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False Copyright Claims

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the one-sided-rights dept.

The Almighty Buck 268

FreetoCopy writes "Teenagers downloading music may not be the worst copyright offenders. See this item (available for download in PDF file with free registration) about the growing problem of copyfraud — in which publishers, archives, and distributors make false claims of copyright to shut down free expression. From the paper: 'Copyfraud is everywhere. False copyright notices appear on modern reprints of Shakespeare's plays, Beethoven's piano scores, greeting card versions of Monet's Water Lilies, and even the US Constitution. Archives claim blanket copyright in everything in their collections. Vendors of microfilmed versions of historical newspapers assert copyright ownership. These false copyright claims, which are often accompanied by threatened litigation for reproducing a work without the owner's permission, result in users seeking licenses and paying fees to reproduce works that are free for everyone to use...'"

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Hey! (4, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860719)

That summary is copyright (c) Me 2007 - take it down now, or I'm sending the lawyers round!

No, you cannot have Fair Use. Not Yours. (3, Funny)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860755)

Yeah? Well, unfortunately for you, the expressions "That summary is copyright" , "take it down now", and "I'm sending the lawyers round!" are all copyrighted to me in my famous poem "Sue You" (c) 2006:

Sue You
Take it down now
Take it down now
That summary is copright
Take it down now
I'll sue you if you don't
Take it down now
I'm sending the lawyers round!

Your overuse of my IP clearly falls outside the realm of Fair Use, so "take it down now!"

Re:No, you cannot have Fair Use. Not Yours. (1, Offtopic)

dedtr9 (1069932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860933)

I'm sorry, the copy right symbol (C)© is copyright me. All rights reserved. Under penalty of law. Do no open before Xmas. ©©

Re:No, you cannot have Fair Use. Not Yours. (4, Funny)

Eudial (590661) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861175)

Oh yeah? I've patented the process of rebuttal wars in matters pertaining to copyright claims!

Re:No, you cannot have Fair Use. Not Yours. (3, Funny)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861187)

Sorry to all of you, but I have a patent on being a smacktard. Pay up!

Re:No, you cannot have Fair Use. Not Yours. (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861167)

"Sue You" is obviously a slightly modified version of my poem "Kill My Landord":

Dark and lonely on a summer's night.
Kill my landlord.
Kill my landlord.
Watchdog barking. Do he bite?
Kill my landlord.
Kill my landlord.
Slip in his window. Break his neck.
Then his house I start to wreck.
Got no reason. What the heck?
Kill my landlord.
Kill my landlord.
C-I-L-L
my land
lord!

I demand you relinquish all rights back to me, or I will slip in your window, break your neck, then your house I'll start to wreck; I'll have a reason, despite this dreck.

I can see that the title you made is also unfair use of a Weird Al song [seeklyrics.com] , resembling it very closely indeed...I own those copyrights too. I'm gonna sue ya!

Re:No, you cannot have Fair Use. Not Yours. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19861529)

Sadly for you I copyrighted the vowel in 1999. I count well over 40 offenses in your previous post. Expect a letter from my lawyer.

Re:Hey! (1)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860917)

Another case of copyfraud.

Now, if this were copyright (c) niceone 2007, then I might be more likely to believe you, but since it's copyright (c) Me 2007, I know you don't own the rights to the summary.

Nice try though.

Re:Hey! (1)

mastermemorex (1119537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860939)

Hey! I have the copyright of slashdot. What are you doing here, bodies?
I'll sue you all!
Yeah! 1000 buckets for every one of you.

Re:Hey! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19861143)

"Copyfraud" stifles valid forms of reproduction and always undermines free speech. We all know that these circumstances have produced fraud on an untold scale, with millions of works in the public domain deemed copyrighted, and countless dollars paid out every year in licensing fees to make copies that could be made for "free."

Bill Gates's Corbis does this (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19861385)

Corbis has tons of pre 1923 images, images from US Govt photographers (WWII, etc) that are all labeled (c) copyright.

All over the place. (1, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860741)

The DMCA has become the new method of censorship. Remember when the Bush Camp tried to shut down Jib Jab over the copyright of "This land is my land?" When the corporations and (some governments.) want you not to see something, they serve IP take down notices.

Re:All over the place. (3, Informative)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860847)

Remember when the Bush Camp tried to shut down Jib Jab over the copyright of "This land is my land?"
Slashdot would be a better place is people could leave their partisanship on the side and just present facts, not their dreams.

JibJab was sued by The Richmond Organization, which owns Ludlow Music, and was asserting its copyright claim.
As much as I hate to cite Wikipedia:

Richmond Organization threaten[ed] legal action. At this point, it was noticed that the copyright to the original 1945 publication had expired in 1973 and was not renewed as then required by copyright law. The Richmond Organization settled with Jibjab shortly thereafter. It still, however, claims copyright on other versions of the song, such as those appearing in the 1956 and later publications. Legally, such claims only apply to original elements of the song that were not in the public domain version.

So, no, it wasn't the "Bush Camp" that tried to get the song pulled. And those who can remember the parody without the tinted glasses of partisanship remember that it poked fun at both Republicans and Democrats equally well. But somehow you don't see Republicans claiming the "Kerry Camp" tried to get it silenced. I wonder why that is...

Re:All over the place. (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860899)

Bush Camp
Let's put this one to the test.
Here a news article link the the JibJab affair: http://money.cnn.com/2004/07/26/commentary/wastler /wastler/ [cnn.com]
Here is some more information on The Richmond Organization: http://www.mpa.org/directories/music_publishers/sh ow/370 [mpa.org]

Address:
TRO Inc. (The Richmond Organization)
266 West 37th Street, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10018
The JibJab piece used a Woodie Guthrie song to poke fun at both Bush and Kerry, in a fairly even-handed way, as I recall.
Maybe you could follow-up with a little more detail as to how you identify TRO, Inc. with the "Bush Camp", sir.

Re:All over the place. (0, Flamebait)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860973)

Give the man a break. So much is the fault of Bush & Co. that if you don't know what you're talking about, you can guess it was them and be correct more often than not.

Re:All over the place. (3, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861053)

Give the man a break. So much is the fault of Bush & Co. that if you don't know what you're talking about, you can guess it was them and be correct more often than not.
That's exactly the kind of thing terrorists would do. After all... terrorists have done so many bad things that, if you don't know what's really going on, you can guess it was them and be correct more often than not.

Broken thinking makes good comedy - but not so good politics.

Re:All over the place. (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861251)

I couldn't have said it better myself. I keep forgetting my sarcasm tags...

Offtopic, irrelevant, inconsequential, and lame (0, Offtopic)

thc69 (98798) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861277)

I'm not going to bother arguing your political point. It falls on its own.

How about your tagline, though? Are you mental?

Sisko > Picard > Kirk > Archer > * > Janeway
More like
Picard > Archer > Kirk > Janeway > * > Sisko
And while we're at it, might as well compare the series too:
TNG > Voyager > Enterprise > TOS > Movies > Early DS9 > Soap opera DS9

Janeway would rate higher than Kirk if she didn't discard so many chances to get home, such as the episode I saw the other day where they were all abducted onto a ship whose transporter uses artificial wormhole technology to beam people 10 light years and had all kinds of other cool technology...she and Tuvok managed to kick their asses but ended up giving them back their ship without even studying the technology, let alone keeping it which would really have been well within the bounds of justice...it would have been easy to write in some bit of plot to find technology on that ship for getting home faster, and in the meantime they could have had a second ship to help defend themselves...

(Maybe I should wear glasses. And put tape on the nose piece. And wear a pocket protector.)

Re:All over the place. (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861297)

Well, of course BeelzeBush the AntiClinton is personally responsible for everything that ever went wrong, including Ishtar [imdb.com] .
I was just seeing if he could link in Haliburton or Harken into the smear.

Re:All over the place. (2, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860969)

Remember when the Bush Camp tried to shut down Jib Jab over the copyright of "This land is my land?"

I think you're thinking of the Scientologists.

</sarcasm>

Re:All over the place. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19861511)

The Bush Camp tried to shut down the Scientologists over the copyright of "This land is my land?"

Re:All over the place. (2, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860993)

Making a false claim under the DMCA is PERJURY. It's a criminal offense.

The DMCA is a good law with poisonous rider provisions (stuff about circumvention devices for example), and of course like any law with good intentions, is being gamed and rigged by those who are less than honorable. The situation under the DMCA is better than the previous regime, where an ISP could find itself liable for someone simply having uploaded something that's a blatant violation. Unfortunately, the "easy out" that it gives ISPs is responsible for the number and scale of the bogus takedowns too.

I want to see, in the words of FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle (great name!), "a few public hangings" for bogus DMCA takedowns. I'm not deluded enough to believe it will happen. Why we don't see any perjury prosecutions is simply representative of endemic corruption that implicitly favors the monied interests (because they're "good for the economy"). But blaming it on the DMCA itself is just naive.

So screw the copyright regimes. I don't do much copying, but I don't shed a single solitary tear for the labels and studios. Cynicism sure does breed contempt for the law.

Re:All over the place. (2, Insightful)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861111)

The DMCA is a good law with poisonous rider provisions (stuff about circumvention devices for example)
Rider provisions are part of the law! You wouldn't say a cherry-and-strychnine pie was a "good pie with poisonous ingredients", would you?

Re:All over the place. (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861249)

"Aside from that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?"

Fine then, it has good parts. In fact, the overall gist of the bill is good, because it's a uniform law with safe harbor provisions, and it keeps lawyers from going jurisdiction-shopping for maximum damage whenever they see something on the internet they don't like. If the law were fully enforced, it wouldn't in fact be abused so widely.

Re:All over the place. (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861271)

That would explain the bitter ta.. :thump: :jerk: :twitch:

Re:All over the place. (4, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861173)

Making a false claim under the DMCA is PERJURY. It's a criminal offense.

Wake me up the first time someone is convicted of perjury for making a false DMCA claim. Its not real until the prosecutors, well, prosecute it.

Re:All over the place. (2, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861225)

I want to see, in the words of FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle (great name!), "a few public hangings" for bogus DMCA takedowns.

I think part of the problem is that the organization issuing the takedowns might actually think they own them, because they own things that use them. Thus a "public hanging" would be out of place.

If I scan and post a picture of the Mona Lisa out of an art history book, am I making an illegal reproduction of part of that book? The IP rights get cloudy when you consider: If I download an unliscensed/illegal MP3 of a song, but I own a CD with that same song on it, the downloaded copy is still illegal. If the source is considered for MP3s why wouldn't it be considered for the Mona Lisa?

Re:All over the place. (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861287)

> If I scan and post a picture of the Mona Lisa out of an art history book, am I making an illegal reproduction of part of that book?

Yep, though there's definitely a fair use argument there. The law is actually pretty clear about performance and display rights. Try selling your own prints of images copied from the Getty digital archives and see how far you get. It's a twisty, ambiguous, and nuanced area of law, but the law is anything but silent about it.

Re:All over the place. (2, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861485)

Try selling your own prints of images copied from the Getty digital archives
- Ok in the interest of following the call for "public hangings" in the GGP: If I make prints from my own source, but Getty Digital Archives believes that it is theirs and they make eBay close my online vending page: Does Getty deserve a "public hanging"? I believe you called for the full weight of Purjury charges to be applied in the case of false DMCA takedowns.

It's a twisty, ambiguous, and nuanced area of law,
-In general I think any laws that can't be clearly understood by an average highschool gradute need to be scrapped and rewritten. If for no other reason but that they can be clearly understood by a jury expected to rule on them.

Fight Back!! (1)

SizzlaJizzla (1126467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860765)

Copy as many non-free works as possible! Download music, movies... oh wait, this is /.

The proper way of fighting back (1)

ttnb (1121411) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861307)

Actually, while it is true that mass disregard for copyright could conceivably have a potential long-term effect of weakening copyright (at least with regard to non-commercial copying), that also undermines the legitimate functions of copyright, and will in addition fail to have any positive effects whatsoever with regard to copyfraud.

What we need to do is to set up a global reputation system of publishers and other businesses where copyfrausters and those who deceive or defraud the public in other ways get their reputations trashed by means of publication of detailed proof of what they did and/or do wrong, while more honest competitors get positive reputation points for their honesty.

Re:Fight Back!! (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861395)

The best way to fight back is to turn your back. Don't download their stuff, and most importantly, don't buy it. Of course all the numbers indicate that just the opposite is happening and business is better than ever. Eh...whatever.

Could This Mean.... (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860817)

Could this mean that traditional or copy expired songs recorded by artists and released by the industry cannot be claimed under copyright law?

just a thought.

Re:Could This Mean.... (2, Informative)

Alioth (221270) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860909)

The *recording* can be claimed under copyright law. For instance, you can freely record your own version of "The House of the Rising Sun" and distribute it however you care. But you can't do that with the recording of that song made by The Animals. While the song itself is public domain, the recording is not.

Re:Could This Mean.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19860965)

No. There's several copyrights at play. They can't copyright the lyrics to it, but they can copyright the performance.

Re:Could This Mean.... (2, Insightful)

sssssss27 (1117705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861007)

The new song is a unique work. If I make a new arrangement for an old Beethoven or Mozart piece I own the copyright of that arrangement. So while the original is in the public domain my new arrangement is not.

There should be consequence (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860821)

As far as I can see, there is apparently no consequence for making a false claim of ownership. Perhaps false claims of ownership should result in the loss of their ability to assert copyright at all. Actually, that probably wouldn't be appropriate but I'm at a loss for what would be appropriate in a case of false assertion especially when it should be obvious that they didn't create the works in question.

However, when you create a "derivative work" based on public domain content, it's probably eligible for copyright protection in and of itself. The problem comes from where you draw the line. Perhaps in the interest of preserving the public domain, there should be law stating that any use of public domain material within derivative works should also fall within the public domain. Imagine how viral that could be...

Re:There should be consequence (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19860861)

The DMCA has provisions for victims of false DMCA claims to sue for damages. Its really a scam though because I believe you can only claim actual damages. Its basically impossible for the average joe who is a victim of blanket DMCA terminations to get any recourse

Re:There should be consequence (2, Interesting)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860989)

Part of making a DMCA takedown notice is an oath under penalty of perjury that you hold the copyright to the work in question. The only problem is that perjury is notoriously hard to prosecute (as the prosecution must prove that the alleged knew they were lying), and if the law firm is in any way politically connect to our President, they'll be pardoned anyway.

Re:There should be consequence (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860925)

"Perhaps in the interest of preserving the public domain, there should be law stating that any use of public domain material within derivative works should also fall within the public domain."

You don't need for the derivatives to be public domain, copyleft would be enough, no?

http://zotzbro.blogspot.com/2007/04/some-thoughts- on-copyright-offensive.html [blogspot.com]

You may be interested in some of these ideas... Refinements welcome...

all the best,

drew

Re:There should be consequence (1)

Kopiok (898028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860979)

From my understanding, when you make a derivative work, that derivative is your copyright. But, you do not own the copyright to the original just because you used it.

For example, if a musical artist records a cover of a copyright-expired song, you cannot use that version without his permission, but you can still use the original song.

Re:There should be consequence (2, Informative)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861103)

From my understanding, when you make a derivative work, that derivative is your copyright. But, you do not own the copyright to the original just because you used it.
There are a lot of examples to work with. A large portion of Disney classics are prime examples - one of my favorites being 20000 Leagues Under the Sea. The story itself is in the public domain - the copyright has expired. But Disney's take on it is not. So while you can base your own work on the original 20K Leagues, you can not base it on any unique aspect of Disney's work. A further example is League of Extraordinary Gentlemen which is based on numerous SciFi and Horror classics - 20K Leagues being one of them.

Re:There should be consequence (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861519)

Disney threatened another company for using Snow White in a story, even though she's from folk tales.

Re:There should be consequence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19861019)

According to the DMCA they have to swear under penalty of perjury that they own the copyright to the material so it's not exactly without penalty. It's just that people don't know the law involved or their rights.

Re:There should be consequence (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861233)

As far as I can see, there is apparently no consequence for making a false claim of ownership. Perhaps false claims of ownership should result in the loss of their ability to assert copyright at all.

Reading this reminded me of a website [eliaskhnaser.com] I came across recently that sells training videos for Vmware's products.

Can i sell my training on Ebay or other sites?

No. Our copyright agreement listed here: http://www.eliaskhnaser.com/info/copyright.htm [eliaskhnaser.com] clearly outlines that the training material you buy can't be translated, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including copying or recording without the written permission of the publisher.

As such, you can't resell the training on EBay or other web sites like Amazon. We will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law such violations.

Sell/resell, original/copy, backup/duplicate, steal/infringe. Who has time to parse words?

Re:There should be consequence (5, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861487)

Perhaps in the interest of preserving the public domain, there should be law stating that any use of public domain material within derivative works should also fall within the public domain.

That's already the law. You can read it at 17 USC 103(b). But it only covers that portion of the derivative work. So if you, say, make a movie where there is a scene involving you reading one of Shakespeare's sonnets, then the sonnet is still in the public domain. Anyone can watch that movie and copy down the sonnet, rather than having to consult some other source to get it. However, they can't copy anything from the movie that is copyrighted, such as the video or audio of you reciting the sonnet, or the remainder of the movie; only the sonnet itself. This applies to derivatives of anything, by the way; whatever portions of the work are derived from elsewhere keep their original copyright status and do not acquire the status of the newer work. E.g. Disney's 'Fantasia 2000' is mostly going to have a copyright date of 1999, but since part of it ('The Sorcerer's Apprentice') is from the original 1940 movie, that portion is still treated as a 1940 work, and will enter the public domain before the newer parts of the movie.

It's not viral though. The use of public domain materials in a derivative work doesn't make the entire work derivative.

Re:There should be consequence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19861541)

`` However, when you create a "derivative work" based on public domain content, it's probably eligible for copyright protection in and of itself. ''

Right. Just ask Disney about derivative work based on public domain content. Clearly the world would be better off if we could reproduce the works of Shakespeare if and only if his heirs granted the right to reproduce those works. Oh? Can't find the heirs? Can't read Shakespeare except in an existing edition. Piss off.

I fell for copyfraud on the US Constitution (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19860835)

I paid money to the family of King John of England after they claimed it was work derived from something called the "Magna Carta." I think I may have been rooked.

I thought.. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860857)

I thought that in some instances, you can copyright your presentation of a public domain work.

In other words, people are free to copy the original, but not your [whatever] of the original. /TFA is 75 pages //I like the conclusion

Re:I thought.. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860921)

Thats the way it worked with sheet music well before the DMCA and perhaps since the begining of copyright in american history.

The article, at least the sumery makes a few assumtion forgeting the entire aspect of the copyright.

You Are Correct (1)

Baron von Pilsner (1115373) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860951)

If my band records Amazing Grace, our performance (and any changes, like adding a bass solo) is copyrightable, this does not change the original work (it is still public domain). This prevents someone from stealing our performance (not that I'd care, the more people who hear us will result in more paying gigs!) or our derivative work! I believe that in film a public domain film may have versions that are not in public domain. If for example a company colorized it or did a significant amount work removing the hiss from the audio track and/or cleaning up the video, their version can be copyrighted. IANAL obviously (or I'd have used so much legalese that nobody would understand what the hell I'm talking about).

Re:I thought.. (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860955)

I'm pretty sure that Disney bought that 'right'..

Re:I thought.. (1)

sssssss27 (1117705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861033)

That's my understanding as well. While you cannot copyright the copy you made, anything that you add to it is owned by you.

Re:I thought.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19861185)

You can copyright originality - for example, if you change the lyrics of The House Of The Rising Sun to add a screaming "In New Orleans MOTHERFUCKER" and guitar solo at the end, you have copyright to that modification of the original work, and nobody else can reproduce that guitar solo, or the performance as a whole.

However, under Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp, a slavish reproduction of a public domain piece of art is in the public domain. So, for example, if you create a photograph of the Mona Lisa, you don't own the copyright on that, but if you add a moustache, you gain copyright over that change.

It's all to do with originality.

Controlling access (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19860869)

The way organizations get around the expiration of copyrights is by controlling access to the source... The Mona Lisa is a fine example: her likeness might be public domain, but if the only one who is allowed to scan or photograph her is the museum then they have a coyright on the image created.

In the case of... (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860897)

...Beethoven's scores, it's not the score itself, it's the arrangement and/or the actual performance or recording that's copyrighted.

Re:In the case of... (1)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860961)

Not everything is an arrangement. You can get new prints of the original scores, and those can't be copyrighted.

Re:In the case of... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861419)

Not everything is an arrangement. You can get new prints of the original scores, and those can't be copyrighted.

The question ia, can a 21st century musician read and play an unedited 18th century score? Without having expert knowledge of 18th century notation, instruments, orchestrations, traditions of performance, and so on.

Re:In the case of... (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860991)

If editors now closely compared traditional printed scores with Beethoven's own sketches and created a score that they believed would be more accurate than what is usually passed down, then the result can be copyright.

Re:In the case of... (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861449)

If editors now closely compared traditional printed scores with Beethoven's own sketches and created a score that they believed would be more accurate than what is usually passed down, then the result can be copyright.

From my understanding of the law, that's not entirely true. For one, to be copyrightable, the new transcription would have to be significantly different than any of the prior works. If the new, "more accurate" work were vastly different from anything that's out there, it might qualify. I somehow doubt this would be the case.

Re:In the case of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19861159)

While an arrangement can, in theory, be copyrighted, it must be significantly different from the original. Merely changing the key or reordering some elements does not make an original work. The difficulty, of course, is in drawing the line.

The real issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19860927)

The real issue here is not that the artists are losing money, but that they think about their breathing. In and out, they have to control every single breath and can no longer breathe automatically.

Public Domain Can Be Re- Copyrighted (5, Informative)

VidEdit (703021) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860941)

I'm very pro public domain, cc and copy-left but the FA omits some facts.

Although he's right that merely digitizing or copying a public domain work does not result in a new copyright, creating a collection of public domain works does. The individual works remain in the public domain, but you can't copy the "collection" as a whole (eg. scan and upload the book as a whole to the internet) because the creativity of selecting and assembling the work is a new copyright. This, for example, would apply to Dover books of public domain clip art.

Also, public domain music can be re-copyrighted to an extent--unfortunately--because individual arrangements can be copyrighted. You are free to use the original tune, but you can't copy a new arrangement because that arrangement is a new copyright.

Public domain is not GPL. Just because a work is public domain doesn't mean that derivative works will be public domain.

Now, that being said, the article is, otherwise, a good one. I'm tired of museums and "educational" institutions claiming copyright on the public domain works in their collection and copyright on the reproductions of those works. In those cases, no new creativity has occurred and there is no new copyright.

Re:Public Domain Can Be Re- Copyrighted (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861245)

I don't think the OP is talking about collected or derivative works. I know that I have a copy of John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty" Sitting on my bookshelf, with a copyright notice dated to 1945, (He died in 1873) Definitely way way outside the extendable copyright.

IANAL, but I know there's a SCOTUS ruling that says you can't copyright a faithful reproduction of a public domain work. (However much Project Gutenburg would like you to believe that their non-commercial clause is valid). You might be right in that you can copyright a specific arrangement. But that just means you need to change the order of Shakespeare's plays from the complete works book that you're copying. Or do something with a complete lack of creativity, like publish them in the order Shakespeare wrote them. (A copyright on gee, read hamlet first, then go to The Tempest, with Titus way at the back, and some other specific order inside, may be valid, I know of nothing that would invalidate it anyway (except maybe that somebody else probably did it first 200 years ago). You can also copyright commentaries to a collected or single work, which is something I doubt anybody would protest. (Except maybe a public domain\copyleft only advocate).

Re:Public Domain Can Be Re- Copyrighted (1)

VidEdit (703021) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861391)

He does cite example's where the editor has a copyright claim to the collection as a whole even though the individual works remain in the public domain. "For example, Richard D. Heffner's A Documentary History of the United States has a copyright symbol even though the book consists entirely of reproductions of historical documents." But he fails to make clear that the choice of works for the collection and the order they are put in can by copyrighted. People can still copy the text of individual works from the book, but they can't reproduce the full collection and order of the collection without infringing on the author's copyright. This is an important distinction that is vital to the understanding of public domain and copyright. To give short shrift to this aspect of copyright is a major omission. I don't think the author of the FA is ignorant of the distinction but I do think he glosses over it to try and make his case stand out more. I think he does a disservice to his point and to his readers by doing so. What I do think is especially difficult for people who wish to use public domain works contained in collections is that the publishers deliberately try and obfuscate which parts of the book are public domain and which parts are new additions that are copyright. They do this by the "blanket copyright notice" the author of the FA rails so much against rather than saying "Introduction and commentary copyright" or "foot notes and cover art copyright, balance public domain" or some such notice so that people have a reasonable notice of what is actually copyright and what is not. On that point I think the FA is very good.

Re:Public Domain Can Be Re- Copyrighted (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861547)

Yeah, going over my other public domain works, which largely contain some simple introduction from the editor, it would seem that they all try to do this. (I mention the On liberty originally, because I don't think that has any such introduction, *nothing* in the book is copyrightable).

Out of the dozen or so public domain works I have, only one fails to try and lay claim to the copyright. (A copy of David Copperfield, publication date unknown, probably around the 30s or 40s judging by the other books purchased in that lot). A couple ones that may or may not be PD have notices as well (translations of latin/ancient greek/german I don't know when the translations where done though).

Re:Public Domain Can Be Re- Copyrighted (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861309)

Listen to the types of things these crooks pitch to Google in a hopes of being bought out, just because they made a quick copy of the Google Maps style zoom interface.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8447409032 490638691&q=type%3Agoogle++mona+lisa&total=1&start =0&num=10&so=1&type=search&plindex=0 [google.com]

Re:Public Domain Can Be Re- Copyrighted (5, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861457)

Although he's right that merely digitizing or copying a public domain work does not result in a new copyright, creating a collection of public domain works does.

Well, it may, but it doesn't necessarily. A compilation is only copyrightable if the selection and arrangement is itself sufficiently creative. And the compilation copyright only pertains to the copyrightable portions of the selection and arrangement; not the materials which compromise the compilation.

As far as I'm concerned (3, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860975)

ALL claims of exclusive ownership and control over information are fraudulent. The law itself is a fraud.

What we need is DRM! (3, Insightful)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 7 years ago | (#19860999)

Don't go into convulsions just yet!

But we need an effective way for marking content with important details such as copyright owner, copyright date, contact details, and perhaps even licensing details in terms of what the licensor explicitly allows to be done with the content, even if there is no artificial technology restriction imposed on what is disallowed.

For example, if I find a piece of music on the Internet and I want to use it in something that I'm creating, how do I know if I can? Who do I contact? What if I don't even know what the song actually is? Sure enough, even knowing that the copyright holder doesn't want me to do such a thing might not stop me from doing it, but at least I know I'm acting against their wishes.

If we could have some form of DRM that was actually more like "digital rights marking", and survived transcoding/editing, that would probably be very interesting. To the extent that it wasn't used to restrict our actions, but merely make us aware of what we were doing (in terms of our actions being acceptable or otherwise), maybe that's something we as a society could agree to adopt.

Re:What we need is DRM! (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861281)

Same problem as Digital Restrictions Management: If you can see/hear it, you can copy it and save it to another format. If somebody doesn't want to keep the original copyright notice, why would they keep the Digital Rights Marking in place?

Re:What we need is DRM! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19861393)

Passing someone else's work as your own is very disgusting so I believe even the copyright haters will agree to a law that backs it

Re:What we need is DRM! (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861405)

Yes, it'd be interesting. It's just not practical. It would work if we had been doing that since, um... prehistory.

In practical terms, such fine-grained marking of data for all possible sets of rights we have right now is impossible to to keep in hand. Sure, it'd be handy to know easily who created the song of which you can hear small bits of in one scene of your film - it'd probably also help people to buy the song if they are watching it in home. But media has this tendency to get chopped up in smaller and smaller slices that get loaned and mangled and out comes something that might have a passing familiarity. At some point, we simply stop caring. (I'd be terribly interested if I could right-click on the word "fine-grained" earlier and see who came up with that word. If a single word would be copyrightable, that person would be a millionaire or something. Not to even mention the guy who invented "or something"!)

Also, this sort of DRMing won't stop "idea theft", unless you make this system's data persist through human central nervous system (the only way to get the correct metadata to the word "fine-grained" above; if you just automatically assign links to the OED, that's a retroactive hack and you could get the completely wrong entry, dammit, I meant the etymology X and not Y).

Re:What we need is DRM! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19861477)

Great idea, but CALL IT SOMETHING ELSE. What you suggest is sufficiently different from what we know as DRM that calling it by the same name only produces confusion.

You mean... (3, Funny)

realkiwi (23584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861013)

... Shakespeare is dead?

Re:You mean... (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861455)

... Shakespeare is dead?

No. By his own words, `so long lives this, and this gives life to thee'.

punishment is simple... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861035)

.... require them to put their legal copyrights into public domain.

Not suprised! TYPICAL JEW TATICS (-1, Troll)

heil_hitler_1488 (1128071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861039)

I seen that a lot of time. Jews has abuse the legal system to oppress poor people for their own gain. Remember the entire music AND movie industry is controlled by jews.

Re:Not suprised! TYPICAL JEW TATICS (1)

soccer_Dude88888 (1043938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861137)

MOD PARENT UP!

Re:Not suprised! TYPICAL JEW TATICS (0)

Eudial (590661) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861239)

I seen that a lot of time. Jews has abuse the legal system to oppress poor people for their own gain. Remember the entire music AND movie industry is controlled by jews.


Bah! Can you not see that the Jews are just a sock-puppet diversion away from the REAL conspiracy. As is the Free Masons, and the Templars, and the Illuminati, most of the UFOs, and the supersonic nazi hell creatures from inside the hollow earth.

Thanks for the tip! (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861437)

You're obviously a person of great intellect and superior ethnic stock. Your clever truncation of "I've seen" to "I seen" tells me you're in firm command of the English language. You must be one of the Master Race indeed.

I also like your smooth analysis and insightful use of facts to back up your well-formulated theories. With this sort of clear logic and solid argumentation, I know you'll go far in life.

Keep up the great work, and thanks for illuminating us with your wisdom!

I seen that a lot of time. Jews has abuse the legal system to oppress poor people for their own gain. Remember the entire music AND movie industry is controlled by jews.

selling someting you dont own (1)

ralph1 (900228) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861051)

Best way i know to make money works every time. Sucker born every second.

music scores (3, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861073)

To elaborate on what Stubear said, in the case of scores for old composers, sometimes we don't have a complete, original score. Just parts have survived, possibly from different versions of the work. There can be considerable creativity involved for a modern arranger to put together a score for such a work.

And even if we do have the complete, original, score, it may have been for old instruments. A lute is not the same as a guitar, for example, and when Vivaldi wrote for lute, he knew how it would be tuned, and what fingerings were possible. To make it work on a guitar can be quite a creative challenge.

Even if we still use the same instruments as the composer wrote the piece for, we might want a score for different instruments. You can't just sit down at your piano, or guitar, or with your full orchestra, with the score to, say, Bach's cantata #147 ("Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring") as originally written as a choral work, and start playing. It just won't work. You basically have to rewrite the music for those different settings.

Slander/Libel (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861081)

From TFA:

The Copyright Act provides for no civil penalty for falsely claiming ownership of public domain materials.

While this may be true, isn't there a way to fire back with a slander/libel charge? (ha! Let's see the pendants call me on this one :) In other words, you're claiming that I'm violating copyright on one of your works, but that claim is invalid because you don't actually own the copyright.

One possible problem (and a lawyer would have to confirm if this is a problem) is that copyright violations are a matter of federal law (in the US), while slander/libel is state law.

Not all false copyrights (2, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861095)

Some of the examples given could have valid claims for copyright. Layouts are protected under the Berne Convention. Sure the words of a Shakespeare play are free from copyright but the way they're laid out on a page is classed as a new work. You cannot scan in every page, then print the book as your own. In terms of art pieces on birthday cards, who is to say they haven't done extensive alterations to the original painting? Also, as petty as it may seem, putting "happy birthday" on the front is an original work and although "obvious" design choices could be reproduced in other works, straight out scanning and copying is a no no.

Re:Not all false copyrights (2, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861507)

Layouts are protected under the Berne Convention.

That's interesting. But they're generally not protected in the US. I can imagine cases where they would qualify, but usually typesetting and layout are simply not sufficiently creative to be copyrightable.

Quit pointing fingers (1)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861121)

Piracy, where the numbers are real or exaggerated,has real damages. What is the dollar cost of copyfraud?

Re:Quit pointing fingers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19861539)

Dear Club Soda,

So you would have no problem if I were to charge you $10 dollars for trolling (which is copyright me, of course). If that's not real to you, I'd like to set up a tollbooth on your driveway.

As an ebook publisher making pocket change (2, Interesting)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861189)

I must say that I'm not totally sure I agree with this (and I usually am pretty much right on with Slashdot group think on copyright laws).

For instance, I have made a little pocket change reprinting a rare 1863 cookbook. By no means am I getting rich off of it, but I do put a copyright on the ebooks I sell just to have some legal options. I don't care if someone prints it out and OCRs it, there isn't a thing in the world I could do about that. But I had to spend a couple of days OCRing the material, cleaning it up, and formatting it. Anyone else wanting to sell it, or give it away, should have to do the same, not swipe my work.

How exactly should someone be able to just start reselling my ebook and why is that wrong of me to put a copyright notice on it?

Transporter_ii

'Sweat of the brow' not copyrightable (2, Interesting)

butlerm (3112) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861399)

You might want to review Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service, in which the Supreme Court ruled that copyright protects creative expression, not 'sweat of the brow'.

So while there may be something about your e-book that is protectable, the OCR of the original text almost certainly does not qualify.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feist_Publications_v. _Rural_Telephone_Service [wikipedia.org] .

Re:As an ebook publisher making pocket change (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861431)

``But I had to spend a couple of days OCRing the material, cleaning it up, and formatting it.''

IANAL, but my understanding is that, in doing this, you have created a new work, and the copyright rightfully belongs to you.

Re:As an ebook publisher making pocket change (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861463)

The previous two posts are diametrically opposed. Maybe both are right, or neither. Could a lawyer please step in and clear this up?

Re:As an ebook publisher making pocket change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19861527)

I don't think that is wrong. You changed the format from print to digital. That right there made it unique. If you added any pictures, the placement is probably different from the book itself. So basically the new arrangement is yours to copyright.

Now, if someone else took the words from your ebook, and changed how they look on a page, copied any public domain pictures you had, but arranged them differently within the page, then they would have a different arrangement which they could then copyright. They could not just make a copy of your arrangement and sell as their own even thought the words and/or pictures are public domain.

At least they should be required to say WHY (2, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861205)

I frequently use the ProQuest databases of newspaper story images, available courtesy of my public library. These are digitized page images. Those for The New York Times go cover 1851 to 2003; those for the Boston Globe, 1872 - 1923.

All of these, without exception, bear the notice "Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission."

In the case of articles published before 1923 (and don't you think it's interesting that the Globe cuts off at exactly 1923?) I completely fail to see how these can be anything other than a faithful reproduction of a work published in the United States before 1923.

Darn it, at the very least, if someone is going to claim copyright in something, they should be required to give an explicit statement of the legal basis for their claim. Maybe there's some way this material is copyrighted, but in the case of material that every university library guideline says is in the public domain, the burden of proof... or at least, the burden of saying why this is an exception to the general rule... should fall on the person making the assertion.

I have an idea (1)

zantolak (701554) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861301)

Why not just take whatever you want, and then claim you've released it into the public domain?

article summary (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19861381)

whine...blah blah... copyright is evil... blah blah... stealing music is not a bad thing... blah blah... people producing music are bastards... blah blah.

typical groupthink pro-piracy bullshit then.

Disney (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861505)

There's a perfect example. I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone mention them yet.

Sometimes not fraud, but sheer ignorance... (4, Interesting)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861515)

I sell out of print books on eBay. There is a certain historic African-American sorority that published a quite hard to find history of the organization -- tends to bring triple-digit prices when you can find a copy. I've been fortunate enough to twice have found a copy (once at an estate sale, once in a Goodwill), and both times when it was listed on eBay, I was INUNDATED with hostile messages from members of that sorority. Apparently, they believe that the fact that the book is copyrighted means that only THEY can sell copies, and only to fellow members -- as far as they are concerned, I don't have the right to read it or even posess it, let alone sell it! Both times, they lodged complaints with eBay who politely explained to them the right of resale and the fact that pretty much every used book sold, whether on eBay or in your local book nook, is copyrighted. But that didn't stop them from continuing to harass me and threaten me with legal action (take yer best shot, I told 'em). Really makes one wonder what sort of deep, dark secrets are in that book that they don't want any "outsiders" to get their hands on a copy!

DMCA can be slow (1)

Via_Patrino (702161) | more than 7 years ago | (#19861535)

Teenagers downloading music may not be the worst copyright offenders.

This guy is kidding right? Or he is referring to adult downloading movies/software as the worst offenders.

In fact the worst copyright offenders are lazy people. That don't care about their users' violations until, few days after the content was published, some copyright owner find that content, mail or fax (the requested medium) a DMCA notification, an wait until, in a weekday, a clerk at the lazy company office finally pick that notice from the pile and manually remove the content.

About a week have passed since the time the offensive content was published until the moment it was removed. It took at worst a couple hours to the offender publish it. So DMCA have little impact on the offender which feel all that delay as an incentive to publish more offensive material.

TOS and DMCA already give companies the right to unilaterally remove content they fell offensive, they could develop software as good as spam/virus filters to remove such content. But those companies are lazy they only act if obligated.

So, more content is violated each day, protected by that lazy companies.

The mistakes? Since all violations are only threated after complaints imagine the pile of complaints an underpaid guy have to deal each day. That can't be a intellectual job but a mechanical one, which only care to check if all fields are filled.

If you care about freedom of speech check how the internet company you're using deals with copyright violations. If they don't act proactively any complaint about you will go to the same pile of all those copyright violations and it's likely to be removed by a guy who probably can't say if Beethoven is alive or not.
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