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Old 8th November 2007, 05:15 PM   #21
Dave_K
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My LOST avatars have been deemed unsuitable even though they are publicly posted by the TV company that owns the rights to them, for use by the public.

Of course there is a need for copyright, as omeyas has indicated. Images from a sydicated TV series are in my opinion a whole different kettle of fish.

The trouble is how are we supposed to know what is and isn't legal? I think common sense should guide us on this matter.
Look at any TV site forum and something like 95% of the people have an avatar that represents a character from the show.
I can't see any American "image owner" suing anybody unless they think someone else's use of their image is costing them money. Professional photographers, OK, I can see that. Posting whole songs/videos on YouTube, OK, I can see that.

A TV show character in an avatar? How does ABC lose money there? If anything, it's free advertising for their show. If Tad was streaming whole episodes with the commercials cut out and profiting from people visiting his site, then ABC might be interested.
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Old 9th November 2007, 06:01 PM   #22
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There are plenty of free avatars on the web, hopefully of TC…can we use the full name or is that an infringement?
If you find one, let me know. In the meantime I'm SC - Sad Cat.
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Old 9th November 2007, 09:06 PM   #23
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If you find one, let me know. In the meantime I'm SC - Sad Cat.
Well I've got to say it. I think this business with avatars and copyright issues (mostly based on hearsay) is a load of baloney. We have aired all the theoretical and imagined risks. Lets get back to reality. Has anyone made a valid copyright complaint about users's avators?

If not, live and let live!

Posted by the campaign to restore the avator of Tip Top Cat
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Old 9th November 2007, 09:49 PM   #24
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If you find one, let me know. In the meantime I'm SC - Sad Cat.
My cat says you can use his pic if you want, although he's not exactly TC. He goes by Thunder Cat, so they may be related.

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Old 9th November 2007, 10:41 PM   #25
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My cat says you can use his pic if you want, although he's not exactly TC. He goes by Thunder Cat, so they may be related.

Bless you, Patty. If you can let me have it, (together with sworn affidavit from both Thunder Cat and you - as his guardian - giving me permission to use it), I will happily use it until I get a reply to my copyright enquiry sent to Hanna Barbera.
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Old 9th November 2007, 10:42 PM   #26
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I think we should remove the ability to quote previous posts from the forum software on account that NFS might be republishing other people's intellectual property without permission.

There have been dozens of times where my work, to which I own the copyright, has been transcribed WORD FOR WORD by others, here, 100% facilitated and encouraged by Ben and Marina via their forum.

Before we discuss potential lawsuits filed by me and others against this newly incorporated venture of our favourite podcasters, perhaps we should first discuss how far this lunacy should go?

So far, I've seen a few examples where things have been removed from the forum despite having permission from the IP owners to be posted.

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Old 9th November 2007, 11:05 PM   #27
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Deecree. I share your pain and yes, all of this leaves me completely baffled. However, Graham's posts just indicate what a complex subject this is. This is Ben's site and he has just taken advice and he's acting upon that advice. Although I'm disappointed, I can't blame him for that. I can live with it.

I'm struggling, however, to live without quipping.
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Old 10th November 2007, 02:21 AM   #28
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***Removed to avoid infringements of various kinds***
I was only being 50-60% serious. Perhaps it needed one or two more little smiley face things. Definitely not three though.
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Old 10th November 2007, 02:25 AM   #29
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***To avoid a lengthy jail sentence to all involved, content has been removed***
Also, the solution to your problem would be to find a poster, DVD, or something of a promotional nature with the image of TC on it. Take a photo and crop it a little. You'll have a safe to use avatar according to the new strict rules.
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Old 10th November 2007, 11:50 AM   #30
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My long term plan has been to transfer the copyright of my Avatar to Gill and to take B & M for all they've got....

Today NFS tomorrow Berlin....

Alternatively we'll just have a beer with them next time we're in Madrid.
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Old 10th November 2007, 01:24 PM   #31
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OK, wow, I never thought that things would go so far!

I'll try and explain things again as they happened.

1. In the past we have been warned by a couple of forum members to be very careful with letting people post copyright images. One forum member even told us about a forum that had been closed down as a result of an angry photographer taking legal action after finding his images in said forum. At the time my reaction was 'That will never happen to us'.

2. Two weeks ago our lawyer, who is drawing up various must-have legal documents for Notes from Spain S.L. (the company we have had to form in order to properly process income from the sites, 99% from the worksheets), told us that we should not allow people to post copyright images on the forum, or we could end up with big legal problems. This obviously made us think again about point 1 above - we don't want to risk the forums being shut down, no matter how tiny a risk that may be.

3. So, we thought that it was both in our interests (this business pays our mortgage, we don't want to risk problems) and yours (we don't want to see the forum taken down), to pay attention to what the lawyer said.

Therefore we simply ask that you don't post copyright images directly in posts unless you own the copyright. There are of course many copyright free images on the web to which this would not apply.

4. I don't see how this will affect the forum too much as a) copyright images were very infrequently posted anyway and b) it is easy to link to an image outside the forum - people can follow the link, look at the image, and come back and comment on it.

5. Avatars. Due to the fact that just about every forum in existence has avatars that use all sorts of images from all sorts of places, one can only imagine that nothing much happens as a result. In points 1 to 4 above I have only mentioned images in posts. Obviously I can't officially tell you it's OK to use any images in avatars as that would be legally inconsistent. Let's just say that if forum members were to restore their former avatars at this point they would be responsible for their actions, if you see what I mean.

We really just need to make sure that copyright pictures and cartoons stay out of posts and user signatures.

6. With text, a small excerpt (up to around 50 words) with a link to the original source (e.g. 'Read the full article here') should be fine.

What a nightmare all this copyright nonsense is. Believe me, bringing up all this stuff gives me zero joy. My copyright images and text from Notes from Spain are constantly being ripped off by spam blogs and posted around the internet and although it is annoying, I certainly don't waste my time trying to do much about it. Unfortunately, as mentioned, there are very aggressive people out there who will think nothing of trying to shut down small guys like us to put a few more bucks in their pocket. By now being a real 'business' (no matter how small scale we actually are), we open ourselves up to all sorts of attacks, and we are just trying to protect ourselves from that, that really is all there is to it.

Hope this helps to explain things a bit. Ben.

Last edited by Ben; 10th November 2007 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 10th November 2007, 02:53 PM   #32
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What a nightmare all this copyright nonsense is. Believe me, bringing up all this stuff gives me zero joy. My copyright images and text from Notes from Spain are constantly being ripped off by spam blogs and posted around the internet and although it is annoying, I certainly don't waste my time trying to do much about it. Unfortunately, as mentioned, there are very aggressive people out there who will think nothing of trying to shut down small guys like us to put a few more bucks in their pocket. By now being a real 'business' (no matter how small scale we actually are), we open ourselves up to all sorts of attacks, and we are just trying to protect ourselves from that, that really is all there is to it.

Hope this helps to explain things a bit. Ben.
Hi Ben,

I understand what you're saying and I wholeheartedly agree. You are simply bringing the bad news and you are not trying to be a party pooper.

Society is becoming way too litiginous, and there appear to be many sharks out there - greedy people with big egos and lots of time on their hands. There are many things I really like about the States, sometimes even passionately, but this obsession with the concept of property is definitely not one of them.

It would be a real shame if some copyright 'gestapo' guy (or gal) went on the rampage, bringing about the downfall of this forum, so I agree we should be very careful from now on. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Last edited by Edith; 10th November 2007 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 10th November 2007, 03:26 PM   #33
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There are many things I really like about the States, sometimes even passionately, but this obsession with the concept of property is definitely not one of them.
We don't exactly have a monopoly on the concept or practice of property. Europe is just as litigious if not more when it comes to matters of property. Look at all the examples provided from Germany. Look at the fact that you still can't purchase a Beatles song from iTunes. Be careful not to perceive from popular yet false assumption.
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Old 10th November 2007, 03:31 PM   #34
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Point taken. But generally speaking, ordinary citizens in western Europe are still a bit less likely to sue someone over these matters. I remember we used to copy whole textbooks at university to save money and nobody seemed to give a toss. Copyshops near university campuses even became thriving businesses.

Then I went to Arizona for a while and I assumed I could do the same there, i.e. copy some hard-to-come-by secondary sources I needed for my MA research. You could say I was in for a surprise!

Last edited by Edith; 10th November 2007 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 10th November 2007, 03:36 PM   #35
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Point taken. But generally speaking, ordinary citizens in western Europe are still a bit less likely to sue someone over these matters. I remember we used to copy whole textbooks at university to save money and nobody seemed to give a toss. Copyshops near university campuses even became thriving businesses.

Then I went to Arizona for a while and I assumed I could do the same there, i.e. copy some hard-to-come-by secondary sources I needed for my MA research. You could say I was in for a surprise!
So who is in the right, a grad student wanting to copy an entire text or a book publisher who wants to make sure they get what they have earned?
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Old 10th November 2007, 03:49 PM   #36
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So who is in the right, a grad student wanting to copy an entire text or a book publisher who wants to make sure they get what they have earned?
Some of these publications had gone out of print decades ago. And doing historical research often means you have to read and re-read your sources, scribbling down notes in the margins and highlingting important paragraphs with a yellow felt marker. I finished my thesis at home so I needed the sources. In my spare time I still do some occasional research, and I still work in this way, borrowing books from the library and copying parts of them for further use at home. I simply haven't got the time to go back to the library every time I want to re-read a source. The world should focus on real problems like terrorism and drugs instead of hounding people who are simply interested in knowledge.

Last edited by Edith; 10th November 2007 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 10th November 2007, 05:44 PM   #37
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At last, thanks to Edith, we are getting some sense talked in this debate.
I would also suggest that for every 1000 "You could be sued if..." stories - most of which are apocryphal - there might be one instance of an actual successful law suit.

In the NHS where I work, I hear this sort of thing regularly and most fears are based on hypothesis rather than precedent.

Quote:
One forum member even told us about a forum that had been closed down as a result of an angry photographer taking legal action after finding his images in said forum. At the time my reaction was 'That will never happen to us'.
Did the forum member identify the forum involved, the court case, the reason for the judgment, etc.?
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Old 10th November 2007, 06:04 PM   #38
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Wikipedia has a long list of copyright legal cases, not that many internet specific but I guess the principles apply to all distribution media. One in particular dealt with "thumbnails" displayed on one site that linked to the authors original site and the author lost his case of copyright infringment. That's one case in one country but seems a reasonable outcome.
Ben has to take steps to safeguard his business - and our forum! Neither he nor the moderators can be expected to make judgments that would tax the US Supreme court - so all we can do is take out anything remotely suspicious - or at least ask you where it came from.

Incidentally Edith there was one case that found against a copy shop near a university that produced course material for students. You'd better delete your confession now
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Old 10th November 2007, 06:27 PM   #39
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Incidentally Edith there was one case that found against a copy shop near a university that produced course material for students. You'd better delete your confession now


By the way, many researchers are not into money-making at all because they earn a living by working for a research institute, but they do want to be cited in footnotes and references! That's what counts in the end. If someone wants to copy my MA thesis for reseach purposes, that's perfectly fine with me! As long as they cite me as a source!

In the world of research, plagiarism is the real sin, not using copied sources to scribble notes on.
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Old 10th November 2007, 06:55 PM   #40
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I would also suggest that for every 1000 "You could be sued if..." stories - most of which are apocryphal - there might be one instance of an actual successful law suit.
Jules, one of the reasons why we have been a bit low on the Spanish podcast output recently is the fact that we are so overwhelmed by the paperwork involved in setting up Notes from Spain S.L., steps that are highly necessary for this whole enterprise, forum included, to carry on existing. If there is even a one in a million chance, let alone a one in 1000 chance, that by leaving an image in a post on the forum we could end up with more legal nonsense or paperwork to deal with, let alone more serious consequences, then for us it is just not worth it.

I get the impression from the tone of some of the posts in this thread that we am being held responsible for curtailing everyone's civil liberties here on the forum by asking for the simple courtesy of not posting copyright images in posts. I'm happy to join in a debate about the ridiculousness of worldwide copyright law and it's occasional application, but I'm not very interested in joining in further debate over whether or not we have the right to apply it here as we deem sensible, cautious, and appropriate.

Other than that, my earlier refined thoughts on this (9 posts above this one) still stand.

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Did the forum member identify the forum involved, the court case, the reason for the judgment, etc.?
Does it really matter? I take what I'm told here on trust!

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Ben has to take steps to safeguard his business - and our forum! Neither he nor the moderators can be expected to make judgments that would tax the US Supreme court
Greytop, you are very wise.
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