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Old 02-19-2008, 11:26 AM   #16
DaleDe
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Originally Posted by NatCh View Post
Dennis, you'd have a very hard time being any more on the same page as we are this matter. Rest assured that what you're suggesting is pretty darned close to what we're trying to do.
Here is the policy as we see it:

http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/MobileRead

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Old 02-19-2008, 08:19 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
Here is the policy as we see it:

http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/MobileRead

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What does the following mean?
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MobileRead does not condone or support the use of this web site to break the law. This means that, to the extent possible, we will not allow posting of instructions showing someone how to break the law or requests for such instructions.

In particular items that break copyright law or DRM cannot be supported. eBooks posted to this site must be legally posted using applicable law and permissions.
What is an item that breaks "copyright law of DRM"?

And is it the law in Canada you are talking about here? How is the first paragraph compatible with the later observation that the law is different in each country?

And the principle used to get to these policies are not visible.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:23 PM   #18
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In my opinion, it would be irresponsible to encourage users to circumvent DRM from their eBooks without also making a statement that doing so may not be legal in their country.
That is perfectly OK. What I reacted extemely negative to was the position that you withheld information depending on who asked the question. On one level that is assuming that people are stupid and have to be protected from themselves. And it also restricts information to all other people living in other countries reading the thread and having the same question.
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Old 02-19-2008, 11:22 PM   #19
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What does the following mean?


What is an item that breaks "copyright law of DRM"?

And is it the law in Canada you are talking about here? How is the first paragraph compatible with the later observation that the law is different in each country?

And the principle used to get to these policies are not visible.
An item that breaks copyright law or (notice it is not of) DRM includes but is not limited to software, hardware, explicit instructions on how to do it. By the way, telling someone that it can be done is not the same as supplying explicit instructions on how to do it.

The law in different parts of the world has differences but generally these are only in time or details. In general these details may be pointed out if known but breaking DRM of any kind in any part of the world will not be posted here if we are aware of it, even if someone happens to live where it is not illegal to break DRM, since we have no idea who might be reading it and providing these instructions is against our policy. Does that make it clearer?

Now for eBooks that are posted on the web site we will obey Canadian law but the user should be aware that they may or may not be breaking the law to download the file we post. Even someone might be breaking the law to post a file depending on where they live. We will not be enforcing those kinds of differences since we cannot in any event and there is no legal obligation for the place you say you live is true so we won't be using that except as guidance to help someone.

At least that is what I meant when I wrote it and what I presume Alex and other meant when they approved it. If I have misinterpreted this and other discussions we have had privately among the moderators I am sure someone else will jump in.

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Old 02-19-2008, 11:35 PM   #20
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What is an item that breaks "copyright law of DRM"?
That's a slight mis-quote, the original reads "copyright law or DRM." This means that, to the extent possible, we will not allow posting of infringing material, nor instructions showing someone how to break DRM or other unlawful acts (whatever those may be) or requests for instructions on how do do such things.

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And is it the law in Canada you are talking about here? How is the first paragraph compatible with the later observation that the law is different in each country?
Well, obviously, we have to comply with Canadian law as far as the contents of the forum go. The "other countries may vary" thing is mostly aimed at works that might be in the Public Domain in Canada, but not in others, which would be legal to host in Canada, but not download in say, the U.S.

We do recognize that there some countries don't have restrictions on removal of DRM (or copyright infringement, or any number of other things for that matter), and while we're not going to pretend that it ain't so, we're also not going to host detailed discussions of how to remove it, tools to remove it, or direct links to any of the above (or anything that falls in that general category).

We're being a bit over cautious on that particular point because lawyers (and the people who employ them) are particularly nasty and tenacious on the subject.

This does not, however, extend to the discussion, in non-specific terms of DRM removal or even copyright infringement, nor to how things are or ought to be. Nor does it preclude discussion of or even instructions for the use of tools in that can be used for activities that aren't illegal. For instance, ConvertLIT was mentioned specifically: it can be used to remove DRM, but that's not it's sole use, so discussion of its use, even specific instructions isn't off limits, so long as the instructions aren't on how to remove DRM. If those instructions happen to provide sufficient information that someone could figure out on their own the specifics of using the tool to break DRM, well that's not something we really can police, nor do we intend to even try.

There's enough to worry about that is specifically illegal, or which will get us into trouble to fuss about such indirect things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tompe View Post
And the principle used to get to these policies are not visible.
They're not explicitly spelled out within the policy, no, and perhaps they could be more clearly stated, but they're basically implied in the first paragraph:
Quote:
MobileRead does not condone or support the use of this web site to break the law. This means that, to the extent possible, we will not allow posting of instructions showing someone how to break the law or requests for such instructions.
But, to put them in more explicit terms: we're trying to comply with the law in as much as we're able, and also trying to avoid anything that might get us shut down, or even just on the pointy end of any Cease and Desist notices.



EDIT: Plus what DaleDe said.

Last edited by NatCh; 02-19-2008 at 11:37 PM. Reason: .
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:55 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
An item that breaks copyright law or (notice it is not of) DRM includes but is not limited to software, hardware, explicit instructions on how to do it. By the way, telling someone that it can be done is not the same as supplying explicit instructions on how to do it.

The law in different parts of the world has differences but generally these are only in time or details. In general these details may be pointed out if known but breaking DRM of any kind in any part of the world will not be posted here if we are aware of it, even if someone happens to live where it is not illegal to break DRM, since we have no idea who might be reading it and providing these instructions is against our policy. Does that make it clearer?

Now for eBooks that are posted on the web site we will obey Canadian law but the user should be aware that they may or may not be breaking the law to download the file we post. Even someone might be breaking the law to post a file depending on where they live. We will not be enforcing those kinds of differences since we cannot in any event and there is no legal obligation for the place you say you live is true so we won't be using that except as guidance to help someone.
Why is there a difference in principle here. For posting books you refer to Canadian laws. Why is not the same principle used for other things?

I also really do not see the difference with saying "It is possible, ConvertLit, google" and telling how to do it.

Have i understood it correctly that the country of the question asker does not matter if the answer I give is just referring to that it is possible to break the DRM and give the unique name that you can google? i do not have to point out that it can be illegal then or?
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:03 PM   #22
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They're not explicitly spelled out within the policy, no, and perhaps they could be more clearly stated, but they're basically implied in the first paragraph

But, to put them in more explicit terms: we're trying to comply with the law in as much as we're able, and also trying to avoid anything that might get us shut down, or even just on the pointy end of any Cease and Desist notices.
The first paragraph I read like a moral statement that assumed one moral view. Your clarification is another statement and one that I agree with. It is your clarification that should be used to motivate things I think. Personally I do not agree with the moral view that you should hinder distribution of information just to not in any remote way encourage people to break the law and it would be bad if this forum held this moral view.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:16 PM   #23
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The first paragraph I read like a moral statement that assumed one moral view. Your clarification is another statement and one that I agree with.
The two statements are not inconsistent. It is entirely possible to hold a moral view and simultaneously to have a desire not to be sued were that moral view transgressed.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:54 PM   #24
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Personally, I have strong moral objections to getting sued!

Joking aside, morals and ethics determine how a person responds to legal matters, and laws are fundamentally expressions of the morality of the societies that make them in the first place (witness the fact that murder is pretty universally illegal, but when you get right down to the heart of it, the "wrongness" of murder can only be a moral call).

But we have a legion of other threads that discuss the morality vs. legality of this and several other issues. In this case, if we feel some moral pressure to comply with the law, then so what? And if we consider it to be a silly law and go no further than bare compliance, again, so what?

In any case, you're certainly entitled to take whatever view of the policy and how it's worded which seems best to you. We've got what we came up with because we feel it best serves and shields the needs of the community as a whole. As it is, it's hardly over restrictive, so hopefully everyone can live with it, even if they don't necessarily care to drink the kool-aid as far as the specific wording or motivating principles go.


In answer to your original and direct question: no it is not the policy of MobileRead to try to only give answers that are legal in the country of the asker. Not so far as I've ever understood it, anyway.

The answers will, ideally, comply with the various relevant laws in as much as it is possible for them to do so, and very well may carry some sort of disclaimer legalities vary from place to place, but we're not dense enough to think that people in the U.S. (for instance) will only read answers to questions that were asked by other people in the U.S., so that sort of silliness would be a waste of effort.

Keep in mind too, that the vast majority of answers around here come from the Community, not the "staff," and we certainly don't try to mind control forum members!

We're still working out some of the details on this ourselves, as the move to Canada is pretty recent and we're all still wrapping our brains around the mess that is copyright law.

In very simple terms: to the best of our ability we won't allow posting of infringing material (as defined by Canadian Laws), nor direct links to same, nor specific instructions for finding same. Nor do we allow posting of or direct linking to tools that can only be used to break DRM, nor specific instructions for finding or using such tools for breaking DRM -- that bit comes more under the "not getting sued" category than the legality category.


If other stuff comes up that needs to be specifically addressed, or if we get a Cease And Desist notice for something new and exciting, then we'll naturally deal as seems best with those eventualities as they arise, including adjusting the policy's language as needed.

The language was deliberately kept "not too specific" for the purpose of giving us room to deal with such things without having to change the language every five minutes. If we posted a laundry list of "don'ts" then we'd be open to someone saying "well it's not on the list, so why can't I do it?" Besides, who wants to be that pedantic?


I also want to add that, personally, I very much appreciate your concern on this, it's the Community that makes MobileRead what it is, and your interest in this stuff is an excellent example of why that's so.
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:26 AM   #25
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I do have one baldly practical question. There are many PD e-book uploads on the site, available for download (all hail to the contributors!), But....under what law is your definition of PD? This is important so that people can compare to their individual countries laws when downloading. RSE
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:41 AM   #26
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The books are PD as defined by the laws of Canada, where our server resides, but that only affects which titles can be uploaded.

The point that has to be considered by the person downloading is whether the books are PD where the downloader is.
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:44 AM   #27
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I do have one baldly practical question. There are many PD e-book uploads on the site, available for download (all hail to the contributors!), But....under what law is your definition of PD? This is important so that people can compare to their individual countries laws when downloading. RSE
AFAIK, MobileRead's server is in Canada, and the stuff hosted at MobileReader is PD under Canadian law. This means that some of it is technically not legal under US law. However, there is no clear indication of what content is legal under what jurisdiction, and I don't think there can be.

The site is covered by being hosted in Canada, and making the disclaimer. It can't be held responsible if a user grabs content that is legal for the site to host, but not from them to download.

If it's a concern to you, don't download if you aren't sure.

Personally, I don't worry about it. If it's hosted on MobileRead, and it's something I want, I download it. The legality only becomes an issue if someone is aware that I've done so and considers it worth the trouble to take action against me. I don't see either of those circumstances occurring in real life.
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Old 02-21-2008, 11:06 AM   #28
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In answer to your original and direct question: no it is not the policy of MobileRead to try to only give answers that are legal in the country of the asker. Not so far as I've ever understood it, anyway.
There is no way MobileRead could do so, even if it wanted to. You would need to know where the asker was from, and what the laws were in the asker's jurisdiction. (If you have admin powers on the site, you probably have an option to see the poster's IP address, but that's not an infallible guide: they might be behind a proxy server. And you still have the challenge of knowing what their laws are.)

The one suggestion I would make is a sticky in the forums pointing to the wiki material. I went looking for forum policies regarding this stuff before and didn't find them. It's possible I didn't look hard enough, but it shouldn't require a serious search to determine what those particular policies are.
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:15 PM   #29
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Thanks to one and all for the information. Acording to my lookup of Canadian copyright law, it is author's life + 50. (unless there has been a recent change.)


Is there an easy to use coversion program to convert your PD mobipocket editions (or LRF) to HTML? I prefer keeping my PD items in HTML for long-term portability.
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:22 PM   #30
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Is there an easy to use coversion program to convert your PD mobipocket editions (or LRF) to HTML? I prefer keeping my PD items in HTML for long-term portability.
MR forum member Tompe has a set of programs that will let you do that for Mobipocket. They are perl scripts, but he periodically compiles windows EXEs which include a perl runtime interpreter so you don't need to install perl to use them. They are command line tools, intended to be run in a CMD.EXE window. I don't know whether that matches your definition of "easy to use".

Go here: http://www.ida.liu.se/~tompe/mobiperl/
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