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Copyright Discussion

 
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Gooner
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Joined: 25 May 2007
Posts: 1292
Location: England, UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:05 pm    Post subject: Copyright Discussion Reply with quote

So let's talk about copyright then.
Do you have strong feelings about it, have you ever used a "copyrighted" property just to annoy someone? Do you have an experience of dealing with copyright owners?

Back in 2006 when I started my site I have to admit to an ambivalence towards it and I suppose in some ways a blatant disregard where I felt it was being abused (more of that later).

First a question - is copyright purely a legal statement, say for instance I can say this post is copyrighted - and that's it - or is it like a patent and I have to be "request" and be "given" copyright by a "copyright office"?

I suppose my first real copyright discussion was with Doug Myall about 5 years ago when I started to produce albums. He did not want me to use Deegam numbers on them. To be honest, at first, I was bit miffed with this as I thought it was actually beneficial to him as buyers would see these numbers, perhaps become intrigued and purchase a copy.

However as the discussion progressed I came round to his point of view as, after all, it is the mans life work and he wants to protect the good name of his output. So let's put that one to bed - I have no issue and respect his decision.

This does not of course stop me using Deegam numbers on my personal copies that I will never sell (although I suppose I can't stop them being sold once I have passed over - still I guess as Doug has 30 years on me - he is unlikely to be worrying about that).

So that was my first experience.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Last year I had a hair-raising experience with Getty Images Inc who tried to rob me of 1000 for supposedly taking one of their images and using it on my site. On investigation I found that it was not their photograph at all but one that belonged to Royal Mail.

However it did cause me enough initial concern to Google them and apparently they are the latest in the line of "ambulance chasers". They trawl web-sites looking for images that they hold copyright to, so if you get a similar letter from them - my advice don't pay up until you are positive that you are infringing their ownership of an image.

Incidentally when I tried to invoice them for my time and stress in proving my innocence - guess what - they stopped pestering me -although I did get a somewhat grudging apology from them.

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Back to the more general -
I notice a couple of dealers use watermarks assuming copyright of their images. I am no lawyer but I am not sure this will stand up in court as stamps are stamps - and the copyright belongs to Royal Mail if anyone ...

Personally I don't do that on my site - if someone wants to copy and use the images on my site - I don't really care. I have seen some used on eBay but so what.

I played around with some watermark software last night and put them on a couple of the coil strips I had scanned in - as an exercise, but I don't think I will be doing this very often as it is very time consuming and I am wasting valuable selling time.

Sometimes of course copyright claims can be amusing (see the following image) I think this example is what might be called copyright abuse.


Why in the world would anyone even want to copyright this image.
Apparently this image is copyrighted by "STAMPS'n'ALL" on an eBay auction (sue me!). Actually I believe eBay claims copyright of all images on its site in their small print, but that's complete hogwash as well in my view.

Numbering - which is something we have been discussing in another thread - is a completely different issue from images and I admit I find some of it incomprehensible. Isn't there an urban myth that years ago Microsoft tried to copyright protect the numbers 0 and 1?

Well - I've started it - I think you can guess my belief about most copyright issues where stamps are involved anyway. A storyline, a work of art, even a comic drawing yes I can understand these as they are unique but of course I am talking from a layman's point of view and am no lawyer, so I will don my tin hat and wait the responses.
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Dave
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mikrobe115
Gold Poster


Joined: 08 Jul 2007
Posts: 48
Location: Llanelli, South Wales, UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave,

Does this mean we are breaking Deegams copywrite when we talk about his numbering system in this Forum, which is open to any body that wishes to read it.

Also what about SG,s numbers?
As thses are cat. numbers it might not apply.
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Gooner
Machin Man


Joined: 25 May 2007
Posts: 1292
Location: England, UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikrobe115 wrote:
Does this mean we are breaking Deegams copywrite when we talk about his numbering system in this Forum, which is open to any body that wishes to read it.


No - I don't believe so - Doug reads the forum occasionally and I am sure he would have let me know if this were the case.

I understand his objections revolve around using references to his handbook to use in selling items without his written permission.

I have requested and been granted that permission with regard to stamp-collector.co.uk but NOT for selling albums containing Deegam references.

To simplify - I can sell stamps, make reference to and generally utilise the information within the Handbook - as the forum is a sub-domain of said url - I don't see any issues with referencing the numbering system on here.

SG Catalogue numbers are of course copyrighted and technically should not be used without their permission - however because of "general usage" by pretty much every stamp collector in the British Isles and elsewhere - I guess if they wanted to enforce this they would receive a lot more money by suing eBay rather than the small users like us. It would probably lose them more customers than would make it worthwhile to pursue such a policy.

I am sureg they would come down pretty hard if I were to duplicate and sell their catalogues mind!

I assume Royal Mail are in a similar situation. As long as their images for example are not used for anything illegal - they probably have too much else to worry about .....

.... still if times became hard .....

I was hoping an expert on this law would contribute because I am limited to what I have read and possibly some myths as well... for example I believe there is something about a "fair usage policy" which would mean the copyright isn't being infringed.

I have done a small amount of reading on this subject (it isn't exactly riveting stuff) and I have attached a URL which summarises the issues, but still has some information which is not particularly clear.

http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/p01_uk_copyright_law
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cdj1122
Machin Man


Joined: 08 Jul 2007
Posts: 970
Location: Houston, Texas pending eye surgery

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikrobe115 wrote:
Dave,

Does this mean we are breaking Deegams copywrite when we talk about his numbering system in this Forum, which is open to any body that wishes to read it.

Short answer; No.
A bit longer answer;

In the front of each Deegam Handbook on the page where the publishing and printing info is placed, there is a copyright notice;
" ..... Deegam reference numbers and notations may be freely used by collectors for private purposes, including use on pages prepared for exhibition. ...."

" .... Deegam reference numbers and notations may be freely used in dealer's price lists, in auction lists and in other publictions for which no charge is made or subscription is required, provided, in each case, that the copyright is acknowledged and that a complementary copy is sent to me at the address below. They may also be used on internet sales sites provided that a link is given to my website at www.deegam.com ...." etc .... "

The key to the permission is "No Charge". And as many members are aware of, Doug follows the forum when he has time and freely provides information as needed.[/quote]
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