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Re: OT: Preserving Information

by Abigail-II (Bishop)
on Oct 08, 2002 at 16:55 UTC ( #203692=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Re: OT: Preserving Information
in thread OT: Preserving Information

The backing up isn't the problem. But what are you going to do with the backup? Copyright law allows you to make a backup for personal usage. Redistributing, even a single copy to a friend, isn't allowed.

Potential value of society is a subjective measurement, which, luckely, doesn't play any role in copyright laws. Would you think it's a good idea Microsoft incorperates GNU licensed software in their closed software because of the "potential value to society"?


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Re: Re: OT: Preserving Information
by BrowserUk (Patriarch) on Oct 08, 2002 at 17:22 UTC

    What constitutes redistribution?

    If I show my backup copy of something to a friend - is that re-distribution?

    If he views the backup on my machine, on his screen through some mechanism - is that redistribution?

    Cor! Like yer ring! ... HALO dammit! ... 'Ave it yer way! Hal-lo, Mister la-de-da. ... Like yer ring!
      Well, that depends on what you mean by "showing". It's not if he's looking over your shoulder (compare that with watching a video or DVD together), but it would be if you give him a copy (compare that with xeroxing a book).


        I thought that the meaning of "show" was fairly clear but...

        The point I am trying to get at is at what point does, according to your definition, having and using a copy of information obtained from a unrestricted website become ethically or legally wrong?

        To return to my simplistic scenario, I see something publically accessable on the web. By your definition, copyright notices or not, it was authored and is therefore copyright. Though by that definition, my shopping list is also copyright. I find the information interesting and/or useful and make a local copy of that information. We could call this a "backup for personal use", no infringement.

        A friend comes around to my house and he views my local copy of this information on my machine. Is this analogous to watching a movie together? I would have had to have bought or hired the movie, thereby getting licence to view it. The aforesaid information came freely from the web. No one was paid. Am I going beyond the remit of "Personal use" by showing it to my friend?

        A step further, he rings me later and asks to view the information again, so I make it available (to him only for sake of argument) via some mechanism of communication. Am I or is he breaking the spirit or actual law by doing this?

        The next step of course is when he takes a local copy to his machine from my machine. What's the legal position now? Did he break the law? Would I be in breach A) if I knew he had done so? b) If I didn't?

        I am no great expert on the law, but in the context of the original question in the post, I am struck by the absurdidty of the notion that information made freely available via the web can be subject to the restriction of "you may view this information freely, but only on this website".

        Cor! Like yer ring! ... HALO dammit! ... 'Ave it yer way! Hal-lo, Mister la-de-da. ... Like yer ring!

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