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Old 07-25-2011, 04:48 PM   #61
Shaggy
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If you download, but never upload, the laws you broke come in to play once you have the file.
What laws?
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:13 PM   #62
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The law is a little silly in this regards. You're right, there really is no difference as far as you making your own eBook, or downloading one. Where there is a difference though, is that the person you download it from is committing copyright infringement.
I believe the downloader is (often) also committing copyright infringement. The issue is, he's creating *one* copy, which is below the threshold of criminal copyright infringement, and he's not distributing.

It's really, really hard to (1) track exactly who that person is to file a civil suit, (2) prove that the digital copy he has is an illegal copy, not something made by/for fair use, and (3) convince a judge that making a single copy of, oh, Under the Dome is worth thousands of dollars in damages, much less hundreds of thousands. If they managed to prove a single-book case, any halfway sensible judge & jury would look at it like petty theft, plus a bit of penalty fines.

They don't have the resources to file those suits; nobody does. It's not that downloaders are never breaking copyright law, but they're breaking a smaller part of it, at such a tiny scale that it's not worth going after. And a downloader might have a claim for fair use--"multiple copies for classroom use" is an example of fair use, and the law doesn't say teachers have to provide those copies.
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:39 PM   #63
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I believe the downloader is (often) also committing copyright infringement. The issue is, he's creating *one* copy
No, the uploader is creating the copy and distributing it. Downloaders are not direct infringers. At best, what you could try and argue is that a downloader committed contributory copyright infringement. IE, that the downloader intentionally caused the uploader to commit infringement (including that the downloader knew it would be infringing, and that their actions were the reason the direct infringer committed infringement). However, you have to show intent, which is always a tricky road to go down. I don't think anyone has even attempted it in court, let alone actually won. Contributory infringement has mostly been used for physical IP. This is the type of thing that the MPAA used when they tried to go after Sony (the "Betamax case").

Merely receiving copyrighted material is not illegal, even if it was unauthorized. If it were, then everybody on the internet would be guilty.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:50 PM   #64
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Yesterday I bought an e-book published by Penguin. The copyright page includes this notice:

Quote:
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.
Noteworthy, I think, is the concentration on distribution; Penguin is not saying anything about the consumer making copies for personal use.

Two other books purchased yesterday (Farrar Straus and Giroux--which is part of Macmillan--and Random House) have only the standard copyright notice, nothing specific to an e-book; same for a recent Simon & Schuster book I bought.

A HarperCollins book recently purchased has a much stricter notice:

Quote:
By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.
Offhand, I can't think of a Hachette book I own to check what those notices say.

But I think it's interesting that there's no uniformity among the publishers as to what you can do with the e-book you buy, with HC apparently ready to take your firstborn for just about anything that might possibly be construed as a violation of what it's staked out as its turf, Penguin politely reminding you to be on good behavior, and the others simply silent.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:57 PM   #65
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Yeah, well, HarperCollins is owned by Murdoch & co, so why are we surprised by this claim. They haven't been my favourite publisher since they decided an ebook should self-destruct after 26 readings.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:05 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
Yesterday I bought an e-book published by Penguin. The copyright page includes this notice:

Quote:
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.
Noteworthy, I think, is the concentration on distribution; Penguin is not saying anything about the consumer making copies for personal use.
Scanning, uploading and distribution *may or may not* be illegal, depending on the conditions under which it's done. Take the book to Afghanistan, and you can distribute to your heart's content: no copyright law. Buy book, download to laptop, fly to Afghanistan, burn copies to CDs and sell them for a dollar each: entirely legal.

Even in the US, multiple copies for classroom use is legal. Scanning a hardcover for personal use is, as far as any of us know, legal.

The copyright notice inside a book has no connection to what the law actually requires. (And I wish it were legally actionable, wish they were able to be indicted for fraud for claiming more rights than they actually have.)
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:22 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
You're not--you are free to scan it, just like you're free to rip your CDs. Nobody's obligated to provide you a digital version and do that work for you. Owning a CD doesn't give you a free download of that album from iTunes.
Pretty soon you'll get exactly that - whatever you own on CD (as long as it's in your iTunes library) will be accessible on the cloud. Yes, you'll need to have ripped it first, but the file you access on the cloud will not be the copy that you made from your CD. Of course, you do pay for the service, it's not a freebie.

It doesn't change anything that's been said here about books, but I do wonder how it will affect consumer expectations around digital media files in general.

Quote:
iTunes Match

If you want all the benefits of iTunes in the Cloud for music you haven’t purchased from iTunes, iTunes Match is the perfect solution. It lets you store your entire collection, including music you’ve ripped from CDs or purchased somewhere other than iTunes. For just $24.99 a year.2

Here’s how it works: iTunes determines which songs in your collection are available in the iTunes Store. Any music with a match is automatically added to your iCloud library for you to listen to anytime, on any device. Since there are more than 18 million songs in the iTunes Store, most of your music is probably already in iCloud. All you have to upload is what iTunes can’t match. Which is much faster than starting from scratch. And all the music iTunes matches plays back at 256-Kbps iTunes Plus quality — even if your original copy was of lower quality.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:33 PM   #68
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in the cloud means somewhere out there not at MY place under my influence only so you 'll rather see sun going down in the north, or pigs fly, than me upping private files on some companies machines for storage. *shivers*
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:00 PM   #69
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in the cloud means somewhere out there not at MY place under my influence only so you 'll rather see sun going down in the north, or pigs fly, than me upping private files on some companies machines for storage. *shivers*
Exactly... personal computing meant an escape from the High Priests of the Mainframe... now they want the power and control back by pitching the cloud as the wave of the future... if it isn't at my residence on my hard disks then it's not in my control...
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:01 PM   #70
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in the cloud means somewhere out there not at MY place under my influence only so you 'll rather see sun going down in the north, or pigs fly, than me upping private files on some companies machines for storage. *shivers*
you can run your own cloud.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:16 PM   #71
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Hey you! Get offa my cloud!
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:44 PM   #72
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This is exactly why I worry not about what is legal, but what is moral.

Did I support the author by purchasing their book? Then I don't feel any real compunction about skipping a couple of steps in the digitizing process. Especially given the DRM'ing and price fixing of the current ebook market.

I especially don't have any moral qualms about skipping one step or so - like downloading some badly OCR'd PDF. Ohh, I saved myself the first step of the scan. Then I can proof it against the physical edition of the book myself.

I think what's important is that you did your part to support the author (And thus also the publisher, etc).
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:52 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
A HarperCollins book recently purchased has a much stricter notice:

Quote:
By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.
What I think is funny is that the way they've phrased it, all of their customers could be argued as violating this. You're not allowed to have it in any storage and retrieval system, which could be said to be simply storing it on your computer's hard drive, or backing up your still DRM'ed files to any sort of backup system (be it a flash drive, hard drive, optical disk, etc).
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:25 AM   #74
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These two points here are an excellent example of fair use. You buy a CD, and you need to rip it to MP3 to use on a different device. You buy a book, you need to scan it to use it on a different device. Just because one is easier than the other, it doesn't mean you should get the different format for free because it would take longer. You want it digitized? You do the work.
agreed, they gotta pay a person to digitize it, make the layout of the pages and so forth so you should have to pay to get that copy
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:40 AM   #75
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What I think is funny is that the way they've phrased it, all of their customers could be argued as violating this. You're not allowed to have it in any storage and retrieval system, which could be said to be simply storing it on your computer's hard drive, or backing up your still DRM'ed files to any sort of backup system (be it a flash drive, hard drive, optical disk, etc).
Exactly--you can only read the book in the cloud, if you take this at face value. Downloading is a violation, so even the initial act of getting the file onto your own computer or e-reader is a no-no, let alone creating any backup.
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