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  • Jan 3rd, 2020 @ 3:08pm

    But this is what copyright is...

    That's the thing, this IS what copyright is. Copyright is a monopoly for a creator (or the owner of IP) for a work and it's derivatives. Morally? yeah, if your not going to do something with your product then let someone else try something. Legally? They are probably in the right.

    This includes choosing to only release for a single platform and blocking release to other platforms. Until the life of the author plus lots of years pass they have a monopoly on Red Dead and can do that. Do I like this? Not really, but that is how the laws for Copyright are written and enforced.
  • Dec 19th, 2019 @ 10:17pm

    Re: Re: Because American law rules everywhere?

    So if, for example, Switzerland were to have no copyright law.. then all American movies can be copied without an move from the United States? I'm not sure that's how it works.

  • Dec 19th, 2019 @ 9:33pm

    Because American law rules everywhere?

    Ummm.. Unless I'm mistaken, the footage in question was taped in India, since that is where the college was. Even in the United States, fair use is determined by a balance of different tests, not a single test. So just because it is a documentary doesn't mean it's fair use, as has been proven in a number of documentaries where they couldn't use the recordings of bands performances. I don't think it is as clear cut as this article has said.
    As far as I know, the Berne convention lists nothing about documentaries in Article 9(2) where it lists what free uses can be made of protected works. Since the original work was done in India I think a strong case that the Berne convention would be the law covering this use, not U.S. Copyright.

  • Nov 22nd, 2019 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Re: Copyright may well apply under U.S. law

    Cool reference, and I yield the point! Thank you for pointing me towards that case. This means that the only copyrightable element in the mesh is the copyright notice that has been emebedded into the bottom of the base. Luckily, that sort of thing is easily filled in so that it goes away.

  • Nov 22nd, 2019 @ 12:15pm

    Copyright may well apply under U.S. law

    I'm not familiar with UE law... but I know that in the united states, if I take a picture of a public domain work with my camera, there are definitely elements of my picture that are copyrightable. Specifically, the things that I bring (lighting, film speed, angle, etc) are entitled to copyright, which then applies to prevent the entire digital picture as a whole from being copied without permission.
    I have also done high res scans of objects. After you scan them, there is normally a lot of manual cleanup work that you need to do to the mesh. That work is entitled to protection. Certainly the Copyright notice they carved into the bottom of the mesh is protectable, because that was not on the original.
    There are publishers who deliberately include mispellings and errors in translations of public domain works so that they can protect their translation from someone producing their own translated work that is completely based on the first persons translation work.
    So just because something is in the public domain doesn't mean that a digital copy (photograph, scan, or whatever) is in the public domain. This is particularly true when someone puts effort into altering, cleaning up, and otherwise changing the base copy. At least under current U.S. law.

  • Oct 21st, 2019 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it really unconstitutional? - Good points

    Well, that is why they call it punishment. If the court decides that you violated the law, then they want to both "make the plaintiff whole" and "Discourage repeat behavior." Unless the court decides that you act in bad faith, the plaintiff doesn't even get attorney's fee's. Since I'm not sure that the copyright being registered or not actually changes the severity of what you did, that's not an argument I'm weighting a great deal against in this bill. There are other sections that I feel are MUCH more dangerous than if a copied work has been timely registered or not.
    The rough part, as far as I'm concerned, is that if a defendant wins they are out the money for their attorney. On the flip side, if they loose, then they are out $15,000 (or actual damages and any profit they made from the copying), don't have to pay the plaintiff's attorney's fees but WILL have to pay their own attorney.

  • Oct 21st, 2019 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it really unconstitutional?

    Legally, it is not Unconstitutional until the Supreme Court says it is, because for right or for wrong they are the court of last resort who gets to decide what the constitution means. When I asked is it really unconstitutional, I meant in our current body of law would it likely be found unconstitutional by the supreme court. If the answer is no, then as far as the executive and judicial branch are concerned, it's NOT unconstitutional. You can often see what will likely be ruled as unconstitutional by what the court has done in the past. :) I would LIKE to see it found unconstitutional, but I think their copyright attorney didn't take some things into account.

  • Oct 21st, 2019 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: Is it really unconstitutional?

    Heh, in this case, if Billy gets to it counts as precedent. The statement by the copyright lawyer was that the executive branch can't do this, but we have an example where the executive branch DOES do this without, currently, running afoul of the constitution.

  • Oct 21st, 2019 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Is it really unconstitutional? - Good points

    I mention Lawful Masses because it is one of the few places I've found that actually discusses the matter in depth who also includes references. Even when I disagree with his conclusions, I find them enlightening.

    1. You are correct in that California accounts for most of the Copyright Cases brought in the year with New York coming in a close second. To the best of my knowledge, California Small Claims also doesn't let you get Attorney's fees. (Site on where copyright cases are filed: ) It seems there WILL be a limit on how many of these cases one person can bring in a year, but it is left up to the Registrar of copyrights. In theory, it COULD be 1 per year, but I really doubt it.

    2. I agree that you should not be able to sue if your copyright isn't timely registered. they seem to half the recovery amount down to $7,500 if you didn't have it filed.

    3. I'm pretty sure that the number of staff will be expanded beyond a tribunal. They mention Officers, not Officer. Each Officer supported by 2 Attorneys. I can't imagine that a single Officer can handle the workload for the entire United States. As near as I can tell, the attorneys are present to advise the officer, not to stand as part of a tribunal. I suspect that the Officer will be a political appointee with no legal knowledge, which would be bad.

    4. Honestly, I agree with you that copyright should be reformed by congress. That said, I think we call all agree that it's not GOING to be reformed by congress. Congress has had decades to reform copyright and has declined.
  • Oct 21st, 2019 @ 2:02pm

    Fee's and recovery

    I find the most telling thing about this bill is that the Copyright owner who sues has the the fee's for legal council uncapped, while a defendant who proves bad faith has their legal fee's capped at $5,000.

  • Oct 21st, 2019 @ 1:55pm

    A clause to, hopefully, reduce trolling

    I'm reading the CASE Act and there does seem to at least be a section to help reduce some of the trolling:
    “(2) BAD FAITH CONDUCT.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in any proceeding in which a determination is rendered and it is established that a party pursued a claim, counterclaim, or defense for a harassing or other improper purpose, or without a reasonable basis in law or fact, then, unless inconsistent with the interests of justice, the Copyright Claims Board shall in such determination award reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs to any adversely affected party of in an amount of not more than $5,000, except that—

    “(A) if an adversely affected party appeared pro se in the proceeding, the award to that party shall be for costs only, in an amount of not more than $2,500; and

    “(B) in extraordinary circumstances, such as where a party has demonstrated a pattern or practice of bad faith conduct as described in this paragraph, the Copyright Claims Board may, in the interests of justice, award costs in excess of the limitations under this paragraph.

    You can see the entire Case Act Bill at: 6BD
  • Oct 21st, 2019 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Is it really unconstitutional?

    Lawful Masses did a really good read through of the advantages and disadvantages of the CASE proposal a year ago. I wonder what changes have been made since then.

  • Oct 21st, 2019 @ 12:43pm

    Is it really unconstitutional?

    The article says a copyright expert told them that this would be unconstitutional because "the executive branch can not route around the judicial branch", but isn't that exactly what the immigration courts do? They are completely under the executive branch, including the judges. So far, that has not been deemed unconstitutional.

  • Aug 26th, 2019 @ 4:02pm

    Yes, still not first amendment

    By the way, before being taken for task for this, yes.. my post above still doesn't link the First Amendment directly to the Sunshine Law... unless during deliberations it was brought up in hammering out exceptions to the Sunshine Law. I'm not sure why the Attorney General would use that phrase rather than saying something like "These complaints were collected via an authorize complaint line" or "Are part of ongoing litigation" and are exempted from the Sunshine Law. That is baffling.. however the Statues involved separate Public Records into "Open Records" and "Closed Records". A closed record is one that falls under the exceptions section. The article doesn't say if these Public Records are Open or Closed, which I find dissapointing.

  • Aug 26th, 2019 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: No case law?

    I agree that it doesn't, and thank you for pointing me towards the Missouri Revised Statues. There IS case law regarding the First Amendment protecting the privacy of speakers from court orders that I suspect would be relevant but not identical, particularly since federal law and constitution have primacy over state law and constitution (in the minds of the federal courts.) So I went to the Revised Statues like you said. Under the definitions records can be both a Public Record (Collected by a government body, contracted, etc) and a Closed Record (A record closed to the public). Basically, it would be collected, but closed (A reason it might be closed is in the exceptions part of the statutes: "(1) Legal actions, causes of action or litigation involving a public governmental body" or possibly " (16) Records relating to municipal hotlines established for the reporting of abuse and wrongdoing;"). There is little information in the article on the exceptions to the Sunshine Law.

  • Aug 26th, 2019 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: No case law?

    Since both FOIA and the 1st amendment are federal in nature, I don't think a search for case law should be restricted to Missouri. I'm pretty sure that an court case trying to get the information that has been redacted will look at cases in other states before forming an opinion. I suspect that you are not finding any case law because the FOIA specifically excludes private information collected by the government. For example, many times you give your social security number to the federal government as part of a public record (a record collected by a public official) but they are still supposed to redact it when an FOIA comes in. The same is true of bank account numbers and so forth. The question then becomes is a persons name part private information? I would have to say that it would depend on the circumstances surrounding the public official collecting the information. I don't think it is as clear cut as this article seems to say. I also suspect there IS case law in the United States covering FOIA requests and the redaction of private information... but honestly, there are thousands lawsuits over FOIA requests... far to many for me to really go explore today.

  • Aug 26th, 2019 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    According to the FOIA itself you are wrong, Cdaragorn. It explicitly says that information given to the government can still be private. The private information you give to the government still belongs to you, not to the government. The 6th exception to the FOIA goes into this... unless you can find a counter example? If you can, I would be happy to listen. I don't mind being wrong, but when someone says something directly counter to current court cases I prefer to hear references so I can look it up myself.

  • Aug 26th, 2019 @ 10:50am

    No case law?

    Interesting. The news article says that sources said there was no case law supporting the idea that peoples names were exempted from FOIA, but evidently in 1982 the supreme court addressed what personal information was meant by the FOIA and expended it beyond the narrow meaning that had been being used. This is from the same FOIA Guide that I posted from before. Does anyone else have a secondary source?":
    In 1982, the Supreme Court acted decisively to resolve this controversy once and for all. In United States Department of State v. Washington Post Co., (6) it firmly held, based upon a review of the legislative history of the FOIA, that Congress intended the term to be interpreted broadly, rather than narrowly. (7) The Court stated that the protection of an individual's privacy "surely was not intended to turn upon the label of the file which contains the damaging information." (8) Rather, the Court made clear that all information that "applies to a particular individual" meets the threshold requirement for Exemption 6 protection. (9) This means, of course, that this threshold is met if the information applies to any particular, identifiable individual -- which makes it readily satisfied in all but the most unusual cases of questionable identifiability. (10)

  • Aug 26th, 2019 @ 10:40am

    From the FOIA Guide

    It also is important to remember that while the government may voluntarily or involuntarily waive its right to an exemption when its own interests are at stake, it cannot waive an individual's privacy interests under the FOIA by unilaterally publicizing information about that person. (100) The privacy interest inherent in Exemption 6 "belongs to the individual, not the agency holding the information," and "the fact that otherwise private information at one time or in some way may have been placed in the public domain does not mean that a person irretrievably loses his or her privacy interest in the information." (101)

  • Aug 26th, 2019 @ 10:28am


    And Redit may know the real identity of the person who posted criticism. But it was NOT publicly available. The information being sought here is not in the public record, if it was, no information request would be needed. At this point it has not been made public. If a person says something in a forum where they expect their personal information will be kept private, then the government is correct in protecting their identity. Just because the person you give your complaint to knows who you are doesn't mean everyone gets to know who you are.

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