Don Maslin/Archiving system software (was: ftp archives disappearing?)
mouse at Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA
Tue Mar 20 12:43:33 CDT 2007
> I suppose it does come down to a question of scale in the case of
> distribution; how much is too much?
"Enough to annoy someone with deep pockets in a relevant jurisdiction",
seems to me to be the most pragmatic answer.
> I mean all sorts of copyright laws get broken every day with things
> like people recording TV shows to VCR, or lending their friends their
> music CDs etc. and nobody gets in trouble for that.
Lending someone a music CD actually is not a copyright violation (well,
in most jurisdictions - there may be one somewhere that objects to it),
any more than lending someone a book is. Giving - or even lending -
someone a *(homemade) copy of* a CD, on the other hand, is somewhere
between "unclear" and "blatant violation".
Recording TV shows to VCR to timeshift (ie, to watch at a time other
than when the show airs), I believe there's case law saying that's
acceptable, at least in the USA - that's why the TiVo and its ilk are
permitted. Recording TV shows to VCR and then dubbing off multiple
copies and handing them out, that's a violation.
When I get a new music CD, one of the first things I do is rip a copy
to disk. I believe this is OK, at least in Canada, provided I don't
then proceed to, say, give away burnt copies, or lend out the original
and still listen to the ripped copy.
> But it's still breaking the law, surely?
I'm not sure to what extent it's fair to call copyright infringement
"breaking the law"; this gets into semantic nitpickery about the
difference between civil torts and criminal code violations -
complicated by the fact that in the USA, a lot of stuff that (IMO)
should be a civil matter between the copyright holder and the putative
infringer now *is* a criminal code matter.
Yes, much of the archiving and sharing we (TINW) do is technically
copyright violation. Whether it is copyright violation that will
actually get anyone in trouble is another matter; I think what you are
(and we should be) trying for here is a way to make sure we stay on the
safe side of *that* line. Like, apparently, many of us here, I do not
consider all copyright infringement equally wrong; I won't burn someone
a copy of a current music CD, but I will pass around abandonware docs
and sometimes even software. (Whether such copyright violation is
immoral or unethical is another question entirely, one each archive
maintainer and user has to answer individually. Most seem to come down
on the "okay" side....)
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