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Old 08-12-2011, 05:37 PM   #32
Andrew H.
Grand Master of Flowers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charleski View Post
US Case Law is very clear that someone else can't do the format shifting for you. I know it's been 11 years, but have people really forgotten about MP3.com already?
http://www.law.uh.edu/faculty/cjoyce...ase10/UGM.html

This company hasn't got a hope in the courts.
No, case law is not at all clear. MP3.com is not a format shifting case (although MP3.com did make that argument to the court). MP3.com was a service that, if you proved that you owned a copy of a CD, the company would allow you to stream the music over the internet at any time. MP3.com never made a copy of your CD.

This situation would only apply if the Japanese company allowed you to download an e-book of any book you owned upon proof that you owned the book in question. That's not what's happening here, and MP3.com does not apply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charleski View Post
They're creating a copy of a work and then selling that copy back to you. That's the central issue that puts them in violation of copyright, no matter how it gets dressed-up.
No, it's not at all clear that digitizing a work for you falls afoul of copyright. It might, but it is not clear that it does.
Quote:

You'll note that the judge made a special note in the MP3.com case that there was no debate about the commercial nature of their operation. When you buy a personal copy of something there are all sorts of things you, personally, can do with it, but the only people allowed to make money off a copyrighted work are the copyright holders.
The commercial nature of an operation is only one aspect of determining a copyright violation. Movie and book reviews in newspapers are commercial in nature, but their excerpts of copyrighted material usually fall under fair use, despite the commercial nature of their operation. Format shifting is also fair use, and it so it may not matter whether you or a person you hire does the format shifting...as long as they are actually physically scanning in *your* book and charging your only for that.

WRT MP3.com, note that it is only an opinion from a lower court in NY and does not have any precedential value. In any event, Posner criticized its reasoning in Aimster, suggesting that a better rationale for that case would have been that there were not enough safeguards to prove ownership.

I don't know whether this scanning service violates copyright or not. I think it's still an open question, but it may well not. If Sony or Rio can sell you a device or program that permits format shifting, I'm not sure that using a service to make a digital copy of a work would be prohibited when obtaining a commercial product that does the same thing is not.
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