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Old 06-18-2012, 01:56 PM   #46
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If by that, you mean it's legal to make a full copy just so you can own it and read it, I'd love to see the proof of that.
There is no conclusive proof that it is legal, but in the USA it is necessary to prove something ILLEGAL. Anything not illegal is automatically legal, until new laws are established that say otherwise. Legally, you would need to prove that it is ILLEGAL for me to copy a book for personal (educational) use. And you cannot use supposed "legal" propaganda from the media companies in your argument (until they succeed in making their propaganda become the law of the land by making substantial contributions to the reelection campaign funds of all the important politicians).

And in addition, copying for personal use is all a gray area because of many layers of conflicting laws, until a larger body of case law is established, and the media companies want to remove all personal rights to fair use. "Fair Use" is a "balancing act" that mostly applies to REPUBLISHING small portions of a copyrighted material for certain uses. In that regard, one of the most important rules is this:

"Don't compete with the work you are quoting or copying from. If the use diminishes the market for the copyrighted work (or portions of it), including revenues from licensing fees, it is probably not a fair use Many courts cite this as the most important fair use factor."

P.S. That above quote is a "Fair Use" copy from a larger document.

From other "Fair Use" documents:

"The use of copyrighted works for nonprofit or educational purposes is more likely to be considered fair use (NOLO, 2010, para. 6)."

"Spontaneity refers to how many times you can copy and how much planning it would take to otherwise seek and obtain permission from a copyright holder (U.S. Copyright Office, 2009, p. 6)."

"When Should You Get Permission?
- When you intend to use the project for commercial or non-educational purposes.
- When you intend to duplicate the project beyond the two copies allowed by the guidelines.
- When you plan to distribute the project beyond the scope of the guidelines (Lehman, 1998, p. 54)."

Regarding music:
"17 USC 1008: No action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of copyright based on the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a digital audio recording device, a digital audio recording medium, an analog recording device, or an analog recording medium, or based on the noncommercial use by a consumer of such a device or medium for making digital musical recordings or analog musical recordings."

"According to the brief, the authorized copies Howell made became unauthorized copies once Howell put them in a shared folder, presumably the Kazaa shared folder…. If you rip a CD and place the MP3s into a folder to which only you have access, the copies are authorized. If the files are in a shared folder, they’re “available” to third parties, which is a copyright violation…."

Regarding text sources: "Copies should be used only by the person responsible for the reproduction."

Beware however that it is all subject to change based on case law, and many issues have not been resolved yet: "Although certain types of infringement scenarios are allowed as fair use and thus are effectively considered non-infringing, "personal use" copying is not explicitly mentioned as a type of fair use, and case law has not yet established otherwise." In the USA, things that are not illegal (such as this) are automatically legal (but subject to change as more case law is established).

In general, the big "No No" is SHARING your copy, and what you intend to do with it. If it is for EDUCATIONAL purposes (which can be interpreted to include most reading material), it is generally considered safe for personal use.

And of course, if you do not SHARE your personal copy, you are unlikely to bring attention to yourself that would require a legal decision to be made on your intent and usage of your personal copy. Because personal copies are private, for personal consumption, it becomes a MORAL choice much more than a legal right. Many laws and court decisions regarding "Fair Use" are in conflict with the DMCA and other recent laws, and many details are yet to be decided, so it mostly becomes a personal choice as long as you do not bring attention to your actions (like most other things in life).

Because the kindle firmware images contain substantial portions of GPL code (plus a little bit of proprietary code), distributing modified copies is common online for many devices. Even if ALL proprietary code in the firmware, it would be fine for me to obtain copies of firmware for devices that I do not own (for educational purposes), but distributing modified copies COULD be an issue. It is better to release a patch that others apply to their own personal copies (which can be extracted from amazon updates downloadable at the amazon website, in some cases).

In the end, it all boils down to intent, and whether you cause significant harm to the copyright holder (enough to annoy them to take action against you).

If I copy a book (even one that I do NOT own), I am unlikely to annoy the copyright holder enough to make them take legal action against me. But if I publish it, that may well bring undesirable legal action. Because it would harm (or at least seriously annoy) the copyright holder, it would not follow the Golden Rule (an important foundation of many laws).

Last edited by geekmaster; 06-18-2012 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:58 PM   #47
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You don't want to know how many books I photo copied in graduate school, for myself and for Profs who I was doing research for.
For educational use is often another matter.

Claiming that making a copy of the new Stephen King for you to read on the beach is 'educational' is not fair in any sense I can reason.

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Old 06-18-2012, 02:29 PM   #48
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For educational use is often another matter.

Claiming that making a copy of the new Stephen King for you to read on the beach is 'educational' is not fair in any sense I can reason.
"Fair" is mostly a moral decision. Making a single copy for personal use is unlikely to cause noticeable financial harm to Steven King or his publisher, as long as you do not encourage others to do likewise. Morally, it is a good idea to support the authors you like, so they can afford to bring you more goodness in the future.

And for that matter, when you time shift your TV programs, to be moral, you should also not fast-forward over the commercials, so that the advertisers get enough viewer revenue to continue sponsoring your favorite programming.

But we know that not everybody is 100% moral all the time. It is human nature to take advantage of opporunities as they present themselves, and to make continuous moral decisions as part of daily life.

Again, it is all personal choice, based on risk and reward, and nothing else really matters.

P.S. Can you prove that reading Steven King novels is NOT "culturally educational"?

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Old 06-18-2012, 02:33 PM   #49
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Again, it is all personal choice, based on risk and reward, and nothing else really matters.
Problem there is a very short-sighted, self-serving view of 'risk' that usually accompanies that approach. See the broken window theory.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:47 PM   #50
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Problem there is a very short-sighted, self-serving view of 'risk' that usually accompanies that approach. See the broken window theory.
Human nature IS very short-sighted. Modern American culture (and politics) has a strong tendency toward short-sighted instant gratification.

Regarding the "broken windows theory", notice that I said "as long as you do not encourage others to do likewise"...

How things ARE and how they SHOULD BE are not the same -- we do not live in Utopia, and we never will. Our laws are not "fair" despite the best intentions of the law makers ("unintended consequences" also mentioned in the "broken windows theory"). Although I agree with you in PRINCIPLE, in PRACTICE things are not so simple. The world is a complicated place.

All the laws and all the rules and all the moral philosophy can (in many cases) be replaced by the "golden rule" (treat others as you wish to be treated).

Many artists LIKE it when people copy AND share their work (up to the point that it advertises their existence and increases their popularity, selling MORE copies in the end). It is the PUBLISHERS who try to control our "fair use" freedoms despite the wishes of (some) artists. Of course, there are always exceptions.

Basically, we can debate legality (especially "fair use" which is undergoing great change), ethics, and morality all day, and it will accomplish little but consume time we could use creating and producing new things... In that regard, I have to get back to work. It has been fun, but TTYL....

P.S. I own more than 10,000 real physical paper books. I used to spend thousands of US dollars per year at local book stores. I would buy more, but the kinds of books that interest me have dwindled from a substantial portion of the bookstores to only part of a shelf. Now I spend that money on computers (and Kindles). I also have a fairly large stack of photocopied books (mostly out-of-print or otherwise hard to find), but I buy books when I can. I own thousands of purchased audio CDs (and many hundreds of purchased VHS tapes too). Even so, I still believe in "Fair Use" as it was before the media companies began trashing it and our personal freedom along with it. I neither encourage nor discourage personal copying, but I DO support the freedom to make personal copies (especially "abandonware"), and I encourage people to support their favorite authors and media producers. As it stands, copyright and patent law have been subverted so that it DISCOURAGES new content creation (unintended consequences), so I do not support it in its current ugly incarnation, despite its "paid-for legality".

UPDATE: Scientific study shows "Broken Windows Theory" flawed: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2005Jan29.html

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Old 06-19-2012, 06:02 PM   #51
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If by that, you mean it's legal to make a full copy just so you can own it and read it, I'd love to see the proof of that.
A few years ago, a librarian told me, the max can be copied was 10 percent.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:06 PM   #52
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A few years ago, a librarian told me, the max can be copied was 10 percent.
I am quite certain there is no hard and fast number. Amount you copy is merely another factor in determining fair use.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:16 AM   #53
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I am quite certain there is no hard and fast number. Amount you copy is merely another factor in determining fair use.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Google can copy an ENTIRE document for "personal use" (for indexing purposes), but they can only PUBLISH a portion of it (such as letting you view only 3 pages or so...).

How much you can COPY and how much you can DISTRIBUTE (or republish) have completely different limitations in "fair use" doctrine.

IMHO, if Google can copy an entire book for "personal use", then so can I...
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:27 AM   #54
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There is no conclusive proof that it is legal, but in the USA it is necessary to prove something ILLEGAL. Anything not illegal is automatically legal, until new laws are established that say otherwise. Legally, you would need to prove that it is ILLEGAL for me to copy a book for personal (educational) use.
Copyright law say only the copyright holder can make copies. There you go. That's the law that makes it illegal.
Copyright law then adds qualifications and exceptions.
It also mentions fair use, and gives examples of criteria that can be used to determine if a use is fair use. It does not anywhere make a blanket exemption for personal use, or even educational use, but courts have, when there has been a disagreement, come down on that side in specific cases, like you mentioned for cassette copies and video taping.

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How much you can COPY and how much you can DISTRIBUTE (or republish) have completely different limitations in "fair use" doctrine.
Those are not the only factors. There is also intended use, effect on market, and others. And there are no hard and fast amounts. Fair use is a doctrine to be evaluated on case by case basis when folks disagree.

As you and I discussed elsewhere, I think the only aspect we disagree about comes from the rationale for the argument. I think it's of primary importance to start from a respect for "Law" and work from there, while you seem to be starting from a acknowledgement of broad DISrespect for this specific law and are working from there.

The end result of what SHOULD be considered fair and legal I think we pretty much agree on.

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Old 06-21-2012, 03:22 PM   #55
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Copyright law says only the copyright holder can make copies. There you go. That's the law that makes it illegal.
Copyright law then adds qualifications and exceptions.
...
The end result of what SHOULD be considered fair and legal I think we pretty much agree on.

ApK
You seem to know a lot more about copyright law than I do, I have to admit. When I studied constitutional law, I concentrated on property rights and tax laws.

I am coming at it from two directions, including acknowleging broad disrespect for what many consider is a disrespectful law (current twisted versions of copyright and patent law), and also from the basic foundation of the Golden Rule, upon which many other aspects of common law are built, and common law is the foundation of most modern laws.

I will concede this round to you. You win (for now).

Last edited by geekmaster; 06-22-2012 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:30 PM   #56
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I will concede this round to you. You win (for now).
Hehe. If I could give you more Karma yet, it would definitely go to THAT post.
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