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ironwulf
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Legal Issues
« on: 04/20/03 at 13:32:13 »
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http://cgi.marty.net/cgi/marty/cpshop/beatboxbetty


I would've thought CP wouldn't print that MS Migraine...  
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Marty
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Re: Legal Issues
« Reply #1 on: 04/20/03 at 16:45:42 »
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They've never had to, since that store is really just an example store for cpshop -- no one's ever bought anything from it.

Although I'm pretty sure they all fall under the scope of protected speech -- no one would ever confuse them with Microsoft products, and they don't use anything that's explicitly trademarked or copywritten.
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ironwulf
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Re: Legal Issues
« Reply #2 on: 04/20/03 at 19:45:30 »
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It just seems that CP is very strict with copyright issues so they don't have to purchase a horde of lawyers .
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Marty
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Re: Legal Issues
« Reply #3 on: 04/20/03 at 22:13:15 »
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Actually, CP follows a very strict ruleset when dealing with copyright infringement.

The law of the land is the DMCA -- the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  The DMCA is the way CafePress is able to do business, and also the limiting factor in that business.

The DMCA states that if you run a service which people can use to violate copyrights, then it is only your responsibility to act upon infringement you know about.  That means two things:

1) If there's an obvious infringement that's impossible to miss, then it's your responsibility to stop it.  An example would be a shirt featuring Mickey Mouse.

2) If someone informs you of an infringement, then it's your responsibility to remove it, unless and until the infringer can prove the claim false.

What this means, essentially, is that if someone claims a store violates their copyrights, then CafePress must take the store down immediately; if they don't take the store down immediately, then they become instantly liable for damages, because now they're willingly allowing the store to remain online.

This, of course, is horrifying to the store owner, but the math is pretty simple: a single copyright violation can result in a fine of up to $150,000; a store that's sold 10 items then could cost the company $1,500,000.  Consequently, it makes much more financial and business sense to take the store down for a day or two, and ask the owner to provide proof of ownership.  (Unless, of course, the proof is obvious, such as someone from Disney demanding the Mickey Mouse store come down.  In that case, the store is closed and the storeowner simply told it's been closed and why.)

Of course, there are limits -- if someone calls in and declares that they own the copyright on all clothing with pictures of cats, then CP contacts its intellectual property attorneys, who inform them that the claim is probably unactionable.  This prevents superfluous nonsense.  (Though every once in a while the stupid claim is valid, such as the idiot that "owns" the right to the word "CAUTION.")

But the rule is simple: take the store down first, ask questions later.  While this sounds unfair to the infringing storeowner, it also protects CP as a company, which in turn protects all the other thousands of storeowners that sell stuff legally.  Because the right to free speech should be protected, but so should everyone's right to use CafePress.
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Colin McEwan
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Re: Legal Issues
« Reply #4 on: 06/10/03 at 05:43:41 »
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So, what's your take on the theft of hundreds of music artist writeups from everything2.com to make the text for your 'music.homepages.org' project?

for example, let's look at the similarity between http://everything2.com/?node=throwing+moses, and http://www.throwing.muses.com-music.homepages.org.

As the author of the bulk of these works, I'm curious to know.
« Last Edit: 06/10/03 at 17:22:28 by Marty » Logged
Marty
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Re: Legal Issues
« Reply #5 on: 06/10/03 at 10:51:02 »
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I was under the now clearly-false impression that the everything 2 content was open content.  As soon as people complained -- in droves, I might add -- I removed all of it and apologized.
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