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Re: Short copyright notice in script file

Sean Kellogg <skellogg@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Monday 16 March 2009 04:17:35 am MJ Ray wrote:
> > Sean Kellogg <skellogg@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > Just in the interest of clearing up common copyright law
> > > misunderstandings, the right to redistribute is not a matter of
> > > copyright law. [...]
> >
> > Distribution is mentioned explicitly [...CDPA 1988...]
> Damned if I do... damned if I don't. Can't really help the UK if
> they have decided to extend copyright law to mean something beyond
> the rights surrounding copying of a thing. Copyright law has no more
> business governing what one does with a *thing* after it has been
> produced than patent law has to do with trademarks. The concepts all
> intersect in interesting ways, but the scope of the subject matter is
> reasonable well defined.

I used to write similar things, then I sat on my lawyer's knee[*] and
he explained to me that copyright is now an arbitrary property of a
work and not only the right to copy it.  While the Berne Convention
doesn't explicitly mention distribution in this context, it does
mention other non-copying acts and distribution is mentioned for
cinematographic adaptations, I think it's pretty clear that
distribution is regarded as part of the Convention's copyright
concept. http://www.law.cornell.edu/treaties/berne/overview.html

[*] - this event has been invented for the dramatisation.

I think the provisions in UK legislation mostly appear in EU
directives, so most of the EU is probably similar and this isn't as
bizarre and marginal a problem as the above suggests.

I'd probably agree that copyright should limit itself to copying and
distribution methods should be a topic for moral rights, but the US
approach to moral rights is even more bizarre than the EU approach to
copyright IIRC.

> But, seriously, I'm not gonna play the "not in my jurisdiction
> game"... it's a game one cannot possible win, and ultimately not very
> interesting or helpful.

Sure, but one also needs to acknowledge one's limitations and avoid
things like labelling correct understanding of the horrible EU
copyright law as "common copyright law misunderstandings".  It's
stupid, evil, bad and wrong, but not misunderstood!

My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
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