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#16702 - 09/24/02 07:51 AM copyright law....and related issues
Dan Saydak Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 268
Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
My wife and i are having some friction with our teen son over issues such as burning CD's. I would really appreciate it if any of you could pass on some links to good info about copyright law, especially regarding thigs like burning CD's and downloading music for free. The main issue is what i believe to be right or wrong coming into conflict with the "everyone does it, and the law isn't enforced, and nobody has a problem with it except my clued-out parents" mentality. Also, i assume what holds for recorded music applies to software as well?

Old-fashioned, and somewhat computer illiterate, Dan

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#16703 - 09/24/02 12:44 PM Re: copyright law....and related issues
alidoremi Offline
Star Member

Registered: 03/11/02
Posts: 2120
Loc: California
I don't know of any links to refer you to but this is what I was told to do when burning CD's: I don't make 'exact' duplicates of any CD. Supposedly, it's OK to burn a CD when you rearrange the order of songs, or leave a few out. You can then call it a 'mix'. And as long as I'm not selling them, it should be fine.

Can anyone confirm this?

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#16704 - 09/24/02 01:40 PM Re: copyright law....and related issues
Danny Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 43
Loc: California
Alidoremi & Dan -

Another controversial subject and one where it is difficult to give "black or white" answers.

Trust me, I have had these same "heated" arguments with my own family members who see nothing wrong with making unauthorized copies of copyrighted materials.

I am in the process of writing a major article on Copyright to be published in one of the leading teaching magazines next year. Here are a few points that I can share with you:

1) Copyright is not just "one" right. Rather it is a group of rights (divisibility of copyright) In layman's terms this means that "print rights" can be assigned to one agent and recording rights to another. And this gets even more complicated when there are multiple authors involved... stay tuned for the article!

2) "Fair Use" - This is the other side of the coin for copyright protection. In exchange for protecting the creators "for a limited time", Congress mandates "fair use" access to the material for pedagogical use.

3) Copying permitted. The Supreme Court ruled on this subject re: Video-taping TV programs for later - or personal - viewing.
In this context, they ruled that it is "fair use" to make a copy to view at a later date - or even to share this with others in a "personal setting." It would NOT be OK to show a vide tape of a program in a commercial setting - such as a restaurant or anywhere where admission is charged.

Here is where "all h...l" breaks loose on interpretation. Basically use the concept of a book. You purchase it and lend it to a friend. This is OK because both of you can't be reading it at the same time. By extension, software licenses - up until VERY recently, gave permission to install the program on both a personal desktop computer and a personal laptop computer. Again, the reasoning is that you can not be using both at the same time. Since there were so many abuses to this through illegal copying the software manufactures - in my opinion - went too far - in closing the loopholes and forced honest customers to purchase 2 separate licenses. Something similar is happening with recorded music - and frankly all "digital" information.

As I stated, it is difficult to give "black or white" answers. However, that is no excuse for doing something out of "ignorance." My watchword is "when in doubt, ask first."

Danny

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#16705 - 09/24/02 07:12 PM Re: copyright law....and related issues
JonathanE Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/10/01
Posts: 141
Loc: Pembine, WI, USA
For the official word on copyright, you can't beat the U.S. Copyright Office website:
http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/ . Especially look at the copyright law section, with an excellent explanation of fair use. It should be pointed out, too, that anything done to avoid a purchase (euphemism for stealing) is probably going to be a violation of copyright law. Making personal copies of software or music that someone else purchased should be considered a violation. It seems that teachers should take the high road when it comes to ethics; "fair use" seems to allow for a small amount of copying for educational, illustrative purposes - and if this exposes material to a wider audience who will be motivated to purchase the material in toto, would be ethical and beneficial to the publisher/author. However, I also understand that if a teacher makes "impromptu" fair-use-sized copies, and then continues to use that material, permission from the publisher is called for.

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#16706 - 09/24/02 08:02 PM Re: copyright law....and related issues
Danny Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 43
Loc: California
Jonathon -
You are absolutely correct! If you copy to AVOID PURCHASE you are violating the law.

Under "Fair use" - you can NOT copy a "performable unit" e.g. a movement from a sonata. And in no case can you copy more than 10% of a total work.

Re: Spontaneity - if you continue to use "copied" materials year after year - that would be considered AVOIDING purchase since you were abusing "fair use" to create your own curriculum.

I refer you to www.mpa-org for very useful information.

Frankly, I feel that just as we learn to teach Beethoven, we need to learn to teach respect for Intellectual Property.

Danny

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#16707 - 09/25/02 07:57 PM Re: copyright law....and related issues
JonathanE Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/10/01
Posts: 141
Loc: Pembine, WI, USA
Thanks, Danny. BTW, your link should be www.mpa.org .
I would think there might be cases in a classroom situation where permission from a publisher to use a copy might be extended for several years and not constitute the avoidance of a purchase. For example, consider a piano lit class where the teacher would have one or several editions of, say, the Beethoven piano sonatas available, but might want to show a particular phrase or section on an overhead transparency. The publisher is not going to provide the overhead transparency, and I imagine would grant permission for the professor to use the example, just as musical examples are used by permission in textbooks all the time. This is something I plan on pursuing, so it is fresh in my mind.
The Stanford University link at www.mpa.org provides some guidelines on what to include in a letter requesting permission from a publisher.

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#16708 - 09/25/02 09:30 PM Re: copyright law....and related issues
Danny Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 43
Loc: California
Jonathan -

Thanks for correcting the link to the Music Publisher's Organization. Every teacher should bookmark this into their favorites.

Once again, I am not a lawyer, but there are several "sticky points" in your proposal to put excerpts onto transparencies, e.g. and use them year arter year.

1) When excerpts are "used by permission" in a textbook - sometimes the publisher demands a fee and sometimes an individual publisher will not - it all depends on the situation and the publisher.

2) Today many publishers are frankly "freaked out" over digital rights. The jury is still out on this one. But remember - since copyright is not ONE right but rather a group of divisible rights, there have been many rulings where a publisher or agent - apart from the publisher who has "print rights" can (possibly) claim digital rights to the material. This is a hot bed of controversy in many circles.

3) I know that when we publish classroom materials with "reproduction rights" for the activity pages we put in a caveat that the material may not be electronically stored. And another caveat that states that "reproduction rights" remain with the individual purchaser of the product. Meaning that you can not have 1 teacher purchase one set of reprducable sheets for the entire district - only for the teacher's individual use.

Tricky, tricky.

BTW _ There was an EXCELLENT article on Copyright in the Los Angeles Times this past Sunday - go to www.latimes.com - A very interesting Supreme Court case will start on Oct. 9 contesting the legality of the recent 20 year extension of the copyright law (aka the "Sonny Bono Extension")

Danny

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#16709 - 09/26/02 08:12 PM Re: copyright law....and related issues
JonathanE Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 01/10/01
Posts: 141
Loc: Pembine, WI, USA
Well, I went to the LA Times website, and before I got around to searching for the article you mentioned, I got distracted by today's (Thursday's) article about the Mike Batt / John Cage "controversy." Hmmm... I wonder, if I wrote a piece called "The Big Rest" and printed out a huge picture of a quarter-note rest on one page, then put a copyright notice at the bottom, and someone else wrote a piece called "The BIGGER Rest" and drew a picture of a half note rest on one page, could I sue for copyright infringement?

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#16710 - 09/26/02 08:34 PM Re: copyright law....and related issues
Danny Offline
Contributing Member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 43
Loc: California
Jonathan -

Yes - this controversy gives new meaning to "Much ado about NOTHING"

If you can't find the article from last Sunday's LA TImes, email me and I will send you the link. It was a very timely piece and well written.

Danny

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#16711 - 09/26/02 09:20 PM Re: copyright law....and related issues
piano88 Offline
New Member

Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 1
I never thought that much about copyright laws until I had some music copyrighted and made a CD. The first time I heard someone say "I'll just make a copy of my mother's"(instead of buying one) it really sent chills over me and all of the sudden I understood it well.

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