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Old 07-03-2012, 01:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnCook View Post
Was wondering if I was allowed to share scans considering that most I find are now either public domain or out of copyright.
If an authoritative source says it is "public domain" then you can share it. It may be problematic determining if the source is indeed authoritative. As far as out of copyright, how do you know? That too could be difficult to determine.

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Originally Posted by CWS4322 View Post
What do you mean by "public domain"? Do you mean it is available on the Internet? If so, then I'd say share the link.
I've found plenty of copyrighted material on the Interet, material that is almost certainly being used without permission (e.g. a recipe stating the source is some cookbook when I know the cookbook is copyrighted). I'm pretty sure CWS4322 means that you should post a link to the site with the recipe rather than posting the recipe itself. Then the copyright infringement becomes an issue between the copyright owner and the infringing website. Links by themselves are not copyright infringement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
This is not the safe side. If an item is copyrighted, you cannot share it legally. Providing the 'credit information' is merely a way of your saying, "I know it's copyrighted but I'm going to share it anyway." That can be used against you to prove you broke the law knowingly.
I agree, and this is a widely believed misconception, that copyrighted material can be used if the user gives credit to the copyright ownner. The only way that works is when it starts out "used by permission" and the person using it has received permission (usually written) from the copyright holder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWS4322 View Post
Well then, the posts that folks share where credit and (c) are included should also not be posted on this forum.

FWIW, it depends on the country in which you are in. In some, you can share 10% of the content without being in violation of copyright law and depends on how the copyright notice is worded and how one is sharing the information, e.g., for educational purposes, and where the book was printed. BTW, expressed permission, in Canada, means that you MUST have written, not email permission, from the copyright owner. And you must request it each and every time. At least it did the last time I asked my lawyer when I was asked to violate copyright law and refused to do so for a client (I also lost the client--but was that a client for which I wanted to work?).
Another misconception is that copyrighted material must have a copyright notice. Unfortunately that is not the case, although any smart copyright owner will attach such a notice.

Copyrighted material is often used on the Internet without permission, so absence of a copyright notice is no indication that it is not copyrighted. However, presence of a copyright noticed is a good indication that it is copyrighted.

A list of ingredients cannot be copyrighted. Whenever I want to refer to or quote a copyrighted recipe from the Internet I'll add my own description of what it is, post a list of ingredients, and then after "method" I post a link to the copyrighted site where the method can be found.

You should always assume a recipe is copyrighted unless (1) you created the recipe yourself, or (2) you have definite, reliable information that the article is in public domain or is otherwise not copyrighted.

BTW there is no 10% rule in the US. US law permits small quotes of material may be used for example in a book review. Quoting one recipe to "review" a book is NOT a review, it's an attempt to work around the law and is in actuality a copyright infringement.

In the US here is the best source for answers to all copyright questions:

U.S. Copyright Office - Frequently Asked Questions
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:57 PM   #12
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If you're going to share them among friends I wouldn't worry about it. I'm sure millions of others do it, especially with music, for instance.
But I would not share material on a public forum.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:53 PM   #13
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This is a good example of why the site management prefers no copyright advice be posted. Almost every reply that purported to interpret the law had at least one incorrect or purely guessed at piece of information or one likely to be misinterpreted.

And people talk about "fair use" like they know the answers. When it involves the Internet, there are few reliable answers. Web sites don't like to get demand letters because of what their users post on the site. Do what you want personally, because no one is going to come after you for giving a few friends digital scans of a cookbook. Violations are expensive to prosecute. (No, the FBI won't do it for you.) The copyright holder has to prosecute the suit. It's rarely worth it.

But web sites worry, because the law is far from settled (not that it ever is), and there are violations that many users never think of, such a contributory infringement, which can occur when you think you're properly providing a link, rather than embedding the copyrighted material in your post, and it turns out the linked site is unlawfully displaying the material. How do you prove up the defense that you didn't know? Worse, how does the web site prove it up? They normally don't have to, because "safe harbor" rules say that they can comply promptly to a removal demand and be okay, but no one want to have to mess with it.

So, the site management mostly has to just keep an eye on things and make the best calls they can about whether to allow something. Which means that most allow recipes and such, if they don't recognize them as verbatim copies, or the poster doesn't outright say it's from such and such cookbook.


At the end of a serious post, I like to lighten it with something like a relevant cartoon. But there are cartoons about copyright. And there are cartoons in the public domain. But it's apparently very hard to find a cartoon about copyright that's in the public domain.

So make up your own cartoon idea and stare intently at the box below until it appears.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

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Old 07-03-2012, 03:14 PM   #14
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GLC, by your argument DC should not allow linking to external material at all because in the end nobody can ever know for certain if the site they're linking to has a legitimate right to use the content.

Also, by some arguments, rewriting the method is not sufficient distance to avoid infringement issues because the rewritten method becomes a derivative work, and derivative works are still the protected property of the original copyright owner.

Taking it all to the logical extreme you should not be able to post any recipes in the forum at all unless you wrote them yourself or have proof the recipe is public domain. (The latter could be very difficult to prove.)

I think at some level we have to resort to practicality. We know we can post a list of ingredients. We know we cannot post the method part of a copyrighted recipe. We need some sort of guidelines for determining what the dividing line is between these two extremes. Or otherwise the rule has to be "you can't post it unless you created it yourself."



I'm curious how you'd rule in a few instances of my posts. I've posted several times about Pioneer Woman's recipes. I've written a bit of an introduction in my own words, cut and pasted the ingredient list, then posted link to PW's blog where the full recipe is available. The blog has a clear copyright notice indicating it is copyrighted material.

Should these posts be deleted? If so I'll volunteer to go through all my posts and inform DC management which of them contain links to copyrighted material.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLC View Post
...Almost every reply that purported to interpret the law had at least one incorrect or purely guessed at piece of information or one likely to be misinterpreted...
I'm eager to see your correct interpretations of the information.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:32 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I'm eager to see your correct interpretations of the information.
Well I know which of my information GLC considers incorrect (the links). It will be interesting to see which other information is objectionable.

I know GLC has some knowledge in this area, as I do too. I have written and published several magazine articles and as an author I went to great length to understand my legal rights.

There is a lot of information to be gained by reading the US Patent Office link that I provided above. I consider it to be a authoritative source for members and websites located in the US. Note also that the US has copyright treaties with other countries so it applies in many cases even to websites and persons outside the US, although legal action would probably have to be pursued in the foreign country.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
GLC, by your argument DC should not allow linking to external material at all because in the end nobody can ever know for certain if the site they're linking to has a legitimate right to use the content.
I merely point out that each site owner must make their own decisions. One of those is whether they wish to deal with a demand, should the situation come up. Obviously, nearly all discussion sites allow links, if for no other reason than that posts would become very long, if the information had to be passed without links. If a site wants absolutely no chance of that particular issue, they certainly would ban links.

As to attempting to provide correct advice, moderation has already expressed the desire that no direct advice be given and that links to information sites be used instead. I'm not deliberately going to defy that, other than the appropriate advice to question every bit of advice and go to the sites you are able to evaluate yourself quality. There's been enough already.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:58 PM   #18
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My mistake.

I'm going to go ahead and call one on myself. I read the first reply in the thread as indicating giving copyright advice was inappropriate. Reading it again, I see that it actual means that if copyright is in question at all, the material shouldn't be posted but represented by link. My error.

So return to your regularly scheduled program. I still do not give specific copyright advice. I see far too much erroneous advice floating around, and there's no reason someone should accept mine, especially when I'm saying so much casual advice shouldn't be taken.

It's really of no consequence, so far as the original post is concerned.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:02 PM   #19
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I think this is a subject that should be discussed frequently, so that all members and site staff is made aware of copyright issues. This is an important topic that justifies continued discussion.

I believe that an Internet forum such as DC has a responsibility to keep in frequent discussion a dialog with members about copyrights, in order to justify that they have made diligent effort to avoid copyright infringement on their site and to justify that they have taken active measures to continue to respect copyright laws, and that they have demonstrated active effort to avoid copyright infringement on their site, and to demonstrate that they have taken active measures to address copyright infringement when such has occurred.

As we know, members are able to post anything they want without advance approval from site management. Most posts stand fine. It is the rare post that infringes any copyright.

I have reported several posts myself as "violating copyright law, illegal use without permission to use." In every case the posts or topics have been deleted. About half the time I receive a "thanks" message. :)

As far as I'm concerned DC is doing everything they deem necessary to address copyright infringement whenever they see it or are informed of it on this forum site.

I cannot imagine any scenario where DC forum management would not want to have we members discussing necessary steps to avoid copyright infringement, or steps that must be taken when it is observed. (Report it!) If management wanted to avoid discussion of this topic then it could be misconstrued as willfully ignoring copyright infringement on their site.

I don't accept that. I'm convinced that DC management wants members to be fully informed about copyright issues, wants members to understand exactly what is appropriate and what is not, and I'm sure DC management is willing to discuss the issue at any length until members understand how to make good posts without violating copyright laws.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:05 PM   #20
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You're right. See my follow-up that was probably posting while you were writing.
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