Re: Distribution of personal study guide

From: J. Noble <jfnbl[_at_]earthlink.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 12:00:01 -0500


>This is totally, completely wrong. ... The fact that you are not a
>lawyer does not excuse you....

It's not totally and completely wrong, and people in glass houses.... Ms. Schultz recognized a prima facie infringement claim. What "we don't know" doesn't diminish it.

While it's "possible" that the student has a fair use defense, we don't "need to give the student the benefit of the doubt," and in fact we can't -- he has the burden of proof. On its face, the description of the personal study guide provided by the original poster strongly indicates infringement. Except to count the potential plaintiffs, it doesn't matter how many images he copied, or how many of them are in the public domain, if he copied at least one that wasn't. In the context of graphic works, how much of the image was copied may have more bearing on the distinction between an unauthorized reproduction and an unauthorized derivative than on the fair use defense; and I'd rather defend an attributed low-res thumbnail of the entire work than an unattributed hi-res bowdlerization that implicates the artist's moral rights. Whether it's a one-time activity/infringement or continuing infringement/activity would have some relevance to one of the fair use factors (commercial effect), but it's plainest significance is to the measure of damages.

John Noble

At 3:20 PM -0500 1/27/06, Joseph Pietro Riolo wrote:
>On 1/26/06, Dodi Schultz <SCHULTZ[_at_]compuserve.com> wrote:
>>
>> Speaking as a writer, not a lawyer--no way. Whether he lifted words or
>> images and whether or not he is charging a fee to the folks to whom he's
>> distributing this material that isn't his: He has no right to use the
>> material without the copyright owner's permission.
>
>This is totally, completely wrong. It is possible that the
>student satisfies the criteria for fair use. It is possible that
>what the student is doing is permitted by the U.S. copyright
>law.
>
>You need to give the student the benefit of doubt. Not every
>copier is a copyright infringer. We don't know how many
>images he copied. We don't know how many of the
>images are in the public domain. We don't know how much
>of the images he copied. We don't know if this is one-time
>activity or continuing activity beyond one semester.
>
>The fact that you are not a lawyer does not excuse you
>from the big responsibility not to mislead lay people with
>the incorrect information. You have the responsibility to
>learn the proper boundaries of the U.S. copyright law and
>to make a habit not to condemn each copier as a
>copyright infringer.
>
>
>Joseph Pietro Riolo
><josephpietrojeungriolo[_at_]gmail.com>
><riolo[_at_]voicenet.com>
>
>Number of days left until 1-1-2019 when all knowledge of 1923
>in the land of the U.S.A. will be freed from their copyright
>owners' prisons: 4,721
>
>Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this
>post in the public domain.
>
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Received on Mon Jan 30 2006 - 22:00:01 GMT

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