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Re: [BKARTS] Copyright Question



Donald Pollock writes:

>>>Sid's response is helpful, but Charles's original question leaves open the possibility that he could violate copyright. For example, were Charles to buy 100 copies of The Lord of the Rings and re-bind them as the "Charles LaFountain Edition", I believe that the original publisher (or other copyright holder) would object.

Well, again, no lawyer me, and yes, I suspect there might be objection, but I am not sure it would be upheld since is no (apparent) violation of the underlying monopoly right (to reproduce copies for sale). The British binder Philip Smith, for example, routinely builds (or built) "book walls" constituted from twenty or more copies of the same book. I suppose that if I managed to buy _all_ the published copies of a book with the intent of doubling the price, the original publisher might object and perhaps be upheld -- but s/he would likely be more successful by simply printing more copies and selling them at half the price of my "edition" -- while happily pocketing the cash I paid for my now more expensively priced ones.

>>>Regarding the use of sheet music, Sid is correct, but recall the ASCAP's standard caution that
"Rental or purchase of sheet music or the purchase of a record does not authorize its public performance." One can play or sing the music, as Sid notes, but better do it privately or in church...

I'm not sure the _place_ of "performance" matters, but rather the context.  I can certainly leave a theater humming the haunting theme, or sing as I walk, and I suspect I could rightfully sing it solo at a meeting of thousands if it is an expression of feeling and I'm not being paid to do so.  Singing it on a street-corner next to a sign that reads, "Please feed a hungry man," may be a marginal use, and putting it front of a paid church choir is probably not proper (though it seems unlikely to be challenged). Rather than take chances, lots of institutions, including universities (and perhaps churches) negotiate blanket ASCAP licenses. I doubt many buskers do!

"Fair use" provides four "tests" that must be applied to violation claims.  These are not straight up and down "yes" or "no" considerations, but together they must at least tend to establish a reasonably clear _commercial intent_ to misuse.  Do remember that "fair use" is, like copyright, a right -- it is not something that has to be demonstrated before use (though it may have to be demonstrated to avoid a violation judgment).

Cordially ---- Sid Huttner
sid-huttner@xxxxxxxxx

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