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View Poll Results: Copyright violation?
Yes, it is a copyright violation even though the IP isn't protected in Canada and the source is Canadian. 15 24.59%
It is not a violation. 28 45.90%
Not sure 18 29.51%
Voters: 61. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-18-2010, 04:44 PM   #16
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Good. What country where English is significant language, has the shortest copyright?
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Old 03-18-2010, 04:59 PM   #17
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Looks like Life+50 (Canada, among others) is the shortest you can get in an English-as-a-first-language country. (The Republic of Seychelles is Life+25 and lists English as a national language.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_duration
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:21 PM   #18
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I think we need to start reducing these long copyright durations.

The Fortune 500 searches the world for the most lax regulations and the cheapest labor. Perhaps Project Gutenberg should have a Seychelles office.

Or, force copyright owners who have published previously to keep their works available for sale else the work reverts to public domain early. Patent law required defending the patent. Copyright should have some responsibilities too.
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:40 PM   #19
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Maybe Alex should relocate the main server to The Seychelles....

(Let's see, that would be any author croaked before 1985....)
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:11 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by asjogren View Post
I think we need to start reducing these long copyright durations.

The Fortune 500 searches the world for the most lax regulations and the cheapest labor. Perhaps Project Gutenberg should have a Seychelles office.

Or, force copyright owners who have published previously to keep their works available for sale else the work reverts to public domain early. Patent law required defending the patent. Copyright should have some responsibilities too.
I think you're confusing 'defending the patent' with 'producing the product'.

Copyright law (in the US, at least) already requires defending the copyright. If you ignore the infringement for too long after you become aware of it then you'll lose the right the copyright, i.e. you'll lose the right to sue the infringing party. (Um, let me reword that-anybody can sue, for anything, at any time-but you'll lose the suit unless you have the right to sue.)

AFAIK 'too long' isn't defined so it depends on the lawyer, the judge, and the circumstances. (For instance, the period in which you have the right to sue only starts when you become aware of the infringement-the penalties, of course, start accruing at the same time as the infringement occurs whether you're aware of it or not.)

As for the length, I only see two possibilities-a fixed length or a variable length. A fixed length can result in the copyright expiring while the author is still alive, depriving him of 'ownership' of his work. But making it variable (usually 'life') can result in the author having no 'work' to pass on to his heirs.

Consider the situation of John Kennedy Toole, who wrote 'A Confederacy of Dunces'. Admittedly his heir was his mother, but maybe that's why he wrote it-so he could support her. (I don't think that's the reason, but the situation wouldn't be any different if it was. Unless you want to really distort the idea of copyrights?)

Anyway, he committed suicide before his book was published. Had the copyright been for his lifetime only his heirs quite possibly would have realized no income whatsoever from it. (I suppose some people would contribute, out of fairness, even though it was in the public domain-but I doubt if any of those people would be the ones publishing the book.)

So, limiting the copyright to lifetime is, IMO, unfair-but a fixed length copyright also seems unfair, so it seems to me that the current system (life + a fixed period) is the best compromise. That being the case, what's a fair period? (IMO 25 years is about right. 75 is definitely too long.)
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:14 PM   #21
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Good. What country where English is significant language, has the shortest copyright?
Irrelevant, as far as legality is concerned, unless you're planning to move there. As was pointed out, whether or not it's legal to download a book depends on its status in your location-not in the location in which it's posted.
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:46 PM   #22
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From what I've read so far it indeed appears that the distributor, the uploader/sender, of the protected IP is breaking the law, not the downloader. The RIAA suits were against people who shared the MP3s not the people who received them.

If this is the case, then I wouldn't feel comfortable downloading the protected content since it creates a liability for the sender.

Is this correct?

But if the sender is from a country where it is legal to upload it....now what?

I'm torn on this issue since I strongly believe in IP. At the same time, I think the US has gone overboard on the length of the copyright...so if it's not illegal to download "1984" then I think I would feel justified.

Last edited by markbot; 03-18-2010 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:47 PM   #23
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Anyway, he committed suicide before his book was published. Had the copyright been for his lifetime only...
Nope. If it's unpublished then the copyright would transfer as part of his estate. Bad example.

"A fixed length can result in the copyright expiring while the author is still alive, depriving him of 'ownership' of his work."

And?


markbot - Check your local law. It varies.
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:53 PM   #24
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"A fixed length can result in the copyright expiring while the author is still alive, depriving him of 'ownership' of his work."
There is a simple way to resolve that. A fixed length from publish date or the death of the author... whichever comes later. Of course, it would be a bit harder to keep track of what was still in copyright. Although it would be a heck of a lot easier than figuring out what is in or out of copyright with today's crazy system.

BOb

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Old 03-18-2010, 08:58 PM   #25
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Outside of America, it's not actually /that/ hard. And what you quoted wasn't something I said, my response to it was "and?".
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:00 PM   #26
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Outside of America, it's not actually /that/ hard. And what you quoted wasn't something I said, my response to it was "and?".
Yes, didn't notice you were quoting someone there... but I was responding to that line... not necessarily to you.

BOb

Edited the quote so it doesn't say you actually said that.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:18 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by calvin-c View Post
I think you're confusing 'defending the patent' with 'producing the product'.

Copyright law (in the US, at least) already requires defending the copyright. If you ignore the infringement for too long after you become aware of it then you'll lose the right the copyright, i.e. you'll lose the right to sue the infringing party. (Um, let me reword that-anybody can sue, for anything, at any time-but you'll lose the suit unless you have the right to sue.)

AFAIK 'too long' isn't defined so it depends on the lawyer, the judge, and the circumstances. (For instance, the period in which you have the right to sue only starts when you become aware of the infringement-the penalties, of course, start accruing at the same time as the infringement occurs whether you're aware of it or not.)

As for the length, I only see two possibilities-a fixed length or a variable length. A fixed length can result in the copyright expiring while the author is still alive, depriving him of 'ownership' of his work. But making it variable (usually 'life') can result in the author having no 'work' to pass on to his heirs.

Consider the situation of John Kennedy Toole, who wrote 'A Confederacy of Dunces'. Admittedly his heir was his mother, but maybe that's why he wrote it-so he could support her. (I don't think that's the reason, but the situation wouldn't be any different if it was. Unless you want to really distort the idea of copyrights?)

Anyway, he committed suicide before his book was published. Had the copyright been for his lifetime only his heirs quite possibly would have realized no income whatsoever from it. (I suppose some people would contribute, out of fairness, even though it was in the public domain-but I doubt if any of those people would be the ones publishing the book.)

So, limiting the copyright to lifetime is, IMO, unfair-but a fixed length copyright also seems unfair, so it seems to me that the current system (life + a fixed period) is the best compromise. That being the case, what's a fair period? (IMO 25 years is about right. 75 is definitely too long.)

Most copyright jurisdictions have a separate copyright (usually a fixed length) for posthumously published works. The classic answer is life or -X- where X is a fixed number of years (and posthumous works get X).

But let's face it, too much money, too many politicians needing money, for it ever to get shortened.....
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:12 PM   #28
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"But let's face it, too much money, too many politicians needing money, for it ever to get shortened....."

Very true in the USA. But, some politicians, like my 3 representatives to the Federal government, actual DO try to serve the public good.

However, all it takes is one country not to play. Just like some small island nations that become tax havens for business and the wealthy. Once something becomes public domain elsewhere, it is very difficult to sell it for high prices here.

I do believe that if a work has been published, but is no longer for sale with general availability (given some grace period) I believe it should revert to public domain.

Copyright will undergo several more rounds of negotiations. If the Corporatists get their way, copyright will be for life plus 100 in the next round. Perhaps WE can have a minor impact on the next round.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:41 PM   #29
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Another thing I can think of, regarding copyright. Instead of having it life +25/50 - It can be made for 25 years. To get this Copyright the author/publisher would pay a nominal sum. However, After the end to the copyright, they would have the option of extending the copyright for another 25 years - but at a much higher costs/payment.
this would allow authors to keep profit making books still under their copyright, but would also allow out of print books/ non selling books to go out of the copyright.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:04 AM   #30
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I do believe that if a work has been published, but is no longer for sale with general availability (given some grace period) I believe it should revert to public domain.
I disagree. Cheap, mandatory licensing for copyrighted orphan and unavailable works. The author gets paid, but you cannot subtract knowledge from the Human corpus of knowledge, and you'll get better rates for keeping your own version available.

arvsinha - The problems with a "registration" system are...numerous. Quite simply, you're going to need an ever-expanding bureaucracy to deal with it (an Orphan system only needs to deal with the subset which is commercially interesting), and adding ideas to the Human corpus of knowledge in a way which protects authors always costs them money - a considerable disincentive to the poor and people creating for the joy of creation.

The issues of the American copyright regime when it required registering are worth reading up on.

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