Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Luke 21:12, 17

This space was previously filled by excerpts from the book, "It All Started With Columbus", but an anonymous commentator has objected to my possible copyright infringement. He/she/it said:

"Anonymous said...
Armours book is still under copyright. But your a christian (His/hers/it's grammatical error in non-capitalization) & it's A-OK that you steal it & post it on your blog."


I went to a website for further information on this and found this:

Under the law in effect before 1978, copyright was secured either on the date a work was published with a copyright notice or on the date of registration if the work was registered in unpublished form. In either case, the copyright endured for a first term of 28 years from the date it was secured. During the last (28th) year of the first term, the copyright was eligible for renewal. The Copyright Act of 1976 extended the renewal term from 28 to 47 years for copyrights that were subsisting on January 1, 1978, or for pre-1978 copyrights restored under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), making these works eligible for a total term of protection of 75 years. Public Law 105-298, enacted on October 27, 1998, further extended the renewal term of copyrights still subsisting on that date by an additional 20 years, providing for a renewal term of 67 years and a total term of protection of 95 years

The edition of which I am in possession of was last published in November 1965. The legalese quoted above is not clear to me, so I may be within my rights or I may not. Regardless, if something I do causes anyone to stumble, I will remove the stumbling block, because I am a Christian.

Thanks, Anonymous, for keeping me honest.

17 comments:

TECH said...

As much as I would like to post that your rude and illiterate anon was wrong, he/she/it is probably correct.

A best site for copyright information is naturally enough the United States Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov. Here's some info that applies to Armour's book.

"Works Originally Created and Published or Registered before January 1, 1978
Under the law in effect before 1978, copyright was secured either on the date a work was published with a copyright notice or on the date of registration if the work was registered in unpublished form. In either case, the copyright endured for a first term of 28 years from the date it was secured. During the last (28th) year of the first term, the copyright was eligible for renewal. The Copyright Act of 1976 extended the renewal term from 28 to 47 years for copyrights that were subsisting on January 1, 1978, or for pre-1978 copyrights restored under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), making these works eligible for a total term of protection of 75 years. Public Law 105-298, enacted on October 27, 1998, further extended the renewal term of copyrights still subsisting on that date by an additional 20 years, providing for a renewal term of 67 years and a total term of protection of 95 years.

Public Law 102-307, enacted on June 26, 1992, amended the 1976 Copyright Act to provide for automatic renewal of the term of copyrights secured between January 1, 1964, and December 31, 1977. Although the renewal term is automatically provided, the Copyright Office does not issue a renewal certificate for these works unless a renewal application and fee are received and registered in the Copyright Office.

Public Law 102-307 makes renewal registration optional. Thus, filing for renewal registration is no longer required in order to extend the original 28-year copyright term to the full 95 years. However, some benefits accrue from making a renewal registration during the 28th year of the original term."


However, since I didn't read what you had posted before you removed it, your use might have fallen under "fair use." The copyright site has a good explanation of it.

Lone Ranger said...

Under the fair use doctrine, you can use EXCERPTS of a work without permission from the copyright owner so long as you give proper attribution. You did that.

Having said that, the fair use doctrine is very vague, and you could be on thin ice if the OWNER of the copyright objects.

I very much doubt whether the owner would object to (or even know about) one of millions of blogs that has decided to promote his book. Even if he did object, it would be in the form of an attorney's warning, you'd delete the article and everything would be a-ok -- except he'd be out attorney's fees.

TECH said...

Actually, LR, attribution does not guarantee fair use. Here is fair use defined, once again by the U.S. Copyright Office (www.copyright.gov).

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered "fair," such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

2. the nature of the copyrighted work;

3. amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The distinction between "fair use" and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use: "quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author’s observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported."


Without having seen what Mark posted, I don't know what use he was making of it, even if I were qualified to judge. But I know Mark is honest, and infringement -- if any -- was accidential.

LR is correct in that it is unlikely that Armour would notice this blog (especially since he died in 1989), but his estate could proceed. However, all his estate would have to do is send a letter and a form of proof (such as the book itself) saying that Mark had infringed copyright. Blogger would promptly remove said material and say that it would be up to the court to decide. Providers cannot financially afford to defend their users. See Blogger's terms of use for more details on this. I myself used this without an attorney when I discovered a blogger had copied one of my humor columns word for word on his site and passed it as his own. When he didn't respond to my request to remove the stolen material, I sent to his provider (Diaryland) a copy of the article as originally published in a newspaper and my contract that showed rights reverting to me. They promptly removed the offending material as well as his blog. I felt bad about his blog being removed since I never asked for that, but he had violated their terms of use. Of course, he has probably went somewhere else and blogged it, but I haven't found it so far.

I'm fascinated by copyright and have written several white papers for my company on its legal and financial ramifications. Copyright continues to evolve in this digital age as law attempts to keep pace with technology. Doubtless there are more changes ahead.

Xena76 said...

I would love to say I have never violated a copyright law, but alas I am a teacher.

I did not see what you had posted, but I am fairly certain that if you gave credit to the author it is not a copyright violation. If it were, there would be no such thing as a bibliography...


Just as a side note, a principal in a county near mine was nearly fired for using someone else's graduation address off the internet as if it were hers. A parent heard it, got upset, found it on the internet and the principal was nearly fired. She apologized profusely, wrote some letters and all that, and as far as I know still has her job. Considering what I have seen of you Mark, I am guessing you weren't attempting to pass off someone else's work as your own, so there is a good chance that Anonymous was just trying to get you to take down your post or back down from your point.

h said...

Mark, I'm flattered that you asked me to comment, but between Tech and the Lone Ranger, I think you've got everything you need. As for the time limits, just remember that copyright protection now lasts for 95 years. That's not 100% accurate, but, as a practical matter, if you follow that rule, you can't go wrong.
By the way, the Disney Corp. was the main shaker behind the '98 amendment, as Mickey mouse would have come out of copyright in 2002 without the change. The rest of the publishing/entertainment industry got on board, for reasons of obvious self-interest. A challenge to the constitutionality of the '98 amendment on the ground that it violated the "limited times" language of congress's power to grant copyrights was rejected by the Supreme Court a couple of years ago.
As for fair use, LR's comments are right on [post-preview edit: not that there was anything wrong with Tech's]. It would be virtually impossible to exerpt a couple of passages from a book-length work of non-fiction for purposes of commentary on a blog and run afoul of the copyright laws. However, I would not advise you to do what some are doing: reproducing pay-per-view web pages like TimesSelect so that your readers can get at them for free (not that they would interest me!). That's not fair use; that's trying to hurt somebody's business. Those folks are asking for it.
LEGALESE: THIS COMMENT DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELASHIONSHIP BETWEEN ME AND ANYBODY WHO READS IT OR EVEN HEARS OF IT! Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Sheila said...

Mark,

I've worked with copyright in media for years. The clincher here and the bottomline and the reason why a teacher or a researcher can use copyrighted material is this.

Profit. Are you going to use this material for profit or for education or use it to spread propaganda.

I blieve this Blog is mainly a forum you use for dialog and education. Since that book is VERY outdated and has information that has been prove innacurate since the time of it's printing, I think your safe on all accounts.

Your not making money. You were using just exerpts to communicate your point. Your efforts to use the material might cause the publisher a reprint? LOL SO your actually doing a service.

Their are a lot of lawayers who are not lawyers out there.

TECH said...

Xena (love the name, by the way. I miss that show), the 1961 Report lists the uses you've probably made of material in your classroom: "...reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson ..." So maybe you haven't violated copyright!

However, just attributing a work to an author does not constitute fair use. If that were so, then I could copy Harry Potter, have it printed in my own book and then sell it, but call it "fair use" since I would say Rowling wrote it.

Actually this has been done already. Several Netizens got copies of the various Harry Potter books and put them online to download, some for free, some for profit. Naturally Rowling's lawyers sue them as soon as they pop up. The reason I mention this is that attribution was mentioned by one of the free posting sites as a defense.

Do I think Mark would have been sued? No. For one thing, there's no money there to attract a lawyer. Mark wasn't selling the posting, and Armour was/is not the mega-seller that Rowling is. If Armour's estate pursued it, Blogger might remove the posting and/or the blog, but I doubt it would go any further. The thing is to do what's right, whether or not there are any legal problems. Which Mark, apparently, did, if he had infringed. However, his first commenter was still rude and wrong to attack his Christianity.

Mark said...

Ok. What I posted was the first 2 sections of the first chapter of the book, which is a humorous parody of American History textbooks. I posted it to depart from my usual seriously political or religious. And the purpose was to make my readers smile. I did give credit to the author, but I didn't use the excerpts as part of a commentary. the entire post was from the book, word for word. The only thing I had added was a picture. and the introduction yo the post.

I had previously posted other excerpts from the book and I know it inspired at least one of my readers to purchase the book himself, but not from me, from Amazon.

Lone Ranger said...

The post was made for entertainment purposes. The excerpt was in the vein of Mel Brooks' History of the World. It was funny -- the sort of stuff I used to write in high school. HAVING READ IT,it is my judgement that it fell well within the fair use doctrine. And how Christianity got mixed into it or why this subject is being beaten to death is beyond me.

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Anonymous said...

Yeah Ranger everyone was waiting for you to have the last word like you always try to do even when you dont know anything about the subject.

Anonymous said...

& Tech can go to hell. Who died and made him the god of copyright? No one thats who. Typical of the rightwing nutcases who post on this blog and pretend to know anything about anything. Maness makes christianity -- not capitalized by intent bastard -- the point of everything. He acts like god tapped him on the shoulder and said heres my man. Maness should remember what happened to the last man who claimed that.

Daffy76 said...

anonymous is a very angry person. I think we should all pray for him/her.

I'm not expert on the copyright thing, but if you can't quote someone (which is what you did) in print, we've all infringed on copyright laws at one point or another.

Just my opinion, from a "typical rightwing nutcase."

Daffy76 said...

By the way, anonymous, when someone is a Christian, (capitalized by intent), Christianity IS the point of everything. It's supposed to be that way. A real Christian will gladly admit that to you.

Patriot said...

I've learned painfully that Tech is rarely wrong when he posts a comment. Maybe that's why he posts so rarely! :) Just a joke.

I don't think Mark or Tech will have to worry about going to Hell, but I'm willing to lay money that anon needs to.

Mark: good blog. Thanks for inviting me over. Ignore that anon commenter just like God will ignore him on the Great White Throne Judgment unless he comes to Christ. Non-believers always try to pull down what God has built.

Erudite Redneck said...

The funny thing was anon's assumption that Tech is a right-winger. Not.

--ER

Erudite Redneck said...

Wormwood is posting as anonymous.