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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    I plan to publish a website based on material which is in the public domain in the UK but is copyrighted in the US.

    Any thoughts on the best way to handle this?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Steveinid's Avatar
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    What(out of curiosity) is an example of what you are talking about. I thought copyright laws were international.

    I would guess that you should be able to prove that you obtained the material from a public domain source and have the site hosted off US soil.

    I see you are from the UK so the latter is probably a given.

    just some thoughts.

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  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Get a lawyer's advice first or your efforts might end up in the copyright holders hands leaving you nadda!

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    steveinid

    as I understand it, if I publish in the UK then UK laws apply - if I publish in the US then US laws apply.

    What I'm not clear on is where does a website stand, which will potentially be viewed from anywhere in the world?

    The physical host is in Germany.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador parentsworld's Avatar
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    if the physical host is Germany then you are bound both by UK laws AND German laws.

    I go through this often as I am Canadian but my site is hosted in the U.S. My lawer said it's quite clearly stated (in Canadain and U.S. Laws, mind you) that both laws will have to prevail.

    If I wanted to only be privy to Canadian laws then I'd have to host my site at a Canadian Host.

    If these copyright laws are only in effect in the U.K. then you need to be both an owner from the U.K AND host in the U.K.

    ...but I'm not a lawyer Always double check with one to cover your butt.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    The material is in the public domain in Germany, too, just not in America.

    Even though it's in the public domain in the location that it's hosted, it will still contravene US copyright law if anyone in the US views it, won't it?

  7. #7
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Even though it's in the public domain in the location that it's hosted, it will still contravene US copyright law if anyone in the US views it, won't it?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes, but you won't be publishing it in the US, so any liability would not be yours. If, say, it was a physical DVD that could not be shown in the US, and they came into a shop in Europe and bought it and then took it back to the US, then you would not be liable and the same thing is the case here.

    There are plenty of cases where sites in one country host content that is illegal to view in another.

    You might, however, like to put on a splash page or strong legal disclaimer.

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  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    Thanks Dynamoo!

    That's good enough for me.

    My meagre budget doesn't run to a copyright lawyer.

    It's quite likely that no-one would be bothered by what I have in mind anyway.

  9. #9
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    You guys might pay close attention to what will transpire over parts of Microsoft's Windows source code being spread over the internet by file sharing networks. Gates want all the enables and the perps boiled in oil.

    If I had his money trying to protect my copyrights and the billions churned out in Microsoft sales I'd run 2 elimination plans. One legit through the worldwide criminal enforcement and courts demanding perps walks. The second one secretly funding foreign hired asassins to pick off the computer geeks and hackers as they step out of the homes and apartments. Word of mouth about the whacking of their buddies would spread quicker then Janet's floppy breast.

    Mike & Charlie ...

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  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    Mike

    I'm not planning anything sinister...

    It's old material on a subject that is close to my heart but not of much interest to most of the world.

    Making it available to people who are interested I don't see as a problem.

    If there are any copyright issues, then I invite the people who are interested to step up and publish.

    I will probably never see a decent return for the amount of time I expend on the site.

  11. #11
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    Radegast, I believe you still could not use the works, it depends. But what you want to check is the Berne Convention. That is the agreement between countries on copyright law. Real, real loosely it says, if you enforce our copyright laws/protection in your country, we will enfore your copyright laws/protection in our country. I believe the Berne convention provides protection for 50 years, but you will want to check that.

    You will see that one country will host content illegal in another country, but that content is about laws not pertaining to copyright, the Berne convention only deals with copyright issues.

    Chet

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    Thanks, Chet, I'll check it out.

  13. #13
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    Radegast,

    Check the copyright also, not to be mean, but some of these idiots place copyright on their works and do not actually have the work copyrighted.

    Last month someone had the audacity to try to oust me on some content, little did they know I had paid for the content, because its coming up more and more I finally decided to see what gives with the copyrighted material I have been paying out my ass for with licensing fees. The owners may have wrote the content but they did not have it copyrighted and have been charging me an annual license fee for the stuff.

    As you know I am anal so YES the paper work is on the way to the courts to sue their Asses!

    Now to get into this a tad further, the material they have been selling me was not even there own, oh yes, so I dropped the stuff nice and quiet, while checking copyrights.

    BUGGERS who originally claimed copyright still did not have the material copyrighting only their site.

    I am about to take it to the mattresses; if I find one more company claiming copyright and has none there ass is now mine. What most people do not understand is you cannot blanket a site with copyright. IDIOTS.



    SandraR
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  14. #14
    http and a telephoto
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    You do not have to register a copyright to claim work as copywritten. Once a work is created, in the United States copyright belongs to the creator. That covers photography, written work and text on websites as well as other works. A copyright notice is nice, but not even required.

    If you are referring to what I think you are, licencing is one thing and using without permission is another. Plagerism is plagerism.

    If you are being charged a licence fee for work that is in the public domain, then you have grounds to be angry.

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  15. #15
    http and a telephoto
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    Two links to start out with:

    http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html

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

    And a section from the copyright FAQ from the US Copyright office:

    "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.

    Do I have to register with your office to be protected?
    No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration.”

    Why should I register my work if copyright protection is automatic?
    Registration is recommended for a number of reasons. Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation. Finally, if registration occurs within 5 years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration” and Circular 38b, Highlights of Copyright Amendments Contained in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), on non-U.S. works. "

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  16. #16
    http and a telephoto
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    And one more direct link to the agreement with other countries, UK is listed as bilateral:

    http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ38a.pdf

    Contact the copyright holder in the US and if the material is as obscure as you say it is they may be happy to have it being used.

  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by loxly:
    You do not have to register a copyright to claim work as copywritten. Once a work is created, in the United States copyright belongs to the creator. That covers photography, written work and text on websites as well as other works. A copyright notice is nice, but not even required.

    If you are referring to what I think you are, licencing is one thing and using without permission is another. Plagerism is plagerism.

    If you are being charged a licence fee for work that is in the public domain, then you have grounds to be angry.

    Deborah Carney
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    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Please Deborah,

    The world does not evolve around you I was not referencing you. PLEASE get a grip.



    SandraR
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  18. #18
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Contact the copyright holder in the US and if the material is as obscure as you say it is they may be happy to have it being used.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Why? If the material is legal to publish in Europe then the opinion of a US lawyer is not worth a damn.

    A situation has arisen with copyright where the US authorities have extended copyright for certain "valuable" intellectual property beyond the commonly accepted conventions. It is nothing to do with the rest of the world. The US does not set global copyright policy.

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  19. #19
    http and a telephoto
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dynamoo:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Contact the copyright holder in the US and if the material is as obscure as you say it is they may be happy to have it being used.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Why? If the material is legal to publish in Europe then the opinion of a US lawyer is not worth a damn.

    A situation has arisen with copyright where the US authorities have extended copyright for certain "valuable" intellectual property beyond the commonly accepted conventions. It is nothing to do with the rest of the world. The US does not set global copyright policy.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    For a couple of reasons, first being the Bern Convention mentioned above, and second being the people that own the copyright in the US might be happy you want to use the material and might give you additional material and might help publicize the site using the material.

    Remember, I have no idea what the material is about, or who owns the copyright or why it is copyright protected in the US and not in the UK or Germany, so this is just an opinion.

    If you are using something created by someone else, and it may or may not be in the public domain, isn't it good manners to ask if you can use it?

    Checking out the terms of use for material you did not create is just good business.

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  20. #20
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>If you are using something created by someone else, and it may or may not be in the public domain, isn't it good manners to ask if you can use it?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If the material is out of copyright, then it's out of copyright.

    No, I don't know exactly what the material is either, but since it's old enough to be out of copyright in Europe, then it's a non-issue.

    This article explains it perhaps, if the material is out of copyright according to the Berne Convention, then individual nations may still have their own copyright laws, including the "Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act" - a typically unilateral piece of legislation from the US.

    So, assumuing that under the Berne Convention the copyright has expired, then one would be free to publish that material in those countries that respect the convention. Unfortunately, the United States does not. There is no need to ask permission from a faceless corporation in the US.

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  21. #21
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Incidentally, Deborah, and I'm not actually trying to start a flame war, but the letter of the law when it comes to copyright and licensing is important. Perhaps you need to re-read the ODP license very carefully and check the attributions on your sites?



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  22. #22
    http and a telephoto
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    I have ODP links on the bottom of every page... if you see any missing please email me and let me know... OPD has been to the site and told me what was needed to be in compliance.... dc at loxly.com

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  23. #23
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Done.

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