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Re: RE: copyright??



At 12:21 AM 11/29/2000 -0500, Arthur H Feller wrote:
>I know the treaty provisions you're talking about.  Seems there is a direct conflict, then, between copyright law on "creation" and telecom treaty text on pecuniary interest.

I think you're wrong about that. The telecom treaties talk about pecuniary interest in transmitting the data, not in creating it. The copyright inheres in the act of creation, and cannot be destroyed by transmission of the data.

>Will the real "owner" please stand up?

This part is a good question. But somebody (or some combination of somebodies) does own the copyright on that data.

>Clearly, any copyright claim can't be defended, given that many of us are passing copies around the planet routinely and without objection, 

Irrelevant. Any amount of copying, whether authorized or not, can occur without destroying the copyright. It's not like a trademark that way.

>and none of us is permitted to gain any benefit from copying.

The licensee for the amateur radio transmission of the data may not benefit. If that licensee is distinct from the copyright owner, then I don't see how the copyright owner is bound in any way by the telecom law. Even supposing that the licensee and the copyright owner were identical, nothing stops that entity from assigning the copyright to another entity, which would then be free to make money on the data.

I write this text, and by that act I hold copyright on it. You can't make money by transmitting this text by amateur radio. But if I can find a market for this text, I can still sell it, even if I happen to use a copy that you transmitted for me by amateur radio. What's more, I can (in theory) prevent any party from making a copy of it (except in specifically defined cases of fair use).

In practice, enforcing a copyright costs money, and winning a copyright suit requires that you be able to prove damages. Those considerations mean that an enforcement action on this data is unlikely. But that doesn't make the copyright any less valid, and certainly doesn't put it in conflict with telecom law.

73  -Paul
kb5mu@amsat.org

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