The MPAA is trying to control your TV with a rider on a government spending bill!
Tell the FCC to Serve the Public, Not Hollywood!
Can You Trust Your Computer?
Transcript of the Oral Arguments in the Eldred Case
Read the Early Report
on the Supreme Court Case Against the Mickey Mouse Act ( Bono Act )
We got some press coverage. Check it out!
Some pictures of the event are here.
Your right to own and operate a computer is under attack!
Immediate action is needed!
Can't Quote the Law without Permission of a Copyright Holder. That's right - The Law
under is prohibited to be copied or distributed according to these legal
Don't say "We the People" in Public....
Who We Are
New Yorkers for Fair Use is a group that supports copyright law as
Congress originally framed and implemented it. Congress first
conceived of copyright law as a limited term protection for authors
and inventors. This limited term protection was meant to be an
incentive to creators of original work to distribute their inventions
as quickly and as widely as possible. Congress hoped that this
distribution would facilitate scientific and artistic progress. Today,
the extension of copyright to 70 or more years past the death of the
author and the passage of laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright
Act, support the interests of corporations in maintaining monopolies
over their creations at the expense of scientific and artistic
progress. The DMCA is a particularly egregious example of this trend
in copyright law. The DMCA grants the authors of digital works the
ability to specify how their work my be used in perpetuity. Moreover,
the DMCA even allows authors to prohibit the copying and quoting of
their digital work for the purpose of education -- a use of
copyrighted works which has traditionally been allowed under the
doctrine of fair use. Because the DMCA allows authors to prevent
other members of the public from using their work as a basis for
further creative endeavor, we believe the DMCA fatally harms the
original intent of copyright law, which was to promote progress in the
useful arts and sciences. As such, we support the revocation of the DMCA in
the interests of scientific and artistic progress. We also support
the extension of the fair use doctrine into the digital domain so that
some balance is restored between the interests of the public and the
interests of authors and inventors.
What is Copyright?
The history of American copyright law originated with the
introduction of the printing press to England in the late fifteenth
century. As the number of presses grew, authorities sought to control
the publication of books by granting printers a near monopoly on
publishing in England. The Licensing Act of 1662 confirmed that monopoly
and established a register of licensed books to be administered by the
Stationers' Company, a group of printers with the authority to censor
publications. The 1662 act lapsed in 1695 leading to a relaxation of
government censorship, and in 1710 Parliament enacted the Statute of
Anne to address the concerns of English booksellers and printers. The
1710 act established the principles of authors' ownership of copyright
and a fixed term of protection of copyrighted works (fourteen years, and
renewable for fourteen more if the author was alive upon expiration).
The statute prevented a monopoly on the part of the booksellers and
created a "public domain" for literature by limiting terms of copyright
and by ensuring that once a work was purchased the copyright owner no
longer had control over its use. While the statute did provide for an
author's copyright, the benefit was minimal because in order to be paid
for a work an author had to assign it to a bookseller or publisher.
Since the Statute of Anne almost three hundred years ago
....Read the rest here.
Recent trends in the law in response to the internet and the advent of digital medium have
Among the recent laws passed which threaten Copyright is the Digital Millennium Act which
in 1998 in response to pressure from the broadcast and mass media industry in the US.
Another law recently passed which attempts to destroy Copyright is the Sony Bono Copyright
Since Copyright can not be legal without Fair Use, both of these laws, among others making
rounds on the Federal and State level,
are undermining the legal and moral foundation of Copyright. New Yorkers for Fair Use is an
organization which is determined
to protect the validity of Copyright law by protecting Fair Use and dispelling misinformation
We would like you to know, first and foremost what is a legal use of Copyrighted material and
what is not.
First of all: Can I own an idea,
song, work of art, writing or other creative work of abstract human intellect?
No - One can not own an idea, even if you created it. You can only own a limited license
Copyright or patent to exploit your idea for comercial purposes, or not to exploit it if you
Intellectual Property is a misuse of language often used to confuse people about their rights
and responsibilities. It is similar to "The Democratic Republic of China" By supporting
Copyright legislation, you can best protect your rights under Copyright.
Legal Actions with Copyrighted Works
- Copying a Copyrighted work.
- Making an archive of Copyrighted works.
- Editing a Copyrighted work.
- Distributing a quote from a Copyrighted work within an original work for the purposes of
discussing that work.
- Giving a copy of a Copyrighted work to a friend without a charge or other monetary
- Using the Copyrighted work without permission of the Copyright holder in a way the
Copyright holder did not initially approve of in its sale of the work to you.
- Destroying your copy of the Copyrighted work.
- Travelling with the Copyrighted work into a different jurisdiction.
- Selling your copy of the Copyrighted work.
Illegal Uses of a Copyrighted Work
- Making a copy of a Copyrighted work and selling it.
- Charging for the viewing a Copyrighted work without permission of the Copyright holder.
- Amassing a database of Copyrighted works and charging for access to that database.
- Mixing together Copyrighted works and selling your services for reading or playing that mix.
Some specific issues with Copyright:
- FBI Warning on Video Tapes.
- The FBI Warning about copying a video tape is a lie. Owners of Copyrighted
material are allowed to copy the VHS Tape for their personal use. Copying is not a crime.
- Ripping CD's to MP3 files.
- This is LEGAL. Copying legally purchased Copyrighted material is a protected act
under the Constitution.
- Making copies of a Copyrighted article for a class discussion and distributing them to the
- Legal and explicit under Section 107 quoted above.
- Sharing an MP3 music file, or a cassette tape of music without charge.
- This is LEGAL unless your doing this as part of a business plan or promotion. You can have
a website full of MP3's as long as it is not a business site, you are not selling ad space etc. If you can afford it, have fun.
- Copying software in a business.
- Illegal - Don't do it.
- Copying software you own for personal use.
- Legal if no money is passing hands.
- Sell copies of software you own and no longer use.
- Legal as a second sale.