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Old 11-17-2007, 09:02 AM   #1
Nate the great
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Interesting paper on copyright law vs reality

I found this PDF through boingboing.net. It is a nice overview of US copyright law. Everyone will benefit by reading pages 7 through 9.

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/11/17...nt-nation.html

Here is the link to the original PDF. I didn't want to possibly infringe by posting it here:

http://www.turnergreen.com/publicati...ent_Nation.pdf
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Old 11-17-2007, 11:20 AM   #2
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Interesting read even though I don't live in the USA. As long as people are making money off of the existing laws they're not likely to declare the laws broken. Most of the money is being made from a civilized agreement that one party owns rights and the other party agrees to compensate them. When you try to enforce the copyrights through lawsuits or DRM you realize how weak the laws are. If you think you have the right to loot property without any compensation you'll quickly realize there's no longer any property to loot. Making money off a barter system requires civilized behaviour on both sides and an assumption of trust.
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Old 11-17-2007, 12:23 PM   #3
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Making money off a barter system requires civilized behaviour on both sides and an assumption of trust.
That seems to me like a good summarization of what's needed for a functional civilization in general.
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:44 PM   #4
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I only read a small section that referred to "copyright" infringements committed by John.

The law in the US may be crazy, but in not a single instance did this character infringe anyone's copyright.

Sketching someone's architectural work, is no infringement, turning the sketches into a design and selling a clearly derivative design, possibly yes.

The tattoo was a copyright infringement by the tattooist not the customer, for the artist that created the design.

Making copies of anything, for debate, education or any public purpose, is not an infringement if it is relevant and the purpose clear and fair.

The same goes for emails, regardless of the copyright symbol. A communication cannot be restricted.

It is the distributors of pirated works who are liable for copyright infringement, it is they who are denying royalties to the owners.

Our real problems have less to do with law, but finding a fair and practical means for owners to receive their royalties, directly.

Dare I say micro-cash?
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Old 11-18-2007, 06:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GregS View Post
I only read a small section that referred to "copyright" infringements committed by John.

The law in the US may be crazy, but in not a single instance did this character infringe anyone's copyright.

Sketching someone's architectural work, is no infringement, turning the sketches into a design and selling a clearly derivative design, possibly yes.

The tattoo was a copyright infringement by the tattooist not the customer, for the artist that created the design.

Making copies of anything, for debate, education or any public purpose, is not an infringement if it is relevant and the purpose clear and fair.

The same goes for emails, regardless of the copyright symbol. A communication cannot be restricted.

It is the distributors of pirated works who are liable for copyright infringement, it is they who are denying royalties to the owners.

Our real problems have less to do with law, but finding a fair and practical means for owners to receive their royalties, directly.

Dare I say micro-cash?
I was going to debate some of these points with you, but then I realized it's not necessary. Go back and read the footnotes. He cited each section of copyright law.

I understand your viewpoint, and I think it's reasonable. But the whole point of the article was the difference between what the law says, and what everyone thinks is reasonable.

Last edited by Nate the great; 11-18-2007 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 11-19-2007, 02:43 AM   #6
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Nate the great

I put in a qualifier "The law in the US may be crazy", I should have added, in Australia "not a single instance did this character infringe anyone's copyright." I am sorry.

I believe US law has gone well beyond copyright, into a much more general and very shaky legal fiction of "intellectual property".

Of course the general concept of intellectual property lies behind actual and defensible laws on pattens and copyright, but frankly the US went very silly in trying to hand over practically anything to corporations.

For instance, Australia invented sheepskin boots called "Ugh boots", the word was never registered as a trade mark, and long ago passed into common usage. A US company began manufacturing these boots, registered "Ugh boots" (which was unknown there) and then commenced suing Australian companies which used "Ugh boots" as a description of their products.

I hope people see how absurd this looks and how far away from copyright and pattens law this form of intellectual theft becomes intellectual property. US "copyright" law is absurd, it is hopelessly over extended, and has to be breached continually because it is so out-of-kilter with reality.

I apologise for such an unclear post, written quickly before leaving for work.

Greg Schofield
Perth Australia
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Old 11-19-2007, 02:19 PM   #7
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Oh. That does make a difference. I knew that you were in Australia, but your post sounded so much like an uninformed American that I didn't make the connection. Sorry.
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Old 11-19-2007, 05:13 PM   #8
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Nate the great no need to apologise, my post was unclear. America is trying, through a free trade agreement, to make Australia conform to its ill-based laws.
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Old 11-19-2007, 05:27 PM   #9
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Great, just what we need: export our bad laws to the rest of the world.
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Old 11-20-2007, 02:20 AM   #10
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NatCh Many years ago, decades and decades ago, Australia then being the land of sheep, sheep skins were sewn into boots and given the name "Ugh Boots". The term was never registered as a TM, and the expression became part of common parlance in Oz. Sheep skin boots were "Ugh boots" no matter who made them.

A US company started making them a few years back, and marketing them as "Ugh boots" they TM-ed the name, and as the term was uncommon in the US, and was not common parlance, they got it.

Now they are suing Australian "Ugh boot" manufacturers, distributors even shops that advertise their "Ugh boots". Under the free trade agreement, the whole thing happens in the US. They claim to have invented the product and the name, a laughable suggestion, but one endorsed by the US courts.

Intellectual property, or intellectual theft, there seems not a spit of difference when bad ideas are made into law.
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