Don Maslin/Archiving system software (was: ftp archives disappearing?)

Jules Richardson julesrichardsonuk at
Tue Mar 20 13:30:21 CDT 2007

der Mouse wrote:
>> 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)

I'm fairly certain it used to be in the UK, same for film - the copyright 
notice states that lending is illegal. Maybe things are a little less 
draconian now... (but then with more DRM around these days, it seems like the 
companies are winning the war and people can do even less now with things that 
they have in their possession than they once could)

> 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. 

Now I believe that's still illegal in the UK - but it's not illegal to sell a 
device capable of doing it, it's just technically illegal for a user to 
actually use it for that purpose.

> 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.

... or at least that if we do cross that line in someone's eyes, there are 
easy ways of correcting the problem without harming the entire archive.

 > Like, apparently, many of us here, I do not
> consider all copyright infringement equally wrong;

... and nor do the courts, it seems, but the problem is that the law's murky 
at best, particularly in a global environment. I can't see how we can 
realistically avoid falling foul of it at some point - it's either that or 
seek written distribution permission for *anything* that's put online, which 
would probably rule out most things given that companies have folded or 
changed hands many times, authors may be no longer with us, and the question 
of who actually "owns" any given item is difficult to say.

The position's something that just needs to be agreed on up-front I think, 
rather than worried about later (which is what always seems to bite the big 
online "public services")



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