Archive for the ‘law’ Category

10 Myths About Copyright

11) "So I can’t ever reproduce anything?"

Myth #11 (I didn’t want to change the now-famous title of this article) is actually one sometimes generated in response to this list of 10 myths. No, copyright isn’t an iron-clad lock on what can be published. Indeed, by many arguments, by providing reward to authors, it encourages them to not just allow, but fund the publication and distribution of works so that they reach far more people than they would if they were free or unprotected — and unpromoted. However, it must be remembered that copyright has two main purposes, namely the protection of the author’s right to obtain commercial benefit from valuable work, and more recently the protection of the author’s general right to control how a work is used.

While copyright law makes it technically illegal to reproduce almost any new creative work (other than under fair use) without permission, if the work is unregistered and has no real commercial value, it gets very little protection. The author in this case can sue for an injunction against the publication, actual damages from a violation, and possibly court costs. Actual damages means actual money potentially lost by the author due to publication, plus any money gained by the defendant. But if a work has no commercial value, such as a typical E-mail message or conversational USENET posting, the actual damages will be zero. Only the most vindictive (and rich) author would sue when no damages are possible, and the courts don’t look kindly on vindictive plaintiffs, unless the defendants are even more vindictive.

The author’s right to control what is done with a work, however, has some validity, even if it has no commercial value. If you feel you need to violate a copyright "because you can get away with it because the work has no value" you should ask yourself why you’re doing it. In general, respecting the rights of creators to control their creations is a principle many advocate adhering to.>


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Posted: November 18th, 2010
at 2:56am by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: law,trademark & copyright

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Righthaven v. Klerks

There is an interesting ruling [PDF] in a Righthaven copyright infringement case, one of its tidal wave of copyright infringement cases against bloggers in Nevada, Righthaven v. Klerks et al. TechDirt highlights that the ruling indicates that the judge is willing to listen to the defendants’ argument that there was an implied license. It’s also a case asserting fair use. Anyone blogging would do well to read it, so I have it as text for you.>

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Posted: September 27th, 2010
at 2:42pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: web,blogs,law,trademark & copyright

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Chile First on Net Neutrality

Chile has become the first nation to officially put net neutrality principles into law. In a vote by the Chilean legislature, the new law won a near unanimous vote, according to local media.

The new law forces ISPs to "ensure access to all types of content, services orAapplicationsAavailable on the network and offer a service that does not distinguish content, applications or services, based on the source of it or their property".>

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Posted: August 28th, 2010
at 3:15pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: web,"ninja",internets,law,ethics

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Doing Business in the United States

A guide to US law for non-US businesses (124 page useful legal primer PDF)>

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Posted: June 16th, 2010
at 12:25am by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: law,entrepreneurship

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Are Cameras the New Guns?

The move to stop recording of police misconduct:

In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states (Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland), it is now illegal to record an on-duty police officer even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists.>

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Primary Sources: No Secrets

WikiLeaks front man Julian Paul Assange and his Icelandic transformation- how did his wish to under-serve those who hold "power without accountability" lead to the disintegration of his own orchestrated press club release? This New Yorker article by Raffi Khatchadourian due out next week explores his undoings in and out of the Bunker.

"If it feels a little bit like we're amateurs, it is because we are. Everyone is an amateur in this business.">

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Poe’s Law

Poe’s Law points out that it is hard to tell parodies ofAfundamentalism (or, more generally,Aany crackpot theory) from the real thing, since they both seem equally insane. Conversely,Areal fundamentalism can easily be mistaken for aAparody of fundamentalism. For example, some conservatives consider noted homophobeAFred Phelps to be so over-the-top that they argue he’s a "deep cover liberal" trying to discredit more mainstream homophobes.

Hmmmm….. can anybody say tea-party?>

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Posted: May 26th, 2010
at 10:46pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: politricks,science,law

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Bhutan and the Modern Terma

St. Pema Lingpa in the form of Prime Minister, Jigmi Y. Thinley, a Penn State graduate and a former royal administrator and diplomat, has revealed a modern terma or hidden treasure for Bhutan and the rest of the world. Working with GPI Atlantic, a maritime think tank, the relatively new monarchy has come up with and introduced a new gross national happiness (GNH) curriculum into the country’s education system.

GNH rests on four pillars of value: environmental conservation; cultural preservation and promotion; sustainable and equitable development; and good governance, including the development of active and responsible citizenship. These pillars are divided into seventy-two quantifiable variables, designed to provide hard data about significant issues.

The outcome, said Thinley, should be:

"an educational system that is quite different from the conventional factory, where…children are just turned out to become economic animals, thinking only for themselves." Instead, graduates would be "more human beings, with human values, that give importance to relationships, that are eco-literate, contemplative, analytical." They would know that their own happiness was found in giving happiness "to your spouse, to your family, to your neighbours a and to the world at large.">

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Ask a Lawyer: What’s Fair in Fair Use?

"Fair Use" means that even though something is copyrighted (for example, a book, picture, speech, computer program, or architectural design), you can still legally use it for things like commentary, news reporting, and education. Whether you’re engaging in "fair use" or copyright infringement depends on a combination of factors:

How you use the copyrighted material, including whether your use is commercial, nonprofit, or educational: for example, if you want to use an excerpt from Catcher in the Rye to discuss literary theory with your graduate seminar or book club, you’re golden. But, if you want to write a prequel to Catcher about Holden Caulfield for your own profit, you’re busted. Finally, if your use of the copyrighted material is transformative creating a parody (remember Jib Jab’s This Land is Your Land"?) is the classic example then you’ve added sweat equity to the material and not stolen somebody else’s flash of genius. The nature of the copyrighted work: The more fact-based a work is, the more you can fair-use it. The law doesn’t want people to be ignorant dummies, and so it doesn’t like facts being kept from them by a copyright. How much of the copyrighted work you use: like cologne and f-bombs, the less you use the better. Whether your use hurts the monetary value of the copyrighted work. One of the goals of copyright law is to give creative people a financial incentive to make cool stuff. If your use takes away that incentive, for example, by downloading free music without permission, then you’re use isn’t fair.

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Posted: February 14th, 2010
at 1:20pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: web,law,ethics

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