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.

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3answers
2k 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 ...
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4answers
360 views

Is it possible to learn who has a copyright? (USA)

To briefly summarize the situation, a video game was made fifteen years ago. Two development companies and one publisher were involved. All three companies have now been sold to other companies, some ...
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1answer
980 views

What does “this software is licensed, not sold” really mean?

When paying for software, the EULA often contains the clause "This software is licensed, not sold." I'm confused on what this clause actually means regarding one's ownership of the software. I have ...
11
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1answer
4k views

When is making a subtitle file for a commercial movie legal?

For example, on OpenSubtitles, a website which offers 3.5 million subtitles we can read Disclaimer: These files are NOT illegal warez downloads, we only offer files that we believe we are free to ...
11
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1answer
200 views

Requirement of attribution when reusing Wikipedia articles licensed under CC BY-SA

All of Wikipedia's content is licensed under the CC BY-SA, and Wikipedia encourages fulfilling the attribution requirement for CC BY-SA by linking to the original Wikipedia article, which contains a ...
11
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2answers
485 views

To what extent, if any, do I have ownership over, and rights to, works I create on my own time?

I am a software engineer in California. If I create a piece of software, in my own time, using my own equipment, do I own the copyright on that creation, or does my employer? I see things such as "...
11
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2answers
894 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)...
11
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1answer
929 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 ...
11
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1answer
139 views

Photograph of side entry french door used in commercial, compensation?

I was recently watching TV, when lo and behold, I saw a picture of my side entry french door in a commercial. The company airing the commercial did install windows in my home 7 years ago, but never ...
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2answers
2k views

Is a copyright notice with a non-existent name invalid?

If a person changes their name, do any copyrights registered to them still apply? Or at least, as this is the subject in mind, does any software licensed to them still hold the same copyright?
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Can pricing be copyrighted?

Say a service is offered with pricing for 1 hour, 2 hours ... 12 hours. Assume there is some sort of custom calculation used to determine discounts after the first hour (e.g. if the first hour is $100,...
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1answer
1k views

Is the U.S. Code copyrighted by the Government?

The age of the internet has brought all of human knowledge to our figure tips, this is only possible because of companies finding profitable reasons for storing all of this information for ...
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2answers
446 views

Relicensing software under GPLv2+ without all contributors

I have software licensed under GPLv2, which I would like to relicense under GPLv2+. Unfortunately, I an unable to contact some of the contributors. Can I proceed, or am I stuck?
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2answers
863 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 page on ...
10
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1answer
676 views

Does a Creative Commons license allow me to record a cover of a song recording?

If I find a musical sound recording that is licensed under a Creative Commons (CC) license, can I record and distribute my own cover of the song? (Assuming the particular CC license does not carry the ...
10
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1answer
140 views

Fair use of text snippets in a dictionary

If a dictionary (about the use of scientific terminology) includes snippets from several sources, would an authorization be needed from each copyright holder? Each entry in the dictionary would ...
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2answers
313 views

Transferring public domain material into a country where it is still in copyright

I've noticed that, in Australia, books created by authors who've died before 1955 are in the public domain. For example, all of George Orwell's works are available from the University of Adelaide: ...
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5answers
2k views

Are Word-Frequency lists copyrightable?

If someone generates word frequency lists somehow. For example by analysing a web corpus or data from keyboards. Is this form of list of words and their frequencies copyrightable? For example if ...
9
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1answer
3k views

If one invents a real life portal gun, can Valve sue them for copyright infringement?

I am just curious, whether an owner of an artistic depiction of non-yet-existent device has any rights on that device in case it's actually invented later? Can owner use their rights, if any, to issue ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Can an artist revoke his Creative Commons [CC] content?

Let's say an artist released a photo under a CC licence (for concreteness let's assume the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International). You find the photo interesting and save it for later use, ...
9
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3answers
2k 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
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1answer
918 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
188 views

Is there a copyright on a license agreement

I need a license agreement for a product. Many similar products have their license agreement available online. I would like to take one of the better fitting ones and adapt it to my needs (adapt ...
9
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1answer
799 views

Is it legal to download movies in Canada?

For years Canada has been known as a Pirates safe haven, but copyright in Canada has been going under huge reform for the past few years, and it's been hard to keep up with all the changes. With the ...
9
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3answers
290 views

Why were books never published with a EULA?

Software companies write EULA to force users to relinquish their rights (such as first sale, decompiling/reverse engineering) before being allowed to use the software. Why are books never published ...
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2answers
291 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 ...
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6answers
3k views

What does the copyright in a dissertation protect exactly?

I am a PhD student and I was recently told that unless I publish the content of my dissertation, my university will not be able to freely conduct research in the same research area after I graduate. ...
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2answers
5k views

Copying an existing HTML page and use it, is that against any copyright law?

I found an online calculator that determines certain parameters I need. However, that calculator can be improved and more information added. I have improved it and now I want to make it public on my ...
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5answers
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Could a programmer use the code that they made for another company?

If someone made a piece of software for another company but never gave away the intellectual property rights or signed anything, could they use that code in other similar software? Could they sell it?...
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4answers
14k views

Will using a cover of a song in a film free me from legal obligations?

I want to use the song "Whole Lotta Love" in my upcoming film. Obviously the song is copyrighted by led Zeppelin. So I'm planning to get a few musicians and cover the song and then use it as a ...
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3answers
8k views

How to express copyright when you use a pen name

I am about to self-publish my first novel using a pen name. I will be registering the copyright this week. My question is, on the first page of the novel where you put all the publishing/copyright ...
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3answers
6k views

Are the names of guns protected under copyright law in the US?

So I am trying to create a military shooter and therefore must have guns. I would like to include some weapons from real life (Ak-47, M16, Glock, etc.) and I would like to know what legal issues I ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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1answer
678 views

Can Google legally host images for its search results without permission?

Google crawls websites, and downloads the images to their servers along with the related metadata. These images are then presented to the user when searching Google for related images. If the owner ...
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2answers
221 views

What kind of ownership do I have over articles I wrote?

So, a few months ago I was working for a big blog and then I resigned because I didn't want to write any more articles for them. Some of the articles were original and a few were translations by me ...
8
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1answer
452 views

Do faculty own the copyright to course materials they create even if their contract or university IP policy specify otherwise?

An answer on Academia.SE claims that in general, any lectures, slides, textbooks, or scholarly articles you [as faculty] write belong to you and not your school, and this is true regardless of ...
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1answer
2k views

Is a copyright license by default revocable or irrevocable?

If I grant someone a license to use a copyrighted work of mine, do I need to detail my ability to revoke the license within the terms of the license grant, or is that ability inherent to all licenses? ...
8
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1answer
257 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 ...
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2answers
302 views

Can universities require computer science students to develop software for free?

At my university (it is a public Florida university), one of the core computer science courses required for the degree involves a group project, and the class is divided up into a dozen or so teams, ...
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2answers
336 views

How do I convince google to take down this page which contains people's leaked e-mails and passwords?

Out of curiousity, I googled my own e-mail to see what kind of results would show up. To my surprise, I found a website (blogger) that contained people's e-mails and leaked passwords for a service. ...
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2answers
217 views

Are pictures that don't have model releases protected under the DMCA?

Let's say a user of my website posted a picture. I know that as long as my website and the picture satisfies the conditions of the DMCA, I have a safe harbor against copyright claims by the individual ...
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1answer
3k views

Does a shareholder of a company also have copyright rights?

If I buy, say, a share in The Walt Disney Company, does that give me part ownership in the intellectual property? Does this ownership then give me the right to copy it?
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2answers
3k views

Legality of reading unpaid e-book/research paper (ex. from genlib/sci-hub)

What is the legality of reading unpaid e-book/research paper (ex. from site like genlib/sci-hub) (In my case, in Indonesia). is someone eligible to be charged because they downloaded the e-book/...
7
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1answer
887 views

Is using a photo reference for pose fair use?

If I draw an imaginary character and use a photograph as reference for human body/pose, is that legal, copyright-wise? Let's say I change the hair and the face? I know it needs to be 80% different, ...
7
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2answers
856 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 ...
7
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1answer
209 views

Can I publish a book and source code in the book under different licenses?

Can I publish a book and the source code in the book under two different licenses? Eg. Publish a book under the GNU FDL license, but license the source code examples in this book under the Apache ...
7
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2answers
341 views

Is it illegal in Switzerland to download scientific books from sci-hub?

In a thread on Academia.se, we are discussing the legality of using Sci-hub in Switzerland; for instance, for a university student to download articles used to write their thesis. This document ...
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2answers
4k views

How can Crabs Adjust Humidity be legal?

Crabs Adjust Humidity is, as its makers describe it, "a crappy little third-party, unofficial, unauthorized expansion card set" for the wildly-popular game known as Cards Against Humanity. Personally,...
7
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2answers
421 views

Using Wikipedia Text in a Video Game Copyright Issues?

I am creating a game that has a great deal of items in the game. For these items I wanted to add some "educational" pop-up text when players hover over a certain item in the game. My idea was to ...

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