Anyone able to answer questions about copyright stuff . . .

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Daz
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Anyone able to answer questions about copyright stuff . . .

Postby Daz » Sat Jul 27, 2002 2:30 am

I am building a site (cuz it's something to do) and, since I have 120 gigs of server space to play with - I was thinking of hosting some of my files to share on the server, since I hate my upstream. After talking to some of my friends - they were like "yo - put some of your Anime up" - which sounded cool. SO. I want to know how the law feels about my friends or other people downloading anime from my web site. I did not plan on charging anyone for it - just putting stuff up for free. I was thinking of making a theme of my site for anime video creation.

would i be better off charging people and paying for licensing?

can i do it for free by providing it for people at no charge so they can use it to make their own videos?

where can i get information about the laws that apply in this case? i dont want to make some lame ass warez site or anything, nor do i want to get rich. i just have myself and 4 other guys who like graphics, programming, and design - and want a project that people can enjoy.

thx

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-Daz "<^> (*¿*) <^>" Proudwolf
Azenilsee
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Postby Azenilsee » Sat Jul 27, 2002 3:19 am

IANAL, but as long as you own the rights to those stuff (ie your created it) and you have sufficient copyright info on your site (ie this stuff is all mine, you can download for personal use, commercial distribution need to pay fee, yadda2), then there shouldn't be any problems putting it up for downloading/streaming.

edited for clarification

[This message has been edited by Azenilsee (edited 07-27-2002).]
Daz
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Postby Daz » Sat Jul 27, 2002 3:42 am

i don't own the rights to the anime though. for example - i have the entire robotech and macross series on dvd, my roommate has every episode of db/dbz/dbgt - my boy has hundreds of movies. i encode these things to divx - and want to put them up for other people to see

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-Daz "<^> (*¿*) <^>" Proudwolf
rachaz
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Postby rachaz » Sat Jul 27, 2002 5:19 am

Here is your answer, it is quite simple: If it is not yours, you do not have legal right to put it on a web site. Putting up artwork without a proper license agreement with the creator is a violation... If caught, you will be sent a letter to remove the artwork.

Note: The above is not me advising you to violate copyright law. I do not support that in any way.

Rachaz
nubug
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Postby nubug » Sat Jul 27, 2002 5:24 am

what about posting pr*n pics for free on a free website?
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Postby Branthur » Sat Jul 27, 2002 6:00 am

If it's been licensed in the US, by US copyright law you cannot provide it for free. Really, you can't distribute it at all.

Now, the grey area in this is, of course, fansubs. It's a grey area, however, as long as it hasn't been licensed, then you could provide THOSE through your website. At least until they are licensed, then have to take them down.

Too bad .hack//SIGN got licensed.
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Postby Ragorn » Sat Jul 27, 2002 10:21 am

Hosting the download of anime DVDs is definitely illegal, whether you charge or not. Licensing isn't an option for two reasons.. first, most media distributors won't sell private organizations the right to distribute their property for profit. Second, even if they did, your site wouldn't do enough business to cover the cost of the licensing unless you were a major distributor.

Porn is only different because in a lot of cases, the individual pictures are either not copyrighted or not actively tracked. If you rip pics from a major site that produces its own material, they may come after you. However, random XXX site that probably stole all the pictures from other sites can't really do anything if you steal from them. All of this is kind of moot however, since the porn industry is so massive that a site recognizing their material on a small not-for-profit outfit is infinitely unlikely in the first place.

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- Ragorn
Jenera says 'i managed to match a little, ragorn's outfit is hideous.'
Sarell
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Postby Sarell » Sat Jul 27, 2002 12:25 pm

It is illegal positively.
Also, if yo uget pictures from anywhere without written permission from the copyright owner and publish them it is also illegal.
One thing that most folk seem to have overlooked is yo udon't have to do jack to have your own images / artwork covered by copyright laws. It is automatic, and release in any form of copyright must be in writing.
Several recent exemptions to these laws are when artists have used copyright material in a social parody / satire, from a perspectictive that they believe is wholly true. Such as aqua's barbie song, just won a case against mattel, and several instaances against McDonalds E.g. McShit.
Fan sites could be seen as viable in the eyes of a reasonable person, however posting a whole movie that is currrently for sale is SO far out of this. Porn would probably be out of the question also as it as an image is the product itself.


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Daz
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Postby Daz » Sat Jul 27, 2002 11:35 pm

distrobution of copyrighted material, according to the US laws I am familiar with - if no one makes a profit, then it is legal. I think a lot of people (possibly myself included) are confusing the actual laws with what the post-napster industries would like us to think the laws are.

i would like someone who knows where i can locate actual noncontested documentation about this, a lot of the responses i have gotten when asked this question are urban legendish - with word of mouth misinformation construed as actual fact.

i know of a few sites that host what i am looking to do, but most of it is on a smaller scale. none of these are hack sites or anything else illegal, but most are fan sites.

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-Daz "<^> (*¿*) <^>" Proudwolf
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Postby Corth » Sat Jul 27, 2002 11:48 pm

Daz, its a grey area. It might fall within the doctrine of 'fair use' and be legal, or it might not. On one extreme you have someone copying an audiotape for a friend. That almost certainly falls under the fair use doctrine. On the other extreme you have services like napster who argued that large scale peer to peer file swapping of copyright material also fell under fair use. The court that dealt with that case did not extend the fair use doctrine under those circumstances. What your trying to do probably falls in the middle of those two examples...

Check out:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/cti351.htm

Corth

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Goddamned slippery mage.
Daz
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Postby Daz » Sun Jul 28, 2002 1:42 am

No consumer has ever been sued . . .

Ok, So - I don't incorporate my site and run it entirely out of my own pockets - limiting the people who can download to those who have requested access to my server personally . . . . it really sounds to me like as long as i make no profit from the transactions, then it should be illegal. I am reading the dmca to make a case for it.

Thanks for the link and info Corth - I appreciate facts.

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-Daz "<^> (*¿*) <^>" Proudwolf
Ragorn
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Postby Ragorn » Sun Jul 28, 2002 1:48 am

Regardless of the letter of the law, here is the spirit of the law which is being upheld:

Distribution of copyrighted material by anyone other than the copyright holder reduces the potential for the copyright holder to profit from its sale.

This is the same law that makes mp3s illegal, even if you don't charge for them. Your distribution of anime for free makes it less likely that the people who download from you will BUY the DVDs in question. Whether they would have bought them anyway isn't important.

Will you get sued? Probably not. At worst you'll get a cease and desist order, and if you don't follow it, the company will have your web site confiscated and your web hosting terminated. But you asked if it was legal, and it is not.

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- Ragorn
Jenera says 'i managed to match a little, ragorn's outfit is hideous.'
Daz
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Postby Daz » Sun Jul 28, 2002 2:03 am

"Regardless of the letter of the law, here is the spirit of the law which is being upheld"

I think this whole lack of clarity on the law is what I am hoping to avoid. However, your saying that they will make less money is . . . false. It's what they would LIKE to believe, and even what you like to believe perhaps.

The truth is that free distrobution has many things going for it that work to the artist/distributors' benefit. I personally have 100+ dvd's and 500+ CD's in my collection. Over 80% of the cd's I sampled online before purchasing them, and I previewed most of the dvd's (the ones that were released first) in theatres. Something Corporate, Maroon 5, Vanessa Carlton, VNV Nation, Thievery Corporation . . . just a few of the artists whom I have financially contributed to AFTER having their product for free. For anyone who can afford to buy these things - Nothing beats the feeling of owning your own. Not a single one of my CD's or DVD's are unobtainable otherwise, but I am damn proud of those shelves. The people who don't purchase these items would not otherwise purchase them anyway - so the 'losing money' from that source isn't true. You are assuming everyone who has your product would have paid for it. Wrong.

However, you DO get people who, purchased or not, are spreading the web of knowledge about who is aware of your product. This beats any amount of 3 second anime clips as far as advertising goes.

If there is no clear 'letter of the law' - then the 'spirit of the law' is useless. If that letter of the law is not defined - I am going to sue the people whos' product I give away - because they don't pay me for advertising :P

(joking)

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-Daz "<^> (*¿*) <^>" Proudwolf
Daz
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Postby Daz » Sun Jul 28, 2002 2:56 am

Ok, after studying Japanese copyright laws, and the DMCA of 1998, I have come up with the following:

I am going to create/file and maintain a tax exempt 501c3 NPO. According to the DMCA one exception to the copyright law, among others, is when a NonProfit uses the information for archiving purposes. Think library.

That's right - I am going to create what may possibly be the world's first Cyber Anime Library. I have the server space, web development team, and NPO experience to make this happen, and unless anything goes wacky - I will hopefully launch early versions of the site before the years' end. All content will be provided for free, but provided either via streaming or all copies will be digitally watermarked and distribution for profitable purposes will be strictly forbidden and prosecuted.

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-Daz "<^> (*¿*) <^>" Proudwolf
rachaz
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Postby rachaz » Sun Jul 28, 2002 5:52 am

I stopped reading all these posts because it is not a "grey area" as many of you call it... People are employed to search the web specifically looking for things like you are talking about. "Unofficial" sites on the web are punishable under the law.

Corth siting the doctrine of fair use is insightful but not applicable in this situation. Without getting too technical, I would like to say that certain people are given exclusive rights for these kinds of things and do pay for it.

Further, a web site that you do not charge people for is not "free". Each "hit" you get is considered a profit for someone. Advertising profits are considered ill gotten gains in this situation.

Rachaz
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Postby Corth » Sun Jul 28, 2002 7:19 am

Rachaz,

Its depends upon the context. if daz were to sell these files to the public at large then obviously it would violate copyright laws and would not be covered by the fair use doctrine. The fair use doctrine is in effect an exception to the general rule. Under certain circumstances, what would have been a copyright violation is not one because it is considered fair use. One such situation would be where you copy an audio tape (for instance, a song by Radiohead) for a friend without charging him for the recording. Congress, which has the exclusive right to promulgate copyright law, made a policy determination that it was not worth regulating that sort of behavior. However, the language in the various statutes that make up the body of law that we call the fair use doctrine is very vague and its boundaries have not been clearly defined by the federal courts. Napster, which went far beyond what Daz is proposing, made a credible argument in court, and lost. Whether Daz would survive a legal challenge to his venture is uncertain. Thus, it is indeed a grey area. I should point out though that my understanding is Daz would limit the distribution of the copyrighted material to friends and acquaintences. Offering the material to the public at large would be a different story.

Corth

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Goddamned slippery mage.

[This message has been edited by Corth (edited 07-28-2002).]
Ragorn
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Postby Ragorn » Sun Jul 28, 2002 8:07 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Daz:
[BI think this whole lack of clarity on the law is what I am hoping to avoid. However, your saying that they will make less money is . . . false. It's what they would LIKE to believe, and even what you like to believe perhaps.
[/B]</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I imagined this would be your response. It's a very common feeling online in the last few years that digital media should be common property, and that the common person SHOULD morally and legally be allowed to distribute it. There's a lot of activism and debate over who owns what. Right now the law dictates (and courts have upheld) that when you purchase a video or audio product, you are purchasing the right for yourself to use that product. You are not purchasing the song, or the movie, or the episode. Thus you cannot distribute it, because the rights to the actual content are not yours. Just like buying a copy of Windows doesn't entitle you to give it to 30 of your friends, buying a DVD doesn't entitle you to distribute it in any way. Read the FBI warnings in the beginning of videocasettes :P

If you've found a loophole, great. I think you'll find that this venture is going to be a colossal pain in the ass just to put some anime on the internet for your friends to download. I can't imagine setting up a front for a nonprofit organization just to distribute old Dragonball episodes :P

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- Ragorn
Jenera says 'i managed to match a little, ragorn's outfit is hideous.'
Daz
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Postby Daz » Sun Jul 28, 2002 4:14 pm

. . . I think you misunderstand my intent at this point Ragorn . . I want to put anime up just for my friends, which apparently is a no-no, so I have decided to set up a non-profit with the intent and purpose of archiving anime. Basically making a library of sorts, which means, like libraries, lending materials for people to view at no cost. By using end-user agreements, digital signing, and limiting useage - I am fairly certain that it would be legal for me to do this, as long as I identify every user who downloads/views these files.

It will be a library, with content online. The server will be my building, the anime will be my books.

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-Daz "<^> (*¿*) <^>" Proudwolf
rachaz
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Postby rachaz » Sun Jul 28, 2002 5:28 pm

Corth look me up in the game, I'd like to talk to you about this.

Rachaz
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Postby Ragorn » Sun Jul 28, 2002 5:32 pm

How will you distinguish between "lending" and "distributing?" Are you allowing downloads, or only streaming video? Streaming video to multiple users absolutely annihilates bandwidth. If you allow user downloads, you may have to contend with the fact that you are actually allowing people to download copyrighted material. Though they may have to click through a EULA that says "you must delete within 24 hours", you may still run into legal trouble. It's still unclear whether our legal system will accept click-thru EULAs as binding legal agreements. Even if Napster had a EULA that said "you must delete all mp3s you don't own after 24 hours", they still would have been shut down.

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- Ragorn
Jenera says 'i managed to match a little, ragorn's outfit is hideous.'
rachaz
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Postby rachaz » Mon Jul 29, 2002 2:53 am

Ok... I discussed this issue with a friend of mine who specializes in IP to find out the exact answer to the question. Your issue is not one of distribution Daz. It is an issue of Publishing. Thus, the docrtrine of fair use is not applicable in this situation.

Rachaz
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Postby rachaz » Mon Jul 29, 2002 2:54 am

Ok... I discussed this issue with a friend of mine who specializes in IP to find out the exact answer to the question. Your issue is not one of distribution Daz. It is an issue of Publishing. Thus, all the arguements previously stated, including my own, are not applicable in this situation.


Rachaz

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