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Questions tagged [copyright]

For questions about the property right inherent in a creative work. Please see the tag wiki and FAQ before asking the question.

13
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1answer
1k views

In the US, when is fair use a defense to copyright infringement?

What is fair use in the US? When would it be a successful defense to copyright infringement?
2
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1answer
230 views

Is this copyright infringement? Is it fair use? What if I don't make any money off it?

If someone were hypothetically working on a project that required them to incorporate copies of a copyrighted work (music, movies, books, etc.), how would they know if it would be considered fair use? ...
4
votes
1answer
490 views

Is it legal to post a photograph that I captured of a stranger in the street?

I captured a photograph in the street. The photograph includes people who I don't know. There is nothing in the photograph that I believe can offend anybody (e.g. no nude or illegal act). I just ...
46
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9answers
19k views

How is it possible for millions to use pirated software at home and never get arrested?

It's not like talking about using weeds that you tell your friends about but you don't go in public shouting about it. Instead people go to online forums sometimes posting with their real names- ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Can you be accused of hotlinking/copyright violation if you use an iframe?

Can you be accused of hotlinking or copyright infringement if you use an iframe (web element) of another website? Can you be sued for this if the website doesn't prevent iframe using and doesn't ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are there so many youtube to mp4 and mp3 download websites online when it is illegal?

If it is illegal to download videos and audios from youtube due to copyright reasons, why are there so many youtube to mp4 and mp3 download websites online? For example http://youtube-mp3.org/, one ...
8
votes
2answers
695 views

How to properly maintain website footer copyright notice?

There are often 3 copyright notice formats one might come across in the footer of website: Copyright © [Year the site or page was published]-[Year always kept current] Copyright © [Year this ...
7
votes
2answers
356 views

How can I legally protect my website from users who upload copyrighted material?

I have a small website that hosts content in the form of text from registered users. The content can be described more specifically as short novels, essays and other personal work. How do I protect ...
4
votes
1answer
126 views

Is OCRed text automatically copyright?

If someone puts out an OCR of a scan of a Public Domain work, is that OCR under copyright? On one hand, one may consider that "creative work", on the other hand, the "creative work" (the resultant ...
1
vote
2answers
305 views

How different does something have to be so it doesn't infringe on a copyright?

I'm an engineer and I wanted to make a toy for my 3 year old daughter for Christmas. She loves Little Einsteins but since that was 12 years ago, they don't really make many of the toys anymore. Any ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Is a randomly-generated book a violation of copyright?

Let's say I create a computer program that randomly chooses words and records them. Now, this generator spits out an exact word-for-word copy of a non-public-domain book. If I publish this (without ...
5
votes
2answers
436 views

Performing music in public

I am a musician. I want to perform music. I do I do this without being sued into oblivion? (I am particularly interested in UK law.) As I understand it, a specific sound recording (of anything) is ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

America's Cup boat model

We would like to build a model of one of the America's Cup team boats (team NZ-winner). Like the attached image. My question is about all the trademarks on the boats. Will it be possible to replicate ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Is it legal to scrape a website and create my own database?

I'm working on a website that needs a database which is available publically on another site (let's just says it is IMDB). It'd be great if I could create my database by scraping IMDB. It'll be a one-...
17
votes
4answers
8k views

Can numbers be illegal?

This video explaining this wikipedia article says that possessing a particular number can be illegal. Is this true? From the article (internal links and formatting removed): An illegal prime is a ...
9
votes
2answers
182 views

At what point and how should I change the license/Copyright notice when I create a derivative?

If I take a piece of software that is licensed as MIT (quoted at the end), and use it as a scaffold to create for my own thing, do I need to keep including the old license perpetually? This would seem ...
10
votes
1answer
439 views

Does copyrighted code protect intellectual property rights on novel algorithms it implements?

Imagine you have come up with a novel algorithm to solve a problem, and have implemented it in, e.g., javascript, and have put its src, along with an appropriate copyright, on a publicly available ...
12
votes
2answers
19k views

Is it legal to publish email that someone sent to me?

I'm not asking whether it is ethical - that would be a totally different question. I'm asking whether it is legal? In my book - in my way how I interpret consensual reality - once I press SEND ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Can you copyright data?

I was reading this link and it says at the bottom that: The panel data are copyrighted by the Initiative on Global Markets and are being analyzed for an article to appear in a leading peer-reviewed ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Ownership of Work Copyright by Multiple Authors

If a work is "Copyright © year Author One and Author Two" (with no written or verbal agreement between Author One and Author Two regarding regarding ownership), what rights does each individual author ...
4
votes
1answer
178 views

Does reproducing a board game as a video game violate copyright?

The context I am thinking of is converting a board game into a video game or app. Of course, I can't manufacture a physical copy of the game without permission, but does the same apply to a virtual ...
4
votes
1answer
142 views

Is it legal to republish lyrics?

Can a lyrics web site be legal, assuming there are no special agreements with the artists? Is publishing song lyrics considered "fair use?"
1
vote
1answer
133 views

Do I need permission to reimplement application programming interface calls/classes?

Suppose MS Excel has an API so that other programs can communicate with it. Suppose I'm the developer of OpenOffice Calc, and I want other programs to be able to communicate with my program in like ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Derivative works vs original work

I have a question regarding copyright law. Take this for example: Company A owns the copyrights of Picture A. Some designer came across this picture and proceeded to save the picture into his ...
18
votes
3answers
747 views

Does the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence allow you to specify exactly how attribution must be given?

Prompted by this Meta Stack Exchange discussion Stack Exchange uses the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license for user contributions. But in the footer of every page is a link ...
46
votes
5answers
15k views

Is it illegal to infringe copyright if your boss or your client ordered you to do it?

The first possible scenario is this: suppose you work in a company, and you need to install some software for a client. The software needs to be purchased, but the boss tells you to just download it ...
8
votes
1answer
244 views

Copyright issues with grammar literature quotations on ELL StackExchange

I quoted extensively from Quirk et al's book on English grammar in one of my recent answers on ELL StackExchange, and a thought came to me: what is the maximum amount beyond which a quotation might ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Which jurisdiction applies to copyright violations on the internet?

A person residing in country A takes a work by an artist in country B and puts it onto a website they own but which is hosted in country C which is intended for an audience of people in country D. ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it infringement to give a link to a copyrighted file?

Does posting a link to a copyrighted file, such that accessing the linked file would constitute infringement, but where the file itself is not on my servers, constitute any sort of crime or ...
9
votes
1answer
518 views

Is it legal to write software to convert data from a proprietary format?

I have created a piece of software that converts a proprietary format from the database blob of a large, well known commercial software company into the equivalent open source data type. The large ...
9
votes
2answers
683 views

How does “poor man's copyright” work?

In this answer on another SE, it is suggested that the anonymous authors of a piece of software might use a "poor man's copyright" technique to establish that they possessed the work before it was ...
11
votes
2answers
704 views

At what point can a computer-generated file infringe copyright?

In general it is illegal to download a copyrighted file without paying the copyright owner. But is having metadata (hash) of the copyrighted material legal? What if I've run a program (like Mathgen)...
7
votes
1answer
983 views

Can I get my answers deleted from Stack Exchange?

According to a moderator statement in meta that I read, Stack Exchange claims a "license" on the answers and questions which a user has posted. From a copyright standpoint can a claim be made or a ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it legal to buy second-hand vinyls?

I live in a town that has lots of second-hand stores that sell second-hand vinyl records, tapes, etc, for incredibly low prices. I recently bought the soundtrack from A Clockwork Orange for 1 dollar ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

How do websites (or apps) that use pictures or posters of movies not infringe on rights and still make a profit?

Sites like IMDB as well as Rotten Tomatoes and countless other websites or mobile applications (such as flixter, etc.) all use movie posters and images from movies as part of their content which is ...
4
votes
2answers
283 views

Are there legal consequences for giving away my own musical transcriptions of copyrighted works on a website?

I've transcribed a lot of video game music in my lifetime, and am interested in making these sheet music transcriptions freely available for download on a website. I see that a lot of other websites ...
3
votes
3answers
161 views

Where is the line between copying code that isn't yours and getting idea from trivial code?

I have a tendency to overthink things. Even when writing a paper in school I wondered when I needed to add a citation, as technically people are born knowing nothing and must have learned any fact ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Transcribing music and the legality of using musical transcription

I'm learning to play an instrument and I would like to transcribe the songs I heard for later practicing. I have some questions regarding transcribing music and the legality of using musical ...
5
votes
1answer
430 views

Are newspapers' quotes of other people protected by copyright?

I recently came across a New York Times article about Peter Thiel which contained several quotes by him. The quotes seem to have been from comments Thiel made directly to a New York Times reporter. I ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Printing copyrighted logos on t-shirts/jackets/apparel without permission: in which situations is it legal?

If I were to order custom t-shirts from a t-shirt printing company with some copyrighted brand on them, (when) would it be legally OK for me to do so without the copyright owner's permission? Is it ...
4
votes
2answers
679 views

How can “factual” intellectual property be protected?

As noted in this answer: Facts and information cannot be copyrighted. Just because a work is copyrighted, doesn't mean every part of that work is copyrighted, and factual information conveyed ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Using copyrighted material falsely advertised as Creative Commons or public domain (in U.S.)

You're searching for images to use in a book you're working on. You find an image with a Creative Commons license on Wikipedia or some other website. So you use it, adding the proper attribution. But ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

How can one verify a purportedly freely licensed image on a user-content site?

Based partly on comments to this question, how can a person who finds an image on a site, such as flickr, that hosts user-uploaded images verify that the it is in fact free to use. Suppose that the ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

Is it legal to copy pictures found on social media and upload them again?

I know with other works, as soon as a person creates it, it is automatically copyrighted. So does that mean when a person takes a picture its automatically their property and no one else can do ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

Where is the line between idea/expression dichotomy?

Just wondering where idea become expression. Let's take The Lord Of The Ring as an example, if i want to write a boook about two alchemist heading to a tower in order to destroy the ring of evil, ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

Is Streaming Copyrighted Content Illegal in the UK

Obviously, it is illegal in most countries to download films, games, music etc without paying for them. However, there are a growing number of people who argue that streaming is not illegal as, they ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Length of movie clip for fair-use?

Is there some maximum length of a movie clip that can be publicly shared as "fair use?" E.g., the Youtube channel Movieclips shows clips with an average length of 2:30.
2
votes
2answers
54 views

Republishing in old book, what are ones rights and obligations?

I have an old book on shelf, published in, and copyright date of 1913 (US). Looking over a copyright law page on the subject, I am thinking the copyright has expired but am not 100% sure. What kind ...
2
votes
1answer
171 views

Are tweets or Instagram posts copyrighted?

There are accounts on Twitter and Instagram that make money by posting sponsored content. Let's say another account does the same thing, but it just copies the tweets/posts from the more popular ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Legal issues for using super hero in t-shirt design?

How can online company like Amazon, eBay, Redbubble, and Teepublic, have designs that sell trademarked super hero t-shirts and not get into trouble? Here are some examples, all designed by random ...