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Old 01-20-2012, 02:26 PM   #1
Tome Keeper
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SOPA/PIPA and book covers?

On another forum I frequent one poster suggested that the new laws will mean that if you post book covers on your site as part of a review then you can be sued for copyright violation unless you have the express permission of the copyright holder. Anyone know if this is true or not?
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:06 PM   #2
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A thumbnail image is unlikely to be a problem; a high-resolution reproduction is very like to be copyright infringement. It's difficult to see how it could reasonably be claimed to be "fair use". New laws have nothing to do with it - that's the way it is now.
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:27 PM   #3
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You can already be sued for it -- whether they'd win in court is another question, though, since showing the cover of a book with a review of it is a common enough practice that a court would likely hold it to be fair use, so long as it's done within reason.

Right now, if they to get those images taken down, they'd more likely contact your web site provider. Many web providers are eager to stay out of court even when they would probably win the case, so they'd have a good chance of getting your provider to pull down the images.

What SOPA/PIPA would change is that a copyright holder would be able to ask for your site to be blocked by the government. Once that's done, people in the US would be unable to get to your site. It wouldn't just get rid of the images -- the whole site would be blocked. You'd then have to prove that you weren't infringing before your site could be unblocked.

Them suing you is a separate issue -- SOPA/PIPA doesn't give them any ability there that they didn't already have. It "just" lets them have your site blocked without having to go to court first.
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:17 PM   #4
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Thanks for explaining.
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:18 PM   #5
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Due Process of Law is so 18th Century.
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