[LINK] Copyright questions

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Thu Mar 24 18:28:46 AEDT 2011

IANAL and this is not legal advice but merely random thoughts.

Some interesting answers.

On 2011/Mar/24, at 4:17 PM, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:

> At least, I think they are Copyright questions.
> If I find a document on the web and put a copy of it (unchanged) on my 
> website and make reference to it, am I doing anything wrong - legally or 
> otherwise?

You can link to the site and can also link to the site in the wayback machine and possibly in pandora.  These copies can also be taken down by the original owner though. 

You can have the link show in a frame so it appears on your site.  

As for taking a copy and making it available, it really depends.  
1.  If the copyright owner(s) specifically allow(s) it then it's OK
2. ditto if you ask them and they allow you then it's OK.
3. If you have reasonable grounds for doing it.  I can think of several possible reasons here but some of them don't work for making it available on your website.:
  Fair use for the purposes of study, or for political purposes.
  For use in a court case or dispute.
  You are worried that the site is going to take the document down to hide it and you want to take a copy to prove it was there.
  There was a recent case in the US where a provincial non-profit organisation copied a whole news article and was sued and won 
  If the document is a small part of a larger document, it's not so problematical.

It also gets legally problematical or interesting if the author is in a different country to you or your website with different copyright laws.

There is a document from CAL which surprisingly is at http://www.copyright.com.au but not at http://copyright.com.au:
> Exceptions to infringement
> There are exceptions to infringement which allow some uses of copyright material without permission. These exceptions include:
> Fair dealing for the purpose of research or study. This allows a student or researcher to copy protected material. Copying 10% or one chapter of a published literary, dramatic or musical work, of ten pages or more, and one article from a periodical, is deemed to be fair.
> Fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review. This exception allows reviewers to make a fair use of copyright material provided they acknowledge the work.
> Fair dealing for parody and satire. As of 11 December 2006 provisions in the Act apply where a person or organisation can demonstrate their use of copyright material to be fair dealing for parody or satire. The terms are not specifically defined, however parody may involve the imitation of an author or work for ridicule or comic effect. Satire may involve using irony or wit to attack an idea, attitude, institution or social practice.
> Statutory licences. These allow educational institutions and institutions assisting people with disabilities to reproduce and to communicate to the public protected material for defined purposes, without the need to obtain the copyright owner’s permission. The Commonwealth, State and Territory governments are allowed to reproduce material without permission.
> Special purposes. New flexible dealing exceptions allow libraries, educational institutions and the disabled to copy works where there is no other exception or statutory licence they can rely on in the Act, so long as the use meets the three step test: where it is a ‘special case’; where use does not conflict with material’s normal exploitation; and where use does not unreasonably conflict with the interests of the copyright owner. All contain further express limitation that the use must not be made for commercial advantage or profit.
> Private copying. Amendments to the Act now allow for format-shifting, where certain types of material owned for private and domestic use may be copied into a different ‘format.’ For example CDs copied to MP3, newspaper articles in hard copy digitally scanned for private use. To rely on this exception, the original copy you own must be kept, and must be a legitimate copy. You may also legally record broadcasts to view at a more convenient time for private use, but not for creation of home libraries of content.

> If that document is now no longer available on the web and I put a copy 
> of it (unchanged) on my website and make reference to it, am I doing 
> anything wrong - legally or otherwise?

Time shifting anyone?

It does get complicated then.  It can depend on how large the document is and if it was used to make money by the author and by you.  Also the reasons for it being taken down. 

Novels probably not.

On no account take this for legal advice.  

Kim Holburn
The Pinchgut Press
T: +61 2 61402408  M: +61 404072753
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request 

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