71

There are two parts to copyright liability: civil and criminal. TL;DR: both cases are criminal offences, and it is illegal to break the law even when you are paid to do it. In the USA criminal copyright infringement requires a deliberate act to infringe copyright for commercial gain. Both of the scenarios meet these requirements. In the UK (and probably ...


62

There is a special exception in 17 USC 105: Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise. In the definitions, A “work of the United States ...


61

Imagine if the answer was a simple yes: adding a disclaimer was enough to exempt you from any and all copyright and trademark law suits. If that was the case, there would be no point in copyright or trademark law at all, because everyone could just include this disclaimer and never be sued. That doesn't mean every disclaimer is useless, but it does mean that ...


59

Note: this answer refers to US copyright law. Other jurisdictions may differ, though the Berne Convention means that the general rules are largely the same. See chx's answer for more details. There are two different "things" you can own when it comes to an artistic/creative object: the physical object itself, and the right to reproduce it (i.e., the ...


57

You're allowed to make backups of copyrighted software, as long as you are authorized to use the software, the backups are not distributed, and they are destroyed when/if you are no longer authorized to use the software. 17 USC §117(a): (a) Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner of Copy. -- Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it ...


56

Copyrights protect the mark as is, and derivatives of it, but does not protect the brand from look a likes or from new trademarks that would be confusing. Consider the Pepsi logo: I could easily draw a circle half red and half blue with a white line straight across, vertically, or diagonally. In fact: © 2018 A. K. all rights reserved. There it is my new ...


56

All computer programs are not just copyrightable, they are protected by copyright as soon as they are put into fixed form (for example, as soon as I type it on my computer which will save it as a file on a disk). The copyright owner doesn't have to take any actions whatsoever to have a computer program protected by copyright. It’s not just computer programs, ...


53

Civil law instead of criminal law Not all things that we commonly refer to as "illegal" are actually crimes - many of them refer to violations of contracts or other obligations where the harmed party may (or may not) use the civil system to obtain some satisfaction, but the government and prosecutors will not do it for them. In general (with some ...


48

There is a slight confusion here: The large company sent the DMCA notice to your host, not to you. You are not taking down anything. The host does that. If the DMCA takedown notice is following all the rules, then your host has two choices: Take down your content, or be willing to be part of a copyright court case. Assuming that the host doesn't want to go ...


45

The text may be public domain in the United States It depends on when it was created/published. The eBook is subject to its own copyright The eBook itself is a derivative work and subject to its own copyright protection. The translation of an ink and paper book into an eBook contains enough artistic choice to trigger copyright protection. If the original ...


42

No. The images are copyrighted, and you are using them in a way that would leave you with virtually no argument for fair use. The factors for fair use are set out in 17 USC 107, and they indicate that the courts would reject your use: The purpose and character of the use, including whether it is of a commercial nature or for nonprofit educational purposes: ...


41

Copyright is for original pieces of work. What you have made, is essentially a derivative work. Copyright is automatic for all things, unless the author has explicitly waived their rights, normally through a license. What this means, is that you have created a piece of art, that has been derived from that of the original author. You made modifications to ...


41

Depending on your jurisdiction, such lists may be protected, but not by copyright. For example, in Germany there was a court decision that scanning all the country’s phone books and selling them on CD constituted “unfair competition” and was illegal, while hiring 1000 typists who would manually type in all this information would not be. Databases are ...


40

The Apache 2.0 license purports to be irrevocable, but it also presupposes that the supposed licensor has the right to grant permission to copy. In this case, that is untrue, so there never was a proper license and nothing to revoke (the copyright owner grants permission in the form of "a license" which is a legal abstraction, that normally is specified in ...


39

Disclaimer: I'm from the US and don't claim to know German or Turkish law. So let me discuss some general principles here, but details may well be different in Germany and Turkey. You're mixing together three very different things: trademark, copyright, and patent. Copyright protects the expression of an idea, in this case, the exact computer code, images,...


38

Except for limited circumstances, all computer programs are protected by copyright (an exception would be a program created by the US government). Therefore, to overcome copyright protection, the creator must grant a license to others to use and redistribute software with some specified degree of freedom. This is what gave rise to the myriad open source ...


37

This sounds completely incorrect to me. First, subsequent research is not normally a "derivative work" for the purpose of copyright, since copyright doesn't protect your ideas but only the particular form in which you have expressed those ideas. Second, as the owner of the copyright, you can permit anyone to make any sort of copy or derivative work, or ...


37

Provided you are in one of the 170+ countries signatory to the Berne Convention (the current 10 non-signatories are, exhaustively: Eritrea, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, San Marino, Iran, Iraq, Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan), then copyright comes into existence at the moment a work is fixed in a tangible medium, not when it is published. The initial ...


35

A company does not cease to exist simply because it goes bankrupt. The company may wind down its operations, but it may just go through a process of restructuring its debts. If the company is merely restructuring, the bankruptcy would not probably not have much effect on its ownership of intellectual property such as copyright and trademark rights. So it ...


34

There doesn't need to be any copyright claim for there to be copyright protection. The protection is given automatically whenever someone authors a work. If you make money off of your improved version, the owner of the page may sue you for royalties. The only way to avoid this is to ask him for permission, or to create your page without using any of the ...


34

No, the clause is correct. The reason it is put in is to protect the designer from the client's mistakes (or lies) about whether the material the client wants to use is copyrighted. To see how this works, suppose the client gives the designer a photo, and says she has the rights to it. It turns out the client doesn't have rights, and the true owner sues. The ...


33

This is known as "film novelization"(For example, the novelizations of the Star Wars movies are film novelizations, created under license), and is copyright infringement unless made under a license from the copyright holder. Specifically, you would be making a derivative work of the original, by changing the medium. One of the rights provided by copyright ...


31

You are in effect asking if this is a case of Fair use, an important US-specific legal concept in copyright law. Please review this question for an overview of fair use. See also This statement from the US copyright office Deciding whether a use is a fair use is always a fact-driven, case-by-case, process. No one ever knows for sure if a use is a fair use ...


30

The Stack Exchange "requirement" of a particular type of attribution is unlikely to be enforceable, given the terms of the CC BY-SA license. The actual Creative Commons license, the part that governs the relationship between the parties, is the "legal code" license agreement. The CC BY-SA agreement contains two clauses relevant to the form of attribution. ...


30

If I understand correctly, you are asking whether a copyright holder's failure to submit a DMCA "takedown" notice in accordance with 17 U.S.C. § 512 prevents that copyright holder from enforcing their copyright. The answer is no, for multiple reasons. DMCA is an optional process First, a common misconception seems to be that the DMCA creates a mandatory ...


29

Prove my work is not a trade secret violation Please don't. It's not your job to prove your innocence. The burden is on them to be specific, explain fully, and prove specific claims about your actions. In other words, don't justify, don't explain, and don't defend yourself to them. It's actually best you do not say anything to them, and just forward the ...


28

Mostly, it's because it would be prohibitively expensive to do so. The police can, and probably do, run operations designed to stop piracy, but these usually target the source, because it's usually easier to shut down a network of servers than the millions of people using them. Even if a user posts something on a forum with something that looks like their ...


27

It is legal Because of the first sale doctrine a person may freely sell a copy that they legitimately own. Copyright preserves the owner's right to make copies - Copy-right; once they have made (or authorised) a copy then the physical embodiment of that copy (record, CD, DVD, book etc.) is personal property and can be bought and sold like any other piece of ...


27

I'm in the UK. I have been put in both these scenarios in times past. For the first I stood up to the boss and point-blank refused to do it, giving reasons. The atmosphere was tense for a couple of days, then he apologised and thanked me for taking the moral (and legal) high ground. The second was a little trickier, I still said I would not install hooky ...


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