it's different from an entire copyrighted article.


A very revealing post because it tends to show that you have not understood how "fair use" may be realised differently in different areas (according to different types of things). Or, if you do understand that, then you are mistaken in applying the most stringent expression of it as a common denominator.

I use "mistaken" within the context of a broad discussion and not in the context of your prerogative to be extra prudent about your forums.


There are many, many things I do not understand. That is why we have you on the board.

What I said was I can't think of any reason that an MP3 is different from an entire copyrighted article.
Last edited by Dale on Mon Jul 24, 2006 5:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Dale
The Landlord
Posts: 10291
Joined: Wed May 16, 2001 6:00 pm
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: Chiff & Fipple's LearJet: DaleForce One
Contact:

Post by Dale »

Wanderer wrote:
Walden wrote:
Wanderer wrote:
rich wrote:
Wanderer wrote:However, C&F is hosted in Canada..I'm not sure exactly how they interpret the Berne Convention or how much that would actually shield Dale.


Incidentally, the forums have been hosted in the US since <a href="http://toolbar.netcraft.com/site_report?url=http://chiffboard.mati.ca">November, 2001</a> (with a short return to Canada for part of 2002) -- mostly on a friend's server at various locations in New York City, and now with Dreamhost in California.


Boy am I behind the times :)

It was the ".ca" that throwed you. :)


I'm sure that was it.. :lol:


I tend to think and speak as if it's still Canada. I like the idea.

Dale
User avatar
talasiga
Posts: 5199
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:33 am
antispam: No
Location: Eastern Australia

Post by talasiga »

Dale wrote:There are many, many things I do not understand. That is why we have you on the board.

What I said was I can't think of any reason that an MP3 is different from an entire copyrighted article.


Thanks for that clarification Dale. It just goes to show me that I did not understand your recent post at all. I admit I got confused by your comment because it occurred in a line of discussion (particularly yours truly, Cynth and Jim Stone) about excerpts of discursive material for discussion. In that context I thought you were distinguishing an excerpt of a piece of music on MP 3 with the whole of the music. You see Dale music can be understood to be an article also and it is copyright.

I did not know Dale that your comment was not made a propos the other comments and that, rather you were starting another strand for discussion. Were you?

I did not know Dale that there was any nexus between your level of understanding and my appearance on this board. Do you think I am a delusory astral entity? :lol:
qui jure suo utitur neminem laedit
User avatar
Joseph E. Smith
Posts: 13780
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 2:40 pm
antispam: No
Location: ... who cares?...
Contact:

Post by Joseph E. Smith »

talasiga wrote: Do you think I am a delusory astral entity? :lol:


Actually, in cyberspace, aren't we all delusory astral entities? :lol: :wink:
Image
User avatar
Cynth
Posts: 6703
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:58 pm
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: Iowa, USA

Post by Cynth »

talasiga wrote:
Dale wrote: If I posted an MP3 here to a copyrighted song, we know that would probably be a problem. I can't think of any reason that it's different from an entire copyrighted article.
You see Dale music can be understood to be an article also and it is copyright.

I hope we've answered all your questions, Dale. :lol:
Diligentia maximum etiam mediocris ingeni subsidium. ~ Diligence is a very great help even to a mediocre intelligence.----Seneca
jim stone
Posts: 17046
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2001 6:00 pm

Post by jim stone »

Cynth wrote:I'm familiar with a large university and a small liberal arts college, both of which take copyright law very seriously. The libraries have not "neutralized themselves", not sure what that means, but they do get the necessary permissions for any xeroxed articles placed on reserve. The bookstores get permissions for course packs----collections of xeroxed materials which the students buy at the bookstore. Professors have to plan ahead so that the arrangements for whatever is needed can be made before the students need to use the materials. It all seems to work out pretty well actually. Publishing on the Internet doesn't seem any different to me.

Edited to correct spelling.


I think you will find that these restrictions are not in place
in many academic institutions, that are not having legal difficuties.
This makes getting photocopies into the hands of students a lot
simpler and less labor intensive, for obvious reasons.
At UNO, the library became so afraid of legal suits that it
became very hard to put even offprints of my articles
on reserve. There was no legal danger, in fact.
User avatar
Caj
Posts: 2165
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2001 6:00 pm
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Post by Caj »

Dale wrote:What I said was I can't think of any reason that an MP3 is different from an entire copyrighted article.

The nature of the work is a major factor in determining fair use.

Here are the four major factors determining fair use in the US:
  • The nature of the work: factual works like news articles and scholarly articles are more likely to fall under fair use than works of entertainment value like CDs.
  • The nature of the use: nonprofit, educational, and personal uses are more allowed than commercial use. Use that serves a public good, e.g. informing the public of important facts, is more allowed.

    Also two biggies: "transformative" use is turning the work into something else, something new. The more transformative, the better your chances. The other biggie is parody. You can get away with a lot of copying in the name of parody.
  • The amount used: usually the less you use the better off you are, although there are cases in which excising material is frowned upon.
  • Effect on existing or potential markets: basically whether you're depriving the creator of money they would or could make.

    This isn't confined to existing markets---you can't distribute an out-of-print work and say, "you're not losing any money because you're not selling it in the first place." It's still a potential market. But if there is an existing market, like iTunes music store, the market harm is much easier to establish.

    Again, parody gets special protection. A good parody can obliterate the market for a work. So can scathing reviews. But in those cases it isn't really the copying that does so.
None of these points clearly qualifies something as fair use or infringement, and all four points are considered togther by a judge.

There's also a fifth point: "are you a bad guy?" There is a legal Reasonable Person Principle that weighs against you if you are obviously doing something unsavory.

But the long and short of it is that quoting a news article is different from hosting an MP3 (tho your best bet is to link to the article instead, and quote liberally but not in its entirety.)

Caj
jim stone
Posts: 17046
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2001 6:00 pm

Post by jim stone »

Dale wrote:jim

I understand it's a gray area, but as I've said, I've had a couple of rounds of difficulty with this. I'm open-minded about it, but I really think that reprinting an entire copyrighted article without author's permission isn't the way to go.


First, there is, in fact, something at stake here, which I've described
in earlier posts.

Second, some light reading of fair use doctrine and the impression
that there may be difficulties, are insufficient ground to sacrifice
what's at stake, not just at chiffandfipple but beyond it. I don't know
what the couple of rounds of difficulty amounted to--will you tell
us the issues? Details? So far these incidents may be zany or very local.

Third. copywrite law exists to protect money making publications,
so that people will write and publish, secure in the knowledge that
they will profit from their labor. It's like patent law, which
encourages inventions.

When an article or a news story is published on Yahoo, say,
for free and for all the world to read, publishing it in its entirety here
cannot do the author any financial harm. So there is no
violation of copywrite law. The copywrite holder has already
made the material available to the public for free.

Obviously publishing the MP3 file of copywrited music
does financial harm to the copywrite holder. They haven't
distributed the music for free.

Dale, why do you think copying an article in its entirety
here violates fair use law? Will you please say what you
think the problem is? Saying that you think doing this 'isn't the way to go' isn't informative. If there have been particular incidents
that concern you, will you please describe them in sufficient
detail that we have enough info to understand
them?

Welcome to take it to PMs if you wish, It's your place,
you da man, and I would be grateful for something
more solid to go on.
User avatar
Caj
Posts: 2165
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2001 6:00 pm
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Post by Caj »

jim stone wrote:Second, some light reading of fair use doctrine and the impression
that there may be difficulties, are insufficient ground to sacrifice
what's at stake, not just at chiffandfipple but beyond it.

That's the ugly side of fair use law. Since it's decided by judges on a case-by-case basis, with no strict guidelines, people restrain their speech. It's like a speed limit that is never specified.

But from the four-point test above, quoting a news article in its entirety in a Pub thread wins on 3 out of the 4 points, so I'd guess it would fall under fair use.

There's another reason not to worry: the 1998 DMCA (otherwise a loathsome law) specifies "safe harbor" provisions that protect the owners of websites from infringement liability. Basically if anyone complains about an infringement and you either (a) take down the specific offending work or (b) go through an official process to dispute its removal, then you're protected from a lawsuit. IANAL, but that's the law.

Third. copywrite law exists to protect money making publications,
so that people will write and publish, secure in the knowledge that
they will profit from their labor. It's like patent law, which
encourages inventions.

Almost. Copyright law actually exists to advance science and the useful arts. Protecting money-making publications is just an intermediate goal, to encourage inventors to invent, writers to write, and artists to art.

But the main goal is advancing science and the arts. This noble goal has diminshed somewhat, but it is still important as an underlying public policy motivation for court decisions.

When an article or a news story is published on Yahoo, say,
for free and for all the world to read, publishing it in its entirety here
cannot do the author any financial harm.

Not exactly. Just because it's being given away for free doesn't mean that I'm not pre-empting a potential market.

Plus, the entity publishing for free may still be paying for the content, e.g. Yahoo paying the Associated Press for a feed, or FM stations paying royalties to ASCAP. You can't rebroadcast a song from FM radio because it was available for free.

Caj
jim stone
Posts: 17046
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2001 6:00 pm

Post by jim stone »

Caj wrote:
jim stone wrote:Second, some light reading of fair use doctrine and the impression
that there may be difficulties, are insufficient ground to sacrifice
what's at stake, not just at chiffandfipple but beyond it.

That's the ugly side of fair use law. Since it's decided by judges on a case-by-case basis, with no strict guidelines, people restrain their speech. It's like a speed limit that is never specified.

But from the four-point test above, quoting a news article in its entirety in a Pub thread wins on 3 out of the 4 points, so I'd guess it would fall under fair use.

There's another reason not to worry: the 1998 DMCA (otherwise a loathsome law) specifies "safe harbor" provisions that protect the owners of websites from infringement liability. Basically if anyone complains about an infringement and you either (a) take down the specific offending work or (b) go through an official process to dispute its removal, then you're protected from a lawsuit. IANAL, but that's the law.

Third. copywrite law exists to protect money making publications,
so that people will write and publish, secure in the knowledge that
they will profit from their labor. It's like patent law, which
encourages inventions.

Almost. Copyright law actually exists to advance science and the useful arts. Protecting money-making publications is just an intermediate goal, to encourage inventors to invent, writers to write, and artists to art.

But the main goal is advancing science and the arts. This noble goal has diminshed somewhat, but it is still important as an underlying public policy motivation for court decisions.

When an article or a news story is published on Yahoo, say,
for free and for all the world to read, publishing it in its entirety here
cannot do the author any financial harm.

Not exactly. Just because it's being given away for free doesn't mean that I'm not pre-empting a potential market.

Plus, the entity publishing for free may still be paying for the content, e.g. Yahoo paying the Associated Press for a feed, or FM stations paying royalties to ASCAP. You can't rebroadcast a song from FM radio because it was available for free.

Caj


Thanks for these helpful posts. We are in complete agreement about the end and
mediate goals of copyright law. The goal I mentioned is a means
to the ultimate end you mention.

As to your ensuing point, I have some questions but I won't
quibble here. The force of your posts is that, while legal suits
of chiffandfipple are not inconceivable, they are improbable, and Dale
is anyhow protected by law from infringement liability.
There seems to be nothing to worry about.

I add this thought:

Free-speech rights aren't necessarily wrested from us by Fascism. Often they are eroded in the rough
and tumble of daily affairs. A common form of communication
is quietly prohibited. One engine driving this
is fear of lawsuits. Unrealistic fears can be just as effective
motivators as realistic ones.

Journalists are among the conservators of common modes
of communication, I feel. They have a responsibility to
preserve them. Perhaps at some point the costs become too great, but I hope they will not go gentle into that good night.
User avatar
Lorenzo
Posts: 5726
Joined: Fri May 24, 2002 6:00 pm
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: Oregon, USA

Re: New Policy: Copyrighted material

Post by Lorenzo »

Dale wrote:So, if you find something copyrighted that you want to share with others, please provide an external link to the piece, rather than cutting and pasting it.

Sounds reasonable to me. I've often wondered why some people don't provide links to thier posted material. I could only assume they didn't want anyone to know where to find the rest of the article.
User avatar
Dale
The Landlord
Posts: 10291
Joined: Wed May 16, 2001 6:00 pm
Please enter the next number in sequence: 1
Location: Chiff & Fipple's LearJet: DaleForce One
Contact:

Post by Dale »

I really appreciate this discussion and, when I get some time, I'll try to do more in-depth study so that I can either be clearer about my concerns or I can reverse my position on this. In the meantime, I'll try to say a bit more about it.

One of the two incidents I've had I'd rather not discuss on the board. It ended up perfectly well, but there are some people involved I don't want to call out publicly. Also, in fairness, it really doesn't apply that well.

The other incident was from a few years ago when I re-published, in much of the same way that jim has, an article from the Irish Times about Paddy Moloney playing the whistle at 9/11 Ground Zero. I admired the piece, and I think I put it in its entirety, with full credit to the author and the Irish Times, in the newsletter. (Which, of course, is archived on the web.) At some point, thru the miracle of Google, I heard from the author who billed me. I responded promptly and courteously and she withdrew with equal courtesy but reminded me that it would have been no problem at all had I requested permission, which I hadn't done.

Recall that C&F has some revenue stream, such as it is, generated by those lovely little Google ads at the top of the pages. It offsets some expenses, but that's about it. We're not exactly raking in cash up in here, but some money comes in (and goes out.)

In any case, I do believe that an author ought to retain some control over where her copyrighted material appears. I do think there is a potential of wronging an author by reproducing a work, especially an entire work, without her permission.

I didn't mean to imply (which I certainly did) that I'm worried about the legal aspects. I've lost no sleep about it whatever. But, if I write an article, and enter into an arrangement to have it published somewhere, I do think I would feel wronged by someone reproducing it elsewhere without my consent. I don't think I'd get my knickers in too much of a twist over it, but I do think there's a principle involved. Granted, if I spit in any direction, I'm likely to hit a more important principle, but there is one here, I think.

But, in any case, I do very much appreciate this discussion. As someone suggested, some clarity in the law would be good.

And, I do hope to give this more attention when I've got time.
User avatar
talasiga
Posts: 5199
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:33 am
antispam: No
Location: Eastern Australia

Post by talasiga »

Cynth wrote:
talasiga wrote:
Dale wrote: If I posted an MP3 here to a copyrighted song, we know that would probably be a problem. I can't think of any reason that it's different from an entire copyrighted article.
You see Dale music can be understood to be an article also and it is copyright.

I hope we've answered all your questions, Dale. :lol:


Please don't take it personally Cynth but you have, to my mind, given a perfect example of what could be considered unfair and misleading excision. You have taken a part of something I said and made it look like it was direct (and unqualified) response to the Dale excerpt.

Of course, it is obvious you were joking and it you have the defense of parody.

Nevertheless, for me, it is impoortant how excisions are made lest the author be misrepresented. The author has a moral right to be not misrepresented by the way his or her utterances are published.

Readers may have noted that when I excise material from within these forums (ie when I quote bits and pieces of someone in a quote) I always show dotted lines to indicate the breaks. This makes it clear to the reader that the material I have presented isn't the whole thing. This is an act of respect for the original poster of that material.

On the broader issue plaguing Dale I am delighted to see the content of Caj's post which I admire and Jim's post which takes a position similar to mine.
qui jure suo utitur neminem laedit
Post Reply