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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 6:35 pm 
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Dale wrote:
But, in any case, I do very much appreciate this discussion. As someone suggested, some clarity in the law would be good.

I recommend against seeking clarity, and wouldn't pay the discussion any heed. Discussions of legal doctrine on a message bord are to be avoided, except perhaps for the amusement that derives from comparing the tone of posts by talisagi, Wanderer, Cynth, et.al.. I am using "amusement" in the lovingliest sense conceivable by someone whose experience has sufficiently coalesced.

I'd stick with your sensible policy as formulated in the first post and watch 70's women-in-prison movies instead. So much to do, so little time.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:27 pm 
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talasiga wrote:
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.

Oh dear, I didn't see this post earlier, I'm sorry. I'm sure I was unfair and misleading. I can't go back and read all that stuff right now and I probably didn't understand what you meant anyway---what would that excuse be called :lol:? I will take the "parody defense" if you don't mind, although that sounds a bit exotic for what I had in mind. I know what you mean about those little dots ..... for excisions. I have been trying to be more careful about using them and I do agree that it is important to not quote things out of context or in a misleading context by implying you have quoted the entire statement. I must confess I wasn't really taking the matter as seriously as I should have been and the wording just struck me as so terribly funny. I do understand your point though and certainly I take no offense. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:11 am 
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talasiga wrote:
......
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.


My delight continues and is furthered by Cynth's noble engagement.

With regard to Bliemfoolds only post here, I feel the salient thrust
(as I see it) is worthy of translation into a different and direct style as follows:-

Dale, the policy set out in your first post is agreable
and I would have preferred this to be a locked sticky topic.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:56 pm 
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Cynth wrote:
Oh dear, I didn't post ... I'm sorry. I'm sure...unfair and misleading. I can't...read....and I probably didn't understand what you meant anyway? I will take the...exotic...mind. I know...you... agree...you have quoted the entire statement. I must confess. I do understand your point though and certainly I take...offense. :)


:D

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:25 am 
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Caj wrote:
Quote:
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.


IANAL, This seems to apply to patents more than copyright. Copyright seems to be designed to encourage new arts, but does not have the requirements of being useful, novel, and not immediately obvious that patent law should have.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 7:36 am 
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lenf wrote:
Cynth wrote:
Oh dear, I didn't post ... I'm sorry. I'm sure...unfair and misleading. I can't...read....and I probably didn't understand what you meant anyway? I will take the...exotic...mind. I know...you... agree...you have quoted the entire statement. I must confess. I do understand your point though and certainly I take...offense. :)


:D

:lol: :lol: Oh dear. Now I'm getting to the point where my brain is melting down just a bit. I think I will take that exotic mind, if you don't mind, that is.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:13 pm 
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Dale wrote:
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.

.


If I understand you, the new policy isn't motivated by a legal worry. So let's set aside legal issues. The policy flows from a moral concern. The principle is that an author ought to retain some control over where her copyrighted material appears. There is a potential of wronging an author by reproducing an entire work without her permission.

Now I think there is an appropriate response to the problem you relate above concerning the Newsletter, namely, get the author's consent before you publish her piece. The principle you express covers that. But I also think that expanding this policy to the whole board is over-reaching and unwarranted by your principle. Let me explain.

Consider this principle: 'I have the moral right to decide what happens in and to my own body.'
This certainly sounds true. In a medical situation, doctors need my informed consent before they treat me–barring the emergency where I'm found unconscious and they can't consult me.

But suppose I argue 'As I have the moral right to decide what happens in and to my own body, I therefore have the moral right to fry my brain on LSD, mainline heroin, refuse to wear a seatbelt, and commit suicide whenever I like.' I think most folks would feel that something is going wrong here. The principle is plausible in a medical context but it doesn't clearly apply outside one--to these cases, for instance.

Of course I might stick to my guns and insist 'The principle DOES apply just the same across the board, from surgery to LSD!' In that case we might well respond that the principle turns out to be more controversial than we thought; indeed, it looks false–though it's true if it's limited to a medical context.

Now consider your principle: an author ought to retain some control over where her copyrighted material appears. That makes sense in places like books, journals, magazines and newsletters, that is, in venues that count as what we usually think of as 'publications.' But what of this case? At many universities a professor teaching a seminar will photocopy a journal article (one she wishes to discuss) and put it in a box in the department office–students, anybody around who is interested, in fact, can read or photocopy it. The author isn't consulted. This greatly facilitates getting material into people's hands. (We've set aside legal issues, remember; anyhow, nobody seems to be having any legal trouble with this.)

If somebody objects that this should be stopped because 'the author ought to retain some control over where her copyrighted material appears,' many would respond that the principle doesn't apply to this case–this isn't the sort of 'appearance' that makes the principle intuitive. If somebody objects that we are wronging the authors, that would be a bit silly. This sort of thing is what the authors wish to happen. And if somebody insisted that it's still wrong, it's just a 'matter of principle' that an author ought to retain some control over where her copyrighted material appears, no matter how or where, I suppose it would be sensible to answer that, if that's how it's to be construed, the principle is doubtful.

In short, there are cases where your principle doesn't easily apply or (if we stick to our guns and apply it anyway) is rendered implausible. It probably applies to the Newsletter, a traditional publication, one you send to thousands of people. As it's common practice to consult in such cases, the appearance in it of the Irish lady's piece creates the impression that she has consented to be associated with the notorious Mr. Wisely. She might not want that.

It's more doubtful that your principle applies to a post on the Political Board, sent to nobody, that creates no appearance that the author is associated with the poster (who is just Joe Blow putting in his two cents on a discussion board, not the owner of chiffandfipple). Indeed, the whole Poli Board is invisible to non-members and even to members when they don't log in. Surely this is the realm of plain, flat-out discussion, not a 'publication'; it's the sort of thing that, at the end of the day, has to happen somewhere, where we can say what we think and post what we want (civility respected), where we don't have to be fussy, and where applying your principle is a stretch.

Obviously you are right: one can wrong an author by reproducing her work without her permission. But it's hard to believe we're going to wrong anybody by publishing the stuff we do on the Poli Board. Of course somebody somewhere might get his knickers in a twist, but it's hard to see them as wronged. Indeed, no knickers have been twisted, though we've been posting whole pieces for years and the Poli Board (or political messages) were visible for most of them. And if there is some possible harm we might somehow do somebody, surely it has to be balanced against the greater good we actually do authors. Consider the article I posted, the one you mention above, by a Notre Dame law professor arguing the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon violates Just War Doctrine. This from an obscure online journal devoted to legal issues. You can bet your bottom dollar that what she wants is that her piece be widely read and discussed. Often we are giving authors what they most want–a wider audience. Posting the whole article on the Poli Board maximizes their goals better than posting just part of it or merely posting a link, because it increases the probability that the author's work will actually be read and discussed. In the case of posting just plain news articles, I would bet that generally the authors either are (or would be) pleased their work is being discussed–or they couldn't care less. Again, there haven't been any complaints over the years, which should count for something.

I don't think you can sensibly extrapolate morally to the whole board from an exchange years ago with an author about the Newsletter.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:26 pm 
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I.D.10-t wrote:
Caj wrote:
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.


IANAL, This seems to apply to patents more than copyright. Copyright seems to be designed to encourage new arts, but does not have the requirements of being useful, novel, and not immediately obvious that patent law should have.


I guess inventions are the domain of patent law, but both are in place first and foremost to enrich the public domain.

This is why there is such controversy around the huge and repeated extension of copyright terms. Copyrights and patents used to have the same duration! 14 years! Plus you had to apply for one if you wanted it. But every time Mickey Mouse was about to fall into the public domain, Congress agreed to extend copyright terms. This prevents anything from falling into the public domain, negating the public policy behind the law.

The Constitution actually prevents Congress from making copyrights eternal. The government does not have the power to establish intellectual property rights that last beyond a "limited time." But if the limited time is perpetually extended, it is effectively unlimited. This was recently tested by a Supreme Court decision, where the court found the last extension constitutional, but gave the impression that they might change their minds the next time it happened.

Caj


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:17 pm 
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I think there is an aspect of this issue that transcends copyright law and the fair-use doctrine, and that is that it irritates the living crap out of me to have someone post a link to a source and then quote the entire 5,000 word novella because they are too damn lazy to summarize it and only post the cogent points.

"But," I hear you say, "sometimes the site linked to requires registration," to which I have to respond "Big freakin' deal. Then I'll register if I want to read it." I look upon it as a small price to pay to get free stuff. It's not like I have to give them a real name or an email I give a crap about.

In short, post the link, post a summary, and maybe post a short illustrative quote or two. And it would be nice to have a quick paragraph telling me just why this particular article is important to you and why I should even bother giving it a look.

(And to save you the trouble of searching -- Yes, I'm pretty sure I have been guilty of this, too, although not to the tune of 5K words.)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 7:37 am 
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THANK you.

*sigh of gratitude*

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:46 pm 
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'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.'

A consequence of the new policy, as I understand it, is that we can no longer post on the Pub entire copyrighted poems. Instead we ought to post a link to the poem (much poetry is available on the web) and, perhaps, if we wish, quote a few lines of it. Obviously an entire work for a poet is an entire poem, even if the poem is part of a larger collection. (Of course poems, more often than not, are published individually in journals and magazines; and the copyright in a book of poetry includes the individual poems in it.) Posting an entire poem violates the ethical principle that 'an author ought to retain some control over where her copyrighted material appears.' Undeniably 'there is a potential of wronging a poet by reproducing an entire poem without her permission.'

It seems a sad and costly policy. It's hard to believe these moral principles plausibly extend so far.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 6:00 pm 
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jim stone wrote:
It's hard to believe these moral principles plausibly extend so far.


!!!!!! There is no moral basis behind copyright law whatsoever.

Copyright and patent law is statutory, like a speed limit. It is on the books only because it advances a public good, not because there is anything inherently immoral about the speed of 56MPH or building an invention that is less than 14 years old.

There is no natural or moral right to keep other people from repeating what you have said, or controlling the re-use of your stories, tunes, characters etc. These are not like property rights which are natural rights based on an obvious moral code.

I think this is very important because major copyright holders try very hard to make copyrights seem like natural or moral rights. They repeatedly call copyright infringement "stealing," which is legally false, in hopes that you will incorrectly associate copyrights with physical property.

But stealing my wallet is wrong because I have a natural right to my own property. It is nothing like a copyright, which is artificial and only granted as an incentive for me to create.

Caj


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:30 am 
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Your last post has lost me Caj.
You obviously have not studied the history of intellectual PROPERTY law
or, if you have, North America must have radically deviated from the British common law origins (principles) that are entrenched in statutory law.

There is a link between moral right and the more formalised (and "palpable") copyright regimens, even if distal in certain jurisdictions.

BTW, we're on the internet here, and North American law does not hold exclusive. There was info. circularised thru legal rags some years ago about a ground breaking case. The washout was that action can be taken in the country of readership (nowithstanding that the ISP or the website is in some other country). THEREFORE, when taking these issues into account one needs to be less one country specific and more trans-jurisdictional (ie more motherhood principled ). That is why one needs to regard OECD conventions abour trans border copyright agreements.

With reagrd to JIm's latest lengthy post, those points appear to be the type of considerations that inform "fair use".

II am using my wifes's laptop. Please excdfuse the typos. This thing is amde for midgets?)

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 6:38 am 
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Just a side note

I could be wrong, but I thought that the pressure for copyright law came mostly from the publishers (and their fears generated by inventions like the Gutenberg press that their buisness model could be hurt) and has little to do with authors. In fact, NIH (I believe) has been trying to put outside force on the process so that any science payed for by them needed to be published by journals that would allow the work to go into public domain after a short period of time (I think less than one year). These authors never see a dime for such publications.

An interesting side development is the new “copyleft” contracts by such organizations as Wikipedia and Project Gutenberg. These seem to actually have stronger public domain properties in some respects because a publisher cannot just slap a preface in front of the work, change the margins and typeface, call it a significant improvement, and try to claim copyright over the “new” work. (I personally look for CC and GPL style licenses first and use proprietary licenses only when an open equivalent is not available) These contracts only have protection due to the laws currently on the books.

Along with gonzo914's comment, summaries can convey the meaning and facts of an article and seem to me to allow the facts to be better tailored to a discussion than an out of context article. Even when I know I can satisfy CC licensing, I usually choose not to reprint the article because if I choose to cite a fact I can always point to the source without burying other posts with three pages of extraneous stuff.

talasiga wrote:
BTW, we're on the internet here, and North American law does not hold exclusive.

Two things I have wondered about Australia's copyright. Does crown copyright still have greater power than regular copyright, and I heard that public performances (such as school performances) of “public domain” music can still be subject to taxation, is this true?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 9:38 am 
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Caj wrote:
jim stone wrote:
It's hard to believe these moral principles plausibly extend so far.


!!!!!! There is no moral basis behind copyright law whatsoever.

Copyright and patent law is statutory, like a speed limit. It is on the books only because it advances a public good, not because there is anything inherently immoral about the speed of 56MPH or building an invention that is less than 14 years old.

There is no natural or moral right to keep other people from repeating what you have said, or controlling the re-use of your stories, tunes, characters etc. These are not like property rights which are natural rights based on an obvious moral code.

I think this is very important because major copyright holders try very hard to make copyrights seem like natural or moral rights. They repeatedly call copyright infringement "stealing," which is legally false, in hopes that you will incorrectly associate copyrights with physical property.

But stealing my wallet is wrong because I have a natural right to my own property. It is nothing like a copyright, which is artificial and only granted as an incentive for me to create.

Caj


Again I will not quarrel. I observe only the
following: If I'm right, Dale's appeal to ethical principles
to motivate his new policy is doubtful; if you're right,
Dale's appeal to ethical principles to motivate his
new policy is a non-starter.
Either way the policy cannot be motivated plausibly
by ethical principles.


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