More Copyright infringement Info
- From: booke63@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: 6 Dec 2006 14:26:42 -0800
I've seen a couple threads recently working over copyright
infringement. The hardliners say copyright law is what it is and if
you violate it you're a thief.
That's true kind of.... Consider that you see the neighborhood kids
stealing apples from your apple tree. They don't have permssion. I
guess they're BREAKING THE LAW! Eh, not really. I'm not going to
press it; I expect if the police saw them they wouldn't press it either
if I didn't want to. The neighborhood kids...are they theives? Not
So I download a copyrighted mp3. I expect NO ONE would want to
prosecute me under ANY circumstances. Am I a thief? Kind of.... Or
am I just a "neighborhood kid?" Is it even useful or very explanatory
to call me a thief? How about those neighborhood kids?
Nope not a lawyer, by the way. Heh, nope not that.
Lest I be accused of rationalizing anything here. Consider the idea of
"Fair Use" in copyright legal precedence. Fair Use is not part of
copyright law, but it is a defense for those who are accused of
copyright infringement. Fair Use is out there written in precedential
law, no denying it.
Here is a statement of Fair Use:
What is "fair use"?
Fair use is primarily intended to allow the use of copyright-protected
works for commentary, parody, news reporting, research and education.
However, fair use is not an exception to copyright compliance so much
as it is a "legal defense." That is, if you use a
copyright-protected work and the copyright owner claims copyright
infringement, you may be able to assert a defense of fair use, which
you would then have to prove. Whether a certain reproduction or other
use of a copyright-protected work is considered fair use is not
specifically set out in the Copyright Act. As such, you must determine,
based upon the factors in the Copyright Act, whether that particular
act may be considered fair use.
Fair use considers:
1.The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is
of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit, educational purposes.
2.The nature of the copyrighted work.
3.The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the
copyright protected work as a whole.
4.The effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the
Now, it's usually the case that some infringed upon entity will bring a
copyright infringement suit against a copyright infringer. I do not
believe that anyone can sue for infringement; I believe it is only the
infringed upon party that can do that. Since a suit needs to be
brought to bear, like I need to press charges on the neighborhood kids,
it's not all that accurate or useful to say ANY use of copyrighted
material is breaking the law. Plus they might very well be able to
defend their actions as fair use of the material.
So, I have to conclude that quite a number of examples of (so called)
copyright infringement are not simply illegal. Just as it's silly to
call the neighborhood kids thieves, it would be silly to call most of
the folks using copyrighted material around here theives--at least
given the infringement examples tossed around and in lieu of a
Writing a bit of TAB to help a 12 year old learn "Enter Sandman?" Not
saying someone might not be able to MAKE it illegal, but cripes, here
have an apple!
Thought it was interesting to do a bit of reading and thinking.