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Copyright Issues

Posted at 17:55 on October 18th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Dr Gumby
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Hi everyone, I saw this line below on a "warez" site, can anyone tell me if it is remotely true? Does this only apply to one country? (etc?)

Quote:
Due to the National Information Infrastructure Copyright Act of 1995, (NIIC), Software in which the copyright is older than two years AND is no longersold on the market, has been deemed available free to the public, due to the seemingly "apparrant uselessness of outdated technology" as stated in the NIIC.


But then again, if this is true then it wasn't really a "warez" site, correct?
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Posted at 18:03 on October 18th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Dr Gumby
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I've just been reading up on it, and the official government website has this to say:
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The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors, but "[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts." To this end, copyright assures authors the right in their original expression, but encourages others to build freely upon the ideas and information conveyed by a work.[7]

I also found this:
Quote:
Larry Williams: My web research says that the NIIC law was never passed in final form by Congress. It was superceded by the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) treaty which negotiated an international treaty on the subject and which Congress subsequently passed legislation to implement. I don't know if the abandonware type language was included in the latest bill.


Edited by Delos at 02:07 on October, 18th 2002
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Posted at 18:09 on October 18th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Dr Gumby
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Quote:
I have some old software that I do not use anymore. I want to give it away.
What do I need to do? Do I need special permission?

It depends on what is meant by "old software". If, for example, you wish to give away old software that has been upgraded, the answer is generally no.
Upgrade licenses supplant the license of the original, voiding the original license thereby making the original version legally unusable. On the other hand, if you bought a new, full copy of a higher version of the software, license permitting, you could sell or give away the older version.

I would like to use a software program, but the company has gone out of business. Is it okay for me to make a copy since they are not making any more copies of this software for purchase?
Copyright may be valid for 75 years or more, so they may continue to subsist long after a company has gone out of business. The copyrights may even have been transferred or assigned to someone else. To copy a software program, you need express permission from the copyright holder. The U.S. Copyright Office may be helpful in finding the current copyright holder to write for permission to copy the product.

From what I am seeing it seems like the website I went to was wrong, can anyone tell me about the WIPO??

Edited by Delos at 02:14 on October, 18th 2002
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Atheism is a Non-Prophet Organisation
Posted at 05:07 on October 19th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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If you are willing to believe all the stuff they say on warez sites, good luck - you'll need it.
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 10:57 on October 19th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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haha!

Remeber, it's not illegal unless you delete it within 24 hours!

Tuss
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Posted at 14:20 on October 19th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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"unless"? Strange law ;)
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Posted at 14:50 on October 19th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Remember, it's not illegal unless you get caught. ;)
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Posted at 15:34 on October 19th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:
"unless"? Strange law


That's why I don't have a warez site. :P

Tuss
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Posted at 03:19 on October 20th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Dr Gumby
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I was more suprised that a warez site was trying to convince us that the products were abware :P
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Posted at 06:19 on October 20th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Prof Gumby
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Quote:
Posted by Cypherswipe at 16:50 on October, 19th 2002:

Remember, it's not illegal unless you get caught. ;)


True, seriously how many countries police would bother checking peoples computers for abware :P

I've heard something like what your talking about equally as stupid I can't remember where I read it but it said that once someone puts something on the web if you download it you can't get in trouble because it was put on the web only the person who put it there can :P
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Posted at 07:48 on October 20th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:
sterge10: [...] it said that once someone puts something on the web if you download it you can't get in trouble because it was put on the web only the person who put it there can :P


I think this might actually be true; maybe not in theory but in real life, I don't think anyone will get in trouble by just downloading stuff from the internet or some file-sharing app; it's the users that make the software available (by uploading or sharing it) that are targeted...

By the way, since it seems pretty logical that the police would indeed not bother checking every computer in the country, I wonder how you could get caught if you're not hosting/sharing/selling any warez or other copyrighted material... I can't seem to think of a single way to get in trouble, it's not like internet providers are tracing everyone all the time (at least not here, I hope)...

[Edit: Just thought of one, maybe in the near future: Palladium... :worried: Of course, very little is known about this new technology, so my worries are mere speculation...]

Edited by The Mole at 16:48 on October, 20th 2002
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Posted at 10:25 on October 20th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Downloading pirated software is 'equally illegal' as offering it. There is nothing like something being 'halfway illegal'.
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 18:45 on October 20th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Dr Gumby
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In the last opinion poll, 98% of Personal Computers in New Zealand had at least one "illegal" product.
I might remind you that not registering your shareware programs after 30 days are taken as "illegal".

Police commented by saying "The average person is a small fish, we are looking for the sellers only."

Creo: Receiving stolen goods are a crime they say ;)
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Posted at 19:48 on October 25th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Prof Gumby
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In England the case is that copyrite lasts for 75 years <i>after the death</i> of the copyright holder. This applies to literature, music and everything else including Computer Programs.

Hence if you want to record a rendition of Beethovens Moonlight Sonata on the Piano and sell the CD's, your more than welcome to do so because he snuffed way more than 75 years ago.

Also, if you want to re-write a Shakespear play in modern English and publish it then go ahead... your more than welcome to.

With Videogames its safe to say that Higginbotham, Bushnell & Ralph Bear have not been dead for 75 years so absolutely no videogames fall into that catagory. Also with videogames you have the issue that (nowadays at least) copyright is held by a company and not an individual so the copyright wont expire until 75 years after the company that owned/bought it has ceased trading, and thats never going to happen.
Posted at 02:53 on October 26th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Prof Gumby
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Quote:
Mr Creosote: There is nothing like something being 'halfway illegal'.

Maybe not, but some crimes are designated as "lowest priority" or even "tolerated"... Here in Belgium, there are not many crimes that are treated with zero tolerance... :)
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Posted at 03:12 on October 26th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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fretz: are you sure about that? Normally, it's "xx years after the author's death", but in the case of a company "xx years after initial release" (which makes sense for exactly the reason you pointed out in your example about companies).

Mole: Of course you're right there. Unfortunately, this is really only 'low priority' and not something official in a legally binding sense as it sounded in some people's statements before! If for example your computer was searched by the police (because of the child porn you're offering or something :P) and they'd also find 'Abandonware', you'd be prosecuted for that, too - because they can't ignore crimes...
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Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 05:28 on October 26th, 2002 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Sure, but if you happenned to be facing charges for something as heinous as owning/distributing child porn, then that copy of Monkey Island the police happened to find on your PC and that you didn't actually purchase would be the least of your worries.
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