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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917 views

May I write a novel based on another novel?

Like if I want to write a book series about Harry Potter character Rita Skeeter's life, may I do it? I always hear that this isn't allowed. But as far as I know some people have written a book about ...
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252 views

Creative Commons NonCommercial content - limits on income possibilities?

We're building a website that allows users to find fun things to do and, among other things, to read articles about some of these things, but also to write their own. In order to have some of these ...
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1k views

Can I make a sports compilation on Youtube using clips from various broadcasts?

I would like to create a "Top 10"-style compilation of clips from a sports event that I particularly enjoyed watching some weeks ago. Since there are literally thousands of content creators on ...
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1answer
105 views

How to enforce GPL if the copyright holder doesn't have access to the source code of violating software?

I'd like to publish a C library project that I have written on GitHub and license it under GPL, so I am doing some research on open source licenses and some confusion comes to mind. Let's say Evil ...
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1answer
105 views

Is there any way in which a plain electronic copy of a public domain document is copyrightable?

I've noticed for some time that ProQuest PDF copies of historical newspapers, even from the 19th Century, are marked at the bottom of each page "Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. ...
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1answer
333 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 ...
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3answers
364 views

Am I liable for work-related duties?

If I, knowingly, break a site's terms of use (in a way like copying its material, when it explicitly states it's forbidden) as part of my job (I have written proof that my boss assigned me this task, ...
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1answer
77 views

How to prevent/protect my rights to content I write (US)

I live in the US and do writing of my own in various forms ranging from blog posts to content for handouts and trainings I might want to resell at some point in the future. What steps I should take ...
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1answer
218 views

Copyright protection: life + 70 years. But whose life?

I know that in most of the Western world, original creative works are protected by copyright for the entire life of the author plus 70 years after the author's death. But how is the term of protection ...
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1answer
177 views

What exactly are the “Java APIs” that were under debate in Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc.?

In Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc., the debate was over Google's use of 37 "Java APIs" in Android, and whether or not it was fair use. However, I've never found a clear description of the nature ...
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462 views

Could a song that uses different, but phonetically identical lyrics violate copyright?

There is a YouTube video of a song called "Hapi Berth Dey", which the user says is to the tune "Good Morning to You", which is in the public domain. The video never explicitly mentions "Happy ...
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1answer
152 views

Copyright of retyped public domain text

In order to copyright something, you have to do an innovative change (photocopying doesn't count) Does converting public domain images into text (through OCR or like wikisource) count as "innovative ...
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1answer
105 views

What is the meaning of “trade secret” when the secret is being publicly distributed?

Reviewing some software licenses I found statements like this: The software code shall be treated as trade secrets and confidential information. But the source code can be freely downloaded from ...
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457 views

Public domain status of works by the state of Texas

Stuff written by employees of the US government as part of their employment are supposed to be public domain simply because they're a US government employee, per Wikipedia. So what about for the ...
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1answer
85 views

Quora bots are copying a significant amount of Law Stack Exchange questions to Quora, without proper attribution

Quora users/bots are copying a significant amount of Stack Exchange questions to Quora, without proper attribution. It seems quite systematic. For example: Are passengers allowed to record the audio ...
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155 views

Transcribing Ancient Manuscripts from Around the World

As a follow-up/clarification to this question, I would like to ask with a little bit more detail. There are several groups of "ancient" manuscripts and inscriptions which I would like for this to ...
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1answer
1k views

Use of Microsoft Trademark in Product Name

I am developing Add-Ins that extend Microsoft Office applications with additional functionality. As such, I am looking for product names to advertise these Add-Ins. Here's a very crude example of ...
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1answer
106 views

How can I find the copyright owner?

The American composer Leo Sowerby died on July 7, 1968. At first there were three ways of contacting his heirs: 1. via the Sowerby Foundation, run by his friend Francis Crociata. They had a ...
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1answer
862 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 ...
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1answer
133 views

Publish rewritten sheet music

I used a scorewriter to notate a musical piece. I did so by ear and I do not own the original sheet music. (If it makes any difference: I wasn't able to find the sheet music for sale anywhere online) ...
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5k views

Can I use copyrighted media for strictly personal use?

I know copyright / author's rights definition. I read bunch of texts about them and I am also aware that, for example, there are a kind of tolerance on YouTube about uses of copyrighted media (ex: ...
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1answer
214 views

Can a company sell software I wrote for them if they never gave me a contract

I was asked by companyA(UK) to rewrite their legacy application, which I have been doing for a year. CompanyA have made a deal to sell the application to CompanyB(USA). The deal will complete at some ...
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2answers
3k 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 ...
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1answer
162 views

Copyright on User Form Design/Layout

I would like to create a VBA UserForm that has a very similar layout to one that is already shipped by Microsoft with Excel. The UserForm is pretty simple: one ListBox, two TextBoxes and around seven ...
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67 views

Renewing copyright for an artistic work

Scenario: A British artist dies and the 70 years pma rule comes into effect. However, his daughter sits on the board for the artist's foundation and does not want copyright to expire after 70 years. ...
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1answer
596 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 ...
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2k views

Can sharing YouTube links violate copyright laws?

Suppose an app has a collection of links to YouTube videos about a particular topic (e.g., sports). Users can watch video by clicking on the Play video button. This will open up the YouTube video in ...
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1answer
77 views

What is the practical difference between “fair use” and “fair dealing” in Copyright law?

In the united-states, fair-use is a defence to copyright infringement. In other jurisdictions, particularly members or ex-members of the British Commonwealth such as united-kingdom and australia ...
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1answer
48 views

Is article republishing illegal?

I recently came over this app called Inkl (https://www.inkl.com/), which when you download it, lets you read articles from various news. However it doesn't redirect you to the news website or ...
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122 views

Copyright law vs software transformation

As wikipedia says, A major limitation on copyright on ideas is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas Suppose there are two companies: A and B, that produce software. Now, ...
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1answer
182 views

Can the US Government assert copyright on a government work internationally?

From what I understand, large swaths of US Government works are considered "public domain", but this unrestricted status applies only within the United States, For this question I am assuming the ...
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1answer
754 views

Is it allowed to sell 3D models of existing brands?

Case: I make 3D models for architecture. Now I made a bundle of IKEA furniture to use in my interior scenes. I do this for clients to give them a visual representation of what a room can be. Because ...
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1answer
3k views

Who owns the copyright when video recording lectures at a conference (with permission)?

I work for a company that produces recordings of conference lectures. From what I can tell, there are at least three parties that can lay claim to the copyright on the recorded lectures. The ...
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1answer
944 views

Legality of Proxy sites and DMCA

I own a semi successful proxy website. It was created initially to assist co workers in the web hosting industry for troubleshooting propagation of new websites. Recently I have been receiving DMCA ...
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232 views

Can anyone record a cover of a song I put on SoundCloud?

My friend asked me if he could record a cover of a song that I put on SoundCloud called Gratitude (License: All Rights Reserved). What legal rights does my friend have? Does he need my permission? ...
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1answer
297 views

Can I sample my synthesizer's sounds to use in my own commercial game releases?

I bought a synthesizer (Yamaha CS1x) back in 1997. Recently I've been developing games for Android and iPhone and need a sound effects source. The CS1x might be useful. Is it legal for me to sample ...
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1answer
854 views

How are royalties handled for modern orchestral music?

I'm curious how royalties are handled for orchestral compositions (e.g. symphonies, concerti, quartets, etc.) in modern times (20th Century and later). For example, Dmitri Shostakovich's compositions ...
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1answer
114 views

Liabilty for copied website content on a third-party server

Some time ago, I developed a website for a client. During the development process, I used a staging server which is registered to and operated by me to host the site so they could follow development ...
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2answers
469 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 ...
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1answer
477 views

Can someone print and sell tshirts whose design includes Apache licensed emojis?

Is printing an emoji on tee shirts and selling them copyright infringement if the emoji font is under the Apache open source license?
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1answer
2k views

Is it legal to use Youtube thumbnails on another website?

Let's say I have a website where each page has an embedded Youtube video, and there are also a list of this web pages, can this list display those video thumbnails as the image of the link to the page ...
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4k 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 ...
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1answer
67 views

Does the term “commercial” exclude nonprofit?

The terms and conditions for the use of Getty images allows the free use of embedded images legally. As it says at the web site (http://www.gettyimages.com/embed) "Share more than 50 million images. ...
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70 views

RSS client and copyright

I'm developing some apps that rely on RSS feeds for it's contents, these apps never store the feed data, and always pull the fresh atom xml from the server. I limit the char count to 100 chars, so it ...
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If I can prove that my drawing/illustration was constructed from various image references, can't I be prosecuted?

Background: For my design work, I sometimes create portraits to illustrate campaigns and other media. In an effort to avoid mis-appropriating someone's likeness, I tend to draw from a collection of ...
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5answers
228 views

Can you duplicate copyright for a copyright transfer?

Normally, when you do a copyright transfer, you're no longer the holder of the copyright, and thus cannot make a copyright claim (in other words, cannot assert copyright in the source code; but can ...
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2answers
517 views

Are gameplay mechanics subject to copyright?

I'm willing to remake an old video game, first as a hobby project, but in the future I'd like to publish it online, for free or as a commercial project. I've been reading for a while about copyright ...
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44 views

Copyright law and distribution terms for public versions or derivatives

The present question is a special case of Can one take BSD licensed code and distribute it under GPL?. Looking recently at OpenBSD's LibreSSL, I've noticed that SSLeay that it traces its roots to (...
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75 views

Web Developer Portflolio Using Themes

I am a student just doing some freelance work over my summer break. I call myself a web "designer" as people in my country are more used to that term when they want a website created. I develop ...
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Legal issues of a website such as [businessname]sucks.com

What kinds of legal issues do websites such as [businessname]sucks.com have in terms of copyright infringement, libel and defamation, and/or other issues? Let's say there is a website called [...

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