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Old 06-22-2010, 03:08 PM   #1
LCF
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Angry Eastern European Police proudly closes legal online Library

Read article here

Quote:
The Bulgarian Unit for Combating Organized Crime (GDBOP) has crushed an Internet-based network for illegal sale legal upload of books through the Internet site chitanka.info.

The unit has been alarmed for the piracy by the victims, which include the Bulgarian Book Association, the Union of translators in Bulgaria, and a number of publishing houses.

It's amazing. One person calls these people criminals in the press release and all the media in the country cites and fills the gaps as they please. As a result a group of people not unlike the uploaders of MobileRead are being arrested.

If this post misses some structure, that's because I'm so outraged, I don't know where to start.

I guess the (Bulgarian) law will be a good point. To sum the text up, you can basically do everything you want with a book/text without the copy right owners permission as long as you don't make profit from it and serve the public good. The law explicitly extends on digitalizing the content.

So these "criminals" spend tons of time (and I bet a lot of money) to build up an online library with free access for everybody. 95% of the content are text you just can't find. Books older than 10-15-20 years. Yes, there are some new texts, but in a normal county you could hope to rent a book published in this millennium from a library. The government in Bulgaria doesn't really sees it that way, and there is almost no funding for the "paper" libraries.

OK, there are no money, so someone says "hey, I have a lot of books at home, let's make them into .txt files and upload them for the people who can't find them. Like blind people, who can't read paper books, but could use a reading software." (there are no audio-books in Bulgaria, only stories for kids).

There were few public complaints from publishing houses, bun none of them started a process in court. Now if you as yourselves why the BIG pub.house doesn't start a case against the small man, you might come to the same conclusions: there is no legal base for a case.

So these publishing houses file up these multiple complaints, but not to the jurisdiction system, but to the executive one. And the police reacts. What I can't understand is the following:

Why is the police acting on behalf of publishing house(s)?

Where is the logic in filing a petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to give more money for saving the Bulgarian culture, books, libraries and improving the accessibility of books for everyone and simultaneously standing behind the attack against the biggest (There are some others, they seem to be legal, I guess. Or know where to pay their "insurance".) free library with access to thousands of books, most of them available only there? Cause that's what the "Bulgarian Book Association" did.

I do understand the publishing houses, though. I guess asking for around $30 for a book available on Amazon for $5,95 is just not enough to keep the incomes flowing.

P.S. I forgot to mention. There are no ebooks in Bulgaria.* The argument is "There are not enough people, who would read ebooks". (Then why do you act against an online library? )


*Exception, there is one writing group which didn't have the money to publish their works, so they are selling them as PDFs. (no DRM) And one author is selling his book as a PDF too in addition to the printed edition.

Last edited by LCF; 06-22-2010 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:07 PM   #2
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I guess the law will be a good point. To sum the text up, you can basically do everything you want with a book/text without the copy right owners permission as long as you don't make profit from it and serve the public good. The law explicitly extends on digitalizing the content.
For the sake of clarity, which country's legal system is this referring to? Remember, MobileRead has members from all over the world, with all different national copyright laws.
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:18 PM   #3
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Was it legal under Bulgarian law to copy and place online this material? That's the only relevant question here. If the answer is "no", then the police were absolutely right to take it down; indeed, probably had no choice BUT to take it down on receipt of complaints about it.
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
For the sake of clarity, which country's legal system is this referring to? Remember, MobileRead has members from all over the world, with all different national copyright laws.
at first read it appears to be Bulgaria
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:20 PM   #5
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I'm referring to Bulgaria's law. Editing for clarity
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Was it legal under Bulgarian law to copy and place online this material? That's the only relevant question here. If the answer is "no", then the police were absolutely right to take it down; indeed, probably had no choice BUT to take it down on receipt of complaints about it.
Uploading is legal. This is exactly the point that makes it so absurd.
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Was it legal under Bulgarian law to copy and place online this material? That's the only relevant question here. If the answer is "no", then the police were absolutely right to take it down; indeed, probably had no choice BUT to take it down on receipt of complaints about it.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by LCF View Post
Uploading is legal. This is exactly the point that makes it so absurd.
Uploading copyrighted materials without permission of the copyright holder and providing them for download.

I find this had to believe, but do know it is true under come countries laws.

Uploading is not the full story here.
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
Uploading copyrighted materials without permission of the copyright holder and providing them for download.

I find this had to believe, but do know it is true under come countries laws.

Uploading is not the full story here.
There is much more, and the story is more complex than upload/download. I'm not saying that this site should be the bright example of all future online libraries. But taking into consideration the fact, that the publishers refuse to sell ebooks, it's no wonder the site came to existence. What is disturbing, instead of recognizing the possibility of marketing and profit from selling the questioned ebooks the publishers jump on the site like bull on red. I can't neither understand nor tolerate such behavior.

And there is this aspect - for the Canadian users in MR there are a lot of ebooks available due to expired copyrights. Imagine the site in question like a small MR (I'm referring only to the structure, not to the content etc). Now imagine for 1% of the books on MR Amazon (again, just example) has the copyrights, it's legal to have the books on the site available for reading, but Amazon is not happy. They complain to the police and instead of discussing the problem, the Canadian Police Department against Organized Crime attacks the MR headquarters, arrests Alex, all other admins and uploaders; confiscates all the servers and by doing it brings down the whole site, including forums, books (99% of which are without copy rights on them and 1% being uploaded using the library model), etc.

Imagined? It's just not the way a system should work...

I'm sorry that the readers here read only "my" side of the story, but I doubt you'll find many Bulgarian publishers represented here.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:06 PM   #10
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Maybe now that the fan-made site has created an audience for ebooks, the publishers want to move in to sell to that audience? That is pretty much what the American comics publishers did recently.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
Uploading copyrighted materials without permission of the copyright holder and providing them for download.

I find this had to believe, but do know it is true under come countries laws.
In Spain, it's not illegal (I don't know if it's not legal either). And the reason is the greed. In Spain you have a private copy right, and you pay a canon for it (at books, CDs, MP3s, scanner, printer, DVDs). So, you can make a copy of copyrighted materials. If you don't make a profit with the copy, you can upload it to a server, and other user can download it.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:55 AM   #12
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Here is the original quote and my non-professional translation of the relevant Bulgaria law articles. These are used by another site to justify the download of an e-book:
Чл. 24. (Изм. - ДВ, бр. 77 от 2002 г.) (1) Без съгласието на носителя на авторското право и без заплащане на възнаграждение е допустимо:
9. (изм. - ДВ, бр. 99 от 2005 г.) възпроизвеждането на вече публикувани произведения от общодостъпни библиотеки, учебни или други образователни заведения, музеи и архивни учреждения, с учебна цел или с цел съхраняване на произведението, ако това не служи за търговски цели;
10. възпроизвеждането на вече разгласени произведения посредством Брайлов шрифт или друг аналогичен метод, ако това не се извършва с цел печалба;
11. предоставянето на достъп на физически лица до произведения, намиращи се в колекциите на организации по смисъла на т. 9, при условие че се извършва за научни цели и няма търговски характер;
Translation:
Article 24 (...changed 2002): (1) Without the agreement of the copyright holder and without payment is permitted [the following]:
9. (...changed 2005) reproduction of already published artworks by publicly accessible libraries, teaching or other educational establishments, museums and archive institutes, with aim to study or store of the artwork, if this is not used for commercial purpouses
10. reproduction of already distributed artworks by the use of Brail code or another similar method, if this is not used for commercial purpouses
11. giving of access to private individuals to artworks that are in the collections of the organization from point 9, under the condition that it is used for scientific purpouses and does not have commercial nature

Last edited by Hadel; 06-23-2010 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:01 AM   #13
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And without being a lawyer I would say - if you don't make money it's all fine.
The closed site did not have a single commercial banner or google adds or anything like that. At all.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:22 AM   #14
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You are just saying nonsenses. Spain and Bulgaria are European Union countries: they MUST FOLLOW European Union directives on copyright.

You are not allowed to make a reproduction (even partial) of a copyrighted work if you don't have explicit permissions from the copyright holder. Full stop.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:22 AM   #15
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I read the translation as saying you needs to be a library or at least have originals available for public use but I'm not sure how well a babel fish translation is for understanding laws when the meaning of one word can change everything, hell if it were English just the placement of a comma could change the law.
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