OT: Legalese [Re: And another Ubuntu convert!]

Mario Vukelic mario.vukelic at dantian.org
Tue Jan 27 20:27:59 UTC 2009

On Tue, 2009-01-27 at 15:12 -0400, Derek Broughton wrote:
> Show me such a license, then.  Movies don't have them. 

I don't think I have any movie CDs anymore, at least I can't find any.
But the first DVD I grabbed from the shelf (Elvis: That's the way it is)
copyrighted product has been manufactured and distributed by Warner Home
Video, a Time Warner Entertainment Company, and is authorized for sale
or rental for private home use in the USA and Canada ONLY. The sale or
rental of this product outside of the USA and Canada has NOT been
authorized by Warner Home Video, and is in direct violation of the
written terms of trade. Federal law provides sever civil and criminal
penalties for the unauthorized distribution, reproduction or exhibition
of copyrighted motion pictures, video tapes or videodiscs.
Elvis: That's the way it is & Photography [lots of copyright notices].
All rights reserved. Available from blah blah blah".

Ah, here I have a DVD of an Austrian TV series from the seventies. The
notice is in German, but I'll translate:
"The DVD is intended only for private home use. Copying onto empty tape
is prohibited. Violation will be prosecuted with civil and criminal law.
All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, hiring, lending, exhibition,
broadcast prohibited. Distributed by the local BMG company, etc."

A CD, first one I found from a major label, Neil Young & Crazy Horse:

"Reprise Records, a Time Warner company. [Address]. [Copyright notices].
All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, hiring, lending, exhibition,
public performance, broadcast prohibited. Made in Canada by blahblah".

> Of course they're 
> copyrighted - every work is.  But we have laws about what you can do with 
> copyrighted material, and, in Canada, fair use includes putting it on the 
> medium of your choice.

What you do own is the material disc of course. The copyright holder of
course owns all rights to the content and lets you use it. Note how they
always say "Unauthorized this and that", which can mean anything,
depending on the particular license you have (a movie theater has a
different one and so is authorized to show a movie publicly) and the law
you are under. The law in your country provides the particular rights
and limitations to copyright holder and licensee alike, and we were
talking about the EU directive, which specifically requires EU laws to
take away fair use rights my making copying unauthorized when the
content is DRM'ed (whatever the DRM's actual security), as I think I
have shown by the text of the directive.

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