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  1. #1
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    copyright vs. fair use ??

    I got into a debate with a friend over the buisness and I guess our argument came down to the difference between copyright and fair use...where do you draw the line and which over laps where? Thoughts?


    Jason

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    Can you give an example of what you would view as "fair use"? To me that means for personal use, such as printing a CNN article for personal reading, video taping a show for friends to enjoy when they come over etc.
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  • #3
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    see, thats where the lines get fuzzy to me. I guess my def of fair use is that which is not infringing on copyright laws. make sense?


    Jason

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    Hmm, that depends on the laws of your country, I guess. First of all, at least in Sweden, you have the right to make personal copies of data you have the right to use, including CDs, books, licenced software etc (you are not allowed to USE the software except for as the licence states, however). You are also allowed to copy excerpts from books and up to 30 seconds of audio from a tune (according to EMI Sweden), and to copy material for educational use. Fair use also allows you to lend any data, including licenced software, as long as you do not gain a profit from it. The essence is that you can lend the data freely, but for usage you need to lend out your right for using the data (which means a legal transfer of ownership), a right which is regulated by licences in the case of software, but by law in the case of books, CDs etc (if you have the original media, you can be considered to be the owner).

    As for written works, digital or otherwise (including homepage code, JavaScripts, software source code etc.), given you do not use them for gaining a profit or depriving the author of profit, you may use them freely as long as you adhere to the moral right of the author to be identified as the author of the works (a moral right which is enforced by law in Sweden), and retain any copyright statements.

    Oh, and legally, making a copy of a broadcast (including radio, TV, internet radio and all other streaming media where you do not have control over which content is actually broadcast) is to break the copyright laws, but is otherwise in other law passages a right you have along with the copying of excerpts of written works. I think the latter overrules the former.
    Last edited by liorean; 11-20-2003 at 10:44 PM.
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  • #5
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    Jason:
    I guess by process of elimination, an action that doesn't break copyright laws means it's fair use. The problem is that there are so many copyright laws, some very obscure, that you'd have to be a lawyer to fully know. I bet a lot of people don't even know some of what liorean just cited, which seems similar to the laws in North America.

    My idea of fair use would be- 1) Use that doesn't violate national/state copyright laws PLUS 2) Use that doesn't violate the company or individual in question's own copyright rules (ie: CNN.com's usage terms).
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  • #6
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    I don't think it is wrong to make copies of CD's for your HOME use. If you have a program that requires a CD and say you have 3 computers and need to use the program on all three simultaneously, then I think thats fair use. But, making copies and selling/distrubiting them, thats not right.
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  • #7
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    Originally posted by SDP2006
    I don't think it is wrong to make copies of CD's for your HOME use. If you have a program that requires a CD and say you have 3 computers and need to use the program on all three simultaneously, then I think thats fair use.
    That would breach the majority of licenses -- in particular, this is expressly forbidden by MS licensing. If a license is 'single use' then it means you can only use it on one computer at a time. MS's licenses used to allow you to install a copy of any software your employer had on your home machine, for business use. This had the provisor that the two copies were not used simultaneously -- and I don't know if this clause still exists in their software.

    This isn't a copyright issue, persay. In all cases, the copyright is clearly and legally owned by the licenser. They grant the lisencee the right to use their software under certain conditions without relinquishing any of their rights under copyright law. Under a standard license agreement, you are not buying software, you are buying the right to use the software.

    "Fair use" generally refers to making copies for legitimate back-up and archive purposes, not for active use.


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