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Copyright protection and how it can effect you

Discussion in 'Politics and Current Affairs' started by Crude, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Crude

    Crude Android Expert
    Thread Starter

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  2. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert

    It is said that there are more people studying to become lawyers currently in school than there are layers in practice. Sounds about right.
    And they will need something to do. And guess what... they will likely be doing us. Or trying their best.

    I had a battle with a lawyer over this issue. Never saw court and never went past a few e-threats, but it was interesting to experience. Here is what happened:

    I had a site with a cool dinosaur. Kid's stuff, too cute for words. I was contacted by a lawyer and told to immediately remove the images because I stole it from his web site and then I was e-lectured about IP.

    What happened was this lawyer hired someone to build a web site and he paid quite a bit. The web designer used clip art; the same clip art I used. My art came from a clip art collection.

    So I invited him to sue me and that was that.

    I was once threatened for stealing web copy I posted in a mailing list. Told me that I did not have the right to lift material from other member's web sites and claim it as my own, it is illegal, blah, blah, blah.

    Thing was, the person I "stole" from actually lifted the copy I posted from MY WEBSITE. I posted my original material that was mine and mine alone. Actually, Polaroid's material I edited with written permission and have rights to use.

    So I think there are big issues coming our way and a few of us will need to defend ourselves against bottom feeders looking for mo money. A few will be innocent and a few will get what they deserve. I see YouTube as a prime target for all sorts of legitimate suits.

    Odd thing is, some YT posters claim copyright just because they posted the material on-line. They certainly do not have such rights. I also see images in Android wallpaper collections that I know do not belong to those "Programmers" that make it available; they offer a disclaimer that says if you see art that is the property of someone else, they will remove it. Some believe if they give it away, they are not in violation of any law.

    Not the way to deal with someone else's IP.

    Bob Maxey
  3. cipher6

    cipher6 Android Enthusiast

    Reposting pics from other sources, as long as you don't attribute it to yourself, is totally fair use. I read a while back about Drudgereport fighting a battle about the same thing and won.

    This firm is making money just because people settle instead of fighting it.

    Considering that everyone with a law degree doesn't go on to practice as a trial lawyer, yeah that sounds right...
  4. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert

    Do not be so sure about your interpretation of the Fair Use provisions of the Copyright Law. I would suggest that if you want protection, you talk with a qualified IP lawyer first. Here are a few items to consider:

    A few examples of Fair Use (USCopyright.gov):
    1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
    2. The nature of the copyrighted work
    3. The amount and substantially of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
    4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.
    It could have gone the other way for Drudge, even if he was legally OK. It depends on several factors including the mood of the court or how much Drudge is liked or hated. I am not familiar with the case, so I will not comment except to point out this little paragraph from the copyright office web site:

    Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

    So it is possible that he is protected if he is considered a reporter, teacher, etc.

    Copying a complete image and using it on a web site probably does not fall under the fair use provisions. It depends upon how much the owner of the materials protects the work. Failure to protect your work can mean you no longer have a right to go after infringers.

    Copy images from the Disney or NASCAR web site and when they contact you, shout fair use. It is not going to help you much. But, oddly enough, you can still use their images in commercial products with the blessing of the Federal Court. Ask me how if interested.

    Also, if you are not making money or generating a profit, it is still stealing and you can be punished.

    I would invite you to visit the USCopyright.gov and learn a little something. Also visit the DMCA site and see just how intertwined these laws are. No wonder compliance is hard for folks to grasp.

    Did you know that copyright violations are tried in Federal Court for the most part?

    Did you know that even though you now have protection the moment you create something, you must have a registered copyright before your case can be tried in Federal Court?

    Did you know that these things cannot be protected: (source, USCopyright.gov)


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