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General Discussion

Recently, a petition was delivered to the PM via his flashy new [petition website]. The petition asked the PM to create a new exception to copyright law that gives individuals the right to create a private copy of copyrighted materials for their own personal use, including back-ups, archiving and shifting format.
He has now answered the petition [here]. His answer links to a PDF report [here], which he says he is likely to follow. Recommendation 8 says "Introduce a limited private copying exception by 2008 for format shifting for works published after the date that the law comes into effect. There should be no accompanying levies for consumers". In my opinion, this is far too little. Anyone concur? --Admiral
That could actually be quite a lot. It sounds like it could legalise my SNES emulator and its accompanying ROMs of all the cartriges I own, for instance. - MoonShadow
Nope. It only applies to works published after the new law comes into effect. It also doesn't allow you to make copies of stuff for backup purposes. --Admiral

An [interesting take] on RIAA lawsuits.

[Dutch levy on iPods]. They're suggesting a levy of 3.28 per gigabyte of storage space. Given that hard drives are now available at around 30p per gigabyte, this would involve multiplying the cost of hard drive storage by about six. I would also have thought that this particular idea violates the ideal of "innocent until proven guilty." --Admiral
Germany already has such a tax.  It's probably fine, as long as it comes with some "All the music you like" quid-pro-quo.  It's just a tax, and taxes buy things after all.  As for the 'until proven innocent' rule, apply that to income tax and see how far you get :)  --Vitenka
How much tax per gigabyte in Germany? I think the point was that this tax does not provide an open license to copy all music. Also, my reasoning on the "innocent until proven guilty" thing is that the tax is quite openly assuming that everyone will break the law by copying stuff (that hasn't changed - it's still illegal), and is charging everyone to compensate, without the possibility of appeal. --Admiral
I don't know, annoyingly.  The only reference I can find is to $21 per gigabyte, which can't be right in today's money.  I also point out that the levy is cheaper than the surviellance you would need to prove you didn't do it.  (Most courts would accept, I think "He bought a portable music player" meaning 'he intends to tape music')  - and I'm pretty sure we have precedent with a levy on VHS tapes.  (Though there it's a contractual thing - pay us and we won't bring this back to the courts - which is odd since the Betamax case got them slapped.)  I'd guess that the music industry is going for a levy because they know that they can't get a ban.  Anyway - if it meant a free subscription, I'd probably accept it.  If they're not changing the rets of the law then you're right, it's dumb.  --Vitenka
I don't think the music industry and the WTO would let them change the law. It might be that they intend to leave it on the statute books and just never prosecute.--King DJ
Given what I know so far of the music industry, I would be very surprised if they didn't take the attitude that people should pay the tax for "obviously" breaking the law, while still prosecuting people they find doing it. --Admiral

Importing/copyright - or were the CDs just [too cheap]?

Though I am not a lawyer, I don't think CD-WOW! had any chance of winning the case, especially not with the 'grey import' precedent case that stopped supermarkets selling cheap designer clothes bought from abroad. I suspect their caving in has something to do with their lawyers advising them of the same thing. - ChiarkPerson
I concur, in principle. It's an interesting precedent, though. It'll undoubtedly spread to video/DVD; what happens if it spreads to other media (e.g. books)? The side-effect would be quite effective censorship - you'd not be allowed to buy from abroad anything that hasn't been published in the UK. - MoonShadow
(PeterTaylor) Firstly, how does it infringe copyright law? Secondly, can a case for price fixing be made against the BPI?
(PeterTaylor) To partly answer my first question, the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 says 16.(1).(b) "The owner of the copyright in a work has, in accordance with the following provisions of this Chapter, the exclusive right to do the following acts in the United Kingdom to issue copies of the work to the public (see section 18)". Section 18 says "18.(1) The issue to the public of copies of the work is an act restricted by the copyright in every description of copyright work. (2) References in this Part to the issue to the public of copies of a work are to the act of putting into circulation copies not previously put into circulation, in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, and not to (a) any subsequent distribution, sale, hiring or loan of those copies, or (b) any subsequent importation of those copies into the United Kingdom; except that in relation to sound recordings, films and computer programs the restricted act of issuing copies to the public includes any rental of copies to the public." So the question would be whether the copies were put into circulation abroad. Wasn't the Levis case based on EU import laws rather than copyright? (CDPA Crown Copyright).
(KevQuinn?) As I(ANAL) understand it, it's not so much a case of breaking copyright law per se, but breaking distribution agreements entered into (ultimately) with the copyright owner. As such, it's a breach of contract law. Also, it affects wholesale import, not individual personal import. Some companies have tried to get around it by operating strictly a sort of ordered-on-request personal import service; however such businesses always seem to fall to the temptation to pre-order stuff to reduce the time from order to ship - obviously this then becomes retail distribution in the classic sense.  This does lead to a bizarre situation; it's legal for me as an individual, and for amazon.com, to order a US DVD from amazon.com in the US, as this falls under personal import.  However it would be illegal (without permission from the copyright holder) for Amazon to supply me from their businesses outside the US.  Having said that, the BBC article says the BPI is after Amazon as well so we'll see.  The situation for amazon.com, as a US business, with respect to the UK looks a lot stronger than CD-WOW's position, as solely a UK business.

What do you mean, 'undoubtedly spread to DVD/video'? It already is the case with DVD and Video. And books, too. Surely you've seen books with 'for copyright reasons this edition is not for sale in the USA/Canada?' and the like on them? - ChiarkPerson
I hadn't, actually, no - this article was the first time I'd come across a legal decision about resellers for anything other than computer games. There was much discussion about DVD region protection a while back, but this is rather different - it attacks the sale rather than the use. - MoonShadow
Right, well, so now you know. Look out for them. Old Grahame Greene books have them on, for instance, because he had different publishers in the US and UK.

And before some idiot goes off about this stopping you from buying Japanese cartoons - because someone will - this does not stop you either going to America and bringing things back with you, or ordering them from www.amazon.com and getting them shipped here (provided you pay the duty, of course): it applies only to actual resellers. There, hopefully that's some idiocity pre-emptively neutralised. - ChiarkPerson
Quite right about bringing them back myself, so long as I don't sell them once I'm over here. As for mail order - surely that's precisely what it does! Surely amazon.com would be in exactly the same position CD-WOW is in now if it shipped stuff to me that CD-WOW has just been banned from shipping to me? What subtle distinction am I missing? - MoonShadow
The difference is where the sale takes place, I believe. As I'm not an expert I may be wrong about this, but there is (obviously) a difference between a company which imports CDs from abroad and resells them, and a company located in the US which will sell you its wares and then post them to you. In the first case the company is doing the importing, for profit: in the second you are doing the importing. You can tell this because you have to pay the duty.

More from RossAnderson:


.... ^^;

Reading documentation on the M$ site, MoonShadow came across the following gem:

AIUI, it basically says "it's OK for you to read this spec and use it to write software, so long as you don't sell said software to countries the US thinks are terrorist states, but if you read it and discover it infringes a patent of yours and sue us, paragraph 1(c) says we'll sue you right back for breach of copyright".

The state of copyright legislation in the UK? is currently somewhat depressing.

Food for thought:

It is already illegal to play imported DVDs and computer games that you own.

I would be interested to know the statue under which you believe that to be so.
MoonShadow: There were several court cases that set a precedent. Sony vs. Paul Owen is the key one, IIRC. See [summary], [transcript] and subsequent [discussion]. There is no way in which the statements made apply to region coding and licensing of computer games in which they do not also apply to DVDs. Interesting extracts from transcript:

"(...) To my mind, those two sections do not answer the question completely. The real question is whether an importer of a non-PAL? Sony game (they) may lawfully (use), in the country from which it is imported, would have any right to play the game in this country. That depends upon the existence of a licence to use the copyright work in this country. The games are sold, as appears to be common ground, abroad with, for example, "For Japan only". I see no reason from that to suppose that there is a licence for use outside Japan. In the end, it is for a licensee to prove his licence and I do not think any such licence is proved. Copyright is inherently territorial. You need a licence in every territory in which you wish to use a copyright work in such a way as would otherwise infringe."
(Senji) I note that copyright only applies to use of such materials if the legal theory that /TransientCopies count as copies for the purpose of copyright.  While this theory is believed by some courts, it is certainly not universally accepted.
(PeterTaylor) In combination with Vitenka's observation below that CDs are sold rather than licensed (and I was thinking a similar thing when I read one of the links MoonShadow added in the Happy Stuff section, and noticed an MPAA person saying that the licence on DVDs you buy requires you to use authorised equipment to view them), this is an alarming, though perfectly accurate, judgement. "It is for the licensee to prove his licence". I have quite a few CDs at home, and to the best of my knowledge none of them have a formal licence written on them. Nor do I have informal permission from the copyright holders to produce transient copies. Does this mean that in jurisdictions where /TransientCopies count as copies, I have an implied licence to produce /TransientCopies for the purpose of personal playback? If so, where do I get the terms of this implied licence? Or does it mean that any time I play one of my CDs, I'm infringing copyright?
(Senji (playing the IANAL card here, just in case)) As I understand it, it is commonly assumed that you have an license to play any CDs that you have purchased in a normal audio CD player.  Details of what things are allowed (revokability, transferability, whether you are allowed to play them in a computer CD player...) seem to vary between proponents of the theory.  In England, at least, there is no legislation directly covering the area, and no precident is directly related, so the matter is undecided.
(PeterTaylor) Yes. I rather dislike situations where the law is undecided, because that allows companies to try suing you.
I very much doubt that any company would actually try suing you for playing CDs in a normal audio CD player -- that would rather seem to be not in their interests.
The legality of something shouldn't really have anything to do with the likelihood of a private entity to chase you under that law.  Unless you have some sort of contract with them of course.  --Vitenka
(PeterTaylor) ?! Copyright law establishes civil and criminal offences. (IIRC it's roughly speaking that making illegal copies for personal use is a civil offence, and supply or intent to supply is a criminal offence also).

"(...) There really can be no doubt that the special codes put in by Sony fall within sub-section 4. They are a device or means intended to prevent or restrict copying of a work. The copying that is prevented is, of course, the loading of the game into the computer. There can be really no doubt that Sony intended that to be the case."

The same argument is applicable to DVDs. Your DVD player makes a copy of the MPEG? stream in its memory. This copy [infringes] unless you have a license for it. License is only granted within the region in which the DVD is sold, as the small print on most US DVD inserts states.

(Vitenka doesn't know HOW to keep his nose out of a rant) Frankly, this is simply stupid.  A CD is not licensed to you, it is sold to you. 
MoonShadow: AIUI, current precedent says that that's a misunderstanding. What is actually sold to you is the physical media plus a license to listen to the content. Will try to dig up the references from my mail archives in the next day or so. I agree it's stupid. The main attacks on it I've seen have started off by pointing out that it doesn't work this way for books. I've not seen one succeed yet. Worse, the private use exceptions explicitly list the terms "literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works" - and only those. This clearly omits software of any kind, and to me (IANAL) it isn't clear whether it includes all DVDs or only some. The [FAQ] says, "Fair dealing has been interpreted by the courts on a number of occasions by looking at the economic impact on the copyright owner of the use; where the economic impact is not significant, the use may count as fair dealing." DMCA? cases have typically been brought when the copyright owner thinks they can show potential economic impact, whether one or not such impact actually exists. :(
(Vitenka)) I'd have thought that 'literary etc.' works would include all forms of entertainment media - that certainly seemed to be the case when it was referring to tapes.  As for the DMCA - DMCA has been used to threaten people to take down price lists, I don't think we need to worry about that law for long.  Anyway, as I understand it our version (ECSA ?) is substantially different and completely untested.  Point is, really, it doesn't matter what the law is (especially in Britain) it matters what common practice is.  And common practice says "I bought it, it's mine" - for the courts to overturn that sentiment would be a big job.
(Vitenka) If it is illegal to export it from the country it is sold in, or illegal to import it, then fine.  But once it is in this country, it is subject to the local law (ie. you can play it but only make one copy which must be sold or destroyed if the original is sold etc. etc.)  Then again, I also think that if something isn't being made available by its owner then it is in (or should be in) the commons.

It's simply not the case that all controls about imports and exports stop at the border and that once something is in the country it is legal to do anything with it -- it's still illegal to sell cigarettes on which you haven't paid duty, even if you've got them into the country.

I'm also confused about 'if something isn't being made available by its owner then it is in (or should be in) the commons'. Do you mean that someone's private diary entries should be 'in the commons' (whatever that means)? Do you mean that if Morag doesn't intend to sell PhoenixFeathers greetings cards that I should be able to? What about the cartoons Morag drew for her friends before she ever thought of making them into a web comic -- were they (should they have been) 'in the commons'? And did they suddenly change status when the web comic started? Why shouldn't the artist/writer/composer/etc have control over what they create?
Hadn't considered diary entries.  But basically yes.  If someone creates something, and does not themselves wish to directly profit on it; then why not have it opened out to everyone?  (This is obviously NOT the law as it is now, just a wild idea)  I would expect that to lead to people contracting everything out as a matter of course to some kind of cafepress like place, leading to an abundance of 'stuff' available 'cheap' and (ugh, hate the term) content-creators (artists, writers etc. Is there a better word than that?) routinely getting pennies in royalties and a better idea of what defines popular.
You say 'why not', but that's not the issue. The issue is 'why?'. It seems obvious (to me, anyway) that without the person who wrote it, or drew it, it would not exist. They are the sole agency responsible for bringing it into the world. Without them, it would not exist. Why then should they not be able to do with it as they will? Indeed, they can stop anyone else from ever seeing it simply by not writing it or drawing it in the first place -- before it is created, they exercise absolute control. Why they should lose this control completely simply by the act of making it is what you have to argue.
Enforcing that control imposes a cost on everyone else. Everyone else is therefore entitled to argue as to whether they want to pay for that enforcement, directly or indirectly.
So, yes, I've said why not: because without them it would not exist. Even more than physical property, intellectual creations are born of those who brought them into the world. Therefore they can decide what happens to them.
oh - 'in the commons' means 'available for free use by everyone'  Shakespeare's plays are in the commons, though a particular publishing of them probably is not.  And no, I don't mean this should have been the case suddenly because of the net, though the net makes it far easier to do.  The creator SHOULD have control - but if they do not want to use it, they should lose that control (after, say, a couple of years)  This would prevent the (exceptionally irritating) withdrawal of material from a certain region or time.
You can't just legislate things to make the world less irritating for yourself! Either the creator is entitled to control of his or  her creation, or not. Whether you find it irritating is neither here nor there! There are lots of things that I find irritating about the world, but, well, we can't always have everything we want and that's the way the world is -- as I pointed out regarding 'DecentAnime'.
Obviously this idea isn't perfect (and is probably broken) but it might be worth discussion.  I can see publishers refusing to give contracts, waiting for something to thus be open, and THEN takng it (cheaper/freely) and making sales because they can advertise it despite it being available to anyone else.  I'd hope more opportunistic publishers would avoid this, but maybe some system of 'fair licence' would be better than commons - whereby anyone could take (and use) someones work, but would have to pay a flat rate.
It might be fun to work out formats for this.  If someone decides to market their (whatever) as a bicycle, would that mean every other artist would have to create bicycles, or risk bicycles being created for them?  Would that, necc. be a bad thing?  --Vitenka

(Senji) Again the theory of /TransientCopies applies.  If (in playing the CD) a transient copy is made of the data on it (which is quite likely with modern CD players with anti-knock readahead etc) then it is possible that copyright law applies here.
(Vitenka) Pretty sure that /TransientCopies should count under the 'personal copy' rules - you can have your copies, so long as they get sold on or destoryed when you sell the original - being transient, they will get destroyed.  Then again, ImADemonNotALawyer.
(PeterTaylor) "This clearly omits software of any kind" - not so. The Act states in 3(1) that software counts as literary works. On that basis, it seems eminently reasonable that it should be treated like books.

[Krause vs Titleserv] (pdf)
From the ruling, 17 U.S.C. Section 117(a)(1) provides a defense against copyright infringement for anyone who
(i) owns a physical copy of a computer program,
(ii) makes an adaptation "as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine," and
(iii) uses it "in no other manner."

This is interesting. How does it square with DMCA? In particular, ISTM to potentially be at odds with the Sony ruling above - it seems to imply that adapting software you own in order to make it usable on your machine is protected by US law; does this mean it's legal to remove region protection after all? - MoonShadow

See also SlashDot? subthread on the validity of EULAs, in particular the "you don't own this software, you're just licensing it" clause that many contain and the whole /TransientCopies thing, [here].

If this is the recent case that I think it is, this court did indeed support the "hell no, you bought it, you own it" view of things, specifically overriding the guy's actual written contract with the firm that bought his software (which tried to limit what they could do with it).  Which is good news.  But US courts often seem to rule against each other - this will take a while to shake out, either way.


[Web comic thread on DMCA]

[Here's] an interesting one - what happened to the principle that copyright protects not an idea but an expression of an idea?
Perhaps it's a reporting error and they're using "copyright" when they mean "patent"?
Unlikely, for two reasons. Firstly, using Google I found a Time report which also says copyright, and secondly the suit was filed in London. If the innovation "making money by letting people stuff their own teddy bears" falls under any category, it would seem to be business methods, and AFAIK the UK doesn't yet allow business methods to be patented.
Oh, well. /shrug/

[Buying a car doesn't give you the right to publish photos of it], according to Ford.
That has nothing to do with copyright; it's about Ford enforcing their trademark to stop someone else selling a 'Ford Motor Car' catalogue, something that surely any reasonable person would think they had the right to do (and which, legally, they have to do or else their trademarks, in which they have invested a lot, will be weakened).

(Add more depressing stuff here. Happy stuff would be good too, but I don't know of any.)

[DVD copying legal in France] - could be interesting.  Basically reinstating the 'personal copy' rights.  Though it can be appealed for another round.  The 'across europe' provisions of the common market could make this one interesting if it is upheld.  We might just see the next DVD standard turning off region coding.  --Vitenka

[Infringement Nation]

Moral Issues

A question for the wikizens: to what extent do you feel obliged to obey laws you see as unjust or unnecessary? I for one have a hard drive full of music. I would never in a million years have bought most of it. Some of it I wouldn't even have been able to track down. So I consider my act of piracy to be benign on the basis that it harms no-one. On the other hand, I have talked with people who strongly believe that we should follow legislation wherever possible.

So you don't think that maybe, just maybe, if you're not prepared to buy something you could consider going without it? Or are you special and in some way entitled to have everything you desire, on the terms you choose? --ChiarkPerson
You make a perfectly valid point, from your current set of axioms.  You make it in an incredibly incendiary way.  The counterpoint from a different set of axioms is, everyone can have everything (digital) that they want - the cost of distribution is near null.  So if it harms no one, why should not everyone have everything that they want?  If theft is morally wrong because it causes harm, then digital copies are ok.  If theft is wrong because getting something that you didn't work for is wrong, then yes, digital copying is wrong.  --Vitenka (No, don't debate it, we've got our axioms crossed, agreement seems impossible)
CorkScrew: I guess the issue in question is: why do/should we obey laws? I obey laws because I find them a generally reliable assessment of right and wrong in our society. In other words, a quick guide to avoiding screwing up yourself and others. If, however, I have a strong basis for considering an illegal action to be morally right (or, at least, not wrong) then I will have no qualms about performing that action.
For the record, I'm defining "morally right" and "morally wrong" loosely as acts which are/aren't in the best interests of the members of our society. I do have more exact definitions available but they tend to get rather mathematical.
You may be interested in the discussion on Evil.. - MoonShadow

There was a discussion on issues like this over on the [assassins' wiki], leading to an attempt to set up an Open Source Law [discussion group]. I'd be interested to know what toothywikizens think on these issues. - CorkScrew

But is it a problem?

I see, yes. So what's the problem?

MoonShadow: Well, this makes watching DecentAnime an illegal activity, f'r instance. This may or may not be a problem, depending on your perspective and how much you care about unenforceable technicalities. Or were you meaning something else?

Oh, I can see it may be a problem. But, well, in life we can't always get what we want, and if the makers of these things aren't happy for it to be exported to England... well, would you object if I started selling T-shirts with frames from Phoenix Feathers on them? If they are happy for you to watch it, of course, then you can do anything the copyright owner allows you to: they have the right to restrict copying but they don't have to exercise tht right and the police won't come knocking on your door if the copyright holder turns a blind eye.

(MoonShadow runs out of arguments here, since he isn't personally that pedantic about the letter of the law vs its spirit, and this is more or less the argument he usually gives at this point. If anyone else wishes to carry on..)

Happy stuff!

The world regains a modicum of sanity as US courts, after weeks of debate, rule that US jurisdiction does not, after all, extend to Russian territory.

Jurisdiction is a complicated business, but the heart of it is simple: for a court to try someone, it must have jurisdiction over the crime, and jurisdiction over the defendant. Except in cases of diplomatic immunity, the latter is considered to hold true by courts in the U.S., and probably many other countries, if you can get your hands on the defendant. Some courts will also try in absentia, effectively claiming jurisdiction over the defendant either on the grounds of citizenship or absolutely.

Imagine Canada had no law against murder. Someone stands just north of the border with a gun and shoots someone standing in the U.S. Which court has jurisdiction over the action (which may or may not be a crime, depending on the answer)? The U.S. would argue that a murder has been committed on U.S. territory and they have jurisdiction. (Well, it's slightly more complicated: if the victim was on federal property then they'd claim the federal courts have jurisdiction. Otherwise they'd claim the state courts have jurisdiction.) The person who fired the gun would risk arrest and trial should they enter the U.S., and the U.S. would probably file for extradition in the meantime. Canada might well rule that since the charge doesn't exist in Canadian law, they won't extradite the culprit. (Note: this is an example of general possibilities; if Canada doesn't make that kind of ruling, either keep quiet about it or change the names of the countries).

If we change the scenario slightly so that Canada does have a law against murder, then they will probably rule either that they have jurisdiction, in which case they will try the culprit, or that the culprit should be extradited. This is not, however, guaranteed: the extradition court might rule that since the charge was a capital one, extradition would not be permitted.

Some countries, notably the U.S., consider that in some matters their jurisdiction over crimes involving their citizens is not limited by geography. So, for example, a U.S. citizen living outside the U.S. who fails to pay U.S. taxes commits a crime against the U.S. Similarly, it is a crime for a U.S. citizen to spend money in Cuba, thereby enriching an enemy of the state. Many software licences also claim that you will be committing a crime over which Californian courts have jurisdiction if you install the software being either a citizen of or located in certain countries (Iraq, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, ...)

In the case of ElcomSoft and Skylarov, the offence with which they were charged was not creating the software, but distributing it. Apparently a server physically located in the U.S. was involved (see [EFF discussion]). (Why Skylarov was charged, who knows? Were Adobe alleging he personally scp'd the file onto the server?)

This does raise challengers for legislators with respect to the Internet. It is reasonable that hosting content on a server in country C, if providing that content to people is a crime under the laws of country C, is a crime under the jurisdiction of country C. Whether it would or should be a crime under the jurisdiction of country D != C which has similar legislation is an interesting question. Hyperlinks and meta-redirects are also interesting.

For those that care:

[Norway], too, has acted to defend its sovereignty; Norwegian fair-use clauses prevail over US law.

(draft FAQ below - please discuss..)

Posting material from elsewhere on ToothyWiki

Could someone clarify (here, or whereverseems appropriate) what are the copyright rules about posting excerpts from copyrighted material on a system like this Wiki?  We've already had to consider song lyrics (NewsBoys) and excepts from published books (GodIsLove).  Can we get some general guidelines to ToothyWikizens?  --AlexChurchill

MoonShadow: That depends on whether the copyright holder permits chunks of the copyright material to be posted or not. Usually, this means looking for a copyright notice wherever it is you got the material from, and reading what it says. For instance, the NIV translation of the Bible gives an explicit limit to the amount of text that can be used in excerpts without written permission. Or the copyright notice may say that the material is freely distributable, in which case you're fine. It's a good idea to credit the copyright owner. If it's not obvious from the notice, you should contact the copyright owner and ask for permission before posting.

Usually, there is little need to post questionable material to the Wiki. Newsboys lyrics, for instance, are available on their [site] (they are careful to give copyright attributions after each set, I notice), and a link there would avoid the issue entirely. If material you own is *not* publically available, this is probably a good indication that the copyright holder does not wish it to be made so; you could always contact them and ask, though. Use your common sense ^^;

Short excerpts can fall into the set of "fair dealing" exceptions. These are not completely defined, but the guiding principles are:
Excerpts should give a reference to the source and credit the copyright owner (ISBN number might be enough).
See [official FAQ]. [Various places] around the UK have [guidelines] that all basically say [the same thing] in [different ways].
Again, use your common sense ^^;
Thank you for that FAQ. Very useful for the page I'm writing for my website on IP? law (as a preemptive strike against accusations of copyright infringement when I post an article the author doesn't want me to post).

MoonShadow has no control over material posted to the wiki at the time of posting, and cannot reasonably be expected to check copyright terms of every piece of material posted. MoonShadow therefore sees it as the responsibility of the poster to check copyright issues when posting, the responsibility of the copyright holder to complain about improper use, and MoonShadow's responsibility to remove illegal material someone has actively complained about and/or police disputed material someone has actively complained about as appropriate.
MoonShadow does not wish to extend a draconian policy over ToothyWiki, but does not wish to get his backside sued off either.
Then MoonShadow is basically Farked.  As far as the law, as it currently stands, can be interpreted - you are the publisher and despite it being utterly stupid, you are responsible for everything I post here.  Now, no sane person attempting to use the law would apply it unless they had asked nicely for you to remove stuff - but technically they can (and elsewhere, some have) and you may be liable under any country's laws (see the Australian case) and what do you do if two people post here claiming the other has stolen their copyright?  You are not, and should not have to be, in a position to determine that sort of thing.

Publishing toothycat.net content elsewhere

MoonShadow is happy for ToothyWiki content to be published elsewhere iff links to the originating page are given. Other contributors might not be. IIRC, under UK law, explicit formal copyright notice does not have to be given a priori for material to be copyright its creator. So you should check if you think you might offend people by publishing.

MoonShadow and SunKitten are *not* happy for toothycat.net content which is not part of the wiki to be reproduced elsewhere without their permission; in particular, SunKitten's drawings are very definitely copyright SunKitten all rights reserved. Some material published on toothycat.net does not belong to MoonShadow and SunKitten, or does not solely belong to them; the copyright holders are acknowledged in each case and their permission must also be sought before such material is reproduced elsewhere (which may be tricky in Sergei Lukjanenko's case).

SunKitten: AIUI, our translation of The Boy and The Darkness is copyright to us. Mr Lukjanenko's original text is of course copyright to him. A different translation is copyright to whoever translated it, as long as it is a totally original work (i.e. doesn't rely on any of our translation).
The demands of courtesy are somewhat different though. We checked with Sergei Lukjanenko before putting our translation up.

''Translation is one of the acts covered by copyright in Britain. You may not translate a work which is in copyright in Britain without the permission of the author.
MoonShadow: We have [permission] (that might not look convincing on its own, but the fact that there is a copy of the translation on the author's official [site] corroborates it). I am not certain whether just because we have rights to the translation it is not the case that the original author also has rights to it. I personally think the law would be rather unfair if we ended up with sole unreserved rights to the translation, although I certainly wouldn't complain ^^;
(PeterTaylor) Further discussion should take place in /Translation, where a summary of the legal status can now be found.


Vitenka thinks this is probably the appropriate page to give permission to copy anything and everything he writes, under a standard "Make money from it and die" license.  What's the technical legalese?  Ah yes - license for noncommercial distribution granted.  If you do make money, then he wants credit (and credits are always nice) but will almost certainly say yes.

[Uhhh] SURELY this can't be the intention behind copyright? --Vitenka
It doesn't seem unreasonable to object to people taking lecture notes (probably copied verbatim off the blackboard) and selling them --Edwin

It's entirely reasonable and exactly the intention behind copyright. The lecturer (presumably) put a lot of effort into those lectures; why should some lazy plagiarist profit from that effort by selling them on? --ChiarkPerson
But that then suggests the students need specific permission to take notes of a lecture.  I can understand vertabim recordings, but study notes?  --Vitenka
They do need permission to take notes of a lecture. Of course in the context of a university course, permission can be assumed to have been given to take such notes for private study but not to republish. --ChiarkPerson

V: Contrast this with your comment above where you are doing precisely what this lecturer is! - MoonShadow

See also the [Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988]

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