Appeals Court Makes The Right Call Regarding Non-Commercial Creative Commons Licenses

from the good-to-see dept

We've pointed out for years that there's always been some level of confusion about the boundaries of the "non-commercial" tag on a Creative Commons license. There are lots of things that are kind of fuzzy about it. Does it mean you just can't sell the work? Or does it mean you can't even use it on a website if that website has ads on it? Indeed, we've worried that the non-commercial license created a bit of a branding problem for Creative Commons. However, to the organization's credit, it has spent plenty of time and effort over the past decade or so to try to clarify some of the confusion about non-commercial licensing, saying that it really just refers to the direct sale of such works.

For the past few years, that's also meant that Creative Commons, the organization, has had to step in to an ongoing lawsuit over such a license, and inform the court what a non-commercial license actually means.

The issue, in the case, was that an educational non-profit, Great Minds, sued various copy shops for making copies of its educational materials, even though they were licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license. That license says the work can be copied, but only under non-commercial terms. Great Minds argued that because the copy shops, like FedEx and Office Depot, made money from the copies, that made it commercial. Creative Commons kept telling the court that this was a misreading of "non-commercial" and in the Office Depot case, the 9th Circuit has agreed.

It's a nice, quick, and simple ruling:

There is no dispute that the school and school district licensees’ copying of Great Minds’ material is permitted under the License. There also seems to be no dispute that if Office Depot were itself a licensee, commercial copying of Great Minds’ material would fall outside the scope of the License and infringe Great Minds’ copyright. The issue we consider then is whether the school and school district licensees’ exercise of their rights under the License through the services provided by Office Depot results in Office Depot becoming a licensee. We hold that it does not. A licensee’s hiring of a third-party copy service to reproduce licensed material strictly for the licensee’s own permitted use does not turn that third party into a licensee that is bound to the License terms.

Citing the ruling in the 2nd Circuit in the basically identical case that Great Minds brought against FedEx:

“Great Minds’ licensees may rely on non-employee agents in carrying out permitted uses without converting those agents into independent licensees.”

The court also notes (again, echoing the 2nd Circuit's ruling) that Great Minds' contention that Office Depot's "volitional" conduct changes matters, is "absurd":

Great Minds also contends that the “volitional” element, i.e., which entity’s employee does the copying, is determinative in this case. But that argument produces the following absurd results: (1) a teacher may copy Eureka Math on an Office Depot-owned copy machine for a fee in-store, but cannot hand the materials to an Office Depot employee to be copied; (2) a school may pay a copy machine provider a monthly fee to keep a machine on site to copy Eureka Math, but cannot pay Office Depot employees to make the same copies; and (3) a school may permit teachers to copy Eureka Math on school-owned or leased machines, but cannot pay a high school student to make the same copies.

Great Minds’ interpretation cannot be correct.

So now we have rulings in both the 2nd and the 9th Circuit saying basically the same thing. That's useful, as those are the two biggest circuits for copyright law, generally. This is, at the very least, good news. Putting an NC license on Creative Commons works does not prevent all commercial activity, so long as that activity is within the reasonable ambit of the license.

Filed Under: copyright, creative commons, non-commercial, print shops
Companies: fedex, great minds, office depot


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  1. icon
    z! (profile), 9 Jan 2020 @ 3:46pm

    The best words are at the top "FOR PUBLICATION".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 9 Jan 2020 @ 4:09pm

    Re: BY-NC license

    I license my original work with a creative commons license. That being said, I'm okay with this ruling. Very okay. I believe it was Cory Doctorow who once said that a noncommercial condition in a creative commons license didn't negate a fair use or de minimis right that a person reusing the work had. It should also be noted that when Jonathan Coulton saw a T-shirt on Cafepress saying "Code Monkey Like Fritos" he said:

    Yes, to clarify how CC applies here, it doesn't. Protection from copyright is still in effect despite the CC license, which only allows non-commercial use of the song. Though I'm not sure to what extent this represents use of the song - it's really use of a lyric. If I were Sony I would probably send a cease and desist just to throw my weight around. As it is, I suppose I will contact Cafepress and see what they say.

    But does copyright really apply to these shirts and mouse pads? Couldn't I make a shirt that said "I want to hold your hand" if I wanted to?

    I think that is in essence admitting that the person uploading the lyric from the Jonathan Coulton song "Code Monkey" has as much as a fair use defense as someone doing the same with a Beatles lyric, and my guiding principle in these matters is WWJD: What Would JoCo Do?

    I also think that what should be determined "non-commercial" or not should basically be determined by the courts so that we may have precedent on the matter. AFAIAC, I think what is commercial or not should be similar to the definition used in trademark.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 9 Jan 2020 @ 4:38pm

    But The Licence Is The Only Permission You Have To Make Copies

    If the person making the copies has no licence to make those copies, then their act of copying is copyright infringement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2020 @ 4:51pm

    Re: But The Licence Is The Only Permission You Have To Make Copi

    That is not in US copyright law.

    First, there is fair use which is expansive, especially in the NC domain.

    Second, it ignores the "first sale" doctrine which turns into the "first transfer" doctrine in a NC context.

    Step 1. Make copies of NC work.
    Step 2. Give copies away.
    Step 3. Transferee has all the rights to sell or dispose of their copy however they see fit.

    The NC licenses is like a public domain license with an extra step.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2020 @ 4:51pm

    Re: But The Licence Is The Only Permission You Have To Make Copi

    Does that mean that everybody who runs a printing press, CD press or DVD press has to be licensed to make copies of whatever they are copying? Note, printers etc. are not explicitly licensed to make copies, but act as subcontractors to the publisher who has the license to make copies. This ruling makes sense ad the copy house is a subcontractor of someone with a license to make copies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2020 @ 5:29pm

    Re: But The Licence Is The Only Permission You Have To Make Copi

    The license could apply if the copyshop took it upon themselves to provide copies themselves, knowing that they would be needed. Being contracted to copy something by another party who has taken on the state of being a licensee, the license does not and need not apply.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 9 Jan 2020 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Step 2. Give copies away.

    That’s where it falls down, because the copying agency was selling the copies, not giving them away.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 9 Jan 2020 @ 6:45pm

    Re: CD press or DVD press has to be licensed

    They already are. No movie studio or software company is going to give them a contract to make copies of their precious “intellectual property” without guaranteed control over what happens to those copies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2020 @ 7:09pm

    Re: Re: Step 2. Give copies away.

    The copying agency was the school giving it to students.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 9 Jan 2020 @ 7:09pm

    Re: But The Licence Is The Only Permission You Have To Make Copi

    Not true. Essentially, Office Depot is acting as an agent for the licensee. So long as Office Depot is only producing the copies for the licensee and the licensee is acting within the limitations of the license (including that the license doesn’t expressly prohibit or limit the licensee from using agents for the permitted use(s)), Office Depot cannot be committing copyright infringement.

    Think of Office Depot as a third-party contractor. As far as this license is concerned, there is no difference between hiring an employee to make the copies as permitted by the license and hiring an outside entity to do so.

    And it’s worth noting that several other cases—not just these two Great Minds cases—have made this principle expressly clear: unless expressly restricted by the original license, third-party agents hired by a licensee cannot be held liable for copyright infringement at all for actions taken for and on behalf of the licensee if they are solely done in furtherance of the licensed use and the licensee isn’t in violation of the license themselves. Basically, if the agent’s copying is only done for licensees, then the agent cannot be committing copyright infringement if the licensee is not.

    As an example, imagine that a company X has a nonexclusive license to some copyrighted software A from another company Y, producing their own software B using the licensed software. Unless otherwise stated in the license, X can hire a factory run by third-party company Z—who is not a party to any license for A—to produce copies of B on X’s behalf without Z becoming a licensee of Y’s or licensing A. As such, Z is not restricted by the license Y granted X for A. As long as X is within the bounds of the license, Z is not committing copyright infringement of A.

    (Also, while inapplicable here, there’re also “fair use”, de minimis, scenes a faire, and the first-sale doctrine as exceptions to copyright infringement. Licenses aren’t the end-all-be-all to the question of whether an act of copying a copyrighted work is copyright infringement.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2020 @ 7:28pm

    With every fundamental American value and stroke of brilliance, like copyright and patent law, there are “corner cases” that require judicial discretion.

    Simple as that.

    Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water, Lucy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2020 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Re: But The Licence Is The Only Permission You Have To Make

    Any license has to be baked into the contract. Generic language would read that the manufacturer has a limited right to create X copies that are sent back to the studio or to a distributor of the studio's choice.

    If a manufacturer under those terms made extra copies and sells them independently, they're in breach of contract and willful infringers - a double whammy, legally speaking. Not to mention the reputation hit they'd take.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2020 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re: Step 2. Give copies away.

    Are they selling the copy back to the school, or are they charging the school for the service of copying? The court seems to think it the payment is for services rendered when they do the dismissal of the 'volitional' element.

    Great Minds also contends that the “volitional” element, i.e., which entity’s employee does the copying, is determinative in this case. But that argument produces the following absurd results: (1) a teacher may copy Eureka Math on an Office Depot-owned copy machine for a fee in-store, but cannot hand the materials to an Office Depot employee to be copied; (2) a school may pay a copy machine provider a monthly fee to keep a machine on site to copy Eureka Math, but cannot pay Office Depot employees to make the same copies; and (3) a school may permit teachers to copy Eureka Math on school-owned or leased machines, but cannot pay a high school student to make the same copies.

    Great Minds’ interpretation cannot be correct.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    OldMugwump (profile), 9 Jan 2020 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Re: Step 2. Give copies away.

    The court disagrees with you.

    The copying agency was hired to make copies on behalf of the licensee.

    The copying agency was selling copy services, not the content. It's no the same thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 9 Jan 2020 @ 8:52pm

    Re: acting within the limitations of the license

    But “commercial” activity can also mean paying money, not just receiving it.

    So the educational outfit was engaging in “commercial” activity in making these copies just as much as the copying agency.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2020 @ 9:42pm

    Re:

    I didn't know Prenda Law and Malibu Media were fundamental American values and strokes of brilliance.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2020 @ 10:58pm

    Re: Re:

    Those would be “corner cases”, already resolved, with appropriate punishments for those who would attempt to abuse American values and American law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2020 @ 11:00pm

    Re: Re: CD press or DVD press has to be licensed

    Precious?

    Really?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2020 @ 11:01pm

    Re: Re: acting within the limitations of the license

    Split hairs much?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 12:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Sure, if not for the fact that the bulk of copyright cases don't even make it to the stage of Prenda's proceedings, despite the RIAA/MPAA's cases, for all intents and purposes, looking exactly like cases Prenda and Malibu Media brought forward.

    If what separates your majority cases and corner cases is literally "Judges Wright and Pregerson happened to look at it", that baby might be more bathwater than you think.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 12:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, one might also consider all the commercial applications, breakthrough inventions, and contributions to humanity that depend on copyright and patent law, and have nothing to do with litigation and everything to do with encouraging and rewarding creative genius.

    As an example, name a country with more valuable and long lasting contributions to humanity than the USA.

    I’ll wait while you think.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 12:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ah, the old "supermarkets are an IP-intensive industry" argument, because clearly nobody would ever purchase food or go shopping if IP laws didn't exist.

    This tripe was poor form seven years ago and it's still a terrible argument now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 12:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If a cure exists for the common cold that also gives me AIDS as a side effect, I don't care how effective it is at curing the common cold; it's broken.

    If a military tactic ends up killing all enemy forces but also wipes out plenty of allied forces and civilians in friendly fire, it's a terrible strategy.

    Copyright law as it stands is a dumpster fire used to incentivize shutting down game reviews and harass grandparents at the behest of porn producers, which you seem very reluctant to fix.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 12:57am

    Re: Re: acting within the limitations of the license

    Why do you keep saying this, even though every single court (and common sense) says you're wrong?

    Not only that, but the creators of the license in question say you're wrong.

    It's possible that maybe you should just admit that you're wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Rocky, 10 Jan 2020 @ 1:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    As an example, name a country with more valuable and long lasting contributions to humanity than the USA.

    Challenge accepted, The UK (or British if you so prefer):

    Vaccines - Edward Jenner
    Penicillin - Alexander Fleming
    Steam Engine - James Watt
    The Computer - Charles Babbage

    Now, can you come up with US inventions that beat that in the category long lasting contributions to humanity?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 1:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No patent or copyright law in the UK, right? That’s your point?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 1:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What are you more in favor of, economic and social mobility, or tyranny and government control, without end?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 1:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Russia has greatly free medical care, and very few copyright or patent trolls.

    Great technology, too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 1:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I like how you've gone on to completely sidestep all the other points brought up to bring out a "governments would be tyrannical and controlling if not for copyright law" screed, but humor me - exactly how does copyright law, a government-granted monopoly that allows copyright holders to define and control usage of their works, result in less control?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 1:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Iran looks good in this area, too.

    China has a lot of good social programs, as well.

    AND, China LOVES open source!

    That’s number one for you guys, isn’t it?

    Raise your hand if you’re a communist, or love ISIS.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 1:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You like me, that’s nice.

    Think of copyright and patent law like super powers, allowing, even encouraging, independent inventors to compete and win with large, tyranical corporations by having and protecting better ideas from unlawful theft.

    Better inventions makes for better societies.

    Everyone benefits.

    Except the Chinese, of course.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 2:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ah, just couldn't hide the Trump rally talking point could you fam? I'm going to guess you thought that the defeat of Dallas Buyers Club and Blackbird were absolutely terrible for democracy, too. Because obviously corporations have always lived in fear of copyright instead of abusing it at every possible opportunity...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 2:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, yes, I would agree with your point regarding the greed associated with human nature.

    My point is that incentivizing poor inventors to become rich inventors is good for everyone because we all get good inventions to choose from.

    More and more incentivized inventors, that’s the promise of America.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 2:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Like the inventor of email? That really worked out for Shiva Ayyadurai, didn't it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 2:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Great example. He rose from being a literal outcast to being rich enough to sleep with international comedians and running for Congress.

    That’s the promise, the lure, the seductive beckoning of America to the rest of the world.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 2:32am

    Re: Re: Re: acting within the limitations of the license

    It’s hard to argue with such good advice.

    Harder for some, more than others, to take advice, easier to give it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 2:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, he spent thousands of dollars on a lawsuit and failed to take down a website, embarrassed himself in front of Elizabeth Warren, and got a judge to say, "I cannot be certain if Shiva Ayyadurai invented email."

    Some promise. More like a joke!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 2:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Who has never been foolish?

    My point was he is rich enough to sleep with ladies who are not only extremely sexy, but funny, too.

    Who doesn’t dream about that?

    Come to America if you want to be RICH!

    And get sex with humor!

    WOW WOW WOW

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 3:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How's that mailing list lawsuit coming along, John Smith?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 3:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Jhon Smith, if you please

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. identicon
    Rocky, 10 Jan 2020 @ 3:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, I provided a rebuttal to your implicit argument that the USA is the leader in inventions that provided long lasting contributions to humanity - regardless if they where copyrighted/patented or not.

    Anyone who thinks copyrights and patents are the sole driving forces behind progress hasn't paid attention to what's really happening. There actually exist people who invent things for the sole purpose of benefiting mankind regardless of patents, copyright and money.

    The consequences of today's copyright- and patent-law are that they actually stifling progress because the cost of doing business is increasing - especially when it comes to patents, which forces smaller parties out of the market. Currently, the cheapest average cost for filing a very simple patent starts at ~$6000 (attorneys fees + prior art search) - and it quickly gets extremely expensive the more complex the invention is.

    You know that the whole thing is broken when companies regularly files for bullshit patents to create an IP-portfolio with the sole purpose to be used defensively or to go after competitors.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 3:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But even you would agree about the historical context of patents and their impact on the American way of life.

    Or are you a Taliban/ISIS religious zealot?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 4:25am

    Re: Re: CD press or DVD press has to be licensed

    The copyright owner has all they need in copyright to go after any press that sells or gives copies to anybody but the copyright owner, as that would be infringement on their copyright.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 4:45am

    Re: Re: acting within the limitations of the license

    Commercial activity is permitted by the license so long as the use isn’t commercial. And no, paying money isn’t considered commercial activity. By that logic, the schools would be in breach of the contract just for buying paper to print the copies on. Seriously, this part is well-settled in US case law. Paying an agent to make copies you are licensed to make doesn’t break the license, and as long as the agent doesn’t make copies for unlicensed use and the licensee doesn’t exceed the license, the agent isn’t infringing on copyright, period. This is not exclusive to the NC-CC license; it’s true of all licenses and contracts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 4:48am

    Re: Re: Step 2. Give copies away.

    They were selling the copying service, not the copies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 4:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, England and France made some pretty significant contributions to humanity, and China gave us paper, rice, noodles, and ketchup. Japan has also been responsible for a number of advances in technology and car manufacturing. Germany has had some amazing research for us. I don’t recall which country the printing press originated from, but it sure wasn’t the US.

    And most of these advances existed outside of copyright and patent law.

    Oh, and by the way, our patent and copyright law originated from Britain.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 4:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How would abolishing or curtailing patent or copyright law be in favor of tyranny and government control? It’s a government-granted temporary monopoly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 4:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Look, even an authoritarian country can have great cultural or scientific contributions. The Soviet Union gave us Tetris, after all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 5:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You’re moving the goalposts here. You asked for countries with more or longer-lasting contributions to humanity than the US. You didn’t specify that they had be outside of copyright and patent law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 5:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh yea, someone pointed out above that the UK was second onto the US in inventions and inventors, that’s probably why.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 5:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I would not, at least not as a positive impact per se. Many medical advances, including in the US were never patented, for example. Many famous authors never saw a profit.

    And what the hell do the Taliban, ISIS, or religion have to do with patent and copyright law?

    I’m not totally against patent and copyright laws, but you are doing a terrible job at defending them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 5:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, I thought the point of this site was to argue AGAINST US copyright and patent law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 5:06am

    Re:

    I don’t think anyone was saying to abolish copyright and patents completely. At least, not in this article or prior to your comment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 5:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry I mistook you for another zealot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 5:07am

    Re: Re: Re: CD press or DVD press has to be licensed

    Or given to the licensee.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 5:08am

    Re: Re:

    But absolutely every article here argues in that direction.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 5:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Absolutely. Sputnik too. But Russia is not America, thank God.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 5:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I’m afraid you’re quite mistaken. Against current and some proposed specifications of copyright law, particularly regarding duration, DMCA notifications, and anti-circumvention restrictions? Sure. Opposed to overenforcement or abuse of patent and copyright law? Absolutely. Completely against their existence? Absolutely not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 5:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, it was just an accident of time. And again, most of what I mentioned wasn’t patented or copyrighted in the first place, so…

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 5:14am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, none of them have. They’re opposed to overenforcement, expansion, and abuse of copyright and patent laws as well as the long duration, but none have said that copyright or patent laws should be abolished entirely. You literally don’t know what you’re talking about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, with regarding to that I would say this… maybe you are right. Maybe I am thinking of the old TechDirt, and this is the new Techdirt. Haven’t seen much censoring either. Good on you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 6:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Barr's still not going to let you touch it, Hamilton.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63. identicon
    Catsup, 10 Jan 2020 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Isn't ketchup of Indian origin?

    Also printing press was German, Gutenberg press, not to be confused with Guttenberg, admitetly the later is also known for reproduction of texts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 7:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I suppose I might’ve been wrong about ketchup. I knew it was from Asia, though. (To be clear, though, I wasn’t talking about tomato ketchup, which is not quite the same thing.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65. identicon
    Annonymouse, 10 Jan 2020 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And a lot of other countries count their blessings that they are not "America" aka the USofA.

    George Orwell is laughing sadly
    George Harrison sighs - Bummer Man

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66. identicon
    Annonymouse, 10 Jan 2020 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The tomato variation is from Canada's east coast ... Nova Scotia IIRC

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Modern Refrigeration (1805, O Evans)
    Solar Cell (1883, C Fritts)
    Airplane (1903, W Wright & O Wright)
    Transistor (1947, J Bardeen & W Brattain)
    LED (1962, N Holonyak JR)
    LCD (1964, G H Heilmeier)
    Sat Nav Systems (1960, Johns Hopkins University) & GPS (1972, B Parkinson, et al)
    Mobile Phones (1973, M Cooper)
    Internet (1983, DARPA & NSF)

    ...interestingly this next one is not a British invention...

    Tea Bag (1903, T Sullivan)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not quite, they've been around long enough to know better, they're just a habitual liar(among their many other charming traits).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 9:26am

    Sadly, as soon as someone slaps "non-commercial" on something, the lawyers immediately interpret this as meaning "free", "not worth anything" and "OK to steal with impunity".

    Wikia (aka FANDOM Inc.) is a dumpster fire in this regard. They have many projects (Memory Alpha, Gamewikis, Lostpedia) which were founded in 2004 or 2005 under some form of the Creative Commons CC-NC licences (some of which add additional conditions, like attribution, share-alike or - in one case - no derivatives). Wikia got control of the domains under these projects by buying them from the original founders, usually over the objections of the author communities who created the work. The deals are invariably a mess of non-disclosure and non-disparagement clauses not only prohibiting the vendors from speaking out, but concealing that they'd been contractually gagged. Wikia then slipped some very nasty surprises into their terms and conditions in 2012, opting themselves out of the non-commercial terms. All that content, from way back in 2005 or whenever, is still online and every edit to those pages since then (or any translation of those pages to other languages) is a derivative work... which should've been subject to the original licence terms, not Wikia's 2012 monstrosity which claims the users "agree" to Wikia's stealing non-commercial content for blatantly commercial use. By 2019? Go to memory-alpha.org and get a notice that the content is CC-NC with attribution, and immediately under that notice is a huge display ad for Amazon or TD Bank or some other huge corporate behemoth.

    Complain to a lawyer and the lawyer will probably say that to litigate this in anything higher than a small claims court could cost $30-100k and it'd be an uphill battle to convince the judge that actual economic harm was done if the content Wikia/FANDOM has allegedly stolen is under a "free licence". Odds are, most judges aren't particularly aware of the wiki concept or of the Creative Commons, so some very basic concepts would have to be explained and documented in excruciating detail... by well-heeled senior counsel at a few hundred dollars an hour. Most victims can't afford this, and the few who can will likely be offered an out-of-court settlement with a token payout in return for a waiver of all liability, a non-disparagement clause (silencing the victim, not the wiki farm) and a non-disclosure agreement... allowing the infringement to continue unabated.

    And sadly, corporations have played just as fast and loose with the commercial version of the Creative Commons licences. The licence says they have to share alike; that didn't stop Internet Brands from suing some of its users (authors) when they tried to leave Wikitravel and take their content with them to Wikimedia-backed Wikivoyage in 2012. By the wording of the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence, the refusal to share alike should've ended with the termination of Wikitravel's licence to use the content... but it didn't. All that was left after a very expensive lawsuit was an out-of-court settlement in which both versions continue to exist - allowing Wikitravel to crush Wikivoyage with the search engines' duplicate content penalty for years. The newer CC BY-SA 4.0 licence is worse, as it kicks the teeth out of whatever rights the authors had to get infringing uses taken down.

    And then there's the whole issue of content created for one purpose being reused in offensive ways for something else, which this ridiculous free licence does clearly permit. Take a photo of your Boy Scout troop for a Wikipedia article on [[Boy scout]]s, then wonder how that photo ended up on Wikia on a wiki eroticising spanking. You agreed to the stupid free licence, so you just flushed your rights down the loo. CC BY-SA 4.0 only makes this worse by expressly signing away "personality rights", so what happens if a user submitted something under an older CC version with no idea that the later revision (which might not have existed at the time) would merely sell out authors' rights further.

    The people drafting these free licences are just as vulnerable to being lobbied as anyone else, and "licenced under X or any subsequent version" is a blank cheque to the creators of the X licence to sell you down the river.

    Sadly, the legal system does need to catch up and understand the difference between "licenced for non-commercial use with attribution" and just plain public domain or "free". They're not the same but, as long as the services of senior intellectual property counsel are anything but free, the abuses will continue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70. identicon
    Rocky, 10 Jan 2020 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If you think patents have had such a huge historical impact on the American way of life, why don't you enumerate some of those patents?

    Or are you a Taliban/ISIS religious zealot?

    If your'e looking for a new friend, look elsewhere.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71. identicon
    Rocky, 10 Jan 2020 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If I remember correctly, ketchup is a derivative of a Chinese sauce made from fermented fish.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Checking wikipedia would seem to confirm it.

    'In the 17th century, the Chinese mixed pickled fish and spices and called it (in the Amoy dialect) kôe-chiap or kê-chiap (鮭汁, Mandarin Chinese guī zhī, Cantonese gwai1 zap1) meaning the brine of pickled fish (鮭, salmon; 汁, juice) or shellfish. By the early 18th century, the table sauce had arrived in the Malay states (present day Malaysia and Singapore), where English colonists first tasted it. The Malaysian-Malay word for the sauce was kicap or kecap (pronounced "kay-chap"). That word evolved into the English word "ketchup". English settlers took ketchup with them to the American colonies.'

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73. icon
    RonKaminsky (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Frankly, I doubt any of those would have been invented if India hadn't invented the use of zero.

    And the concept of a legal code was invented in the Middle East.

    And you're a lousy troll which makes me wonder why I feed you...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74. identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 10 Jan 2020 @ 11:46am

    Re: every single court (and common sense) says you're wrong?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75. identicon
    Rocky, 10 Jan 2020 @ 12:34pm

    Hmm...

    None of the links provided supports your original assertion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Loser

    And have enough money to pay for sex. Which is the only way you can get laid. So we can see why you’d look up to that kind of scumbag bro.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Besides I like old impotent fuckwit better

    Waaaayyyy too late to own it bro. Not after the last holiday fit you threw about being called that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are still the king of basic bitch projection bro.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And that how we know you don’t read the articles bro.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 1:26pm

    Re:

    I think you ment to post that here.

    https://www.techdirt.com/submitstory.php

    You are welcome.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So I was right. China invented (non-tomato) ketchup. And just like with noodles, someone later added tomatoes to the recipe.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: every single court (and common sense) says you're wrong?

    The first, second, and last articles don’t involve courts at all, and they cover separate issues from this one. Hiring a for-profit company to do the copying on your (the licensee’s) behalf for noncommercial use was well understood to be allowed by the license.

    The third article was about a German court, and it also deals with an entirely separate issue where, in German law, “noncommercial use” is synonymous with “personal use”, so even if no money changes hands whatsoever, under German law, it can still be “commercial use”. But regardless, we’re talking about US law, not German law, and US law is pretty unambiguous on this particular issue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well the Chinese would have had problems adding tomatoes, as they were limited to South America until the Conquistadors invaded and plundered the area.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 10 Jan 2020 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    True, though it’s interesting that western countries decided to add tomatoes to both.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 8:20pm

    Re: Re: acting within the limitations of the license

    That isn't what is meant by "commecial" in the license, and the court wisely agrees.

    Of course there is some commerce going on, but it has nothing to do with the licensed work.

    It's like... hey, you can make as many copies of this as you want, but you aren't allowed to buy paper, haha! That makes no sense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2020 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Is there some IP covering American (sic) Exceptionalism?

    Most of those things never depended on copyright and patent law, and the US invented neither.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 11 Jan 2020 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I’m sorry, but I believe you’re replying to the wrong person or are misunderstanding something. I was specifically listing items invented/created outside the U.S., with particular focus on things that were created without assistance from patent or copyright law. That was my point. I was refuting the idea that the majority of things with long-term benefits for humanity owe their existence/discovery to U.S. patent or copyright law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jan 2020 @ 7:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Just seeing your name, i am guessing i managed to reply to the wrong post. Harder to tell on a phone in this thread.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 5:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    As an example, name a country with more valuable and long lasting contributions to humanity than the USA.

    Greece. They gave us the building blocks of civilisation including principles still in use today in the following areas:

    • Architecture
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Ethics
    • Science
    • Language
    • Medicine
    • Civil engineering

    I'd say the same for Rome, which borrowed heavily from Greece. We still use elements of their:

    • Language
    • History
    • Warfare tactics
    • Architecture and construction techniques
    • Roads (in the UK and across Europe, where they built them)
    • Civil engineering
    • Franchising and regime change principles (they wrote the book on this, having perfected the Greek client state system)
    • Administration and record keeping techniques

    China gave us the following during the Renaissance. We were too ungrateful and rude to thank them for:

    • Paper
    • Fireworks
    • Printing
    • Civil engineering
    • Ice cream

    Among other things.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 5:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What are you more in favor of, economic and social mobility, or tyranny and government control, without end?

    Copyright enforcement logically leads to tyranny and government control in order to force people to stop copying things.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 5:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    historical context of patents and their impact on the American way of life.

    America's power is built on telling copyright and patent holder to get bent.

    Case in point: Hollywood. It began as an attempt to escape Edison, who was always trying to chase down infringers.

    Basically, rampant IPR piracy had a bigger and better impact on America than IPR law conformity, which is why music tends to sound the same and Fast and Furious 9 is in production.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 5:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    @bhull242, the printing press was invented in China. Since their alphabet has at least 72 glyphs, it didn't take off. They also invented the typewriter, which failed for the same reason. When the West got hold of these things they took off because our alphabet has only 26 letters.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 13 Jan 2020 @ 5:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    @Catsup, the printing press was invented in China. The Germans borrowed the idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2020 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No country invented any of those things by themselves, except paper, which was invented by Egypt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 3:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 3:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    " But even you would agree about the historical context of patents and their impact on the American way of life. Or are you a Taliban/ISIS religious zealot?"

    Can't even tell if it's the real Bobmail/Blue/Jhon writing that or some troll trying to emulate him.

    Either way it's a fairly classic tactic to run the "either you agree with me or you're a monster of a sort completely unrelated to this debate" red herring rhetoric.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 3:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Germany has had some amazing research for us. I don’t recall which country the printing press originated from, but it sure wasn’t the US."

    Gutenberg. The printing press is german. Unless we count the chinese who beat him with woodblock printing some 700 years earlier.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 Jan 2020 @ 3:31am

    Re: Re:

    "I don’t think anyone was saying to abolish copyright and patents completely. At least, not in this article or prior to your comment."

    Not yet, but to show willing I'll pitch in my two cents and state that copyright is so fucked up from the core principles and up we'd be better off abolishing it completely and replace it with a creators right to stand as origin (paternity) and some commercial restriction when it comes to actually selling copies in bulk without clearance.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2020 @ 8:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 15 Jan 2020 @ 2:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ah, yes. Fair enough. Papyrus differs from paper in that it's very fibrous. Have you ever tried writing on the stuff? Actual paper arrived in Egypt long after the Chinese invented it.

    Papyrus and modern paper are manufactured differently. https://www.quora.com/How-is-Egyptian-papyrus-different-from-modern-paper

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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