Sellers who infringed upon copyrights; reported.
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:29 am 
 

RaisedFromTheDead wrote::o "bclarkie loves mbassoc". Whose was that?


Not me, but this is what this is what was presented when I first looked...

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Post Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:45 am 
 

deimos3428 wrote:I have to wonder, with sites like this one (and there are many) what's the point in going after individual eBay sellers anymore?

ψLoad.com - Find Rapidshare and Megaupload files

I did a little poking around there to see what was available, and downloaded a PDF of a work that I already own a copy of in hardcover.  I wanted to see if it was legit; that the file was actually present and what it claimed to be.  It was.

Worse, it cost nothing to download at all, except about 60 seconds of my precious time.

"What's the point", I think it is probably a matter of degree.  As you stated, it cost you 60 seconds and zero loonies.  Having copyrighted .pdfs available for free isn't exactly lawful.  Making a profit from them, I think most would agree, is worse.  That is the line to me.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:49 am 
 

More than Ian and myself, I wonder who was searching "Badmike nude" and "blcarkie nude" too?  8O



:lol:



At least we all already know who did the search for "JohnGaunt Badass Mother F**ker".  :P


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:39 am 
 

Illegally downloading a pdf of a product you do not own in hardcopy?  

Questionable.  Nothing to be proud of.


Selling electronic copies of pdf files?

Downright rotten.


The guy selling the pdf files is not just looking at a file he doesn't own.  He is claiming ownership.  Most annoying is that these guys generally consider themselves to be oh so clever.  They seriously think they have an edge because they are smarter than all of us.

They even put notices into their Ebay listings that say things like, "Attention Ebay:  I am the legal owner of these files."

A good liar is capable of making himself actually believe his own lies.  That's why they all come up with the same stupid arguments when someone calls them on what they are doing.  That's why they are so outraged when they are reported.  

My main motivation for reporting these guys is not legalities or to protect copyright laws.  That's all pretty much out the window - that genie is already out of the bottle.  What I mainly care about is the sheer arrogance...the sheer, balls-out gall that makes these guys publicly claim to own something that is clearly stolen property.


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:26 am 
 

So if you stick up an add saying, "100% illegal PDF copies of 250 Dungeons & Dragons books on 2 DVDs. Brand new. I have absolutely no right to sell this product as all rights are reserved and owned by Wizards of the Coast. But I want some money and I can't be arsed working for it. So if you can't be bothered downloading them from BitTorrent or don't want to run the risk of catching a virus, I'll burn them onto a DVD for you for $10." You'll let the guy go and not report him?

Might be worth seeing how long an ad' like that will stay up. :lol:


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:02 pm 
 

Not quite violating copyright, but this guy 'r3db3ar' did steal my scan for his listing:

My listing:  
** expired eBay auction **


His listing:  
** expired eBay auction **


Reported the bastard, and moving to block him as well.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:10 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:Illegally downloading a pdf of a product you do not own in hardcopy?  

Questionable.  Nothing to be proud of.


I'll stick my hand up to owning some. However, I have downloaded them to see if I wanted it, and subsequently bought a hardcopy.

Sometimes I haven't liked it, so I've deleted it. I kind of look at it as a library service.

But, to be clear, I have never purchased illegal copies thereby funding these people, nor would I sell them either.


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:44 pm 
 

I'm not gonna take a moral position or start the arguement here, but if you download a PDF that isn't offered by it's owner for free, even  if you do have the original in hardcopy, it is illegal and breaks copyright law. The question is not whether it is illegal or not. The question is whether or not you can live with breaking the law.

I avoid the likes of BitTorrent and the likes for the sake of keeping my PC running sweetly. I can't run the risk of anything troublesome finding its way onto my PC or laptop. I'm also a great believer in supporting genuine PDF releases and spend maybe $1K a year on sites like RPGNow. I just wish they didn't have a near monopoly in the current market.


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:28 pm 
 

I'll add to my post above, that I have also purchased pdfs from sites and then bought the hard copy as I don't want to print it out but prefer to have the real thing in my hand (so to speak... 8O )


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:40 pm 
 

In the US, making a single copy of an item you own is called "fair use."

I can't see a judge caring if you copied it or someone copied it for you.


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:28 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:if you download a PDF that isn't offered by it's owner for free, even  if you do have the original in hardcopy, it is illegal and breaks copyright law.

It's actually nowhere near that straightforward.  I quite enjoy discussions of copyright...skip this post if you don't.  ;)

First there is the concept of "copyright infringement".  We all understand what that means, roughly -- "copying another person's work without permission."  That's illegal but it's not theft.  People often conflate these two completely separate offences, but in so doing they are using a moral definition of theft, not a legal one.

Then there is also the concept of "fair use".  We all know what that means too, roughly -- "sometimes it is ok to copy someone else's work without permission, even if it is protected by copyright"  So fair use is an exception to copyright infringement.  The kicker is that fair use is usually only referenced in copyright law, not defined.

It's a subtle distinction but a very important one.  The net effect is that you can't point at something and say authoritatively "that's breaking copyright law".  Fair use must be considered and rejected first and considering the factors commonly associated with these decisions.

I'm confident a court would rule in favor of a fair use defense with respect to the situation described above, but anything's possible.  I'm more worried about getting caught jaywalking, honestly.

Unlike stolen property, possession of infringing material is not illegal in many countries.  Copyrighted works are likewise not considered contraband like certain weapons, animals and drugs.

Of course, the reality is that most cases "won" by the copyright holders are settled out of court, often by large companies bullying smaller guys into stopping whatever activity of which they don't approve.  But that's not specific to copyright law, either.

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Post Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:33 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:I can't see a judge caring if you copied it or someone copied it for you.


I the mid-90s, the law was changed so that someone can't turn a profit by helping you. Professors had been copying material, under fair use, to use in class. Places like Kinko's would actually make the copies to sell for a profit.

Seems like sort of a perverse law, one that goes around fair use to defeat it in practice. When greed is involved, sacred cows tend to be slaughtered.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:36 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:In the US, making a single copy of an item you own is called "fair use."

I can't see a judge caring if you copied it or someone copied it for you.

That issue was explored at length in another thread when I was exploring the option of providing CZ:UW in PDF to people who already owned but wanted to preserve their copies. Likewise with Yggsburgh. There was strong moral opinion from all sides, but I think the concensus was (and some of the contributors had legal backgrounds) that it would be a clear breach of Copyright Law.

IMO, distribution of unsanctioned PDFs is illegal. The question is whether or not you consider morally that that law is not enforcable, should not be enforced, or is in some other way questionable. Copyright Law in both the US and UK is very clear.

Furthermore, IIRC (and I'm sure someone here can confirm this) in the US, a printed document cannot be digitised in it's entirity and kept in PDF form under the guise of 'fair use'. Fair use would cover the copying of passages or maps for use in gameplay (alteration to fit a plot etc.), but the 'fair use' backup of an entire creation only applies to music and sound recordings.


The argument would be that 'fair use' in regard to printed product is an outdated concept and that it needs to be brought into line with the digital age. That no intent to deprive the creator or publisher from revenue was in any way present.


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:16 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Copyright Law in both the US and UK is very clear.


Don't really see where that's true at all. You post is filled with ambiguities (not saying this is your failure, but the nature of copyright), the recent discussions on this thread are filled with ambiguities, pretty much any discussion on IP is going to be filled with ambiguities, the very nature of legally regulating abstract thought leads to ambiguities. Even in the narrow context of distributing unsanctioned PDFs, anyone who reads the news can see what Google Books is going through to get it all sorted out.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:39 am 
 

EFF: Fair Use FAQ

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Post Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:40 am 
 

Yes, I continue to use Google and their declared digitising as a benchmark to say, "Look, Copyright Law is an outdated concept and the law needs changing because at the very least it is morally questionable, and at the very best it is flawed in the modern world." In most of these situations only challenges in court will ever decide where the boundaries are going to lie in future years.

Now I do not sanction the download of illegal PDFs from the internet, but I do acknowledge that they are there and accept that the internet is a legitimate source of for all kings of information.

I am also upfront about the fact that I digitise and store in PDF form, practically everything I buy on eBay. I have been doing this for 5 years now, and morally I don't have a problem with it. But other people have other moral positions. I accept that the letter of the law says that I should not PDF a book that I buy, but I challenge that on the same grounds that I should have the right to do so, and until someone pursues me and prosecutes me in court, like Google, I will continue to digitise D&D.

There have been others who have posted the US legal position in great detail, and there is clearly a distinction to be made between how the law is written, how it has been interpretted to date, how any one of us wishes to interpret it, and what each of our moral stances are on the issue.

Too many variables to make it a black and white issue unless we're gonna be very specific about what is going to be debated.


Thanks, Deim.

That does not contradict the information and link posted on another thread by Pip I believe that 'fair use' in regard to making a backup copy only applies to music and sound recordings.

I'd be interested to find out if the courts have ever been asked to take a view on someone owning a PDF.

Playing devil's advocate, I suppose if I send a letter to the IRS and they scan it and store it on my file, they have breached my copyright without my consent. This is an issue that can be argues round and round. Case law and the written law itself (as opposed to an organisation's opinion on it) is the only real impirical data here. Everything else is merely supposition and conjecture.


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:29 am 
 

My original point was not actually about copyright law.  I suspect most of us have done something sometime that has violated copyright law.

What pisses me off about the Ebay PDF sellers is their attitude.


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:53 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:My original point was not actually about copyright law.  I suspect most of us have done something sometime that has violated copyright law.

What pisses me off about the Ebay PDF sellers is their attitude.

Yeah. I was wondering if they admitted up front and acknowledged that they had no right to do it, but just wanted a quick buck, whether you'd let them go or report them too.

I wonder if it's illegal to offer stuff for sale acknowledging that you don't have the right to do so, or if it's only illegal to actually complete the sale. Might be worth putting up a spoof listing just for fun.


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:04 pm 
 

I'm actually with Ian here.  Fair use is pretty clear in that the owner of the work is supposed to be the one making his/her own copies.  

I doubt that anyone would actually get sued if they were supplying copies/pdfs to those people who did in fact own the products but not the technology to create their own, but the law is pretty clear there regardless.  It simply boils down to the fact that it would cost so much money to pursue sue a frivolous claim(winnable or not) that it would never happen.


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:56 am 
 

Morally I see nothing wrong with supplying a backup PDF to someome who owns the original, but that is my moral position and it is clearly against the law (this has been explored extensively on the forum). Purely on the basis that if I passed along a backup PDF and it subsequently 'went wild', I would feel morally responsible for that, and may possibly be criminally responsible for that, I won't distribute the PDFs I create. I feel that PDFs like CZ:UW, Tortured Souls, Starstone etc. should be made available to purchase legally, but I'm not gonna be the one to do it.


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