Magnetic Scrolls

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Nathan Taylor

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Dec 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/28/97
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Surely Magnetic Scrolls games (Guild of Theives, Fish, Jinxter,
etc.) are now in the public domain. The company which produced
them nolonger exists, and the parent company nolonger produces
games, and has made no effort to re-release them. The Pawn is
freely available for emulators of micro-computers, and a PC
version is out there if you search hard enough. So why aren't
they on the if-archive? How can I get hold of them?

Nathan C. Taylor

I ask this because I once had 'originals' of many of their
games (Windows versions) and they were lent out never to be
returned again, and now I can't even buy them (if I had the
money that is ;-)


---------------------------------------------
Nathan C. Taylor <n...@mahonri.win-uk.net>
web: http://www.iocentre.co.uk/nct/home.htm
---------------------------------------------

Paul David Doherty

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Dec 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/28/97
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In article <2...@mahonri.win-uk.net>,

Nathan Taylor <n...@mahonri.win-uk.net> wrote:
>Surely Magnetic Scrolls games (Guild of Theives, Fish, Jinxter,
>etc.) are now in the public domain. The company which produced
>them nolonger exists, and the parent company nolonger produces
>games, and has made no effort to re-release them.

This is a total misconception about the nature of copyright.

>The Pawn is
>freely available for emulators of micro-computers, and a PC
>version is out there if you search hard enough. So why aren't
>they on the if-archive?

Because they are not in the Public Domain and putting them in
the IF archive would be a clear violation of copyright.

(BTW, stuff like this should be put in the r.g.i. FAQ, if it isn't
there already.)

-- Dave

Nathan Taylor

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Dec 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/28/97
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I wasn't claiming to be a lawyer. But if a company is nolonger
is business, and its games are no longer commercially
distributed, then one would imagine the authors would be
happier to see their works distributed and used rather than
fade into obscurity and disuse.

Nathan C. Taylor

BTW, taking the ZX Spectrum as an example - thousands of
games made for it are freely available, and in the cases where
their original producers were asked (according to one of the
FAQs) they had no problem with them being made available to be
played on emulators. The Pawn is freely available in that
format, and it seems sad to me that no other Magnetic Scrolls
game is.

---------------------------------------------

Chris Marriott

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Dec 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/28/97
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In article <2...@mahonri.win-uk.net>, Nathan Taylor <n...@mahonri.win-
uk.net> writes

>Surely Magnetic Scrolls games (Guild of Theives, Fish, Jinxter,
>etc.) are now in the public domain. The company which produced
>them nolonger exists, and the parent company nolonger produces
>games, and has made no effort to re-release them. The Pawn is

>freely available for emulators of micro-computers, and a PC
>version is out there if you search hard enough. So why aren't
>they on the if-archive? How can I get hold of them?

When a software company ceases trading, its "intellectual property
rights" do NOT "vanish". They are a part of the company's assets, and
are sold along with the furniture and everything else. Magnetic Scrolls
may no longer exist, but rest assured that *somebody* owns the right to
the games that the company produced. That "somebody" may choose not to
publish the games, but that doesn't give anybody else the "right" to
distribute them without the owner's permission.

You may not like it, but that's the way it is!

Chris

----------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Marriott, Microsoft Certified Solution Developer.
SkyMap Software, U.K. e-mail: ch...@skymap.com
Visit our web site at http://www.skymap.com

Paul David Doherty

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Dec 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/29/97
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In article <2...@mahonri.win-uk.net>,

Nathan Taylor <n...@mahonri.win-uk.net> wrote:
>I wasn't claiming to be a lawyer. But if a company is nolonger
>is business, and its games are no longer commercially
>distributed, then one would imagine the authors would be
>happier to see their works distributed and used rather than
>fade into obscurity and disuse.

One would imagine so, but unfortunately the current copyright
holder (Ken Gordon, in the case of the Magnetic Scrolls games)
has stated several times that he doesn't want them freely
distributed. So in this particular case, there is no grey area
of "the authors probably don't mind", since we know as a fact
that they do mind.

-- Dave


Magnus Olsson

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Dec 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/29/97
to

In article <2...@mahonri.win-uk.net>,
Nathan Taylor <n...@mahonri.win-uk.net> wrote:
>I wasn't claiming to be a lawyer. But if a company is nolonger
>is business, and its games are no longer commercially
>distributed, then one would imagine the authors would be
>happier to see their works distributed and used rather than
>fade into obscurity and disuse.

I'm sure the authors would be happier, but in most cases it's not
the authors who own the copyright, but the publisher. And a publisher
that goes out of business may not want to release their products
(for some strange reason), or may just not care.

Anyway, it's the copyright holders' decision, not ours. And Magnetic
Scrolls didn't choose to release their programs, so I'm afraid we'll
have to wait another 70 years or so for the copyright to expire.
--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, zeb...@pobox.com)
------ http://www.pobox.com/~zebulon ------
Not officially connected to LU or LTH.

Magnus Olsson

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Dec 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/29/97
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In article <687oe3$9...@joker.rz.hu-berlin.de>,

Paul David Doherty <h014...@joker.rz.hu-berlin.de> wrote:
>In article <2...@mahonri.win-uk.net>,
>Nathan Taylor <n...@mahonri.win-uk.net> wrote:
>>I wasn't claiming to be a lawyer. But if a company is nolonger
>>is business, and its games are no longer commercially
>>distributed, then one would imagine the authors would be
>>happier to see their works distributed and used rather than
>>fade into obscurity and disuse.
>
>One would imagine so, but unfortunately the current copyright
>holder (Ken Gordon, in the case of the Magnetic Scrolls games)
>has stated several times that he doesn't want them freely
>distributed. So in this particular case, there is no grey area
>of "the authors probably don't mind", since we know as a fact
>that they do mind.

Has he stated any reason? Not that he's under any obligation to do so,
but it would just be interesting to know what he thinks about the
matter. Perhaps he's hoping to re-release the games commercially?

Chris Marriott

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Dec 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/29/97
to

In article <2...@mahonri.win-uk.net>, Nathan Taylor <n...@mahonri.win-
uk.net> writes

>I wasn't claiming to be a lawyer. But if a company is nolonger
>is business, and its games are no longer commercially
>distributed, then one would imagine the authors would be
>happier to see their works distributed and used rather than
>fade into obscurity and disuse.

In your original message you used the phrase "public domain". "Public
domain" has a very specific meaning - that the program has NO
copyright, and anyone can do with it whatever they wish - modify it, re-
sell it, bundle it with their own products; in short, do ANYTHING.

Whether you're a lawyer or not, I suggest that you learn the difference
in the meaning of "public domain" and "freely copyable"; the second does
NOT imply the first. For example, Activision have made the original
"Zork" games freely downloadable from their web site, but they are most
definitely NOT in the public domain!

Lelah Conrad

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Dec 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/29/97
to

Chris,
I am a former librarian (and current reading teacher)
interested in whether intellectual property law allows for
lending/borrowing computer games in the same way that, for example,
you can check out books, tapes, CD's, etc. from the library. Could
someone who owns e.g. Magnetic Scrolls games put them on the web in a
currently readable format and allow people to borrow them to play if
they agreed to wipe them out after they were done? Or is the fact
that there are two copies when someone "borrows" them the real
problem?
Just curious.

Lelah

Chris Marriott

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Dec 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/29/97
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In article <34a7eb34...@news.efn.org>, Lelah Conrad
<lco...@lane.k12.or.us> writes

>I am a former librarian (and current reading teacher)
>interested in whether intellectual property law allows for
>lending/borrowing computer games in the same way that, for example,
>you can check out books, tapes, CD's, etc. from the library. Could
>someone who owns e.g. Magnetic Scrolls games put them on the web in a
>currently readable format and allow people to borrow them to play if
>they agreed to wipe them out after they were done? Or is the fact
>that there are two copies when someone "borrows" them the real
>problem?

Software "rental" is specifically prohibited by law in both the USA and
UK. I don't know whether what you're suggesting would be considered
"rental", but it's so close to it that I certainly wouldn't want to take
the risk :-).

There's a fundamental difference between a book and a computer program.
When you buy a book, you're doing exactly that - buying the book. It's
yours, and you can do with it whatever you wish; lend it out to your
friends, sell it, whatever.

What you buy software you're NOT buying the software itself; you're
buying a *licence* which allows you to use the software, and that
licence spells out exactly what is, or is not allowed. In my software,
for example, I grant people the right to install it on however many
computers they own, as long as only one is used at any given time.

What you propose is basically tantamount to publically copying the
software; it would be impossible to control which computers it would be
installed on, and would be an open invitation for copyright violation,
the penalty for which in the USA is a statutary $100,000 fine under the
1976 "Federal Copyright Act", by which the USA became a signatory to the
international "Berne Copyright Convention".

Short answer: no :-).

Lelah Conrad

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Dec 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/29/97
to

Well, Chris, you may be legally right, but here's the rub:
does this mean that in the digitized future that is coming, when just
about everything has become software, everything will be pay per view
(or use)? I find this disturbing, if only because free public
libraries have been and are a major source of public education, as
well as enjoyment. Or perhaps only the wealthy will have the means to
access software ....
But wait! -- maybe it's already that way ...

Lelah

Neil K.

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Dec 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/29/97
to

lco...@lane.k12.or.us wrote:

> Well, Chris, you may be legally right, but here's the rub:
> does this mean that in the digitized future that is coming, when just
> about everything has become software, everything will be pay per view
> (or use)? I find this disturbing, if only because free public
> libraries have been and are a major source of public education, as

> well as enjoyment. [..]

That's what people like Bill Gates have been advocating for years. So far
it hasn't been practical, but soon it will be - from a technical
standpoint, anyway. Imagine a future when every time you double-click a
Microsoft icon a tiny little fee will be sent back over the Net to
Redmond. Multiply all those tiny little fees a billionfold... soon it adds
up to real money!

> [...] Or perhaps only the wealthy will have the means to
> access software ....

Yup. Or do anything.

- Neil K.

--
t e l a computer consulting + design * Vancouver, BC, Canada
web: http://www.tela.bc.ca/tela/ * email: tela @ tela.bc.ca

Matt Ackeret

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Dec 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/30/97
to

In article <34a7eb34...@news.efn.org>,

Lelah Conrad <lco...@lane.k12.or.us> wrote:
> I am a former librarian (and current reading teacher)
>interested in whether intellectual property law allows for
>lending/borrowing computer games in the same way that, for example,
>you can check out books, tapes, CD's, etc. from the library. Could
>someone who owns e.g. Magnetic Scrolls games put them on the web in a
>currently readable format and allow people to borrow them to play if
>they agreed to wipe them out after they were done? Or is the fact
>that there are two copies when someone "borrows" them the real
>problem?

Yes, the fact that there are two copies when someone "borrows" them is
the real problem. (Actually there would be more than two since as many
people as wanted to could download it from your web page.)

If you were the owner of the program, and physically mailed around the
disk containing the program, and each borrower/renter deleted the program
after using it, THEN that would be legal (at least in the US). It involves
the "first sale" rule.

The following recommendation is _indirectly_ related, but your question
made me think of it --

For a *very* fascinating book about the development of the VCR, and
specifically, the Universal vs. Sony case about recording stuff off of TV
for time-shifting, and the development of the videotape rental industry,
I suggest you find the book "Fast Forward" by James Lardner. I just
finished reading it yesterday. It's a *great* book. It's out of print,
but Amazon.com found it for me. (I also found another out of print book,
"Bad Science" from another bookstore. Damn I love the net.)
--
mat...@area.com

Matt Ackeret

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Dec 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/30/97
to

In article <1S5E4PAM...@chrism.demon.co.uk>,

Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>In article <34a7eb34...@news.efn.org>, Lelah Conrad
><lco...@lane.k12.or.us> writes

>>I am a former librarian (and current reading teacher)
>>interested in whether intellectual property law allows for
>>lending/borrowing computer games in the same way that, for example,
>>you can check out books, tapes, CD's, etc. from the library. Could
>>someone who owns e.g. Magnetic Scrolls games put them on the web in a
>>currently readable format and allow people to borrow them to play if
>>they agreed to wipe them out after they were done? Or is the fact
>>that there are two copies when someone "borrows" them the real
>>problem?
>
>Software "rental" is specifically prohibited by law in both the USA and
>UK. I don't know whether what you're suggesting would be considered
>"rental", but it's so close to it that I certainly wouldn't want to take
>the risk :-).

Could you please state the laws defining this?

As I quoted in another reply, the "first sale" doctrine states that you can
sell, rent, destroy what you have bought. This is definitely true for
videotapes (a form of "software"). I would like to know evidence if this
is *not* true for computer software, but I suspect that it is the same as
they're both really analogous situations.
--
mat...@area.com

Simon 'Tufty' Stapleton

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Dec 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/30/97
to

mat...@area.com (Matt Ackeret) writes:

> >
> >Software "rental" is specifically prohibited by law in both the USA and
> >UK. I don't know whether what you're suggesting would be considered
> >"rental", but it's so close to it that I certainly wouldn't want to take
> >the risk :-).
>
> Could you please state the laws defining this?
>
> As I quoted in another reply, the "first sale" doctrine states that you can
> sell, rent, destroy what you have bought. This is definitely true for
> videotapes (a form of "software"). I would like to know evidence if this
> is *not* true for computer software, but I suspect that it is the same as
> they're both really analogous situations.
> --
> mat...@area.com

I rather think that if you look at the copyright message on a bought
videotape it states specifically that you are NOT allowed to rent or resell
that tape. I think you're wrong.

Simon

--
_______
| ----- | Biased output from the demented brain of
||MacOS|| Simon Stapleton.
|| NOW ||
| ----- | sstaple AT liffe DoT com
| -+-.| (if you can't figure it out...)
|洵洵洵洱
-------

Magnus Olsson

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Dec 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/30/97
to

In article <689qsn$rbq$1...@nixon.area.com>,

Matt Ackeret <mat...@area.com> wrote:
>In article <1S5E4PAM...@chrism.demon.co.uk>,
>Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>Software "rental" is specifically prohibited by law in both the USA and
>>UK. I don't know whether what you're suggesting would be considered
>>"rental", but it's so close to it that I certainly wouldn't want to take
>>the risk :-).
>
>Could you please state the laws defining this?
>
>As I quoted in another reply, the "first sale" doctrine states that you can
>sell, rent, destroy what you have bought. This is definitely true for
>videotapes (a form of "software"). I would like to know evidence if this
>is *not* true for computer software, but I suspect that it is the same as
>they're both really analogous situations.

The point is that these rights can be "written away" in a contract. At
least in Swedish law, there are lots of rules concerning sales that
are valid by default, but can be overridden in a contract.

So when you buy software, you're entering into a license agreement with
the seller. This is why it says "by opening this shrink-wrapped product,
you agree to the terms of the License. If you do not agree with those
terms, return the package unopened for a refund."

And that license agreement restricts your right to *use* the software,
as well as to lend, lease or re-sell it.

I know for a fact that Oracle don't allow the re-sale of their
licenses, at least not in Sweden.

David A. Cornelson

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Dec 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/30/97
to

In article <fake-mail-291...@van-52-0829.direct.ca>,

fake...@anti-spam.address (Neil K.) wrote:
>
> lco...@lane.k12.or.us wrote:
>
> > Well, Chris, you may be legally right, but here's the rub:
> > does this mean that in the digitized future that is coming, when just
> > about everything has become software, everything will be pay per view
> > (or use)? I find this disturbing, if only because free public

There was an article in National Geographic several years ago based on
this discussion. I wrote a little reply that must of accidently gotten
published a few months later.

The gist of my reply was this:

Anything that can be done, will be done. I'm a strong believer in ethics
and abiding by the law. However, we seem to forget how often we break the
law. How often have you copied a CD or Album onto a casette tape? We've
all done it numerous times, especially building our little rock
collections, dreary love song collections, and worse.

My theory is that this will not only grow, but become the first brick
removed from the foundation of publishing as we see it today. In only a
couple of months/years, you will be able to package a CD or Video in an
encrypted file and send it to whoever you wish. Based on the encryption
algorythms of today (on better tomorrow), there isn't a filter in the
world that will be able to track this tiny little transaction.

Certainly people that do it for profit and/or on a large scale will
likely be located and punished severely. But most of us will get away
with it.

Why would we do it? That's simple and has already been mentioned.
Economics. If you're the new generation that hasn't had the ethics
classes that I was forced to take along with my computer classes, then
you don't care. You won't pay the $27.95 for the latest Tom Clancy novel
or $16.99 for the latest Sting CD. You'll simply wait until a friend buys
it or you'll build a private little co- op with a bunch of net friends
and the price per person is reduced to pennies.

If anyone does not believe this will happen, they are simply hiding from
the fact that we are moving towards an information free society faster
than the economics can keep up and I see no technology or law that can
change it.

My opinion. I could be wrong.

David A. Cornelson, Chicago

PS I'm sure the Chinese are secretly laughing at us....

-------------------==== Posted via Deja News ====-----------------------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Post to Usenet

Paul O'Brian

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Dec 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/30/97
to

On Mon, 29 Dec 1997, Chris Marriott wrote:

> Software "rental" is specifically prohibited by law in both the USA and
> UK.

Really? Wow! I didn't know that. I imagine this doesn't apply to such
things as Nintendo cartridges, etc, since I see those for rental at the
local Blockbuster Video. Come to think of it, the big chain grocery store
down the street from me rents CD-ROMs. Are they breaking the law? How
about libraries that lend out software? Are they exempt because they don't
make a profit from the software's distribution?

Paul O'Brian obr...@ucsu.colorado.edu
"I think it's important to remember that no one falls into a simple set of
labels. Even more important is to learn from your mistakes, and to fight
for the positive choice." -- Lindsey Buckingham


Arcum Dagsson

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Dec 30, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/30/97
to

In article <68afvh$ipd$1...@bartlet.df.lth.se>, m...@bartlet.df.lth.se (Magnus
Olsson) wrote:

> In article <689qsn$rbq$1...@nixon.area.com>,
> Matt Ackeret <mat...@area.com> wrote:
> >In article <1S5E4PAM...@chrism.demon.co.uk>,

> >Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> >>Software "rental" is specifically prohibited by law in both the USA and

> >>UK. I don't know whether what you're suggesting would be considered
> >>"rental", but it's so close to it that I certainly wouldn't want to take
> >>the risk :-).
> >
> >Could you please state the laws defining this?
> >
> >As I quoted in another reply, the "first sale" doctrine states that you can
> >sell, rent, destroy what you have bought. This is definitely true for
> >videotapes (a form of "software"). I would like to know evidence if this
> >is *not* true for computer software, but I suspect that it is the same as
> >they're both really analogous situations.
>
> The point is that these rights can be "written away" in a contract. At
> least in Swedish law, there are lots of rules concerning sales that
> are valid by default, but can be overridden in a contract.
>
> So when you buy software, you're entering into a license agreement with
> the seller. This is why it says "by opening this shrink-wrapped product,
> you agree to the terms of the License. If you do not agree with those
> terms, return the package unopened for a refund."
>
> And that license agreement restricts your right to *use* the software,
> as well as to lend, lease or re-sell it.
>
> I know for a fact that Oracle don't allow the re-sale of their
> licenses, at least not in Sweden.
>
> --
> Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, zeb...@pobox.com)
> ------ http://www.pobox.com/~zebulon ------
> Not officially connected to LU or LTH.

Of course, these agreements are usually hidden in the package where you
can't see them until you've already opened it, so the refund promise is
not really collectable, and you don't know what you've agreed to until
it's too late.(ie: you've opened the package)

Am I the only one who sees a bit of a problem here? An agreement that you
can't read until after you've, in essence, signed it?

Just a personal pet peeve.
Hmmm...

>PET PEEVE
The peeve rubs up against your leg. You have made a new best friend.
<Your score has increased by one point! To turn off this notice, type NOSCORE.>
--Arcum Dagsson
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Did you have a baby today? You will. And the companies that will bring it to you are BofA and AT&T...

Mason Reed

unread,
Dec 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/31/97
to

On Tue, 30 Dec 1997 07:32:05 -0600, David A. Cornelson
<dcorn...@placet.com> wrote:

>In article <fake-mail-291...@van-52-0829.direct.ca>,
> fake...@anti-spam.address (Neil K.) wrote:
>>
>> lco...@lane.k12.or.us wrote:
>>
>> > Well, Chris, you may be legally right, but here's the rub:
>> > does this mean that in the digitized future that is coming, when just
>> > about everything has become software, everything will be pay per view
>> > (or use)? I find this disturbing, if only because free public
>
>There was an article in National Geographic several years ago based on
>this discussion. I wrote a little reply that must of accidently gotten
>published a few months later.
>
>The gist of my reply was this:
>
>Anything that can be done, will be done. I'm a strong believer in ethics
>and abiding by the law. However, we seem to forget how often we break the
>law. How often have you copied a CD or Album onto a casette tape? We've
>all done it numerous times, especially building our little rock
>collections, dreary love song collections, and worse.
>
>My theory is that this will not only grow, but become the first brick
>removed from the foundation of publishing as we see it today. In only a
>couple of months/years, you will be able to package a CD or Video in an
>encrypted file and send it to whoever you wish. Based on the encryption
>algorythms of today (on better tomorrow), there isn't a filter in the
>world that will be able to track this tiny little transaction.

Just an intresting FYI: This is legal for audio recordings made
within the United States for non-comerical purposes. See
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/ch10.html. I've included the
most relevent secions from that WWW page below.

Section 1008 is the most intresting one, which basically states you
can make copies of audio tapes (both digital and analog) to your
hearts content, as long as you don't sell them (directly or indirectly
-- you can't give away tapes, for instance, to get people to come to
your store).

Rather odd, huh? Based on my reading of this, it should be perfectly
legal to give away copies of music over the internet -- as long as
your site did not / could not earn you any money ( the argument would
be that the internet constitutes a "digital recording medium" ).

** Excert from Cornwell University's http version of the US Code **

CHAPTER 10 - DIGITAL AUDIO RECORDING DEVICES AND MEDIA

§ 1003. Obligation to make royalty payments

(a) Prohibition on Importation and Manufacture. - No person
shall import into and distribute, or manufacture and distribute, any
digital audio recording device or digital audio recording medium
unless such person records the notice specified by this section and
subsequently deposits the statements of account and applicable royalty
payments for such device or medium specified in section 1004.
(b) Filing of Notice. - The importer or manufacturer of any
digital audio recording device or digital audio recording medium,
within a product category or utilizing a technology with respect to
which such manufacturer or importer has not previously filed a notice
under this subsection, shall file with the Register of Copyrights a
notice with respect to such device or medium, in such form and content
as the Register shall prescribe by regulation.
(c) Filing of Quarterly and Annual Statements of Account.
(1) Generally. - Any importer or manufacturer that
distributes any digital audio recording device or digital audio
recording medium that it manufactured or imported shall file with the
Register of Copyrights, in such form and content as the Register shall
prescribe by regulation, such quarterly and annual statements of
account with respect to such distribution as the Register shall
prescribe by regulation.
(2) Certification, verification, and confidentiality.
- Each such statement shall be certified as accurate by an authorized
officer or principal of the importer or manufacturer. The Register
shall issue regulations to provide for the verification and audit of
such statements and to protect the confidentiality of the information
contained in such statements. Such regulations shall provide for the
disclosure, in confidence, of such statements to interested copyright
parties.
(3) Royalty payments. - Each such statement shall be
accompanied by the royalty payments specified in section 1004.

§ 1004. Royalty payments

(a) Digital Audio Recording Devices. -
(1) Amount of payment. - The royalty payment due under
section 1003 for each digital audio recording device imported into and
distributed in the United States, or manufactured and distributed in
the United States, shall be 2 percent of the transfer price. Only the
first person to manufacture and distribute or import and distribute
such device shall be required to pay the royalty with respect to such
device.
(2) Calculation for devices distributed with other
devices. - With respect to a digital audio recording device first
distributed in combination with one or more devices, either as a
physically integrated unit or as separate components, the royalty
payment shall be calculated as follows:
(A) If the digital audio recording device and
such other devices are part of a physically integrated unit, the
royalty payment shall be based on the transfer price of the unit, but
shall be reduced by any royalty payment made on any digital audio
recording device included within the unit that was not first
distributed in combination with the unit.
(B) If the digital audio recording device is
not part of a physically integrated unit and substantially similar
devices have been distributed separately at any time during the
preceding 4 calendar quarters, the royalty payment shall be based on
the average transfer price of such devices during those 4 quarters.
•(C) If the digital audio recording device is not part of a physically
integrated unit and substantially similar devices have not been
distributed separately at any time during the preceding 4 calendar
quarters, the royalty payment shall be based on a constructed price
reflecting the proportional value of such device to the combination as
a whole.
(3) Limits on royalties. - Notwithstanding paragraph
(1) or (2), the amount of the royalty payment for each digital audio
recording device shall not be less than $1 nor more than the royalty
maximum. The royalty maximum shall be $8 per device, except that in
the case of a physically integrated unit containing more than 1
digital audio recording device, the royalty maximum for such unit
shall be $12. During the 6th year after the effective date of this
chapter, and not more than once each year thereafter, any interested
copyright party may petition the Librarian of Congress to increase the
royalty maximum and, if more than 20 percent of the royalty payments
are at the relevant royalty maximum, the Librarian of Congress shall
prospectively increase such royalty maximum with the goal of having no
more than 10 percent of such payments at the new royalty maximum;
however the amount of any such increase as a percentage of the royalty
maximum shall in no event exceed the percentage increase in the
Consumer Price Index during the period under review.
(b) Digital Audio Recording Media. - The royalty payment due
under section 1003 for each digital audio recording medium imported
into and distributed in the United States, or manufactured and
distributed in the United States, shall be 3 percent of the transfer
price. Only the first person to manufacture and distribute or import
and distribute such medium shall be required to pay the royalty with
respect to such medium.

§ 1008. Prohibition on certain infringement actions

No action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of
copyright based on the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a
digital audio recording device, a digital audio recording medium, an
analog recording device, or an analog recording medium, or based on
the noncommercial use by a consumer of such a device or medium for
making digital musical recordings or analog musical recordings.

Thomas Galen Ault

unread,
Dec 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/31/97
to

In article <883488075....@dejanews.com>,

David A. Cornelson <dcorn...@placet.com> wrote:
>In article <fake-mail-291...@van-52-0829.direct.ca>,
> fake...@anti-spam.address (Neil K.) wrote:
>>
>> lco...@lane.k12.or.us wrote:
>>
>> > Well, Chris, you may be legally right, but here's the rub:
>> > does this mean that in the digitized future that is coming, when just
>> > about everything has become software, everything will be pay per view
>> > (or use)? I find this disturbing, if only because free public
>
>There was an article in National Geographic several years ago based on
>this discussion. I wrote a little reply that must of accidently gotten
>published a few months later.
>
>The gist of my reply was this:
>
>Anything that can be done, will be done. I'm a strong believer in ethics
>and abiding by the law. However, we seem to forget how often we break the
>law. How often have you copied a CD or Album onto a casette tape? We've
>all done it numerous times, especially building our little rock
>collections, dreary love song collections, and worse.
>
>My theory is that this will not only grow, but become the first brick
>removed from the foundation of publishing as we see it today. In only a
>couple of months/years, you will be able to package a CD or Video in an
>encrypted file and send it to whoever you wish. Based on the encryption
>algorythms of today (on better tomorrow), there isn't a filter in the
>world that will be able to track this tiny little transaction.

We've already been there. In the 80's, software game companies faced a rather
large software piracy problem; I personally knew people with hundreds of
illegally-copied games. Nevertheless, the software industry survived. Why?
Because the copy-protection schemes were effective, not against the
experienced hacker or software pirate, but against the average user. For
most users, it was easier to purchase software at the local store than wait
for the cracked version to appear on a local BBS, if it ever did.

Now there were programs available that could copy protected software, but
these were often ineffective against the latest copy protection schemes.
By the time these programs were updated to include these copy protection
schemes, the software they were intended to copy was out-of-date.

Another example: movie rentals on video tape. It's very easy to copy a
rented movie if you have two VCRs; you and your friends could get together
and make your own copies of the latest releases for slightly more than the
cost of a blank tape. Nevertheless, most people don't do this, because most
people only own one VCR, and because it's too much effort for the few movies
you actually want to own.

>
>Certainly people that do it for profit and/or on a large scale will
>likely be located and punished severely. But most of us will get away
>with it.
>
>Why would we do it? That's simple and has already been mentioned.
>Economics. If you're the new generation that hasn't had the ethics
>classes that I was forced to take along with my computer classes, then
>you don't care. You won't pay the $27.95 for the latest Tom Clancy novel
>or $16.99 for the latest Sting CD. You'll simply wait until a friend buys
>it or you'll build a private little co- op with a bunch of net friends
>and the price per person is reduced to pennies.

Economics is also the reason why some media will never be distributed
in electronic format if they cannot be adequately protected from
illegal distribution. You seem to have made the assumption that just
because publishing *can* be done across the Internet, that it *will*
be done. This is wrong. Works will only be published electronically
if the benefits outweigh the costs. A publishing house simply won't
release Tom Clancy's novel in electronic form if costs from piracy
are greater than savings from lowered production and publishing costs;
likewise, movies won't be released on DVDs if a copy of that movie can be
easily transmitted across the Internet.

(As a side note, I doubt if movies on DVD will be transmitted across the
Internet anytime soon. We're talking about several gigabytes of data,
even using the latest compression technology.)

In addition, as I mentioned earlier, preventative measures only have to be
effective against the average user. It doesn't matter if a small elite can
copy the work, so long as it takes more effort for the general public to
aquire it legally than illegally.

>
>If anyone does not believe this will happen, they are simply hiding from
>the fact that we are moving towards an information free society faster
>than the economics can keep up and I see no technology or law that can
>change it.

I think you don't really understand the situation. Publishing houses and
software companies aren't stupid. If releasing information electronically
will kill their business, they simply won't do it.

Tom Ault

Thomas Galen Ault

unread,
Dec 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/31/97
to

In article <Pine.GSO.3.96.97123...@ucsu.Colorado.EDU>,
Paul O'Brian <obrian...@colorado.edu> wrote:

>On Mon, 29 Dec 1997, Chris Marriott wrote:
>
>> Software "rental" is specifically prohibited by law in both the USA and
>> UK.
>
>Really? Wow! I didn't know that. I imagine this doesn't apply to such
>things as Nintendo cartridges, etc, since I see those for rental at the
>local Blockbuster Video. Come to think of it, the big chain grocery store
>down the street from me rents CD-ROMs. Are they breaking the law? How
>about libraries that lend out software? Are they exempt because they don't
>make a profit from the software's distribution?

No, because libraries, video stores, etc. all purchase these software titles
with written agreements from the manufacturer that allow them to rent these
titles out to others. The laws in the US (and presumably the UK as well)
only prevent the rental of software to others by those *without* such
agreements.

Of course, software purchased with such agreements cost a lot more than
software purchased without.

Tom Ault


Magnus Olsson

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Dec 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/31/97
to

In article <68cjff$1...@mtinsc03.worldnet.att.net>,
Arcum Dagsson <Arcum_...@hotmail.com> wrote:

(About software license agreements)

>Of course, these agreements are usually hidden in the package where you
>can't see them until you've already opened it, so the refund promise is
>not really collectable, and you don't know what you've agreed to until
>it's too late.(ie: you've opened the package)

Weren't that kind of licenses declared illegal, or at least not
legally binding, a few years ago? I think they were over here, at least
I haven't seen any such idiocy for quite some time.

Stephen Robert Norris

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Dec 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/31/97
to

In article <68cjff$1...@mtinsc03.worldnet.att.net>,
Arcum_...@hotmail.com (Arcum Dagsson) intoned:

> Of course, these agreements are usually hidden in the package where you
> can't see them until you've already opened it, so the refund promise is
> not really collectable, and you don't know what you've agreed to until
> it's too late.(ie: you've opened the package)

In Australia, such "shrink-wrap" licenses are invalid. You can't agree
to a contract without informed consent. I suspect that this is true in
the UK too (it's a common law thing).

Stephen

Mason Reed

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Dec 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/31/97
to

On 30 Dec 1997 03:47:35 GMT, mat...@area.com (Matt Ackeret) wrote:

>In article <1S5E4PAM...@chrism.demon.co.uk>,
>Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>>In article <34a7eb34...@news.efn.org>, Lelah Conrad
>><lco...@lane.k12.or.us> writes
>>>I am a former librarian (and current reading teacher)
>>>interested in whether intellectual property law allows for
>>>lending/borrowing computer games in the same way that, for example,
>>>you can check out books, tapes, CD's, etc. from the library. Could
>>>someone who owns e.g. Magnetic Scrolls games put them on the web in a
>>>currently readable format and allow people to borrow them to play if
>>>they agreed to wipe them out after they were done? Or is the fact
>>>that there are two copies when someone "borrows" them the real
>>>problem?
>>

>>Software "rental" is specifically prohibited by law in both the USA and

>>UK. I don't know whether what you're suggesting would be considered
>>"rental", but it's so close to it that I certainly wouldn't want to take
>>the risk :-).
>
>Could you please state the laws defining this?

Easy -- read the license agreement that comes will all of the SW that
is sold today. The trick here is that you are not being sold the SW
at all -- rather, a license to use the SW in certain specified ways.
Since most of the current SW licenses prohibity the rental of SW, you
can't do that.

It has also been established (in court) that the "selling" of SW, with
the expectation that it will be returned within some (normally fairly
short) period of time for a refund less a "restocking fee" is
equivlent to rental, and is prohibited if rental is prohibited in the
license agreement.

I can't give you the referances on this, because I can't get to the
SPA site (www.spa.org), but I checked it out when a store got closed
down for illegal rental of SW.

jmr...@concentric.net (Mason Reed)

Chris Marriott

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Dec 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/31/97
to

In article <68cjff$1...@mtinsc03.worldnet.att.net>, Arcum Dagsson
<Arcum_...@hotmail.com> writes

>Of course, these agreements are usually hidden in the package where you
>can't see them until you've already opened it, so the refund promise is
>not really collectable, and you don't know what you've agreed to until
>it's too late.(ie: you've opened the package)
>
>Am I the only one who sees a bit of a problem here? An agreement that you
>can't read until after you've, in essence, signed it?

That's why more and more software companies are now switching to
"installation" licence agreements, where you have to click an "I Agree"
button to install the software. Such licence agreements have been held
to be legally binding in both US and UK courts recently.

Andrew Plotkin

unread,
Dec 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/31/97
to

Arcum Dagsson (Arcum_...@hotmail.com) wrote:
> Of course, these agreements are usually hidden in the package where you
> can't see them until you've already opened it, so the refund promise is
> not really collectable, and you don't know what you've agreed to until
> it's too late.(ie: you've opened the package)
>
> Am I the only one who sees a bit of a problem here? An agreement that you
> can't read until after you've, in essence, signed it?

I don't think that describes it. Universally, in the past few years, the
license has been on the *software installer* -- you don't (in essence)
sign it until you're about to run the program.

And every retailer has a shrink-wrap machine in back, for software
returns.

--Z

--

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

Matt Ackeret

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Jan 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/1/98
to

In article <wzoh1zd...@No.Bloody.Where>,
Simon 'Tufty' Stapleton <Si...@No.Bloody.Where> wrote:

>mat...@area.com (Matt Ackeret) writes:
>> >Software "rental" is specifically prohibited by law in both the USA and
>> >UK. I don't know whether what you're suggesting would be considered
...

>> Could you please state the laws defining this?
>>
>> As I quoted in another reply, the "first sale" doctrine states that you can
>> sell, rent, destroy what you have bought. This is definitely true for
>> videotapes (a form of "software"). I would like to know evidence if this
>> is *not* true for computer software, but I suspect that it is the same as
>> they're both really analogous situations.
>I rather think that if you look at the copyright message on a bought
>videotape it states specifically that you are NOT allowed to rent or resell
>that tape. I think you're wrong.

I realize that counterexample is not proof.. However if it were truly
illegal to rent or resell videotapes, why would large corporations continue
to exist, such as Blockbuster?

Again, I suggest you read "Fast Forward" by James Garnder. It's mostly
about the VCR itself, but gets into the rental issues and a bunch of
schemes that companies tried to make rental go away (or at least for them
to get more money than the first sale).

Maybe it's not true in other countries.. but the first sale doctrine is true.

Also, about the licenses on other software people have mentioned -- hasn't
it been shown in court that those are basically worthless? (from a legal
standpoint I mean.) I don't mean you can COPY the software. I mean that
the _additional_ restrictions the license that you can't read *until* you
open it put on you.
--
mat...@area.com

Chris Marriott

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Jan 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/1/98
to

In article <68enkq$n6v$1...@nixon.area.com>, Matt Ackeret
<mat...@area.com> writes

>Also, about the licenses on other software people have mentioned -- hasn't
>it been shown in court that those are basically worthless?

No. There have been cases in both the US and British courts in the last
couple of years which have set a precedent for installation licence
agreements being legally binding.

mathew

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Jan 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/1/98
to

Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk> (proud Microsoft proponent)

wrote:
> There's a fundamental difference between a book and a computer program.
> When you buy a book, you're doing exactly that - buying the book. It's
> yours, and you can do with it whatever you wish; lend it out to your
> friends, sell it, whatever.
>
> What you buy software you're NOT buying the software itself; you're
> buying a *licence* which allows you to use the software, and that
> licence spells out exactly what is, or is not allowed.

This is a matter of debate, in the UK at least.

You can provide a license which grants the user permission to copy,
subject to certain conditions. I don't believe you can provide a
license which restricts what the user may do with a single copy which he
has already legally purchased, so long as he doesn't copy it; and I'm
not aware of any unsigned unclicked-on shrinkwrap license ever having
been enforced in the UK. (In fact, there's case law throwing out many
shrinkwrap licenses.) At the company I used to work for, we
specifically required a signed license agreement from the customer, for
exactly this reason.

You may argue that the act of copying the program from the original disk
into memory is copying, and hence requires agreement to the license.
I'm not aware of any case law, but I suspect that this would likely be
deemed "fair use" -- after all, how are you supposed to make use of the
software you have purchased unless you are allowed to load it into the
computer's memory to run it?

Of course, all of this is irrelevant to the Magnetic Scrolls issue.
Copying the software to a web site, and then allowing it to be copied
further by many individuals, would clearly be copyright violation and
not fair use of a purchased product.

> What you propose is basically tantamount to publically copying the
> software; it would be impossible to control which computers it would be
> installed on, and would be an open invitation for copyright violation,
> the penalty for which in the USA is a statutary $100,000 fine under the
> 1976 "Federal Copyright Act", by which the USA became a signatory to the
> international "Berne Copyright Convention".

Worse than that. Bill Clinton has recently signed into law a bill which
makes it a *felony* to copy more than a certain amount of copyright
material without permission of the copyright holder. So if you put all
the Magnetic Scrolls games on a web site, you could be looking at jail
time if caught.


mathew
--
404 @ <URL:http://www.pobox.com/%7Emeta/>

mathew

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Jan 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/1/98
to

Mason Reed <jmr...@concentric.net> wrote:
> Just an intresting FYI: This is legal for audio recordings made
> within the United States for non-comerical purposes. See
> http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/ch10.html. I've included the
> most relevent secions from that WWW page below.
>
> Section 1008 is the most intresting one, which basically states you
> can make copies of audio tapes (both digital and analog) to your
> hearts content, as long as you don't sell them (directly or indirectly
> -- you can't give away tapes, for instance, to get people to come to
> your store).

Not true any more. Check out the stories about the copyright bill
signed into law last month. It is now a felony to copy more than a


certain amount of copyright material without permission of the copyright

holder. This applies even if you don't make any money, and even if it's
done for academic study. There was much lobbying against the new bill,
but it was signed off by Bill Clinton anyway.

mathew

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Jan 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/1/98
to

Magnus Olsson <m...@bartlet.df.lth.se> wrote:
> The point is that these rights can be "written away" in a contract. At
> least in Swedish law, there are lots of rules concerning sales that
> are valid by default, but can be overridden in a contract.
>
> So when you buy software, you're entering into a license agreement with
> the seller. This is why it says "by opening this shrink-wrapped product,
> you agree to the terms of the License. If you do not agree with those
> terms, return the package unopened for a refund."

Under UK law at least, you cannot be held to a contract which you have
not signed, which the contract writer cannot even prove that you ever
saw.

mathew

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Jan 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/1/98
to

Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk> (proud Microsoft proponent)
wrote:
> That's why more and more software companies are now switching to
> "installation" licence agreements, where you have to click an "I Agree"
> button to install the software. Such licence agreements have been held
> to be legally binding in both US and UK courts recently.

I've seen a Mac program which clicks default buttons after the machine
is left idle for a while. Looks like I should install it.

A colleague of mine always gives software to his 8 year old kid to open
and install.

And don't forget to make a few copies of the program *before* you run
the installer and click on the "Agree" button...

Magnus Olsson

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Jan 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/1/98
to

In article <1d26mxm.yjk...@d26.b65.cmb.ma.ultra.net>,

Under Swedish law, a signature is not necessary: even oral agreements
are valid (and I suppose they are under UK law as well). Of course,
there's the problem of proving that anything was agreed in the first
place, and for software licenses there is the problem of proving that
- as you write - the user saw it in the first place. Which is why, I
suppose, the "click this button if you agree to the license" is so
popular nowadays.

David A. Cornelson

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Jan 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/1/98
to

In article <68cojq$9dq$1...@goldenapple.srv.cs.cmu.edu>,

tom...@cs.cmu.edu (Thomas Galen Ault) wrote:
>
> In article <883488075....@dejanews.com>,
> David A. Cornelson <dcorn...@placet.com> wrote:
> >In article <fake-mail-291...@van-52-0829.direct.ca>,
> > fake...@anti-spam.address (Neil K.) wrote:
> >>
> >> lco...@lane.k12.or.us wrote:
> >>
<snip>

>
> We've already been there. In the 80's, software game companies faced a rather
>

First of all, this is a "discussion" of what may potentially happen in the
future. We're brainstorming...not saying "this is what I believe"...

Now...comparing the copy-protection and video dubbing does not translate
to the sort of technology we'll have in the coming years. A song or group
of songs, a book, a movie....these things all have rather limited, static
lengths where digitization is concerned.

Question 1: Will people be able to copy these items? (whether the
publisher places them into the digital media or not!) Answer: Yes

Question 2: In a few years, will technology allow us to move large
amounts of data from location to location? (via phone lines or satelite
or other) Answer: Yes

Question 3: Will the masses have this ability? Answer: I believe that
eventually they will, because once a song is digitized, it's selling
ability becomes less and less over time. Take a Beatles song, "Hey Jude",
relatively popular over the years. Anybody who enjoys this song will no
doubt "copy" it from a friend onto their home PC, which will also be
their stereo. Publishing houses make a great deal of money by
re-publishing old works. If a person can locate an illegal digital copy,
they likely will, instead of paying $9.95 for a paperback that they'll
likely throw out anyway. There is already software that will "speak" the
book to you too.

Your argument is one of control and that is exactly my point. Control is
no longer the strength of the publishing houses. They are and will very
likely lose control of their property.

I do understand the issues. I don't believe it matters what the publishing
houses do. I think they're doomed.

David A. Cornelson, Chicago

Chris Marriott

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Jan 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/1/98
to

In article <1d26n4i.1md...@d26.b65.cmb.ma.ultra.net>, mathew
<me...@pobox.com> writes

>And don't forget to make a few copies of the program *before* you run
>the installer and click on the "Agree" button...

Sorry, I don't understand what you mean; why do you do that?

Chris Marriott

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Jan 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/1/98
to

In article <1d26m90.t6...@d26.b65.cmb.ma.ultra.net>, mathew
<me...@pobox.com> writes

>Worse than that. Bill Clinton has recently signed into law a bill which
>makes it a *felony* to copy more than a certain amount of copyright
>material without permission of the copyright holder. So if you put all
>the Magnetic Scrolls games on a web site, you could be looking at jail
>time if caught.

Good. About time the US gave software (and other) authors decent
protection for their livelyhood.

Joanna Marie Delaune

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Jan 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/2/98
to

18490...@van-52-0829.direct.ca> <883488075....@dejanews.com> <34acda70...@news.supernews.com> <1d26mq2.8o...@d26.b65.cmb.ma.ultra.net>
Organization: The University of Southern Mississippi
Distribution:

mathew (me...@pobox.com) wrote:

: Not true any more. Check out the stories about the copyright bill
: signed into law last month. It is now a felony to copy more than a


: certain amount of copyright material without permission of the copyright

: holder. This applies even if you don't make any money, and even if it's


: done for academic study. There was much lobbying against the new bill,
: but it was signed off by Bill Clinton anyway.

WHAT!!?!

As a college student, I'm often required to photocopy materials for study.
(Professors don't even tell us where we can buy it if they don't intend us
to.) I hadn't heard anything whatsoever about this new law. And the university
usually does a pretty good job of informing us what is legal and what isn't.

aargh.

Joanna M. DeLaune

Chris Marriott

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Jan 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/2/98
to

In article <68hsp0$fj1$1...@thorn.cc.usm.edu>, Joanna Marie Delaune
<jdel...@ocean.otr.usm.edu> writes

>As a college student, I'm often required to photocopy materials for study.
>(Professors don't even tell us where we can buy it if they don't intend us
>to.) I hadn't heard anything whatsoever about this new law. And the university
>usually does a pretty good job of informing us what is legal and what isn't.

Copyright law in the UK allows copying for what's called "fair use".
You're allowed to copy one article out of a magazine, or one chapter out
of a book.

Please remember that the purpose of copyright law is to protect the
livelyhood of the author of the book or computer program. I make my
living as a software author - I *depend* on the protection that
copyright law gives me to make my living!

Matthew T. Russotto

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Jan 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/2/98
to

In article <cRt+4aAY...@chrism.demon.co.uk>,

Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk> wrote:
}In article <1d26m90.t6...@d26.b65.cmb.ma.ultra.net>, mathew
}<me...@pobox.com> writes
}>Worse than that. Bill Clinton has recently signed into law a bill which
}>makes it a *felony* to copy more than a certain amount of copyright
}>material without permission of the copyright holder. So if you put all
}>the Magnetic Scrolls games on a web site, you could be looking at jail
}>time if caught.
}
}Good. About time the US gave software (and other) authors decent
}protection for their livelyhood.

It'll help Microsoft and Borland create fear of Bubba (the legendary
7' 300lb cellmate of convicted white-collar felons) by making a
few examples out of people, but the little guy can expect about as
much protection as he always gets: zero.
--
Matthew T. Russotto russ...@pond.com
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in pursuit
of justice is no virtue."

mathew

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Jan 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/3/98
to

Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> In article <1d26n4i.1md...@d26.b65.cmb.ma.ultra.net>, mathew
> <me...@pobox.com> writes
> >And don't forget to make a few copies of the program *before* you run
> >the installer and click on the "Agree" button...
>
> Sorry, I don't understand what you mean; why do you do that?

Because the license prohibits copying -- it doesn't prohibit keeping any
copies you already have. Writing a license which retrospectively
prohibited something you'd done *before* agreeing to the license would
be an interesting legal exercise.

mathew

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Jan 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/3/98
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Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> In article <1d26m90.t6...@d26.b65.cmb.ma.ultra.net>, mathew
> <me...@pobox.com> writes
> >Worse than that. Bill Clinton has recently signed into law a bill which
> >makes it a *felony* to copy more than a certain amount of copyright
> >material without permission of the copyright holder. So if you put all
> >the Magnetic Scrolls games on a web site, you could be looking at jail
> >time if caught.
>
> Good. About time the US gave software (and other) authors decent
> protection for their livelyhood.

It does initially sound like a good thing, doesn't it?

Now go back and read the thread about creative appropriation and The
Tempest a few months back.

William R Sherman

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Jan 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/3/98
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In article <...>, David A. Cornelson <dcorn...@placet.com> writes:
> Anything that can be done, will be done. I'm a strong believer in ethics
> and abiding by the law. However, we seem to forget how often we break the
> law. How often have you copied a CD or Album onto a casette tape? We've
> all done it numerous times, especially building our little rock
> collections, dreary love song collections, and worse.

And computer games of course. This group is pretty good at pointing
out that old games do not lose their copyright just because they're
hard to find -- though fortunately, a lot of the classics still are
available at good prices. However, there are other newsgroups that
focus on games where this is not the case. One look in any of the
emulator newsgroups turns up lots of places to get the roms (ie.
game files) for most of the home console video games from the past
couple decades.

> My theory is that this will not only grow, but become the first brick
> removed from the foundation of publishing as we see it today. In only a
> couple of months/years, you will be able to package a CD or Video in an
> encrypted file and send it to whoever you wish. Based on the encryption
> algorythms of today (on better tomorrow), there isn't a filter in the
> world that will be able to track this tiny little transaction.

Even without the filters, it's happening today. The catch is though,
that once someone is caught distributing illegal goods, their web
site usually is shut down, but in today's market of free web sites,
a new one pops up almost immediately.

> Certainly people that do it for profit and/or on a large scale will
> likely be located and punished severely. But most of us will get away
> with it.

Nintendo has been actively searching for and shutting down people
distributing roms over the net -- but there are still plenty of
sites out there.

> Why would we do it? That's simple and has already been mentioned.
> Economics. If you're the new generation that hasn't had the ethics
> classes that I was forced to take along with my computer classes, then
> you don't care. You won't pay the $27.95 for the latest Tom Clancy novel
> or $16.99 for the latest Sting CD. You'll simply wait until a friend buys
> it or you'll build a private little co- op with a bunch of net friends
> and the price per person is reduced to pennies.
>

> If anyone does not believe this will happen, they are simply hiding from
> the fact that we are moving towards an information free society faster
> than the economics can keep up and I see no technology or law that can
> change it.

Right, the best defence by publishers is to limit the ability of
would-be copiers (ie. software theifs) to copy. Currently, the
best way to do that is to stay ahead of the technology -- or avoid
technology altogether, but that limits the type of software you
can produce.

> My opinion. I could be wrong.
>
> David A. Cornelson, Chicago

Bill

/*************************************************************************/
/* Bill Sherman (wshe...@ncsa.uiuc.edu) */
/* National Center for Supercomputing Applications */
/* University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign */
/* Og - "You want to do mankind a real service? Tell funnier jokes" */
/* Spinner - "but facts don't always reveal the truth" */
/* Robin - "Yeah, but I always figure that's the writers' fault" */
/*************************************************************************/


William R Sherman

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Jan 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/4/98
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In article <...>, tom...@cs.cmu.edu (Thomas Galen Ault) writes:
> We've already been there. In the 80's, software game companies faced a rather
> large software piracy problem; I personally knew people with hundreds of
> illegally-copied games. Nevertheless, the software industry survived. Why?
> Because the copy-protection schemes were effective, not against the
> experienced hacker or software pirate, but against the average user. For
> most users, it was easier to purchase software at the local store than wait
> for the cracked version to appear on a local BBS, if it ever did.

As I alluded to in my previous post, I think how most software
publishers endured this is to advance to distributing works on
CD-ROMs. With the increase in storage used, it became unfeasible
for people to try to borrow software and copy it onto their hard
disks. Of course, now with cheap CD-R writers, that advantage
begins to deminish. So now publishers will need to advance to
DVD-R (for which one-off writers are about $17K).

Maybe that's the real reason for storage space glut (vs. game/product
quality).

> Now there were programs available that could copy protected software, but
> these were often ineffective against the latest copy protection schemes.
> By the time these programs were updated to include these copy protection
> schemes, the software they were intended to copy was out-of-date.
>
> Another example: movie rentals on video tape. It's very easy to copy a
> rented movie if you have two VCRs; you and your friends could get together
> and make your own copies of the latest releases for slightly more than the
> cost of a blank tape. Nevertheless, most people don't do this, because most
> people only own one VCR, and because it's too much effort for the few movies
> you actually want to own.

Plus, since video copying was/is done onto analog media, many people
are concerned with the quality of the copies -- especially people
who are likely to have multiple machines. If I own a DVD or LD
player, I'm probably concerned with video quality, so I'm less likely
to rent a DVD or LD and copy it to videotape.

> Economics is also the reason why some media will never be distributed
> in electronic format if they cannot be adequately protected from
> illegal distribution. You seem to have made the assumption that just
> because publishing *can* be done across the Internet, that it *will*
> be done. This is wrong. Works will only be published electronically
> if the benefits outweigh the costs. A publishing house simply won't
> release Tom Clancy's novel in electronic form if costs from piracy
> are greater than savings from lowered production and publishing costs;
> likewise, movies won't be released on DVDs if a copy of that movie can be
> easily transmitted across the Internet.

Well, I'm not yet an IF author, but I am writing a book, and while
I hope to offer some supplements on the web, and I use private
web pages to distribute material to reviewers, I have absolutely
no intention of making the entire book available online. Convient
as it is to be able to carry multiple books around in a laptop,
I'll be the only person with a digital copy of my book (except
perhaps for my coauthor if he wants a copy).

> (As a side note, I doubt if movies on DVD will be transmitted across the
> Internet anytime soon. We're talking about several gigabytes of data,
> even using the latest compression technology.)

Exactly. Samething will be true of software packages that use
multi-gigabytes of storage (whether they need it or not).



> In addition, as I mentioned earlier, preventative measures only have to be
> effective against the average user. It doesn't matter if a small elite can
> copy the work, so long as it takes more effort for the general public to
> aquire it legally than illegally.

That is probably true in most cases. Except for people who are
a little Internet savey, and know where to ask, it isn't too
difficult to download a Super-Ninetendo emulator and almost any
game rom to avoid paying for the ability to play -- of course,
the same isn't true for more recent game consoles because its
more difficult to emulate the faster/more complicated hardware
of modern units. So in effect, it is now harder for Nintendo, et.al
to rely on a monopolistic strategy to keep their development costs
low by developing simple units. They have to advance their
technology just to stay ahead of people ability to emulate their
previous products.

> >If anyone does not believe this will happen, they are simply hiding from
> >the fact that we are moving towards an information free society faster
> >than the economics can keep up and I see no technology or law that can
> >change it.
>

> I think you don't really understand the situation. Publishing houses and
> software companies aren't stupid. If releasing information electronically
> will kill their business, they simply won't do it.

Exactly. And, since I'm actively involved with the field my book
covers (obviously), then I'm more likely to notice if people say
they've transcribed my book into digital form and give a URL for
people to get a free copy. Plus I'll probably do web searches
every now and then to see if anything turns up.

> Tom Ault

William R Sherman

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Jan 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/4/98
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In article <...>, David A. Cornelson <dcorn...@placet.com> writes:
>
> First of all, this is a "discussion" of what may potentially happen in the
> future. We're brainstorming...not saying "this is what I believe"...
>
> Now...comparing the copy-protection and video dubbing does not translate
> to the sort of technology we'll have in the coming years. A song or group
> of songs, a book, a movie....these things all have rather limited, static
> lengths where digitization is concerned.

Right, but for software such as music/movies, even if the length
doesn't increase dramatically (ie. albums of eleven 30 minutes songs),
the resolution will. DVD-audio will have a sample rate of 96Hz,
perhaps more than just 2-tracks, putting them at nearly 10 Meg for
a four+ minute song. That will still be a lot with people using ISDN
or cable modems. It's even a lot for us with T-3 net connections.
Same holds for movies. DVD-video holds a lot of informaton for
a two hour movie, but it's still fairly low resolution, and uses
lossy compression. Video will continue to take more and more
storage as technology advances.

Books full of text though are another matter. I don't see much
need for improving the resolution of ASCII.

> Question 1: Will people be able to copy these items? (whether the
> publisher places them into the digital media or not!) Answer: Yes

Yes. But this is where books hold up a little. It's not too difficult
or time consuming to digitize a song or a video clip. But even with
OCR, putting a printed book into digital form is a bigger task, and
that will hopefully curb most people desires to illegally distribute
them over the net.

> Question 2: In a few years, will technology allow us to move large
> amounts of data from location to location? (via phone lines or satelite
> or other) Answer: Yes

Yes, but as I said, the size of the software will also increase.

> Question 3: Will the masses have this ability? Answer: I believe that
> eventually they will, because once a song is digitized, it's selling
> ability becomes less and less over time. Take a Beatles song, "Hey Jude",
> relatively popular over the years. Anybody who enjoys this song will no
> doubt "copy" it from a friend onto their home PC, which will also be
> their stereo. Publishing houses make a great deal of money by
> re-publishing old works. If a person can locate an illegal digital copy,
> they likely will, instead of paying $9.95 for a paperback that they'll
> likely throw out anyway. There is already software that will "speak" the
> book to you too.

If you're a collector, you'll probably still want the bound copy.
If you're just a reader/listener/viewer/whatever, hopefully the
publishing houses will meet your needs at a cost/convenience/quality
point at which you won't mind paying. Such as what Activision has
done with the old Infocom games.

> Your argument is one of control and that is exactly my point. Control is
> no longer the strength of the publishing houses. They are and will very
> likely lose control of their property.

Of course, the publishing houses will still have the law on their
side, but will have to make some effort to be vigilant of their
works being widely distributed.

> I do understand the issues. I don't believe it matters what the publishing
> houses do. I think they're doomed.

If they are, then all media will end up like IF -- fans of the medium
keeping it alive by writing freeware. And while that's not bad for
the reader/participant, the authors then have to find a day job, and
a lot less material will be produced.

Fortunately, I think that while getting stuff for free illegally
over the net, or trading with your friends is a common practice
for the young, I think most people out grow that. Whether that's
because at some point in their life they realize it's wrong,
counter productive (loss of authors), or simply more convenient
to purchase once they start earning a decent salary, I can't say.

> David A. Cornelson, Chicago

Chris Marriott

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Jan 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/4/98
to

In article <robbj95.883892103@octarine>, Barbara Robson <robbj95@octarin
e.cc.adfa.oz.aus> writes
>I'm not sure about rental (or about the laws in the UK and US), but in
>Australia at least, you can buy second-hand software and sell it back
>to the shop when you've finished with it, which is more-or-less the
>same thing. Perhaps the problem could be legally dealt with in this
>way?

It depends on the specific software licence. If you look at the licence
agreement of many programs, you'll find that it's non-transferrable - ie
you can't legally re-sell the software.

Jeremy A.Smith (formerly Rancid the Elf)

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Jan 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/4/98
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Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk> wrote in article
<slvyVmAQ...@chrism.demon.co.uk>...

> It depends on the specific software licence. If you look at the licence
> agreement of many programs, you'll find that it's non-transferrable - ie
> you can't legally re-sell the software.

Well, this is tripe. Look inside a book:

"This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of
trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated
without the publisher's prior consent"

Sounds fair enough? Well, that's not all of it!!

"... in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is
published and without a similiar condition including this condition being
imposed on the subsequent purchaser."

So, this is why second-hand bookshops are not illegal, unless they (for
instance) rip off the book's cover and cover the book in brown paper.

I used to think it was illegal to re-sell a book, reading half of the
paragraph in the front. It's phrased very badly, making you think it's
illegal to re-sell it, but in fact it's only illegal to re-sell it
according to the conditions in the last half of the paragraph.

Not sure about software, though.
--
Jeremy A.Smith

To reply by Email, change the 'z' in lwtcdz to i
Merry Tremble and a Crummy New Yeeeeaaaaaahhh!!

Advent Calendar:Finished
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http://www.homeusers.prestel.co.uk/lwtcdi/all/


Jeremy A.Smith (formerly Rancid the Elf)

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Jan 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/4/98
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William R Sherman <wshe...@ncsa.uiuc.edu> wrote in article
<68mmng$cj2$2...@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu>...

> Fortunately, I think that while getting stuff for free illegally
> over the net, or trading with your friends is a common practice
> for the young, I think most people out grow that. Whether that's
> because at some point in their life they realize it's wrong,
> counter productive (loss of authors), or simply more convenient
> to purchase once they start earning a decent salary, I can't say.

Quite right. Once people of 18+ have a (even low-payed, crap job), they
make obscene amounts of money (200 quid a week or something), so they spend
most of this on consumables such as CDs. People don't do much taping, as:

A)Too much hassle taping it.
B)Enough cash to buy it, and have it in your hand, and wave it in
everyone's face, saying 'look, I've got the new xxx CD'.

So, perhaps it's slightly paranoic to suggest that people copy stuff just
for the sake of it. This is crap. Once people have a job, they spend all
the money they can get on Playstations, Playstation games, etc.

I'm 19, I should know. ;-)

Matthew T. Russotto

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Jan 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/4/98
to

In article <01bd1943$bef6f200$ec4698c2@default>,

Jeremy A.Smith (formerly Rancid the Elf) <jeremy...@lwtcdz.prestel.co.uk> wrote:

}Well, this is tripe. Look inside a book:
}
}"This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of
}trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated
}without the publisher's prior consent"
}
}Sounds fair enough? Well, that's not all of it!!
}
}"... in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is
}published and without a similiar condition including this condition being
}imposed on the subsequent purchaser."
}
}So, this is why second-hand bookshops are not illegal, unless they (for
}instance) rip off the book's cover and cover the book in brown paper.

I've seen a few books with this notice, but they also mention it
applies only in the UK. I don't think any such notice would be
binding (pun unintended) in the US. Shrink-wrap software licenses
have been explicitly made valid in some states, but have been ruled
unenforceable in others.

Edan

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Jan 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/5/98
to

Paul O'Brian <obr...@ucsu.Colorado.EDU> writes:

>On Mon, 29 Dec 1997, Chris Marriott wrote:


>> Software "rental" is specifically prohibited by law in both the USA and
>> UK.


>Really? Wow! I didn't know that. I imagine this doesn't apply to such
>things as Nintendo cartridges, etc, since I see those for rental at the
>local Blockbuster Video. Come to think of it, the big chain grocery store
>down the street from me rents CD-ROMs. Are they breaking the law? How
>about libraries that lend out software? Are they exempt because they don't
>make a profit from the software's distribution?


And there are libraries that have software to be lent out. Of course, the
softwares old, and mostly for the Apple...


Edan Harel

Chris Marriott

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Jan 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/5/98
to

In article <robbj95.883960497@octarine>, Barbara Robson <robbj95@octarin
e.cc.adfa.oz.aus> writes

>Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk> writes:
>
>|It depends on the specific software licence. If you look at the licence
>|agreement of many programs, you'll find that it's non-transferrable - ie
>|you can't legally re-sell the software.
>
>Hmm. I'll have to go home and check my copy of MS Word 6, which is the
>most recent piece of second-hand software that I purchased. I'd have
>thought Microsoft would have such draconian license agreements if anyone
>does, yet I bought it from a perfectly open, legit. business.

No, Microsoft licence agreements don't have this restriction; you tend
to find it in more expensive, specialist software.

Chris Marriott

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Jan 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/5/98
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In article <01bd1943$bef6f200$ec4698c2@default>, "Jeremy A.Smith
(formerly Rancid the Elf)" <jeremy...@lwtcdz.prestel.co.uk> writes

>Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk> wrote in article
><slvyVmAQ...@chrism.demon.co.uk>...
>
>> It depends on the specific software licence. If you look at the licence
>> agreement of many programs, you'll find that it's non-transferrable - ie
>> you can't legally re-sell the software.
>
>Well, this is tripe. Look inside a book:
>
>"This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of
>trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated
>without the publisher's prior consent"
>
>Sounds fair enough? Well, that's not all of it!!
>
>"... in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is
>published and without a similiar condition including this condition being
>imposed on the subsequent purchaser."
>
>So, this is why second-hand bookshops are not illegal, unless they (for
>instance) rip off the book's cover and cover the book in brown paper.
>
>I used to think it was illegal to re-sell a book, reading half of the
>paragraph in the front. It's phrased very badly, making you think it's
>illegal to re-sell it, but in fact it's only illegal to re-sell it
>according to the conditions in the last half of the paragraph.
>
>Not sure about software, though.

I make my living from writing and selling software, and am quite well
acquainted with the copyright law. I *am* sure, so why do you call my
comments "tripe"?

Magnus Olsson

unread,
Jan 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/8/98
to

In article <01bd1943$bef6f200$ec4698c2@default>,

Jeremy A.Smith (formerly Rancid the Elf) <jeremy...@lwtcdz.prestel.co.uk> wrote:
>"This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of
>trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated
>without the publisher's prior consent"
>
>Sounds fair enough? Well, that's not all of it!!
>
>"... in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is
>published and without a similiar condition including this condition being
>imposed on the subsequent purchaser."
>
>So, this is why second-hand bookshops are not illegal, unless they (for
>instance) rip off the book's cover and cover the book in brown paper.

The reasons for this strange-sounding notice is that when American
bookshops return unsellable books (for example, books too damaged to
sell), they only have to return the cover. So unscrupulous people have
been caught returning the covers for a refund and then selling the
rest of the book (at a discount, of course).

Sverker Wiberg

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Jan 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/8/98
to

"Jeremy A.Smith (formerly Rancid the Elf)"
<jeremy...@lwtcdz.prestel.co.uk> writes:
> [...] Look inside a book:

>
> "This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of
> trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated
> without the publisher's prior consent"
>
> Sounds fair enough? Well, that's not all of it!!
>
> "... in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is
> published and without a similiar condition including this condition being
> imposed on the subsequent purchaser."
>
> So, this is why second-hand bookshops are not illegal, unless they (for
> instance) rip off the book's cover and cover the book in brown paper.
>
> I used to think it was illegal to re-sell a book, reading half of the
> paragraph in the front. It's phrased very badly, making you think it's
> illegal to re-sell it, but in fact it's only illegal to re-sell it
> according to the conditions in the last half of the paragraph.

Some US books I've seen, has a text (quoting from memory)

``If this book has been stripped of its covers it may have been
reported as unsold and destroyed, and neither the author nor the
publishers have received any payment for it.''

This practice of using the covers as reclaim tokens for unsold and
soon-to-be-burned books makes them valuable in their own right, as by
breaching the second clause quoted by Jeremy, you'll get paid twice
for each sold book.

/Sverker Wiberg

--
``Och vet du vad? Han tycker om småkakor också!''
--- Morfars granne angående mosters hund.

Darrell Schmucker

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Jan 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/8/98
to

In article <robbj95.883892103@octarine>,

Barbara Robson <rob...@octarine.cc.adfa.oz.aus> writes:
> Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk> writes:
> [in reply to Lelah Conrad]

>>Software "rental" is specifically prohibited by law in both the USA and
>>UK.

That's funny. I used to rent software all the time from a company called
Centsible Software. For a couple bucks they'd lend you the software for a
week or two with an option to buy.

Hey, while I'm out of lurk mode anyway, would anyone find an AGT to Inform
translator useful? I started one on a lark and it currently gets about 95%
of the .dat files (rooms, objects, specials, etc.) but none of the others
(i.e. it's a GAGS translator right now). If anyone thinks it might be
useful I'll work it into useable shape.

Cya,
Darrell

"Now don't get me wrong. Some of my best friends use Pascal. I think
it's a fine language. But you wouldn't want your sister to program in
it, would you?" - Pete Becker


This article was posted from <A HREF="http://www.slurp.net/">Slurp Net</A>.

Patrick Kellum

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Jan 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/9/98
to

In article <34b55...@news5.kcdata.com>, Darrell Schmucker was talking about:

>Hey, while I'm out of lurk mode anyway, would anyone find an AGT to Inform
>translator useful? I started one on a lark and it currently gets about 95%
>of the .dat files (rooms, objects, specials, etc.) but none of the others
>(i.e. it's a GAGS translator right now). If anyone thinks it might be
>useful I'll work it into useable shape.

I started on an AGT2INF translator but never got anyware near 95% (rooms
and objects, neither complet). I would be interested.

Patrick
---
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"I have photographs of you naked with a squirrel." - Dave Berry

Jeremy A.Smith (not affiliated with Rancid the Elf)

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Jan 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/10/98
to

Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk> wrote in article
<nreQGaAL...@chrism.demon.co.uk>...

>
> I make my living from writing and selling software, and am quite well
> acquainted with the copyright law. I *am* sure, so why do you call my
> comments "tripe"?

I don't know, really. Sorry about that. *Really* sorry.

I think I had a small migraine when I wrote that comment. But I don't know
why I wrote it.

Hey, we all say stupid things at stupid times. I'm just better at it than
most people. ;-)

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