Talk:Copyright infringement/Archive 1

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Examples of use of the word pirate or piracy in this context

I took a look through the OED and found a few earlier examples. I don't have the time to put them into the page properly, but hopefully someone else will. The spelling and capitalization is as it appears in the OED.

1603 T. Dekker Wonderfull Yeare sig. A4, Banish these Word-pirates (you sacred mistresses of learning) into the gulfe of Barbarisme.

1668 J. Hancock Brooks' String of Pearls (Notice at end), Some dishonest Booksellers, called Land-Pirats, who make it their practise to steal Impressions of other mens Copies.

1703 D. Defoe True-born Englishman in True Collect. I. Expan. Pref. sig. B3v, Its being Printed again and again by Pyrates.

1706 D. Defoe Jure Divino Pref. p. xxvii, Gentlemen-Booksellers that threatned to Pyrate it, as they call it, viz. reprint it, and sell it for half a Crown.

What's interesting about these quotes that demonstrate use of the word for unauthorized copying is that copyright laws as we know them didn't exist yet. The first modern copyright law, the Statute of Anne, became law in 1710 in the UK. Most countries didn't get on the copyright bandwagon until the 19th or 20th centuries. Pre-Anne copyright laws were typically stationer's copyrights (by which publishers would collude so that they didn't have to face competition and could keep prices raised artficially high) and tools of state censorship. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

This should be added to the main page. I came here looking for this etymology.Nazlfrag 06:50, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Half a year later I finally created a history section, adding the first given use of pirate (T. Dekker) after finding a reference. It could use some expansion, as the period from 1709 to 1889 is untouched, and the Berne convention is only glossed over. Nazlfrag (talk) 10:53, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Hi, Nazlfrag, I reverted your edit before seeing this entry on the talk page. As written, it looked like more of a history of copyright, with the first use of "pirate" just thrown in (to tell you the truth, I missed it). What I've since done is incorporated both that information and the information from the lede (which was a little too long anyway) into a new section on the term pirate. I think that works a bit better. Thanks for the work of digging up the early references. -- TJRC (talk) 19:07, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks TJRC, your attention to such matters is vital and well deserving of the utmost thanks.

Unfortunately, I still have issues with this article, mainly with the second paragraph.

The first part is terrible. I propose we replace the biased leadin:

"The unlawful downloading of copyrighted material and sharing of recorded music over the internet in the form of MP3 files and other audio files is more prominent now than since before the advent of the internet or the invention of MP3, even after the demise of Napster and a series of infringement suits brought by the American recording industry."

Replace it with a simple statement of fact instead, such as:

"Downloading copyrighted material is more prominent now than since before the advent of the internet."

While this is still blatantly obvious, it's not as crude or ridiculous as the initial paragraph. Something needs to be done to establish the public baseline ideas around this legal dilemma. At the least, simplifying it would be a good start. The initial second paragraph is far too complex. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nazlfrag (talkcontribs) 15:39, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Regards, Nazlfrag Nazlfrag (talk) 15:40, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Why does piracy redirect here?

Piracy should have a disambiguation page.

i keep trying to make a good piracy page, but for some reason my efforts keep getting deleted and overwritten with a redirect.

yeah it's bad

I have tried to add {{unsigned}} to this secion, but the history of this page shows multiple users and IPs making and editing comments in the section, making it difficult. Regardless, I completely agree with the anonymous posters: this article should be split, with only corporate infringement of copyright and resulting lawsuits discussed here, while the complex issue of individual piracy and street vendors of pirated material discussed on piracy. --IntrigueBlue 16:49, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
The tag {{split}} is probably obsolete by now. I removed it. As far as I understand, the first issue was about spliting "piracy", not "copyright infringement". Feel free to insert it again, but please explain clearly what are the different meanings of copyright infringement you are thinking about? To me, there is only one: "copyright infringement is the act of infringing copyright, i.e. the intellectual property right." --Edcolins 21:47, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I have done so. I apologize for lack of clarity. To me the article in its present form attempts to deal with two completely different issues: copyright law as it pertains to relations between corporate activities (eg. the lawsuit between Lewis Perdue and Dan Brown over allegations of copied material in The Da Vinci Code), and individual information piracy/pirate street vendors.

I am proposing that this article be split, with the Methods of Copyright Infringement and Justification sections moved into a new piracy article, covering the following topics:

To me, this topic is very different and much more complex than mere copyright infringement, and extends beyond the bounds of this article in its present form. I hope that this clarifies my position a bit for you. --IntrigueBlue 01:50, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

There is more than a little corporate copyright infringement in the sense that some countries make little effort to regulate and enforce laws and treaties in the area, and corporate entities, sometimes anonymous, sometimes not, produce or distribute the infringing materials. China is a currently famous example, with Russia and African countries also significant sources. You may find that the lines between individual infringement and "corporate" infringement are non-existant, or that the division is subject to severe criticism. Then also the enablers of infringment tend to be coporate, whether they manufacture CDs, DVDs, operate web servers, create and maintain file transfer software, or otherwise redistribute material. I suggest you may wish to give the intended article some name other than "piracy," or "information" since the term piracy is not fixed in definition, and "information" is narrower term than all of the things within the ambit of copyright laws. I think you will also find it neccessary to negotiate a redirect and disambiguation page or three with the editors of pirate and piracy. Yellowdesk 01:09, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
What would you suggest? --INTRIGUEBLUE (talk|contribs) 01:48, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

The very word "piracy" implies that, to use your example, downloading music from Napster was illegal, when in many countries including Canada, it is (was) not. The term itself is POV. Having an article with that title would be like writing an article about drug addicts and titling it "Junkies". Having piracy redirect here is tolerable, because "copyright infringement" is what the copying is accused of being, but not ideal, and moving these sections to "piracy" would be a step in the wrong direction. Choose a title for your proposed new article that describes the action without implicitly judging its morality, and then we'll talk. Dbsanfte 04:59, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

That's not an answer. I said, what would you suggest? There is no alternate term. Copyright infringement is even more misleading, since it does more than imply the illegality of the action - it goes as far as to file it under the legal name. Saying that "copyright infringement" is an appropriate place because it is what piracy is accused of being is like saying that the article on abortion should be filed under "murder" because that is what it is accused of being. Piracy is a term that is widely used by people on all sides of the issue, I see no POV issue with it. --INTRIGUEBLUE (talk|contribs) 19:18, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

I suggest splitting this section and adding to Piracy. 21:49, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I am all in favour of splitting this into another article. I have been doing research on piracy, and copyright infringement doesn't seem to be the same thing. Canadian Scouter 23:02, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I tried to find something about this on piracy during research. For some reason, it wasn't there. I think this should be mentioned on the Piracy page, and a link should be there to link to this article. Infocraze (talk) 12:09, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

The WP Note

Why is there a note concerning Wikipedia's policy on copyrights at the top of this page? Isn't that an unnecessary self-reference? There's also the same thing in the "See Also" section. KyleGarvey 01:25, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Issues about Copyright INfringement

Again, should there be a section about movie, music etc companies wanting people to report digital piracy; and also having links to report piracy in that section —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:29, 4 January 2008 (UTC)


The caption under this image reads that the ad is used to deter people from recording exhibitions inside the theatre. I have it in my Spider-Man 2 (R2) DVD and I get the idea that it advices people not to purchase products made from such recordings. --Fizan 02:32, 19 April 2006 (UTC)


I believe that this article needs a major rewrite and addition of content to comply with WP:NPOV. Almost no attempt is made to discuss the rationale and perspective of those engaged in piracy. While illegal, it is an activity engaged in by a large number of people and represents a valid viewpoint. I will work on adding content to improve this over the next few weeks and encourage others to do the same. -- IntrigueBlue 02:04, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Just having read it, I don't think it's POV... --Alexignatiou 06:05, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Piracy is a loss leader for concerts and the like. It is of course illegal to comit piracy, but it is not neccasaraly bad for the record companies, without piracy many people wouldent be exposed to certain some types of music, which they then go on to support. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:40, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

It has improved a lot from the version I was objecting to. [1] I will remove the NPOV dispute template now and encourage others to help in the continued development of the article. -- IntrigueBlue 08:57, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

I also think Neutrality is lacking. It lists and implies that downloading of copyrighted materal as illegal when in most juristictions that assumption is not valid; either downloading is legal ( like Canada, Netherlands, ... ) , or downloading is a grey area ( US ). I do not refer to p2p where downloading is also re-distribution, but pure downloading for personal use. The page lacks any listing of legalities outside the US ( or intermixes US and UK ) where laws are often much more consumer friendly. The page is also lacking in major areas like the "Free rider problem" where items like the "Media Tax" are not even touched on. Also, in the justification section seems very biased between the title and words like "rationales" the implication is that "Pirates" are morally wrong, a POV that should not be perpetuated here without fact.

Non-commercial audio copying is also probably exempt under the US 1992 Audio Home Recording Act which also protects non-commerical resale of personally copied audio. As well as many countries incuding the US that collect Blank media tax in order to compensate rights holders. All of these itens should be listed here to bring the Neutrality to the page.

Cosmetically, the "try before you buy" bold should probably be an internal link to the existing page. -- Eric <> 1:39, 15 Jun 2006 (EST)

i, too, agree that this page is in need of further editing to bring it closer to the NPOV policy. The reality is that this is a very messy and complex issue, and is simply not done proper justice by the obviously biased and simplistic article currently in place. MiraFirefly 02:42, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

The article is written from an entirely USA-biased view point and seems to suggest that the MPAA is an international authority, which is completely untrue. The differences between national laws should be made clear. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:26, 24 October 2007 (UTC)


This article would benefit from information about how widespread copyright infrigement is, for example as an estimated percentage of the population who infrige copyright in various areas. I heard vildly varying estimates of this (in the range 1%-20%), but that was just hearsay. Amaurea 16:10, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree, but I doubt that information on the number or percent of people involved can ever be much other than hearsay, even when directly quoted from a recognizable source. The RIAA/MPAA in particular would be likely to estimate heavily on the high side as an attempt to scare people. Perhaps a paragraph should be devoted to the difficulty in estimating this and provide several sourceable estimates? --IntrigueBlue 08:26, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
I found some information from the government-run Statistiska Centralbyrån in Sweden. They report (spring 2005) that 18% (of age 16-74; the proportion is even bigger amoung younger people, and highest, at 52%, amoung males of age 16-24) had used peer-to-peer file sharing [2]. The proportion of this that is illegal is not apparent, but is probably very high (I don't have sources on this, though). Perhaps this could be used as an example in the article? Amaurea 20:14, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree that these figures are the most impartial that we are likely to find, given Sweeden's historically lax policies related to piracy. I assume that these numbers are related specifically to the Sweedish population? --IntrigueBlue 07:27, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, this survey was Sweden-only. I have not found a similar survey for my own country (Norway), though we have an equivalent body there: Statistisk sentralbyrå. Amaurea 09:47, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Copyright infringement is not only digital!

The article, although describes what copyright infringement is, has been written with the pretense that all Copyright infringement today is digital; either software or music. Of course the article explains briefly the meaning of the term, but fails to deliver any other examples. I opt that the article should be split and disambiguated to redirect readers to seperate articles explaining types of disputed copywrite infringement (digital stuff mostly) while the copyright infringement article itself remains a definition of the term and brief explaination for international law. --Aneurysmal 08:42, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

An article about digital copyright infringement could be created, but IMHO a disambiguation page is not appropriate at all since digital copyright infringement is subset of copyright infringement. I removed the split tag for now. --Edcolins 21:51, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
A redirect from digital copyright infringement to Copyright infringement of software could also be in order. --Edcolins 21:53, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

What constitutes copyright infringement?

The article only said "unauthorized production of copyrighted material" as infringement... this would mean a talented 5 year old drawing a mickey mouse to professional quality is in fact illegal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I'm not entirely sure that it's not - it would just never be enforced in that case. --IntrigueBlue 15:07, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
a map used in the article 2006 Asian Games appears in a copyrigthed website. does that constitute copyvio? Rebskii 17:39, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm afraid this isn't the right place for that question. See WP:MCQ. I can't comment on fair use for the image, but I know that it is mistagged - it is not a screenshot of a webpage. --INTRIGUEBLUE (talk|contribs) 20:05, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Specific sections for various countries

The article has many implicit presumptions that the readers are from the United States, or care about US law, but infringement and remedies are defined differently by each country's laws. It's desirable to recast the article to be entirely internationally oriented, and more general, or to specifically cite in sections devoted to individual countries, the laws and procedures and remedies under discussion. My list would start with, but naturally would not be limited to: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France. Yellowdesk 18:32, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree, and I would definitely add Sweden onto that list, since the famous (infamous) BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay is based there, and commonly advertises that its existance is legal under Swedish law - some detail on this would certainly be interesting.
Once the piracy article is done, perhaps we should look at restructuring this article so that it gives a general definition, brief history, then moves into detailing copyright laws of individual countries. --INTRIGUEBLUE (talk|contribs) 20:48, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
My original comment came about, because a section was thoughtfully taken ouf of United States copyright law for being too procedurally oriented, and for failing to briefly describe the occasions one would want the remedies US law offers; that section is now standing alone as United States civil copyright enforcement procedure. I read through the Copyright infringement article to see if the US remedies article could be merged into it. Not really, as it presently is structured. On further consideration, perhaps that article (United States civil copyright enforcement procedure) should remain free standing, and be simply cited in this article, after a brief description of US methods. This could keep a lot of the details out of this article (Copyright infringement).Yellowdesk 14:29, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree, although I think that title might be improved. I'd suggest that we follow Wikipedia:Summary style and create independent sub-articles for Copyright infringement in the United States and Copyright infringement in the United Kingdom, at least, with an implicit invitation for people to create "in Canada", "in Australia", "in Brazil", etc. The sub-articles should deal with country-specific laws and penalties, with each section in this article providing only a brief overview of the highlights. Other than that, this article should provide a definition, touch on the history and opposition (copyleft and all that), and provide a summary and overview of what the different countries have in common. — Catherine\talk 04:54, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Now that I think about it, is there enough material to justify individual articles on each country? Perhaps it would be more logical to incorporate this kind of information into the individual articles on copyright law, and then detail only general information on what constitutes copyright infringement here. --INTRIGUEBLUE (talk|contribs) 14:23, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

England vs. United Kingdom

Isn't the section titled England misnamed, and shouldn't it read United Kingdom? I would doubt that Scotland or Northern Ireland has different procedures or penalties from England. Similarly, the criminal section for clarity should probably be named Criminal Offences, United Kingdom since subsections are typically not clearly associated graphically with the section it relates to. Yellowdesk 03:04, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

---Any clarification on this? The article linked from this section - - clearly states:

"The Computer Misuse Act 1990 is an Act of the UK Parliament. The Act's introduction followed the decision in R v Gold (1988) 1 AC 1063, with the bill's critics charging that it was introduced hastily and was poorly thought out. Intention, they said, was often difficult to prove, and that the bill inadequately differentiated "joyriding" crackers like Gold and Schifreen from serious computer criminals."

As far as I know, this, and the other laws cited, cover the entire of the United Kingdom, not just England.

Berne Copyright Convention

From the page: ^ See Berne Copyright Convention, 1886: "Pirated works may be seized on importation into those countries of the Union where the original work enjoys legal protection." (Art. 12). Well, I searched the net for the 1886 text, I couldn't find the pirate text. (i'm intrested in word pirate). So, anyone have a hard copy of this text? Else this source isn't correct.--Soyweiser 19:22, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Try  Missing or empty |title= (help); see also the section #Examples of use of the word pirate or piracy in this context above, and we'd welcome any research on the word you'd like to add to the draft article User:IntrigueBlue/Piracy (information). Thanks! — Catherine\talk 20:19, 13 October 2006 (UTC)


Anyone want to delete the flagrantly POV aspersions cast on those who want to protect their intellectual property? Or is wikipedia just going to maintain its biased reputation? Either way, awesome. Love to see this place go down in flames. BonniePrinceCharlie 18:25, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

With a comment like that, it's hard to play the injured party here. I would like to remind you that this is the encyclopedia that you can edit yourself. If you don't like it, do something about it. —INTRIGUEBLUE (talk|contribs) 03:23, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Sure, when there is valid justification to preserving a monopoly (you'll forgive me if I don't hold my breath). Again, ‘protect’ from what? Remember that copyright is government-granted, for limited times. The original purpose was to encourage people to publish their ideas, ultimately for the public good. Using terms such as ‘protect’ and ‘intellectual property (rights)’ (which just muddy the issue, leading to NPoV) hardly constitutes a neutral PoV either. You'll only convince others by justifying your position with rational argument, rather flinging accusations. — Lee Carré (talk) 18:23, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Is It Wrong to Receive?

In a case of copyright infringement is the person receiving the material in violation also or just the distributor. Can that receiver of the copyrighted material be tried along with the distributor?--J. Daily 22:07, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

I believe not, from my understanding of copyright law. In your example, the recepient is not the one infringing copyright (publishing without authorisation from the government-granted holder of the copyright). This is reflected in the notion that in peer-to-peer sharing, uploaders are the target(s) of copyright trolls, rather than downloaders; although this has the same effect (nobody can download if nobody else uploads). Compare to the more traditional counterfeiting; those to purchase cointerfeit items are not the targets of legal action, only those producing the counterfeit items. However, I am not a Lawyer. To answer your literal question; no, it is never (morally) wrong to share knowledge or culture (this is how education works); if anything, excluding others from this sharing is ethically suspect. — Lee Carré (talk) 17:30, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Please see WP:NOLEGAL; we cannot give legal advice. Also, please keep talk page comments to discussion of the article, not just on the topic. RJaguar3 | u | t 17:33, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

We have Fair Use - but what does that really mean?

I saw this and wondered what are my rights.

Is it legal to make mp3 back up copies of CDs that I own personally and have in my possession? How about cassette tapes?

And what if I make a back up copy of a cassette tape, then loose the cassette (or if it is damaged) - can I still listen to my back up copy?

What if I buy a series of cassettes, but one is missing or damaged - (think: a book on tape) - if my friend has the same set of tapes, can I get a copy of the tape that I'm missing from my friend?

Where can I look to be reassured on these issues - is little help on these - though it seems to be fair use point #4.

Thanks for the help. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:35, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

See Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc.. I was unaware that people still use cassettes. Keep in mind that the author of the article you read is not an attorney and has a political agenda. A big problem with the fair use doctrine is that it is discretionary. The court determines if an infringement is fair use on a case by case basis. It is important to note that fair use is an affirmative defense, meaning that there is a copying and misappropriation of protected work: an infringement. Fair use does not deny the copying, only that it was fair use of copyrighted material. The judge makes the final determination if the use was fair. People often make copies for themselves, which can be fair use in some circumstances. The moment a copy is distributed to a third party, there is a violation of the distribution right of the Copyright Act and both the copier and the recepient can be liable. Legis Nuntius (talk) 22:50, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Joke thievery

I'm not sure that this is copyright infringement. As the recent addition states, there is no legal recourse for what the author referred to as joke thievery. Ideas can be patented but not copyrighted. Legis Nuntius (talk) 19:31, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

The article Plagiarism (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) is probably a better spot for the joke thievery discussion. (And just a nit: inventions, not ideas, can be patented.) TJRC (talk) 19:36, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
It was just something our copyright professor used to say. I think it comes from an Oliver Wendell Holmes quote in a copyright case about the connection between patents and ideas. The idea behind the patent can be protected, whereas in copyright it cannot. Legis Nuntius (talk) 21:57, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Those with vested interests in patents wish to extend the scope of patent law to cover concepts, and indeed mathematics, rather than traditional machine-like inventions. The original intention of patent law was for specific implementation only; if you could devise a sufficiently different implementation (achieving the same goal, but in a different way; think vehicle engines), then you would probably be safe. To the specific point: jokes would be subject to copyright, not patents. Copyright covers expressions of authorship (once fixed in tangible form, such as ink on paper), of which a joke is one example. The concept of a joke would, traditionally, be exempt from patent under restrictions on obviousness, significance/originality, and such. This is why terms such as ‘intellectual property (rights)’ are so toxic, because they confuse very different topics, by lumping them together when they each came about separately, and developed independently (patent law existed hundreds of years before copyright law, which itself only came about because of the printing press). By the way, be careful when using terms such as ‘protect’ (protection from what? the spread of ideas and progress/innovation?). The original purpose of Copyright/Patent law was, ultimately, for the public good, to encourage innovators to publish their ideas (by way of providing more economic incentive in a fixed-term monopoly). Confusing or loaded words, terms, or phrases, which should be avoided. Copyright infringement is also not ‘theft’ (denying the original holder/keeper of the item in question), any more than one can ‘steal’ fire. — Lee Carré (talk) 17:46, 25 December 2010 (UTC)


This page currently mostly discusses Anglo-American copyright. This would be ok if the page were appropriately named. We can either stop trying to make this a "global" copyright article, and rename this page (or maybe create a "Droit d'auteur" page for civilist copyright?), OR we have to perform significant clean-up on this page. Any views which direction this page should be taken?--Ernstk (talk) 04:47, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm glad to see I'm not the first editor to notice the non-global issues with this article. Part of the problem stems from ambiguity between the scope of this page and pages like Copyright law, international copyright law, US copyright law and so on for various countries. By defining what facts go where, we can avoid redundancy and organize the articles in a NPOV manner. -Verdatum (talk) 21:28, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Amendments to the 1976 Copyright Act

Right now I see two problems with this section. The first is the title. Although it is a sub-heading under the topic of infingement, the title seems to suggest all amendments fall under this section. Perhaps Amendments to enforcement in the 1976 Copyright Act, or somesuch.

Second is this pasaage:

With the passage of the so-called No Electronic Theft Act (NET Act), US copyright law was changed to allow for the civil and criminal prosecution of persons allegedly engaged in copying of copyrighted works without permission that did not result in personal financial gain...

The bit saying " was changed to allow for civil and criminal prosecution..." This makes it sound as if civil suit could not be pursued where there was no personal finanacial gain prior to the amendment, but the wiki article on NET Act specifically says it was allowed. Now, if that article is wrong, it needs to be redone. I don't think it is because the external link to the the text of the act only changed the language of the criminal aspects of Title 17. So if the NET Act article is correct, then the above quoted sentence should be reworked to clarify that the NET ACT expanded criminal prosecutions to instances where there was no personal financial gain and either not mention civil suits or acknowledge they could already be brought in such cases.InMyHumbleOpinion (talk) 02:18, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

UN Press releases

Is using information from a United Nations Press release a copyvio? Please see Jorge Urbina. I used education data with dates, names and places from press release and used career appointment and dates as well. How many different ways can I reword such information? Please comment. Thanks.--«JavierMC»|Talk 01:20, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

U.N. works are protected by copyright under 17 U.S.C. 104(b)(5), but using information from a copyrighted work is not infringement. TJRC (talk) 20:49, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Publications in the Public Domain

I think this section needs some additional material describing the non-applicability of copyright laws to certain categories of publications that are in the public domain, such as US government documents. There appears to be a lot of misunderstanding about this issue among editors.Mervyn Emrys (talk) 18:37, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Public domain deals with subject matter under chapter 1 of the 1976 Act, infringement deals with chapter 5.[3] US law schools teach public domain under the subject matter section and infringement in a later section. If you pick up a copyright textbook, it will be similarly organized. Public domain is better discussed in the article on public domain, an article on copyrightable subject matter, or the copyright article. It is only tangentially related to infringement. The biggest misunderstanding concerning US government documents is that many do have copyrights. A US government document is only in the public domain when it is created by an employee (not a contractor) of the US government within the scope of his or her employment. Most photography and quite a few reports are created by outside, civilian contractors who assign their rights to the US government. Copying of these works is infringement and the Federal Government does enforce its rights in court.[4] Gx872op (talk) 10:16, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Computer misuse act!?

The article says:

In British Law, any modification of data stored on a computer so that unauthorised access is gained to software packages, games, movies, and music would be a criminal offence under §3 Computer Misuse Act 1990. So, if a read-only music CD is placed in a PC drive and the contents loaded into the computer's memory for playing, any application that allows the music to be copied and stored on the machine or an MP3 player would commit the offence in theory but, so far, there have been no prosecutions on this set of facts.

This seems to me to be flagrant original research. I can find no reliable sources that support this interpretation of the Act. Specifically, section 3 prevents "unauthorised modification of the contents of any computer [with intent to] impair the operation of any computer; to prevent or hinder access to any program or data held in any computer; or to impair the operation of any such program or the reliability of any such data", which doesn't seem to apply to the situation described above.

Even if we assume the reference to section 3 is a mistake, and it is section 1 that is referred to (the most relevant section for this purpose), then the relevant offence is "[causing] a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer [where] the access he intends to secure is unauthorised". While the act is vague on who has power to authorise access to the data held in a computer, it is worth noting that AIUI there has never been a case brought to court where somebody has been charged with unauthorised access to data that is held on their own computer. The usual reading, I think, is that the owner of the computer has the authority to authorise whoever they want to perform whatever operations they wish on the data held on the computer.

IANAL, but I have read extensively on this subject, and this suggested interpretation just sounds like bullshit to me. JulesH (talk) 17:58, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree; I have written about the CMA, and this interpretation is not supported by any case I'm aware of. Given the purpose of the Act, the idea that criminal liability depends on the nature of the data accessed (when other legislation covers that) seems to me to be nonsensical. The paragraph should be supported or deleted- preferably the latter. --Rodhullandemu 18:25, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Whether it's correct or not, it seems to be WP:OR to me, and should be deleted on that basis alone. We shouldn't be debating the construction of the statute here. TJRC (talk) 18:38, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Removed as WP:OR; leave it with me, there's still quite a bit of work to be done. --Rodhullandemu 19:11, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Opening paragraph

The unlawful downloading of copyrighted material and sharing of recorded music over the Internet in the form of MP3 files is more prominent now than since before the advent of the Internet or the invention of MP3 files

The transmission of mp3 files over the Internet is greater today than before the advent of mp3 files? Dynablaster (talk) 16:51, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, sure it is ;) . Now serious: this could use a re-wording... SF007 (talk)

Fightback against copyright

Thanks for the edit, but that paragraph was poorly worded and had many grammatical and spelling mistakes (and capitalization) with no refrences, and frankly, it sounded like a 3 year old wrote it. It had words like 'stuff' and 'the company's name' and it did not contribute to the article. (talk) 03:54, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Why does "jocker" redirect here?

I was looking for information on the derivation of the word "jocker" to mean a hobo who lives on the earnings of his "punk," or younger homosexual lover. Instead I get a page on Copyright Infringement?

See for the word in the context I'm describing.

  • The article read "A jocker, is one whom steals creative ideas, (e.g. most commonly used with MySpace layout sites), and either claims credit for said work.", although it was unsourced. Hence the redirection. If this is a notable term elsewhere, and can be properly sourced, I suggest you rewrite that article and remove the redirection. Rodhullandemu 18:10, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

A few suggestions


I'd like to make the following suggestions about how to improve this article. I'm also willing to spend a bit of time doing these if people agree that they would be valuable.

  1. The Examples paragraph would probably be better with just a single example of copyright infringement, simply to illustrate what it is.
  2. The Sample Troll paragraph seems out of place in this article. The content of that paragraph is interesting, but it is referring to a business model which sets out to profit from people infringing copyright rather than an aspect of copyright infringement itself. I thought that perhaps this should be on its own page, but I'm not sure how that fits in with Wikipedia:Avoid_neologisms
  3. It may also benefit the article to list various types of copyright-holders in order to describe ways in which their copyright can be infringed. The information stripped out of the Examples section (mentioned above) would make a good start to this and would serve to not just delete other people's contributions to this article.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the above? Alex Stacey (talk) 23:20, 22 December 2009 (UTC)


The dab page Contributory infringement has an entry for Contributory copyright infringement which is a redirect to this page, but there is no mention of "contributory" on this page. Worth writing a bit, perhaps, or creating a new article? Shreevatsa (talk) 19:29, 19 March 2010 (UTC)