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Old 08-19-2009, 08:06 AM   #91
rlauzon
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Sure, and that's why it's useful.
That's why Google's database is pretty much useless. For well-known works, Amazon's own database works better.

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Sorry, taking that with a very large pinch of salt - does that apply to just books or to all published works, including electronic publishing?
It applies to all works that are copyrighted.

Electronic or not is irrelevant since we are talking about works that saw print and were digitized - as opposed to works that went straight to digital without ever seeing print.

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Oh sure there is, if you've profited from it. If you make an explicit penalty for the claim itself, then you're in danger of creating a situation of more money being the arbitrator of who owns copyright (more than at present, I mean).
So, Obscure J. Author writes a book in 1970 and in the 80's dies. Conde Nast claims that they own the copyright to that book (even though they don't), and makes Project Gutenberg take it off the site.

What law was broken? I can't find one.

Now, if the copyright holder comes forward with proof that Conde Nast doesn't own the copyright, what penalty does Conde Nast pay? They never published anything (yet). They never made any money off that book (yet).
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:17 AM   #92
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Not the PDFs I have seen. They are identical bit for bit to the US version. It was quite amazing, actually. Also, you can get the whole series (maybe not the last two) proofed in html (the UK version).
Well, pdf is crap. ePubs are just way more confortable. I might give it a try, using mobi creator and calibre.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:19 AM   #93
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So, Obscure J. Author writes a book in 1970 and in the 80's dies. Conde Nast claims that they own the copyright to that book (even though they don't), and makes Project Gutenberg take it off the site.

What law was broken? I can't find one.
Isn't there any law about making false claims? It would probably be a minor fault and, even if someone would sue them, they could be charged only with a small fine (I guess), but there should be a law against lying
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:37 AM   #94
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I believe the DMCA states that you make the claim "under penalty of perjury". But I don't believe anything has ever happened to anyone who has made a false claim, despite it having happened a number of times (most notably by the RIAA and MPAA claiming to represent the owners of works that they actually didn't have the copyright to).
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:54 PM   #95
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So, Obscure J. Author writes a book in 1970 and in the 80's dies. Conde Nast claims that they own the copyright to that book (even though they don't), and makes Project Gutenberg take it off the site.

What law was broken? I can't find one.
Something having to do with fraud maybe?
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:57 PM   #96
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I believe the DMCA states that you make the claim "under penalty of perjury". But I don't believe anything has ever happened to anyone who has made a false claim, despite it having happened a number of times (most notably by the RIAA and MPAA claiming to represent the owners of works that they actually didn't have the copyright to).
Yeah, DMCA takedown abuses happen all the time (even MobileRead has gotten them). You're right though, the government never goes after the companies making the false claims. That's probably why they keep doing it, they know they can get away with it.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:06 PM   #97
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Something having to do with fraud maybe?
Only if you could show that they knowingly claimed to have the copyright when they didn't have it.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:13 PM   #98
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Only if you could show that they knowingly claimed to have the copyright when they didn't have it.
In theory, you have to state under penalty of perjury that you own the rights to any material that you request be taken down (via the DMCA). That should qualify for "knowingly claimed to have the copyright when they didn't have it".

Whether or not the government would actually enforce that is another matter.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:22 PM   #99
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In theory, you have to state under penalty of perjury that you own the rights to any material that you request be taken down (via the DMCA). That should qualify for "knowingly claimed to have the copyright when they didn't have it".

Whether or not the government would actually enforce that is another matter.
And it's fairly easy for someone to write up a document that they hold the copyright, then put it in the file. The person who picks up the document and makes the claim "we hold the copyright" believes that they hold the copyright and does not know differently.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:44 PM   #100
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And it's fairly easy for someone to write up a document that they hold the copyright, then put it in the file. The person who picks up the document and makes the claim "we hold the copyright" believes that they hold the copyright and does not know differently.
I'm not sure I understand the example you're giving.

The "under penalty of perjury" means that they're not supposed to just guess or assume that they hold the copyright, they're making a legal claim that they knowingly hold it.

In order for Conde Nast to issue a DMCA takedown request for the material on Project Gutenberg, they have to legally state that they knowingly hold the copyright on that material. I don't see any wiggle room there for "oops, our mistake".
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:59 PM   #101
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That's why Google's database is pretty much useless. For well-known works, Amazon's own database works better.
If that was true, then the Harry Potter books would not have been up there, would they?

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Electronic or not is irrelevant since we are talking about works that saw print and were digitized - as opposed to works that went straight to digital without ever seeing print.
Sorry, but this is nonsense. If the electronic rights are seperate from the physical, which is normal for most commercially published books, then those are the rights which must be respected. There's no permission for Harry Potter ebooks sales, in this case.

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So, Obscure J. Author writes a book in 1970 and in the 80's dies. Conde Nast claims that they own the copyright to that book (even though they don't), and makes Project Gutenberg take it off the site.
If you make false claims punishable, then in situations of disputed copyright, the side with the better lawyers is going to get things settled out of court in their favour every time, as happens in other, similar situations in law - regardless of the actual authorship.

As to the DMCA, it's up to the actual copyright holder to pursue the companies involved making the false claim of ownership. This is generally not cost-effective.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:00 PM   #102
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In my past dealings, I was always under the understanding of the Shag master.

I not too long ago ran into a situation where someone claimed they owned the copyright on some photos that I had on one of my sites. I knew it was BS, because I knew the story of the photos (Guy takes pictures of girl, girl dumps guy for another guy, Guy #1 publishes photos via photosharing site, Guy #2 didn't like pictures being online, and sends DMCA notices.) He didn't even know the subject of the photos at the time they were taken (Timestamped), so his claim was his girlfriend took the pictures herself (when it was obvious from the pictures she couldn't have). Multiple problems here, such as that he was the one filing the claim, not the girlfriend who he claimed owned the copyright. Unfortunately, as the one getting the notice, I could do very little about it. Most hosts will yank the account, or at least the offending portion, and ask questions later (if at all).

Really, the DMCA is horribly flawed, and favors the person who makes the claim.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:01 PM   #103
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As to the DMCA, it's up to the actual copyright holder to pursue the companies involved making the false claim of ownership. This is generally not cost-effective.
In the UK, the loser of a court case pretty much always has to pay all the winner's legal costs, in addition to their own. Is this not the case in the US?
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:17 PM   #104
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In the UK, the loser of a court case pretty much always has to pay all the winner's legal costs, in addition to their own. Is this not the case in the US?
I'm a UKer.

The problem isn't that so much, but that the penaltys involved will usually be low, and you have little return for /your/ time spent. Sure, the lawyers get paid, but...
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:20 PM   #105
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In the UK, the loser of a court case pretty much always has to pay all the winner's legal costs, in addition to their own. Is this not the case in the US?
In the US, that generally is only the case if it is agreed to by both parties before the decision. I've known people who have been broke from legal fees, despite winning the case.

Hell, there are times when reparations are ordered (such as in a criminal case), but never made. My parents owned a store, and one time, it was broken into after hours. The guys who did it was caught, and one was ordered to pay reparations to my parents. However, he never did, and when the case worker was contacted about that, she said "But poor Joshua doesn't have a job, so cannot afford it". "Poor Joshua" was 16 years old, lived at his parents million dollar plus house, and had everything bought from him, including a luxury car. He had no need for a job. Being that he was still a minor, that would have meant his parents would also share the responsibility, yet nothing ever came to fruition.

In that aspect, the legal system here is a joke.
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