View Full Version : Copyright infringement terminology


pdurrant
03-02-2010, 07:26 AM
The question of how to describe the act of obtaining a first digital copy of copyright material without the copyright holder's permission has frequently appeared on Mobileread.

I think there are three groups on Mobileread. Those who insist on describing it as theft. Those who are equally insistent that this is inaccurate, and that it is really copyright infringement. And the vast majority who wish that the first two groups whould just shut up :).

I'm mostly in the second camp, although sometimes I join the third.

But it's just occurred to me that there might be room for compromise. Because copyright infringement applies to any unauthorised copying. If I buy an ebook, and then duplicate it 1,00 times, I have infringed on the copyright. For example, Amazon's terms of use for ebooks does not grant me the right to make backup copies of content, only "to keep a permanent copy of the applicable Digital Content ". (emphasis added)

So what's the difference between infringing copyright by burning a copy of a purchased ebook to CD-R for back-up, and infringing copyright by downloading a copy from some dodgy server on the internet?

It seems clear to me that there is a difference, and that calling both copyright infringement (although technically correct) doesn't reflect this difference. Infringing copyright by obtaining your first copy of a digital work is, it seems to me, qualitatively different to duplicating digital content locally.

Similarly, it seems clear to me that there's a qualitative difference between going into a bookshop and taking a book without paying for it, and downloading a digital copy of the book from some dodgy server on the internet. Calling both theft doesn't reflect this difference. (As well as being technically incorrect — I did say I was mostly in the second camp).


Is it possible to come up with a term for the act of obtaining digital copyright material without payment or the permission of the copyright holder that both groups could agree on, that distinguishes between innocuous copyright infringement on the one hand, and actual theft on the other?

Suggestions for a new term welcome. I'd prefer it not to be a term for an existing crime — so not piracy or bootlegging.

Or you can just argue that I'm completely wrong, and that theft or copyright infringement is the only sensible term to use.

I hope I don't regret posting this...

kennyc
03-02-2010, 08:01 AM
Thanks for this. May be interesting to see what people think, but I don't have a lot of confidence that it won't devolve into the usual round and round back and forth.

As far the topic itself, I don't know about new terms, but I do feel the old laws, definitions, and understandings are increasingly inappropriate to the brave new world we find ourselves in.

Sweetpea
03-02-2010, 08:06 AM
The question of how to describe the act of obtaining a first digital copy of copyright material without the copyright holder's permission has frequently appeared on Mobileread.

I think there are three groups on Mobileread. Those who insist on describing it as theft. Those who are equally insistent that this is inaccurate, and that it is really copyright infringement. And the vast majority who wish that the first two groups whould just shut up :).

I'm mostly in the second camp, although sometimes I join the third.

Like you, I'm in the second and third camp


So what's the difference between infringing copyright by burning a copy of a purchased ebook to CD-R for back-up, and infringing copyright by downloading a copy from some dodgy server on the internet?

<snip>

Similarly, it seems clear to me that there's a qualitative difference between going into a bookshop and taking a book without paying for it, and downloading a digital copy of the book from some dodgy server on the internet. Calling both theft doesn't reflect this difference. (As well as being technically incorrect — I did say I was mostly in the second camp).


Problem with today's laws is that they don't and cannot cover all new media. So, companies try their best to scare you into compliance. (thou shalt not make copies of our books, or else!) So, they add those things into their EULA and hope that everybody will listen to it (or we'll sick our lawyers onto you!) No matter that that EULA goes against some basic rights.

Over here, you have a rule that you can make as many copies of a music piece (be it music cassette, LP, CD, DVD, MP3 and any other format) as long as you make the copy yourself and it is for your own use. (so, "format shifting" is allowed) (but what about DRM?). For books (paper!), it says you cannot reproduce it by putting it under a copy machine (or scanner), only parts of it can be reproduced. Naturally, this was never a problem as who wanted to scan an entire book and leave that in the house somewhere?? Software has another rule, you are allowed to make 1 copy of it (hey, and what about copy protection! another thing not anticipated...)

Enters the electronic book. Now, is this like an MP3? Or a piece of software? Or even like a pbook? They never thought about DRM on MP3 files, copy protections on software, why should they have thought about electronic books?

So, people are now unsure where that belongs. Is it strange they'll shove it under the MP3 rule? So, you can make as many copies of it, format shift if you need, as long as you don't redistribute and do it all yourself.

Now, about "stealing" that book. Let's for argument's sake say the original ebook was bought and then redistributed (not scanned from a "stolen" copy of a pbook....)

If you shoplift a pbook, you steal from the owner (the bookstore) as he has paid the publisher for that book. The author still gets his share (the publisher doesn't care whether the book owner sells or not) for that one book, even though the second reader never paid for it. But then, he could have bought it second hand and the author wouldn't have seen a cent from it either. But at least somebody would have profited from the exchange of possessions (or in the least, nobody "lost" anything).

If you download an ebook (which was originally bought by the one who is offering it online now), you don't steal from the original owner. He still has access to his book. The author still had his share (as the original owner paid for it and we'll just presume the publisher sends the author his share of the money, I've heard of cases where this didn't happen, but that's beside the point). The book still gets read by two persons, one of who never paid for it, that's true. But again, there is no "loss" of anything, except a potential sale. So, there might be a loss or there might not be a loss... (I think in most of the cases there won't be a loss of sale, as most downloaders are hoarders anyway...)

Is it theft? No, I don't think that word is correct. Also, who is the wrong-doer at this point? The downloader or the one who offers the book online? I'd say the second. He was allowed to make a copy of it, but not to offer it to a third person.

Ea
03-02-2010, 08:37 AM
Thanks for this. May be interesting to see what people think, but I don't have a lot of confidence that it won't devolve into the usual round and round back and forth.
I brought popcorn! :D


...

Over here, you have a rule that you can make as many copies of a music piece (be it music cassette, LP, CD, DVD, MP3 and any other format) as long as you make the copy yourself and it is for your own use. (so, "format shifting" is allowed) (but what about DRM?). For books (paper!), it says you cannot reproduce it by putting it under a copy machine (or scanner), only parts of it can be reproduced. Naturally, this was never a problem as who wanted to scan an entire book and leave that in the house somewhere?? Software has another rule, you are allowed to make 1 copy of it (hey, and what about copy protection! another thing not anticipated...)

...
That would be The Netherlands, I assume :) The Danish laws are a bit more liberal - and the British a bit more restrictive, AFAIK.

kennyc
03-02-2010, 08:41 AM
I brought popcorn! :D




:thumbsup:

pietvo
03-02-2010, 09:20 AM
@Sweetpea
In our (Dutch) law it is explicitely allowed to download but not offering copies. So your last paragraph is also correct according to our law (some month ago the government was talking about changing this rule, however).
And the article in the law that allows you to make an electronic copy of CD's and other media doesn't even talk about audio, music or video. Therefore it also applies to ebooks, even though they may not have thought about that when the law was made. So also making a scan of your pbook and converting it to an ebook is allowed, contrary to making a pcopy, where you are only allowed to copy a small part. But you must do it yourself. And only for private, non-commercial use. The only exception is to software and databases where this is not allowed. But an ebook is not software similar to an MP3 file or a plain text file not being software.

And of course other countries have different laws.

Daithi
03-02-2010, 09:32 AM
Personally I think "format shifting," "backups," and any copying as long as it is for personal use should be regarded as a "personal fair use" -- and this should apply to DRM removal, EULA, etc. Unfortunately this concept isn't explicitly written into existing laws, so it depends on the judge interpreting existing precedents and such. It's too bad that "intent to distribute" isn't part of the prerequisites that defines a copyright violation. I don't know if this what Pdurrant was looking for, but the intent to distribute is where I see the distinction.

Sweetpea
03-02-2010, 09:36 AM
@Sweetpea
In our (Dutch) law it is explicitely allowed to download but not offering copies. So your last paragraph is also correct according to our law (some month ago the government was talking about changing this rule, however).
I know. And I agree with that ruling (not the new, proposed one! They should shoot Kuik away from the solar system as fast as possible! Without life support, naturally.)

And the article in the law that allows you to make an electronic copy of CD's and other media doesn't even talk about audio, music or video. Therefore it also applies to ebooks, even though they may not have thought about that when the law was made. So also making a scan of your pbook and converting it to an ebook is allowed, contrary to making a pcopy, where you are only allowed to copy a small part. But you must do it yourself. And only for private, non-commercial use. The only exception is to software and databases where this is not allowed. But an ebook is not software similar to an MP3 file or a plain text file not being software.

And of course other countries have different laws.

The law doesn't specifically name formats for the copying of CD's and other media, but it does specifically name software and pbooks. The question remains, what is an ebook? Is it media? Is it a book? Is it software? Because it's all three... (and if you want to include those silly people who talk about taxes, you'll have to include service in that group well :rofl:).

You can say it's not software, but it is a book. And thus you shouldn't be allowed to make a copy of it. (electronically or otherwise is always mentioned, btw...), but it's also a form of media and thus you should be allowed to make a copy of it.

Redistributing is always against the law, no matter what...

ShellShock
03-02-2010, 09:37 AM
To answer the original question, how about "copywrong"? Self explanatory and descriptive--you are copying when it is wrong to do so.

Mike L
03-02-2010, 09:42 AM
Problem with today's laws is that they don't and cannot cover all new media.

We hear that argument every day. Similarly, we are often told that the law has failed to keep pace with new technology. But I wonder if it's really true.

Copyright law in general doesn't deal with media or technology. It deals with creative work. It's not concerend with the medium in which the work might happen to be stored or the methods available for copying it.

If the law limits your right to make copies of my latest novel, it makes no difference if the novel is published as a paper book, as an ebook, as an audio book, or as some sort of literary hologram that hasn't been invented yet. And any restrictions apply equally whether you are photocopying a piece of paper, copying a digital file, or even reading the book alound into a tape recorder.

The fact that it's a thousand times easier to copy a computer file than it is to photocopy a book doesn't change the intent of the law.

Of course, there is an argument that says that you have to copy an ebook in order to use it - if only to copy it from the computer on which you download it to your reading device. But that should be covered either by the terms and conditions on which the book is sold, or by common conventions and customs. If the law doesn't explicitly cover that case, that doesn't mean it has failed to keep up with technology.

I can't help thinking that the argument that copyright law hasn't kept up with technology is too often used as a justification for not observing the law.

Note that I'm not talking about any particular piece of legislation here, or about the law in any particular country, but rather about the basic concept of copyright and the legal framework that embodies it.

mrscoach
03-02-2010, 09:47 AM
I find myself in the first and third camps, mostly, but also agreeing with some of the second camps points. I find this all fascinating because I am currently studying instructional technology for a class (just started) and we are looking into Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants.

A Native is someone who grew up with computers and all the digital media we have today. They speak the language fluently, and are the multi-tasking, forward thinkers of tomorrow. An Immigrant is someone who grew up before computers and, while making adjustments and learning the language, still have an 'accent'. They do not automatically turn to the internet for research, emails might be followed up with a phone call to see if it was received, instead of sending a link to an interesting website they would call others into their office to see.

I would honestly have to place myself in the Immigrant category, just going by the fact that I didn't touch a computer until a senior in high school, and then to learn 'basic' programming. I am pretty much bilingual now, but find myself reverting to my native ways at times.

I am wondering where those on each side would find themselves, as 'Natives' or 'Immigrants'. That might shed some light on our thoughts. Should I start a poll, just for kicks?

kennyc
03-02-2010, 10:46 AM
My first "computer use" was an analog kit I built when a teenager in the early 60's. Didn't really have exposure to digital computers until about '72 or so when I began to learn programming in Basic as an extracurricular activity during my first year of college. I continued to study and learn electronics and computer and eventually got my degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and have been fully immersed for almost 30 years now....I guess that puts me in the "immigrant" category, but feel more like a native than most since I grew along with and am "in the industry."

khalleron
03-02-2010, 10:51 AM
Oh no! It's a 'need a new word thread'! Has Dan Bloom hijacked PDurrant's ID?

kennyc
03-02-2010, 10:55 AM
I think we should call it "Deft" that's my nomination. (better than liesues or whatever that silly word is :p )

pdurrant
03-02-2010, 11:08 AM
Oh no! It's a 'need a new word thread'! Has Dan Bloom hijacked PDurrant's ID?

No, I'm still me (I think). But yes, I regret that this is, in essence, a 'need a new word' thread.

But perhaps the incidental discussion will, for once, generate more light than heat.

pdurrant
03-02-2010, 11:13 AM
I think we should call it "Deft" that's my nomination.

Could that possibly be a portmanteau word from "digital" and "theft"? At least it's pronounceable. A shame it's already in use as an adjective.

kennyc
03-02-2010, 11:15 AM
Could that possibly be a portmanteau word from "digital" and "theft"? At least it's pronounceable. A shame it's already in use as an adjective.


Hee-Hee. You caught me. :D

We could "noun" it!

pdurrant
03-02-2010, 11:21 AM
Hee-Hee. You caught me. :D

We could "noun" it!

I never heard of anyone nouning an adjective., especially where the meaning isn't the same:

He deftly defted the ebook onto his computer...

No, I don't think so!

yekim54
03-02-2010, 11:25 AM
Suggestions for a new term welcome.

DADT - "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Shaggy
03-02-2010, 11:41 AM
The question of how to describe the act of obtaining a first digital copy of copyright material without the copyright holder's permission has frequently appeared on Mobileread.


yeah, only about a billion times. :)


But it's just occurred to me that there might be room for compromise. Because copyright infringement applies to any unauthorised copying. If I buy an ebook, and then duplicate it 1,00 times, I have infringed on the copyright.


Maybe, depends on what you were doing with it.

For example, Amazon's terms of use for ebooks does not grant me the right to make backup copies of content, only "to keep a permanent copy of the applicable Digital Content ". (emphasis added)


That's not copyright infringement, that's breach of contract (assuming the terms of that contract were legally enforceable). Violating the terms of use doesn't have anything to do with copyright in this case.


So what's the difference between infringing copyright by burning a copy of a purchased ebook to CD-R for back-up, and infringing copyright by downloading a copy from some dodgy server on the internet?


Neither one of those is direct copyright infringement.


Is it possible to come up with a term for the act of obtaining digital copyright material without payment or the permission of the copyright holder that both groups could agree on, that distinguishes between innocuous copyright infringement on the one hand, and actual theft on the other?


It's not clear that what you are describing above is even illegal. There are lots of scenarios where you can legally obtain digital content without either payment or permission.

Shaggy
03-02-2010, 11:49 AM
Copyright law in general doesn't deal with media or technology. It deals with creative work. It's not concerend with the medium in which the work might happen to be stored or the methods available for copying it.

If the law limits your right to make copies of my latest novel, it makes no difference if the novel is published as a paper book, as an ebook, as an audio book, or as some sort of literary hologram that hasn't been invented yet. And any restrictions apply equally whether you are photocopying a piece of paper, copying a digital file, or even reading the book alound into a tape recorder.

The fact that it's a thousand times easier to copy a computer file than it is to photocopy a book doesn't change the intent of the law.


:thumbsup:


Of course, there is an argument that says that you have to copy an ebook in order to use it - if only to copy it from the computer on which you download it to your reading device. But that should be covered either by the terms and conditions on which the book is sold, or by common conventions and customs. If the law doesn't explicitly cover that case, that doesn't mean it has failed to keep up with technology.


The US basically says that incidental copying during normal use of the content doesn't count. You can't sue someone for copyright infringement because they had to load the file from their hard drive into memory, or for copying in order to do things that fall under fair use, etc.


I can't help thinking that the argument that copyright law hasn't kept up with technology is too often used as a justification for not observing the law.


Or as justification for trying to pass harsher laws. Both sides try to spin it to their advantage.

JoeD
03-02-2010, 11:50 AM
I say we leave it up to the law makers. They called it copyright infringment to distinguish it from other laws like theft, why confuse matters again?

Shaggy
03-02-2010, 11:53 AM
I say we leave it up to the law makers. They called it copyright infringment to distinguish it from other laws like theft, why confuse matters again?

Because the confusion helps those who wish to push an agenda.

DawnFalcon
03-02-2010, 12:06 PM
Is it possible to come up with a term for the act of obtaining digital copyright material without payment or the permission of the copyright holder

It's Unauthorised Copying. There is no need to redefine anything or spend any time thinking about it. Either a copy is authorised, and fair use, or it's unauthorised. Simple.

The only confusion comes from the moralists, who insist on other terms. And using the terms like Piracy and Theft drives the debate into an emotive rather than logical area, which favours the darknet communities and not the proponents of fair copyright systems.

dmaul1114
03-02-2010, 12:10 PM
I view the harm done as similar to theft, as a person has obtained material that is not freely available without paying for it.

But it's not exactly the same since no physical item has been taken and at best a potential sale was lost (as the person may not have ever bought the item they pirated--with a physical item if they hadn't, at least it could be sold to someone else and now can't since the item is gone).

So I'm ok with coming up with some other term to label the act of stealing/illegally downloading copyrighted digital content.

For me the key is that we as a society come to view illegal downloading as just as wrong as stealing a physical item. As we move into the digital era and eventually ONLY have digital versions of albums, movies, books etc. traditional theft will simply no longer be possible. Copyright infringement, piracy, whatever you want to call it will be the only what "theft" like activities can cost companies sales in these industries.

As long as we start treating is as wrong, as a minor misdemeanor like shoplifting, then I couldn't care less what label we put on the act. I'll leave that to the people who like arguing terminology and semantics.

And I've spent way too much time discussing such issues lately, so that's all I'll say in this thread as my views on the topic are clear.

pdurrant
03-02-2010, 12:11 PM
Neither one of those is direct copyright infringement.


Now we're getting into things that differ from country to country. In the UK there is a clause in the copyright law that permits making a backup of a computer program. An ebook is not a computer program. Currently, in the UK it is not permitted to make a backup copy of an ebook, just as it is not permitted to copy a CD onto a hard disk.

Copyright in the UK specifies that copying the work requires the permission of the owner of the copyright. There are "Fair dealing" exceptions, which specify when permission is not required. None apply in the two cases mentioned, and in the UK both are copyright infringement.

It may be that you do not consider any personal digital copying to be copyright infringement. In the UK you are wrong.

But I don't think we need to get into the very fine detail of national copyright laws. If you think my examples don't apply in your country, perhaps you can think up equivalent ones yourself.

Or perhaps you think my distinction between copyright infringement of a digital file of which you already have a copy, and copyright infringement which involves obtaining a copy of a file you didn't have before, is not valid?

DawnFalcon
03-02-2010, 12:14 PM
dmaul11!4-

Your "key" is the one to the door called "IP should be abolished". Step away and put the key down. By conflating completely inequivalent offences - theft is allways wrong, making a copy is necessary for the operation of computers and is often otherwise fair use, and is wrong only in certain situations you're being your own worst enemy as far as copyright goes.

Moreover, there is no appetite outside America and a few corporate boardrooms for labeling major parts of the community as criminals.

Respecting rights and sensible prices - and not worrying about a fringe movement - has proven the only effective antidote to darknets so far.


pdurrant - Equally, in the UK they're simply un-prosecutable. It's not in the public interest to chase those cases. Of course, the music industry is generously trying to use that as a starting base for negotiations, giving us the right to do what they already cannot act on rather than with the de-facto situation (i.e. they're trying to make out they're already making effective concessions, when they're not...)

pdurrant
03-02-2010, 12:19 PM
I say we leave it up to the law makers. They called it copyright infringment to distinguish it from other laws like theft, why confuse matters again?

I agree that both are copyright infringement. My point was that I perceive there to be a difference between two acts that are both copyright infringement.

Having the same term for two different things leads to confusion.

asjogren
03-02-2010, 12:19 PM
I think there might be another category of "copyright infringement":

Those that honor the intent of the copyright of an eBook as if it were a paper book - regardless of the attempts to:
- limit rights via licensing agreements
- artificially restrict purchases based on geography
- constrain what devices are used to read via DRM or format

pdurrant
03-02-2010, 12:34 PM
It's Unauthorised Copying. There is no need to redefine anything or spend any time thinking about it. Either a copy is authorised, and fair use, or it's unauthorised. Simple.

No quite - I think you may have some ands and ors mixed up there.

A copy can be authorised or unauthorised.
If unauthorised, if can be "fair use" (US) or "fair dealing" (UK - much more restricted).

So a copy can be authorised, or unauthorised and fair use/fair dealing, or unauthorised and not fair use/fair dealing.

I am suggesting that there is another split in the unauthorised/not fair use class.

In the US, I agree that fair use covers most personal copying of an authorised copy of a work, and so my distinction is less needed. In the UK a wide range of acts that most would consider innocuous are not covered by fair dealing.

DawnFalcon
03-02-2010, 12:39 PM
Okay, restate: Not all unauthorised copying is illegal. There is unauthorised copying which falls into the scope of fair use/dealing, some falls into illegal/unenforceable EULA's and some in the UK which can't be prosecuted.

This is distinctly different from an offence such as theft, which is always illegal.

pdurrant
03-02-2010, 12:47 PM
Okay, restate: Not all unauthorised copying is illegal. There is unauthorised copying which falls into the scope of fair use/dealing, some falls into illegal/unenforceable EULA's and some in the UK which can't be prosecuted.

This is distinctly different from an offence such as theft, which is always illegal.

I can go along with all that (with minor quibbles I won't bother with.)

But you seem to have missed my point, (or you disagree with me), that there's some illegal unauthorised copying which is more illegal than others. For me, that class includes obtaining a unauthorised copy of a digital file, rather than anything to do with personal use of an authorised copy.

And it is for these acts that I feel the term "copyright infringement", although technically correct, isn't sufficient as it fails to make this distinction.

Shaggy
03-02-2010, 12:48 PM
Now we're getting into things that differ from country to country. In the UK there is a clause in the copyright law that permits making a backup of a computer program. An ebook is not a computer program. Currently, in the UK it is not permitted to make a backup copy of an ebook, just as it is not permitted to copy a CD onto a hard disk.

The problem is that misusing terminology (like stealing, etc) only adds to the confusion. People start letting the "industry" or the "pirates" convince them that they are allowed or not allowed to do things regardless of what the laws actually say.

For example, others in this thread have used the term "illegal downloading". What, exactly, does that mean? If you get rid of all the misinformation being spread, what part of copyright law actually makes downloading without permission illegal? As has been discussed in numerous other threads, if you really did make downloading without permission illegal, it is going to have a huge impact. The internet as it exists today would be virtually unusable. Everyone would potentially be guilty without even knowing it. This is another example of people hearing terminology misused and then becoming misinformed. Uploading is illegal, and uploading is what people are sued for. The term "downloading" is popularized (and even used in media), but leads people to think that things are illegal which actually aren't.

Shaggy
03-02-2010, 12:52 PM
I think there might be another category of "copyright infringement":

Those that honor the intent of the copyright of an eBook as if it were a paper book - regardless of the attempts to:
- limit rights via licensing agreements
- artificially restrict purchases based on geography
- constrain what devices are used to read via DRM or format

I like to call that enforcing my own DCRM instead of their DRM. (Digital Consumer Rights Management) :D

DawnFalcon
03-02-2010, 12:58 PM
And it is for these acts that I feel the term "copyright infringement", although technically correct, isn't sufficient as it fails to make this distinction.

If unauthorised copying is actionable is not a science. It's something which needs to be weighed on a case by case basis. By trying to invent another word, which will immediately be applied by the studios and publishers to all unauthorised copying regardless of the law... (the dispute moves up in energy level again, we have yet another word, and I sigh)

pdurrant
03-02-2010, 01:00 PM
If unauthorised copying is actionable is not a science. It's something which needs to be weighed on a case by case basis. By trying to invent another word, which will immediately be applied by the studios to all unauthorised copying regardless of the law... (the dispute moves up in energy level again, we have yet another word, and I sigh)

But perhaps better than calling it piracy or theft?

pdurrant
03-02-2010, 01:03 PM
For example, others in this thread have used the term "illegal downloading". What, exactly, does that mean?
[...] The term "downloading" is popularized (and even used in media), but leads people to think that things are illegal which actually aren't.

Downloading a copy of a copyright work without permission is not illegal in some countries, but it is illegal in others.

DawnFalcon
03-02-2010, 01:07 PM
But perhaps better than calling it piracy or theft?

It's unauthorised copying, which is sometimes illegal. This paints a picture quite different from the black and white one big industry promote. Adding another word won't change how the studios and publishers use language... (it's just bloat in the language, which is worth opposing on it's own merits)

Shaggy
03-02-2010, 01:14 PM
Downloading a copy of a copyright work without permission is not illegal in some countries, but it is illegal in others.

I have never negotiated permission with the actual rights holder for any of the IP I have bought/downloaded. Have you? What I normally do is receive that content from a 3rd party who has negotiated permission to distribute, but that is not the same thing. There is no such thing as permission to receive in copyright, although some people would like everyone to think there is.

thename
03-02-2010, 02:24 PM
Suggestions for a new term welcome. I'd prefer it not to be a term for an existing crime — so not piracy or bootlegging.

I like the idea of "innocent infringement." This covers a huge gamut of things that could, in the strict, legal sense, be considered "copyright infringement" but any reasonable person would balk at such an interpretation.

From the aforementioned DRM stripping to correct layout issues or promote iner-operability to accidentally purchasing non-licensed musical content (allofmp3.com anybody?). These are things that I think most people would say "what's wrong with that?" but the courts have, on occasion, disagreed.

To me I'm "innocently infringing" by allowing myself to have protected PDFs and EPUBs on my Sony Reader at the same time. I'm "innocently infringing" by keeping DRM-stripped backups from my TiVo. Heck, I'm "innocently infringing" by occasionally playing my music loud enough for others to hear! Or leaving music files (even watermarked, purchased files!) in a directory that is potentially open to someone savvy enough to get at them.

MrBlueSky
03-02-2010, 03:36 PM
Is it possible to come up with a term for the act of obtaining digital copyright material without payment or the permission of the copyright holder ...

Yes, its called borrowing.

pthwaite
03-02-2010, 06:14 PM
Perhaps what we all want is "e-borrowing" and to be able to easily transfer said ebook onto whatever device we own to read it.
While at present the main formats may be epub and mobi (including derivatives) things move on and so 5 years down the road say your present e-reader dies, you get a newer model and can then no longer read your book. One of the problems with digital files in general. At least if you were allowed to format shift, this would resolve many issues.

Steven Lyle Jordan
03-02-2010, 08:05 PM
Not all unauthorised copying is illegal.

But you seem to have missed my point, (or you disagree with me), that there's some illegal unauthorised copying which is more illegal than others.

You're tripping over some misconceptions here: You can't have something that is stated as illegal to do, and be legal to do, at the same time. It either is, or is not, legal.

The fact is that the differences in national laws override certain elements of each other, including the legality of copying. This means that it is, in fact, legally authorized in one country, whether it has been authorized in another country or not. Law in nation B trumps law in nation A. Taking both nation's laws into account removes the ambiguity.

As Mike L pointed out, the laws involving copyright are written as they should be, media-independent. Most of the related discussion is intended to rationalize people's right to do whatever they wish with a file, authorized or not. The trumps and loopholes involved with conflicting national laws are therefore being applied as smokescreens to hide behind.

If anything, the laws need to be updated and revised to establish common laws for all participating countries, so there are no "trumps" and inconsistencies from nation to nation to obfuscate the issue. This alone would solve most of the gray areas involved in infringement. To be sure, there are some major differences between physical media and digital files, so possibly the laws should also be revised to make clear how they apply to digital as well as physical media.

To answer the central question: Again, we are playing with semantics. Doing something that is not authorized by copyright is copyright infringement. Taking something in violation of the intended method of trade (ie, paying for it) is theft. And for the record, it is possible to be both at the same time: Making a copy and giving it to someone in an unauthorized manner is both copyright infringement and theft.

You don't need a new word... but you may need to use both existing phrases together.

DawnFalcon
03-02-2010, 08:34 PM
You're tripping over some misconceptions here: You can't have something that is stated as illegal to do, and be legal to do, at the same time. It either is, or is not, legal.

Sure. Well, let's see if I can come up with a good way to state this:

"The test to see if a given copy is legal or not may depend on a number of factors. An authorised copy is always legal. An unauthorised copy needs to be subjected to further tests to determine if it is legal or not - these are known as fair use / fair dealing."

Taking something in violation of the intended method of trade (ie, paying for it) is theft."

Incorrect. Theft is depriving someone of a possession of theirs without consent. Without deprivation, the crime is not theft and using the word is simply and plainly incorrect.

There is no great need to change laws or the system of justice concerning IP or civil law. Older, unrealistic, business models have to be allowed to die out, and user rights need to be scrupulous protected.

If we do that, then at the end of the day will we have a sustainable, rich flow of media rather than one which is choked by the dead hand of a few companies who will not let go of their hold for anything, especially the law of the land.

pietvo
03-02-2010, 08:45 PM
As Mike L pointed out, the laws involving copyright are written as they should be, media-independent.
That is not true in all cases. The Dutch law is media-independent for the source of a copy (you are not allowed to copy the `work'), but not with respect to the destination. The law makes a distinction between physical copies and digital copies. Although these terms are not used as such it is clear from the explanations that there is a separate article in the law regarding making digital copies (including digital copies from physical objects, like scanning a book). In the latter case you have more rights: you can make a copy for yourself, for private, non-commercial use, whereas for making photocopies you are only allowed to copy a small part, but you can have the copying done by someone else on your behalf.

mr ploppy
03-03-2010, 07:32 AM
Unauthorised content consumption.

It always amuses me when I read these sort of threads and see people getting all hysterical about lost income due to unauthorised content consumption.

There are basically 2 different types of downloaders:

1. Try before you buy. Self explanatory really, if they like what they download they will buy it, or buy something else from you, recommend you to friends, etc. So there is a potential you might make money from them that you wouldn't make if they hadn't downloaded it. The only potential lost sale would be if they bought something they didn't like. But would you really want to take their money on that basis?

2. If it is free I will have it. aka Freeloaders, hoarders, etc -- see it, download it, burn it to a CDR, file it away, forget about it. Over 99% of the books they download will never be read, so they certainly wouldn't be buying any of them, not even at a car boot. The only way to make money from those people is either through selling advertising at the point of download (or within the product itself), or by selling them the blank media on which to store all their downloads.

If, as all the content producers seem to want, and are prepared to buy MPs in order to obtain, all the unauthorised downloaders were sent to jail or kicked off the internet forever, they would make no money at all from type 2, and lose any income they were already making from type 1. There would also be a knock on effect on the blank media industry, nobody would bother with fast internet connections, so the ISPs would suffer too.

Then there's the whole new can of worms that presumed guilt upon accusation would open up. If it works for unauthorised content consumption and terrorism, it will work for other crimes too. The amount of money such a system would save the government would be quite staggering.

K-Thom
03-03-2010, 07:40 AM
What about "inconsiderate replication" for all downloads or copies without any criminal intention?

Ben Thornton
03-03-2010, 06:18 PM
How about the verb snarf for obtaining a copy without paying? It already has a very similar sense. The computing dictionary at dictionary.com has:3. To acquire, with little concern for legal forms or politesse (but not quite by stealing). "They were giving away samples, so I snarfed a bunch of them."Copies that you make once you've got the content could be called copies.

So, you'd say: "I was going to snarf the file off the darknet, but I found it on Amazon for a few quid instead." Or "I think snarfing a file is as bad as stealing a book." Or "Information wants to be snarfed!"

Shaggy
03-03-2010, 06:22 PM
How about the verb snarf for obtaining a copy without paying?

So, you'd say: "I was going to snarf the file off the darknet..."

Does that mean you would say "I snarfed it from the Library"?

Obtaining without paying is a very poor test of whether it was legal/illegal, or even right/wrong.

Ben Thornton
03-03-2010, 06:37 PM
Does that mean you would say "I snarfed it from the Library"?

Obtaining without paying is a very poor test of whether it was legal/illegal, or even right/wrong.Quite so - I wasn't trying for a precise definition. What I meant was, where we might say "pirating" a copy, we would instead say "snarfing" a copy.

Getting a copy from the library is called "borrowing" (so long as you use your library card, otherwise it's called "stealing"). :)

Hellmark
03-03-2010, 06:58 PM
So what's the difference between infringing copyright by burning a copy of a purchased ebook to CD-R for back-up, and infringing copyright by downloading a copy from some dodgy server on the internet?


If you're still in possession of the backup, you did not break the DRM, and use no more than the maximum number of alloted copies (many allow use on up to 6 different machines), then this is perfectly legal. It is not copyright infringement until you give away your backup, or give away your primary copy and begin to use the backup.

DawnFalcon
03-03-2010, 07:01 PM
Check your own country's laws, that's not true in the UK...

Hellmark
03-03-2010, 07:10 PM
Yeah, should have clarified that was for the US.

Robert Minneman
03-03-2010, 08:00 PM
I guess I'm a bit confused about the symantics/syntax being used in this discussion, and my extremely rudimentary/ignorance laden understanding of copyright law may show through, please forgive me and educate me where I am wrong.

Specifically, how the heck can we put any kind of negative connotation on an action deemed in compliance with "fair use / fair dealing"?

As I currently understand it, copyright laws in various countries actually define/refer to "fair use / fair dealing", so any copies created that are in ultimate compliance with "fair use / fair dealing" are not "unauthorized" as the copyright holder cannot negate "fair use / fair dealing".

There should be absolutely NO negative connotation when referring to anything falling within those legal limits. If we get into the habit of referring in any negative way to this sort of thing we are abdicating our rights as consumers to the publishers and copyright holders.

If "media shifting" or creating a backup falls under "fair use / fair dealing" in your country, then it CAN NOT be considered "unauthorized", as you ARE authorized to do so specifically because the "fair use / fair dealing" portions of your country's copyright laws say so!

kennyc
03-03-2010, 08:20 PM
I guess I'm a bit confused about the symantics/syntax being used in this discussion, and my extremely rudimentary/ignorance laden understanding of copyright law may show through, please forgive me and educate me where I am wrong.

Specifically, how the heck can we put any kind of negative connotation on an action deemed in compliance with "fair use / fair dealing"?

As I currently understand it, copyright laws in various countries actually define/refer to "fair use / fair dealing", so any copies created that are in ultimate compliance with "fair use / fair dealing" are not "unauthorized" as the copyright holder cannot negate "fair use / fair dealing".

There should be absolutely NO negative connotation when referring to anything falling within those legal limits. If we get into the habit of referring in any negative way to this sort of thing we are abdicating our rights as consumers to the publishers and copyright holders.

If "media shifting" or creating a backup falls under "fair use / fair dealing" in your country, then it CAN NOT be considered "unauthorized", as you ARE authorized to do so specifically because the "fair use / fair dealing" portions of your country's copyright laws say so!

True, but it varies from country to country as far as details and what is legal and what is not. Some here think nothing of making a copy of an ebook for 1000 of their closest friends though and this is what rankles me. I'm fine with whatever you want to for your personal use but draw the line at making copies for others -- that is the core meaning of copyright.

It is also about obtaining illegal copies without paying for them which is theft in my book.

DawnFalcon
03-03-2010, 08:30 PM
Specifically, how the heck can we put any kind of negative connotation on an action deemed in compliance with "fair use / fair dealing"?

Because that's how the copyright law works. It's shades of grey. Fair Use/Dealing is a defence which has to be tested in each case, not a right per-se: the rights are on the side of the copyright holder, who is limited in the situations in which he can exert those rights by fair use/dealing.

Ben Thornton
03-04-2010, 03:14 AM
It is also about obtaining illegal copies without paying for them which is theft in my book.I thought that was deft in your book! Snarfing a copy is not theft - and local noodling even less so.

kennyc
03-04-2010, 06:57 AM
It's an old saw, even Shakespeare knew the truth

"Theft by an other name, would still smell rotton."

DawnFalcon
03-04-2010, 12:00 PM
Well yes. Under your own reasoning your attempt to steal the public domain by calling unauthorised copying theft and hence eliminating fair use/dealing is, well, theft. Hence, you're calling yourself rotten.

Logic ++

Format C:
03-04-2010, 12:33 PM
[...]

As Mike L pointed out, the laws involving copyright are written as they should be, media-independent.

[...]

As usual, Steve, you made a good point.
AFAIK, alas, media-indipendency fo the law is not so well performed in the real world.

In a media-independent world, when I buy a book, I buy the content of it. I buy access to the ideas within it, and the Law should enforce my right to access them whenever I want, independently from the medium chosen to bring that content to me.
In such an ideal world, I pay for the book a fair price (free market decides it). And from there on, I only pay additional fees for the raw materials and the work needed to make other copies of it (if they're for my personal use). If I make the copy by myself, e.g. by reading aloud in the memory of my phone to listen to the book while commuting, I should not pay again. If a professional printer makes me a hardcover copy, I should pay him for his work and for the material he uses. But I already paid the author, the editor and the publisher with the first copy, so I owe nothing to them.
In this world of Utopia, copyright laws have been written to ensure content creation, and to provide artists with means.
Author are paid, like every other individual working for the content creation and distribution, readers have their book on every device they want, and they can even choose the page size or the font to display it with.
In the end everybody is happy, with the obvious exception of greedy people, being they authors who want to be overpaid or downloaders who want to read without compensate the one who writes....

In the real world, copyright laws and their enforcement have little to do with content creation and its incentivation, compensating authors and similar utopian amenities: the intent of the Law is to make me pay more than once for the same content.
And, by all means, it can be called robbery, fraud or theft.

;);););)

Shaggy
03-04-2010, 12:40 PM
Specifically, how the heck can we put any kind of negative connotation on an action deemed in compliance with "fair use / fair dealing"?


Because some groups don't want fair use / fair dealing to even exist. The industry would certainly like to spin them as being negative, and actively tries to prevent them with things like DRM.

theducks
03-06-2010, 02:49 PM
Why is it legal for a EULA to contain Illegal restrictive language without breaking out the restriction exceptions by locale?
Warranties Do
Contest Rules Do
Revolving Loan (credit cards) terms Do.

DawnFalcon
03-06-2010, 04:28 PM
A EULA is a Licence. Those are contracts.

pietvo
03-06-2010, 05:29 PM
It is only a contract if both parties have agreed to it. And some rights are unalienable and cannot be voided by a contract (this is dependent on the legislature in which they function). Sometimes even one non-allowed contract term can make the whole contract void.

DawnFalcon
03-06-2010, 05:48 PM
Precisely. A EULA is a one-way grant of licence, whereas you see direct benefits (and hence a two-way relationship) by entering a contest, signing a credit card agreement or agreeing to an extended warranty.

The rules are not the same!

As to voiding, that's why contracts have the "if any clause is held to be void, that term only is struck" language, if the people drafting it have any sense.

Hamlet53
03-06-2010, 07:58 PM
Because that's how the copyright law works. It's shades of grey. Fair Use/Dealing is a defence which has to be tested in each case, not a right per-se: the rights are on the side of the copyright holder, who is limited in the situations in which he can exert those rights by fair use/dealing.


Exactly. That is why even a company like Google that could have poured millions into defense of their Google Book scans as fair use was instead willing to settle and payout millions to those who claimed copyright infringement.

pdurrant
03-12-2010, 09:06 AM
How about the verb snarf for obtaining a copy without paying?

As I said before, this is a good suggestion. But a few minutes ago I was trying to remember what you'd suggested, and "snaffle" came to my mind.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/snaffle

–verb (used with object),-fled, -fling. British Informal.
to appropriate for one's own use, esp. by devious means; purloin; filch.

I think that snarf is more American and snaffle more British. And, indeed, the wonderful Dialecticon (http://www.chaucery.com/fun/dialecticon/) supports this idea. Using the past tenses (snarfed, snaffled) to avoid the noun use of snaffle as a horse's bit, we find about equal use of snarfed and snaffled in the US, but a massive 97.5% for snaffled in the UK. (Australia seems to follow the UK, and Canada likes snarfed even more than the US!)

Checking the other forms of the words, it's still the case that UK and Australia prefer snaffle, while US and Canada prefer snarf.

So from now on I'll be snaffling the occasional ebook that's otherwise unobtainable.

leebase
03-12-2010, 04:16 PM
Making backup copies or stripping DRM so you can read an eBook you paid for on a device you are not licensed to -- that's merely copyright infringement.

Getting copyrighted materials you haven't paid for, sharing copyrighted materials you have paid for with those who haven't in violation of the terms of purchase -- is both copyright infringement and theft.

Lee

Shaggy
03-12-2010, 04:24 PM
Getting copyrighted materials you haven't paid for, sharing copyrighted materials you have paid for with those who haven't in violation of the terms of purchase -- is both copyright infringement and theft.


There are lots of ways that you get copyrighted material you haven't paid for. The easiest one is libraries. Also, just about all material you see on the internet is copyrighted. You're not paying for the majority of that either. Getting something without paying for it is not a good determination of infringement/theft.

Regarding sharing, doing so in violation of copyright law is what would make it infringement, not necessarily the terms of purchase. Those are two different things.

pietvo
03-12-2010, 04:37 PM
Making backup copies is not copyright infringement. At least not where I live, and I guess neither in most jurisdictions. I routinely backup my whole laptop and I don't need any permission for that by any author or publisher or whatever copyright holder. That reminds me: I didn't make a backup today. Just plugged in my backup disk. The computer will take care of the rest. :thumbsup:

leebase
03-12-2010, 04:39 PM
I said "in violation of the terms". When you get content from a library, you are not violating the terms.

When you get a Grisham novel on the net -- that you didn't pay for -- you are stealing. If you post such a book for others to download -- you are stealing and violating copyright.

I have no qualms about violating copyright, but I am against stealing. That's just where I draw the line. I have no problem taking one of my amazon books, stripping the DRM and then reading it with Stanza because I like the Stanza app better (ironically, Amazon bought Stanza).

I'm not claiming to be a paragon of virtue -- but I don't think the issue is cloudy at all. I know I'm violating copyright when I strip drm (or theoretically since I still haven't done so).

When I was in college, and I was making cassette tapes from my friend's LP's -- I knew that I was stealing.

Lee

Shaggy
03-12-2010, 05:47 PM
I said "in violation of the terms". When you get content from a library, you are not violating the terms.


You are not violating the law, it has nothing to do with terms of purchase.


When you get a Grisham novel on the net -- that you didn't pay for -- you are stealing.

Oh goody, another "copyright infringement" = "stealing" discussion. :smack:

kennyc
03-12-2010, 05:51 PM
You are not violating the law, it has nothing to do with terms of purchase.



Oh goody, another "copyright infringement" = "stealing" discussion. :smack:

What law? Fair use maybe? :rofl:



It is stealing. So yeah, it will coming up, you might as well surrender, you will be assimilated.

Ben Thornton
03-12-2010, 05:55 PM
So from now on I'll be snaffling the occasional ebook that's otherwise unobtainable.Snaffle is much older than snarf (16th Century vs. 1960s), snarf having increased use recently through the technical community. The OED doesn't list snarf at all (up to the versions that I have), and Chambers only has the meaning of eating quickly. I wonder if the comparison by country reflects different usage for the same sense, or perhaps more the fact that .com sites dominate technical discussions?

Both words have a meaning of obtaining something by rather dubious means - in a way they are both suggestive of a kind of harmless stealing. If we wanted to avoid that association, perhaps we could use another synonym - "liberate" ;) They want to be free, after all.

JSWolf
03-12-2010, 06:11 PM
No, I'm still me (I think). But yes, I regret that this is, in essence, a 'need a new word' thread.

But perhaps the incidental discussion will, for once, generate more light than heat.

I'm of the mind that breaking the EULA for fair use is OK. And that if you do obtain the eBook without paying for it, then you are in fact stealing. I know it's a digital file and how do you steal a copy of a digital file, but if nothing else, it's stealing money from the author and/or publisher.

So what we need to do is come up with a word that means obtaining a copy of a digital file without paying for it. I'm not going to call this copyright infringement because if that's what it is then what is copyright infringement needs to be changed so this (in effect) is called some form of theft.

Shaggy
03-12-2010, 06:25 PM
So what we need to do is come up with a word that means obtaining a copy of a digital file without paying for it. I'm not going to call this copyright infringement because if that's what it is then what is copyright infringement needs to be changed so this (in effect) is called some form of theft.

That seems a little circular. What's wrong with "copyright infringement", exactly?

TGS
03-12-2010, 06:36 PM
I
So what we need to do is come up with a word that means obtaining a copy of a digital file without paying for it. I'm not going to call this copyright infringement because if that's what it is then what is copyright infringement needs to be changed so this (in effect) is called some form of theft.

From another thread

Google guilty of copyright infringement in France
BBC news today...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8420876.stm

Case opened three years ago, and Google's continuation to scan in the interim seems to be the big issue.

EUR 300k fine rather than Herve de La Martiniere's original demands of EUR 15m.

Further EUR 10k fine per day until the previews are down.

amjb

What Google were not found guilty of is theft.

Ben Thornton
03-12-2010, 06:40 PM
I think that we need several words for different situations, so here's my proposal:

1. Obtaining a copy which is unavailable legitimately: snaffle or snarf
2. Obtaining a copy which is available, and which you have no copy of in an alternative medium: piracy hence pirate a copy
3. Making a copy of a pbook by obtaining a darknet copy: tenebroreticulography

kennyc
03-12-2010, 06:44 PM
That seems a little circular. What's wrong with "copyright infringement", exactly?

It doesn't fit the act wrt new digital media.

DawnFalcon
03-12-2010, 06:56 PM
So what we need to do is come up with a word that means obtaining a copy of a digital file without paying for it.

Unauthorised Copying

(and you are so lucky blink tags don't work!)

And yes, I'm quite aware you evidently hate the concept of copyright so much you want a comprehensive private copy exemption, but some of us actually like copyright and would like to preserve it.

Ben - When you get "tenebroreticulography" into a dictionary I'm going to care. Until then, it's going to reflect on everything you post as far as I'm concerned.

Ben Thornton
03-12-2010, 07:18 PM
Ben - When you get "tenebroreticulography" into a dictionary I'm going to care. Until then, it's going to reflect on everything you post as far as I'm concerned.What do you mean? Did you miss my invisible <irony> tags - or did you think that I really thought that it would catch on!?

kennyc
03-12-2010, 07:22 PM
What do you mean? Did you miss my invisible <irony> tags - or did you think that I really thought that it would catch on!?

It must be that dry Engrish Wit. :rofl:

Shaggy
03-12-2010, 07:27 PM
What do you mean? Did you miss my invisible <irony> tags - or did you think that I really thought that it would catch on!?

I think we should add an exception to copyright that says if you can say tenebroreticulography 10 times quickly on the witness stand, they automatically find you not guilty.

kennyc
03-12-2010, 07:29 PM
I think we should add an exception to copyright that says if you can say tenebroreticulography 10 times quickly on the witness stand, they automatically find you not guilty.

I'd vote for that! :thumbsup:

leebase
03-12-2010, 10:24 PM
What law? Fair use maybe? :rofl:



It is stealing. So yeah, it will coming up, you might as well surrender, you will be assimilated.

I think you accidentally agreed with me. You might want to edit your post ;)

Lee

kennyc
03-12-2010, 10:30 PM
I think you accidentally agreed with me. You might want to edit your post ;)

Lee

Wait, no, couldn't of. :rofl:

Hey even DawnFalcon and I agreed on something once. :eek:

JSWolf
03-13-2010, 09:28 AM
A EULA is a Licence. Those are contracts.

But is is a valid contract if the EULA is trying to do away with fair use?

JSWolf
03-13-2010, 09:33 AM
Unauthorised Copying

(and you are so lucky blink tags don't work!)

And yes, I'm quite aware you evidently hate the concept of copyright so much you want a comprehensive private copy exemption, but some of us actually like copyright and would like to preserve it.

Copyright is such a mess at present. It doesn't take into account things it needs to take into account. And the fact that Disney can manipulate copyright so easily make copyright almost useless.

I don't hate copyright. But copyright isn't working for the digital age. It's founded in paper and corporations. It needs to be founded on content that is media neutral and stay away from corporations.

DawnFalcon
03-13-2010, 01:48 PM
What do you mean? Did you miss my invisible <irony> tags - or did you think that I really thought that it would catch on!?

I really, really dislike attempts to directly push new words in general. Either a word catches on because you use it, or it doesn't. Attempts to deliberately define the language is one of the reasons why we're speaking English, not French.

DawnFalcon
03-13-2010, 01:51 PM
But is is a valid contract if the EULA is trying to do away with fair use?

Most EULA's in Europe are a waste of the electrons used to display them, yea.

And while copyright is a mess, a strong non-commercial copying exemption as sought by the Piratepartys would rip a large chunk out of the market. I don't disagree change is needed, but that one isn't the right sort of change.

(The only IP law I'm happy with is Trademark)

Krystian Galaj
03-13-2010, 03:42 PM
The word 'piracy' when used in connection with copyright infringement seems to me to describe really well the activity, and not the fair use branch of it. So I don't see a need for any new word, and I doubt any artificially introduced word would catch on - if there was a word to describe it with a power to catch on, someone would have used it randomly on the Net, and it would be known here by now.

pietvo
03-13-2010, 05:06 PM
Most EULA's in Europe are a waste of the electrons used to display them, yea.
Most of the print books here in Holland have the standard clause on one of the first pages like: `No part of this book may be reproduced [etc. ...] without the written permission of the publisher', while the laws says that you are allowed to copy a couple of pages. These things just have no legal binding power whatsoever.

DawnFalcon
03-13-2010, 05:25 PM
The word 'piracy' when used in connection with copyright infringement seems to me to describe really well the activity, and not the fair use branch of it.

...And there again there's the basic misconception. There is no "branch" of unauthorised copying which is fair use, it's a defence against being charged with infringement!

Piracy has it's own meaning for ship hijacking which is once more on the rise and needs to be held in a sharply different light to unauthorised copying if it is to have the appropriate action taken against it - using "piracy" at this stage is promoting a moral panic on one hand, and used as fodder for the darknet community's self-justification on the other. There is no "gripping hand" in the situation, people need to stop using it when talking about IP law.

Ben Thornton
03-13-2010, 05:47 PM
I really, really dislike attempts to directly push new words in general. Either a word catches on because you use it, or it doesn't. Attempts to deliberately define the language is one of the reasons why we're speaking English, not French.It seems fair enough to me to propose new language - not that I was being serious with my particular taurocoprologism. To attempt to mandate what language is used, to legislate even - which is what I assume you're referring to wrt the French, is a very nasty idea. Language should be free to evolve - but people need to suggest things from which the fittest survive.

What this thread was about was finding language to describe the different cases of unauthorised copying ;) - because not all cases are the same.

DawnFalcon
03-13-2010, 06:14 PM
Trying to force the use of rigid language onto the current system, which legally mandates individual testing of each case, is precisely what's being proposed by both (fanatical) ends of the spectrum - and only serves their ends.

Ben Thornton
03-13-2010, 06:20 PM
Trying to force the use of rigid language onto the current system, which legally mandates individual testing of each case, is precisely what's being proposed by both (fanatical) ends of the spectrum - and only serves their ends.I thought that this was a light-hearted thread about what we could call some different types of activity that don't seem to fit the language being used. Downloading a copy of a book that one has on paper doesn't seem like "piracy", for example - at least to some.

So, I'm confused by the idea of "trying to force the use of rigid language onto the current system" - who is doing that?

kennyc
03-13-2010, 06:22 PM
I thought that this was a light-hearted thread about what we could call some different types of activity that don't seem to fit the language being used. Downloading a copy of a book that one has on paper doesn't seem like "piracy", for example - at least to some.

So, I'm confused by the idea of "trying to force the use of rigid language onto the current system" - who is doing that?


Ben meet Dawn. ;)

K-Thom
03-13-2010, 06:29 PM
What about copyrape?

See, no "theft" in there, but people still would get the message. You're doing something you shouldn't and force your will upon others to satisfy your basic desires.*

* still not sure if I do want to use an <irony> tag ...

Ben Thornton
03-13-2010, 06:44 PM
What about copyrape?

See, no "theft" in there, but people still would get the message. You're doing something you shouldn't and force your will upon others to satisfy your basic desires.*

* still not sure if I do want to use an <irony> tag ...The whole point of this thread was to distinguish between "innocuous" cases of copying without permission, which may or may not in fact be legal (e.g. for back-up or format shifting) and, for example, obtaining new material without paying when you could have paid.

That's why we were coming up with softer sounding words like "snaffle".

The cases that were being discussed were not ones that were seen as wrong (by definition in the original post), and certainly not forcing ones will onto anybody else.

K-Thom
03-13-2010, 07:08 PM
You mean, something like "Whoopsy daisy"? ;)

Ben Thornton
03-13-2010, 07:25 PM
You mean, something like "Whoopsy daisy"? ;)Now you've got it!

ChrisC333
03-13-2010, 07:36 PM
Suggestions for a new term welcome. I'd prefer it not to be a term for an existing crime — so not piracy or bootlegging.



Would you accept "Booklegging" ? ;)

There are several problems with trying to unify both attitudes and practice regarding books. One is that we are already used to an existing system with print books whereby we can legally share a physical book as freely as we like and then even resell it. Furthermore we have a fully sanctioned library system that allows free use of books and often even provides photocopying equipment to assist in copying text. There are usually rules on the degree of copying allowed but I've not seen them effectively policed.

Even the language is misleading. We refer to a "copy" of a book even when we mean a legally purchased physical volume.


A further problem comes when you try and sort out what is basically a commercial wish-list (largely a bluff if you like) and what is the actual law in your particular country. I once spent a week ringing round everybody from retailers to the police, consumer groups, law firms etc to find out what the local laws are regarding computer games (the EULA's attempt to set very tight restrictions which are widely ignored). The police weren't interested and NOBODY was able to tell me what the law was. The nearest I got was the Law Society offering to provide me with a list of firms that I could hire to mount a test case in court! :rolleyes:

The answer turned out to be that, in practice, it's a commercial matter and the wholesalers had to look after their own interests in whatever way they saw fit. Some pressured retailers not to trade second hand games, but most didn't bother and concentrated on attracting new sales during the peak interest time.

eBooks seem to be going down a similar path. Most people will follow whatever their personal morality says, and local law enforcers won't have the time, interest or capacity to do much about it. I strongly prefer to pay my way, but I'll make my own mind up about issues such as DRM, mutual lending, fair use of material for 'demonstration' purposes etc.

Cheers,

Chris

DawnFalcon
03-13-2010, 10:04 PM
I thought that this was a light-hearted thread ....

Nothing about the issues involved are light hearted. Or fun. Or amusing.

It's at the heart of a very real struggle which will define our society and it's control over our lives in the next few decades. Post-scarcity and scarcity economics are competing in the same market space, and the result is not proving pretty.

You cannot force a hard and fast distinction in the way you're advocating without bringing an axe down on copyright law and re-writing it from the ground up, given the current way copyright law works. Are you arguing that a re-write, now, given the influence which trade guilds (and I am using the word deliberately, in the old sense of the world) have on governments that it would benefit the consumer?

So...I can only treat your suggestion from the standpoint of the likely result. Adjustment is possible, but a re-write is not going to work at this time.


ChrisC333 - No, it's in no way misleading to call something an "authorised copy". Because copy is the word - you're dealing with the start of post-scarcity economics now. And yes, right, again: Fair Use is a defence against accusations of wrongdoing, not a right per-se.

Ben Thornton
03-14-2010, 09:20 AM
Nothing about the issues involved are light hearted. Or fun. Or amusing.

It's at the heart of a very real struggle which will define our society and it's control over our lives in the next few decades. Post-scarcity and scarcity economics are competing in the same market space, and the result is not proving pretty.This strikes me as over-dramatic.You cannot force a hard and fast distinction in the way you're advocatingI'm not advocating any such thing. I'm not taking part in a titantic struggle to redefine society. I'm chatting on an internet forum about ebooks, wondering whether we should have a special word for innocuous copying.

DawnFalcon
03-14-2010, 01:33 PM
...And that's why the collection companies and the darknet advocates are dominating the debate.

Nakor
03-15-2010, 04:17 PM
Oh, we're looking for words to describe not-evil cases of potentially illegal activity? Stuff like changing file formats for your device and such?

Then I say it should be the opposite of piracy. It should clearly be ninjacy. And the people doing it would therefore be ninjas.

Elfwreck
03-15-2010, 04:29 PM
I heartily disapprove. The tower of ebabel and copyfight wars don't need the added stress of the pirates vs ninjas (http://www.piratesversusninjas.com/prototype/) controversy.

We'd have cutlasses and shuriken all over the forum.

Lemurion
03-15-2010, 04:32 PM
I heartily disapprove. The tower of ebabel and copyfight wars don't need the added stress of the pirates vs ninjas (http://www.piratesversusninjas.com/prototype/) controversy.

We'd have cutlasses and shuriken all over the forum.

This is why we need the all new shurikutlass.

Elfwreck
03-15-2010, 04:33 PM
But does the shurikutlass slice through DRM?

kennyc
03-15-2010, 04:42 PM
I heartily disapprove. The tower of ebabel and copyfight wars don't need the added stress of the pirates vs ninjas (http://www.piratesversusninjas.com/prototype/) controversy.

We'd have cutlasses and shuriken all over the forum.

Hee-hee, we already do!

:eek:

Lemurion
03-15-2010, 04:42 PM
But does the shurikutlass slice through DRM?

Of course it does: it has a monomolecular blade!

:)