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Old 08-12-2011, 05:11 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by rogue_librarian View Post
Any sane copyright legislation
There's no such thing.
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:37 PM   #32
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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.

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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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Old 08-12-2011, 09:01 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Andrew H. View Post
...
You're wholly mistaken here. As usual, any discussion about copyright ends up mired down in wishful thinking. There's no point arguing on the basis on what you wish might be true, that doesn't help anyone.

Copyright law says you can't make a copy of a copyrighted work. You can't get clearer than that. The exceptions to this prohibition are few and limited, and none of them apply here.

The MP3.com case is directly applicable. Here is the core of the judgement, and it has nothing to do with the incidental properties of the offence: "in actuality defendant is re-playing for the subscribers converted versions of the recordings it copied, without authorization, from plaintiffs' copyrighted CDs. On its face, this makes out a presumptive case of infringement"

Making copies of a copyrighted work is an infringement. It simply does not matter where the company gets the source material that it's copying (though if that source is illegal that would certainly be an aggravation). And it does not matter whether they distribute that copy through the internet, by sending you a disc with the file on it, or by photographing it on microfilm and flying it to you by carrier pigeon.

They are making copies
1) on a commercial basis
2) of the entirety of the work
3) which may directly compete with legal electronic copies which the rights-holder may wish to place on the market.
So it fails on three of the four Fair Use factors right out of the gate and the lack of any transformation of the work (such as parody) rules out any variation of that.

There are areas where a third party can legally format-shift a copy for you, and they're written into the statute. If these people were advertising services to convert books so they could be read by the blind (and complied with the other provisions), then they'd be OK. But there's no mention of that on their site. This is just someone out to make a quick buck who has got away with it in Japan.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:08 AM   #34
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What if the company were to effectively rent their machines to the user, who would then create her or his own digitized copy?

Perhaps it's difficult for people to grasp the idea of personal copy protection because it seems wrong to them intuitively. It conflicts with their basic understanding of the idea of ownership, just as intellectual property has always sounded like an oxymoron to me.
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:27 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charleski View Post
They're creating a copy of a work and then selling that copy back to you.
Actually, they're performing a service. You don't pay them for the copy, you pay them for the work they do.

Quote:
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.
I've said it before: sane copyright legislation will allow you to outsource that work. You may make a copy for your private and personal use? You should be able to pay somebody to do that for you. It's like, you know, having somebody rip your CDs for you.

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There's no such thing.
Point taken. The least insane, then. Or, more bluntly, specifically not the DMCA.
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:15 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by charleski View Post
the only people allowed to make money off a copyrighted work are the copyright holders.
Then retailers are in big trouble.
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:20 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Prestidigitweeze View Post
intellectual property has always sounded like an oxymoron to me.
Get in the habit of mentally substituting imaginary for intellectual and the cognitive dissonance will dissipate.
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:14 PM   #38
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i have a couple of books i would like to do this with.

when i get some time i'll send them in.

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Old 08-13-2011, 05:27 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charleski View Post
You're wholly mistaken here. As usual, any discussion about copyright ends up mired down in wishful thinking. There's no point arguing on the basis on what you wish might be true, that doesn't help anyone.

Copyright law says you can't make a copy of a copyrighted work. You can't get clearer than that. The exceptions to this prohibition are few and limited, and none of them apply here.
Fair use is the relevant exception to the copyright act. Fair use is the basis for the time-shifting/format shifting opinion in Sony. Fair use is the basis of the right to make an mp3 of a CD you own. This exception comes from the Supreme Court's interpretation of fair use; it isn't specifically written into the statute.
[/quote]

The MP3.com case is directly applicable. Here is the core of the judgement, and it has nothing to do with the incidental properties of the offence: "in actuality defendant is re-playing for the subscribers converted versions of the recordings it copied, without authorization, from plaintiffs' copyrighted CDs. On its face, this makes out a presumptive case of infringement"
[quote]
As I mentioned before, the MP3.com case is not binding on anyone (except the parties to that litigation, of course.) It has no precedential value. And it has been criticized by courts whose rulings do have precedential value.

From the 7th Circuit's opinion in Aimster:
Quote:
Someone might own a popular-music CD that he was particularly fond of, but he had not downloaded it into his computer and now he finds himself out of town but with his laptop and he wants to listen to the CD, so he uses Aimster's service to download a copy. This might be a fair use rather than a copyright infringement, by analogy to the time shifting approved as fair use in the Sony case.
And criticizing the ruling in Aimster:
Quote:
The analogy was rejected in UMG Recordings v. MP3.com, Inc., 92 F.Supp.2d 349 (S.D.N.Y.2000), on the ground that the copy on the defendant's server was an unauthorized derivative work; a solider ground, in light of Sony' s rejection of the parallel argument with respect to time shifting, would have been that the defendant's method for requiring that its customers "prove" that they owned the CDs containing the music they wanted to download was too lax.
In other words, the 7th Circuit believes that the opinion (but not the result) in MP3.com was wrong because it violates the Supreme Court's opinion on time shifting in Sony. The outcome in MP3.com may have been correct, but only because Aimster did not take sufficient steps to require customers prove that they owned the CDs that they were copying.

I don't know whether a court would reach the same conclusion in this case (where proof of ownership is much more clear). But the issue is clearly not controlled by MP3.com.

Quote:

Making copies of a copyrighted work is an infringement. It simply does not matter where the company gets the source material that it's copying (though if that source is illegal that would certainly be an aggravation). And it does not matter whether they distribute that copy through the internet, by sending you a disc with the file on it, or by photographing it on microfilm and flying it to you by carrier pigeon.

They are making copies
1) on a commercial basis
2) of the entirety of the work
3) which may directly compete with legal electronic copies which the rights-holder may wish to place on the market.
So it fails on three of the four Fair Use factors right out of the gate and the lack of any transformation of the work (such as parody) rules out any variation of that.
If this analysis were true, using a commercial program to rip a CD for personal use would also not be fair use because it would compete with iTunes and other services. But we know from Sony and Rio that this is permissible. And of course the language in Aimster suggests that a company might be able to go further than simply providing a personal digitizing service.

Quote:

There are areas where a third party can legally format-shift a copy for you, and they're written into the statute. If these people were advertising services to convert books so they could be read by the blind (and complied with the other provisions), then they'd be OK. But there's no mention of that on their site. This is just someone out to make a quick buck who has got away with it in Japan.
This provision spells out when you can circumvent DRM. It has no applicability to format shifting where there is no DRM.

Again, I'm not sure that the book digitizing service won't be found to be infringing. But based on the current state of the law, and in particular the statements in Aimster, above, we simply cannot say with any degree of certainty that this service does not constitute fair use.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:32 PM   #40
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Again, I'm not sure that the book digitizing service won't be found to be infringing. But based on the current state of the law, and in particular the statements in Aimster, above, we simply cannot say with any degree of certainty that this service does not constitute fair use.
Can we say it after they inevitably get their cease and desist order and choose to comply with it?

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Old 08-13-2011, 07:45 PM   #41
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Can we say it after they inevitably get their cease and desist order and choose to comply with it?
I wouldn't unless the case went to trial and the court ruled in favor of the plaintiff(s). Otherwise, the company could be bending to pressure to avoid the cost of a lengthy trial, which would mean fair use's applicability to personal copies remained unchallenged.

If the company built a library out of the books they digitized from people's private collections and then offered copies to others for a price in exchange for proof of ownership of different copies, wouldn't the comparison between mp3.com and this company then seem less overly broad? Isn't the difference that, in this case, an individual is paying for the duplication of their own personal copy for the express purpose of their own use? Isn't that exactly what we do when we buy a commercial application and/or a separate burner to rip our CDs and DVDs? It's a question not of distribution but consolidation: Winnowing one's many possessions down to single objects which require less space.

Distribution seems to be the sticking point, not paying for the (in this case, limited) duplication process.

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Old 08-14-2011, 11:13 AM   #42
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I don't think that they should have any problems with the law. They aren't scanning only books, but also business documents, business cards, photos and greeting cards. Since they intend to work with business documents, they must be able to assure the customer that they won't be keeping a copy of said documents.

When it comes to books, there are two possible cases: books that are available in digital format, and books that aren't. I don't really see how it can be advantageous to use this for normal books available as ebooks (300+ pages on average) unless the ebook costs more than the pbook. It costs $4 + shipping to get a pdf of the book plus the time to send the book and the time it takes them to digitize it. Maybe if you buy second hand books and get this done but it still might go to $10 per book and a week of waiting to get a pdf.

I can see the system being useful for books that aren't in digital format, and then the customer loses the paper version (unless they want the remains of the book returned, but that would likely cost more).
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:54 AM   #43
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i have a couple of books i would like to do this with.

when i get some time i'll send them in.
Has anyone tried this yet? I have a lot of paper books that are not available in ebook form, and probably never will be. I have been waiting for the Ion Booksaver because I thought that might be an option for me to digitize my books, but it hasn't been released. I'm tired of storing and moving this huge collection of books, so I may send some in to 1DollarScan to be converted. I need good OCRed copies though because PDFs generally suck on my Kindle.

Please share any feedback about this service.

ETA: I looked at the site again. I had previously noticed that they OCR, but now I see that they only send PDFs. If the PDFs are OCRed, does that mean they are text PDFs that would be easier to convert to Mobi or EPUB? I thought when people use OCR software they get a text file, not a PDF.

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Old 08-24-2011, 11:16 AM   #44
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I thought when people use OCR software they get a text file, not a PDF.
The scanner is producing PDFs - they will be page images. These are then OCR'd to produce some sort of text document (I use FineReader, and get a Word document from it).
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:39 PM   #45
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Yes, but why does 1DollarScan say they scan the book, OCR the results, but then only send you a PDF? Does anyone think that would be any more useful in eventually converting it to Mobi or Epub than a non-OCRed PDF?
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