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Copyright Infringements


Guest Stujoe
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As you write online, it is a good idea to go searching every once in a while for your work. I did this today for the heck of it and found:

 

http://www.toivam.us/forum/index.php?showtopic=5722

 

http://coin.chlin.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=163

 

Which are obvious copies of my article that I did for this site a long time ago:

 

http://coinpeople.com/index.php?showtopic=222

 

This is obviously not a big deal to me as I don't do this for a living and am not really monetarily damaged much from the infringement but it is something that any online writer might want to take a look at especially if they are doing it as a living.

 

An easy way to do this is to take a piece of a sentence from an article you wrote and search for it in Google with quotation marks around the phrase. Make sure it is a chunk of text that is fairly unique. Google will then search for that exact phrase and rturn any results. Just a tip...

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I believe that someone wrote a piece of software that did just that...search for plagerism. The program would prompt you for an input file (the article/paper/report/research, etc.) and do a search for phrases on the internet, including cheating websites. It would then calculate a percentage of the likelyhood that the paper was plagerised. I wonder if this software would be helpful in the same pursuit.

 

-Robert

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Hi. I am a new member to this site. My first post. I hope that other members will give me a little guidence if I have any FAQ.

 

I would think that it would be almost impossible to protect writings that are posted online. Years ago there was a 'cheapie' makeshift copywrite method. #1 keep all of your notes and date them. #2 When you finish a piece put in an envelope and have it mailed to yourself. (I suppose you could have the manuscript notorized first). File away the unopened envelope so that if a problem of inproper usage of your work arises you can prove when you completed the work in question. I don't know how this methode of protection would stand up in court but it's certainly better than nothing.

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Hi. I am a new member to this site. My first post. I hope that other members will give me a little guidence if I have any FAQ.

 

I would think that it would be almost impossible to protect writings that are posted online. Years ago there was a 'cheapie' makeshift copywrite method. #1 keep all of your notes and date them. #2 When you finish a piece put in an envelope and have it mailed to yourself. (I suppose you could have the manuscript notorized first). File away the unopened envelope so that if a problem of inproper usage of your work arises you can prove when you completed the work in question. I don't know how this methode of protection would stand up in court but it's certainly better than nothing.

 

 

The postmark on the envelope would prove that the letter hand been posted at that date. However there are ways and means of opening envelopes without making it look as if they've been opened. And if you happen to work in the Post Office you could counterstamp the stamp on the envelope with an earlier date which means you could technically pass a piece of someone elses work off as your own. Should you be so inclined.

 

A more foolproof method is have it sent insured or registered so that it goes onto the PO records.

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It is still a good idea to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office. It is easy to do. It costs about $30 a pop.

http://www.copyright.gov/.

 

The Berne Convention makes you the owner of your work. One of the very last acts of the Reagan Administration was to join the Bern Convention. Congress passed it and Reagan signed it in January 1989.

 

"On October 31, 1988, President Reagan signed a bill amending the Copyright Act to make it compatible with Berne, and the U.S. took the formal steps necessary to become a member of Berne. The effective date of both the Act and the United States' membership in the Berne Convention is March 1, 1989.

 

"Although the U.S. has been a member of the Universal Copyright Convention (the "UCC") since 1954, that treaty has been less widely adopted than Berne, and generally is regarded as conveying less international copyright protection than membership in Berne."

from http://www.gesmer.com/publications/softcopy/7.php

 

You can find more about it on Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convent..._Artistic_Works

 

and here is a brief summary from the U.S. Copyright Office:

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92appvi.html

 

Here is a link to the World Intellectual Property Organization documents about the Berne Convention.

http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/berne/trtdocs_wo001.html

 

Like many legal rights, this just gives you the right to pursue the law. If someone steals your work, you have to go after them -- no one else will do that for you. There are no Copyright Police.

 

Here is a list of Seven Myths from a website that gets stolen from a lot:

http://www.glamourmodels.com/resources/articles/070903.html

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... Years ago there was a 'cheapie' makeshift copywrite method. ... and have it mailed to yourself.

 

I’ve heard about a “poor man’s copyright.” What is it?

The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a “poor man’s copyright.” There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration.

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#poorman

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Also, there is a program that will find your work online. You enter the URL of your work, it uses that content as a database and the search engines find matches for the same words you used.

 

However, I cannot find that now. I ran a search on my own stuff and it was flattering, but I cannot find the paper now. I filed it away too well into someplace important ...

 

I have gone fishing for the program, but I do not get the link I need.

 

Can someone else do better with different bait?

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Can someone else do better with different bait?

 

I found this one:

 

http://www.copyscape.com/

 

It found 1 of the 2 sites I was able to find with google when I searched for my Lincoln article. It also returned another site that did not have the article on it. So, I am not sure it is better than a well formed google search. It is certainly easier..but easier isn't always better. :ninja:

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It is still a good idea to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office.  It is easy to do.  It costs about $30 a pop. 

 

I remebering hearing from someoine of the legal persuasion that if you ever want to pursue a claim (rather than just a cease and desist) that registration is mandatory. Does anyone have any more information on this?

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I found this one:

http://www.copyscape.com/

 

Thanks! I made another note. That was the program that I was looking for. It does require that the material appear on a URL. One problem with that would be if you posted in E-SYLUM. Your post would be part of a much, much (much!) larger "article" associated with a single URL. (Similarly, many of my computer security articles are archived in Computer Underground Digest, another maillist.) However, the advantage to Copyscape is that it is in, of, and for the WWW. So, if you have a website (or webpages) -- which you do! -- then Copyscape finds the replications of those.

 

Again, a doff of the homburg: :ninja:

 

Michael

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The following is a quote from a lawyer, take it for what it's worth

 

A work must be registered for copyright before the copyright owner may file a lawsuit for infringement. It SHOULD be registered before publication because registration provides substantial benefits.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Stu,

 

Where the heck are these sites anyway? They look like oriental discussion lists where some member is using your article as part of their argument. One of them even highlighted a sentence regarding half dollars and received a response with a picture of a half dollar. Maybe some Chinese person like me enjoys stirring the pot, you gave them an example that states Americans have probably forgotten about the half dollar, if the oriental person is like me, well, I could spin this into an argument quite well, say as a reason why collecting "rare" American half dollars is a good idea for a Chinese person now. Regardless of the purpose, they are citing you, not stealing or plagiarizing. In both examples, they give you credit, do not change it much at all. So this is not plagiarism or copyright infringement either, it is a compliment. If anyone, even oriental sites that I cannot possibly read, want to use my work in this manner, I say go for it.

 

As to "easy" or "poor-man" copyrights. The moment you sell an intellectual property, be it the written word, a painting, music, whatever, the process of sale protects the article. It also provides a witness. On-line publication is tricky. I would wager that any post to a public e-list is not protected under copyright. These are public forums, with public archives that are posted to, with the purpose of, sharing your words with no cost to your reader. There have been many debates on the other lists regarding copyright, etc, most of which were insufferably boring. I do not think copyright law has been challenged sufficiently, with respect to on-line infringement, to speak authoritatively as to possible violations or of "poor man" methods to remedy this problem. I agree that the only protection worth anything at all is to register your work. Sadly, in the end, the battle over infringement will most often be won by the party with the most money and not by the true author. Pax

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I have found my images being used on other sites, reported them, and had them all given proper credit.

 

I have reported sellers to eBay several times when I noticed my copyright notice on banknotes for sale, they just copied the image from my old site and used it lazily instead of scanning or imaging their own notes.

 

Some people are clueless.

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Hello Stu,

 

Regardless of the purpose, they are citing you, not stealing or plagiarizing.  In both examples, they give you credit, do not change it much at all.  So this is not plagiarism or copyright infringement either, it is a compliment.  If anyone, even oriental sites that I cannot possibly read,  want to use my work in this manner, I say go for it.

 

It certainly didn't bother me that it was copied in this way as I don't do this for a living and make no particular money off of it but...

 

Can I copy any article I find in the internet, use it, and just call it a compliment or claim I am just citing the work? I would be highly surprised if that is true but I am no lawyer, that is for sure, and have been surprised by our legal system int eh past. ;) Proving damages might be an impossibility and they certainly don't appear to be using the article for profit themselves but does that prevent it from being a copyright violation?

 

If so, there are a bunch of Michael's articles I am going to start 'citing' on my stujoe.com website. And he is just the first stop on my list of the authors I am going to compliment in that way. :ninja:

 

  Sadly, in the end, the battle over infringement will most often be won by the party with the most money and not by the true author.   Pax

 

 

Now that I 100% agree with. ;)

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I would wager that any post to a public e-list is not protected under copyright. 

 

You would lose the wager.

 

Instead of debating with people, just go to the primary documents. They are also available online. The laws are clear.

 

I agree that many people talk about them out of ignorance.

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I would wager that any post to a public e-list is not protected under copyright. 

 

You would lose the wager.

 

Instead of debating with people, just go to the primary documents. They are also available online.

 

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/

 

"When is my work protected?

Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device."

 

This is also of particular interest to me

 

http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ15a.html#works

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Hello,

First of all, I do not wish a debate over this again, I will say that I have read the laws and they clearly state that to use information as a cited source is not an infringement of copyright, to wit:

§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use38

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include....

US Code Title 17 Section 107

 

It does not matter the medium of citation.

 

Actually, if my count is correct, my words have been quoted 4 times now, is this an infringement of my rights? If your points are correct, you have all violated my rights. No one asked me! Not to worry, I will not prosecute. :-) You all gave me credit for my words, therefore, fair use rules for comment and criticism apply. As long as you have given credit, and it is used for the above purpose, there can be no infringement, even if you use use my statements critically, which you did.

Further, I should qualify my earlier statement regarding e-lists. The above fair use rules apply here as to all copyrights and as I post here anonymously, I do not qualify for any copyright protection. Unless stujoe is your real name, you too post anonymously. Now, before you all jump at me, pseudonyms are not exactly what I am talking about, anonymous pseudonyms are the point.

 

Michael, the law is far from clear regarding e-lists. At least I cannot find a single passage which refers to public e-lists. If you do know the section, please let me know your source. Thank you.

 

I know that tempers and passions flare over this topic, let me say that I have no intention of trampling anyone's copyright stance. I am only advocating for reasonable, fair use practices. Which I think are vital to the proper distribution and understanding of knowledge. Where would we be if we could not reasonably cite Gibbon? Or Van Meter? Or Sydenham? Or Stujoe? Hmmm, just where would we be? Sounds like the dark ages to me. Pax

I do not feel ignorant! :ninja:;)

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Seriously, this matter has blown out of context. I think we need to keep it easy and simple.

 

Copyright infringements only matter IF you quoted someone's works without their permission AND claim that they are your works. Fair enough, there are chances that you could have come across a similar idea. But to market it is another story, as one should have done the proper research if similar products are on the market.

 

Honestly, whenever I hear the word copyright infringements, I twitch and depending on the situation I get quite furious. Copyright was originally there so that the original author who has done all the hard work will get the credits that he deserves. Does he get to do whatever he like with his work? Of course he can, as long as he provides a use to the society with his copyrighted works. But to sit back and abuse the copyright infringements system and claim royalty is not something that I would like to see. This I see is a completely absurd, if not, cruel way of not allowing others to use a new idea that could be possible educate or be used in a better way.

 

Back to this numisatic materials, copyright articles is not really a big issue for me. In fact, I would support it as long as the author is actively researching. :ninja:

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Seriously, this matter has blown out of context. I think we need to keep it easy and simple.

 

The problems cited include eBay sellers taking pictures and descriptions, and websites taking content. There is little controversy in that. The acts of theft and the fruits of crime are clear.

 

Did you know that you can plagiarize yourself? In school, did you ever re-use an old essay from a previous class? That is an example of plagiarism. I try to be consistent about internet posts that come from magazine articles, and vice versa. It is not easy in this day and age. There was a time when an author could not help but be aware of this. However, what is "cross posting"? If you do not clearly state that this post has been uploaded to these other forums, then that is an example of plagiarizing your own work.

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Proving damages might be an impossibility and they certainly don't appear to be using the article for profit themselves but does that ... 

 

Copyright law holds up against Robin Hood. In other words, just because they give away what they stole from you does not mean that you did not suffer a loss. You did suffer a loss. They took a value that you created. They took your property as surely as if they had taken the lawn mower from your garage and donated it to a 501-c-3 charity.

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Citing and fair use are pretty easy to separte from taking anotehr's work in whole without permission. Granted, there is the grey area when oen has to decide how much can I cite before it becomes infringement?

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Citing and fair use are pretty easy to separte from taking anotehr's work in whole without permission.  Granted, there is the grey area when oen has to decide how much can I cite before it becomes infringement?

 

Those are my feelings too. There may be some grey area but I don't think Fair Use is there to allow people to use entire works without permission just because they want to. It is one thing to post a paragraph of a work and link to the original to illustrate something. It is an entire different thing to reprint an entire work and copy all of the pictures to your own webspace for use.

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This I see is a completely absurd, if not, cruel way of not allowing others to use a new idea that could be possible educate or be used in a better way.

 

However, if anyone is allowed to use other people's work in any way they want without permission, there is little incentive for people to create those works in the first place.

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I know that tempers and passions flare over this topic, let me say that I have no intention of trampling anyone's copyright stance.  I am only advocating for reasonable, fair use practices. 

 

Fair Use takes on some interesting connotations in the online world. If I want to use an article from a magazine in my classroom for a single lesson, it might not be reasonable to expect me to buy copies of the magazine for each student, etc.

 

How about the online world, though? You can link to something and everyone can see it. There is no need at all to copy it. Everyone can see it on the original site. So, why copy it? The only reasons I can think of probably have little to do with the intent of Fair Use.

 

It is probably another place the law and common sense have not caught up with today's technology.

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