Do we live in a world without copyright law?

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PI
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Postby PI » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:00 pm

One more example on whose law applies where. The Microsoft Windows Media Player case in the EU. The EU demanded that Microsoft prepare a special version of MS Windows without the Media Player embedded. This product has to be offered in the EU. It doesn't matter that MS is based in the US and that most other regions in the world have no problem with the Media Player embedded by default (and the fact that it can't be removed entirely). But as MS is selling products in the EU, it has to obey the laws there. And the final verdict is that MS limits customer choice and inhibits competition between software vendors. The EU does not and can not force MS to offer the same "crippled" product in other countries. But in the EU, MS has to abide.

PI
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Postby PI » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:08 pm

Quite insulting post for Canada.


I don't find it insulting at all, even though I live in Canada. It takes the point to the extreme, this shows that it doesn't matter where the server is located. Canada's copyright law is only a bit (20 years) more lenient than the law in the EU. It's not that Canada is a copyright safe haven. (see demonoid)

WJM
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Postby WJM » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:13 pm

PI wrote:EU law applies in the EU and Canadian law applies in Canada. What's legal here might be illegal there. When you are in a foreign country, do business there or offer some service, you have to respect the local law.


IMSLP is not in Europe.
IMSLP distributes sheet music. It does that worldwide. You have to abide the laws of the country where you are distributing.


You have to abide by the rules of the country which has jurisdiction over you.

When UE starts "respecting" Mexico's life+100 copyright term, maybe they'll have a leg to stand on. If the Austrian or EU law applies to a Canadian operation, then Mexican law must also apply to Austria or the EU. Right?

If the work you are distributing is not in the public domain in a certain country then you simply can't distribute it there.


If that country is that exercised about it, then they can do the blocking themselves.

However, why does this principle only work uni-directionally? If someone in a country with a longer term can rely on that longer term to argue that something is still under copyright, even in the shorter-term country, can someone in the longer-term country not also rely on the shorter-term country's law to insist that the work is public domain?

Countries are sovereign or they are not.

WJM
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Postby WJM » Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:14 pm

PI wrote:They have the right to sue in Austria because they own the copyright there. Of course, this is not enough for motivation. There must be some money at stake. This is why noone cares that certain porn sites don't actually block minors. Or at least noone sues them.


Then let them sue IN AUSTRIA.

Go for it.

jhellingman
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Postby jhellingman » Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:42 pm

PI wrote:IMSLP distributes sheet music. It does that worldwide. You have to abide the laws of the country where you are distributing. If the work you are distributing is not in the public domain in a certain country then you simply can't distribute it there. You may still be able to distribute it somewhere else.


IMSLP distributed music from its server located in Canada. Only Canada. That people from other countries can access their server is by their choosing. Just as it would be if he was offering printed editions by post-order from Canada.

Foreign countries have no jurisdiction over things published in Canada in accordance with Canadian law.

jhellingman
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Postby jhellingman » Tue Oct 23, 2007 8:45 pm

PI wrote:At the same time you click and download, the owner of the website distributes the work. Both are illegal, but it is easier to go after the distributor than the end user. There are fewer of them and they are the big fish. At least that's what copyright owner chose to do.


Many countries have private copying exceptions, under which downloading even clearly pirated content is fully legal. Here in Europe we have levies on empty media that are intended to "compensate" for that right.

PI
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Postby PI » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:31 am

WJM wrote:You have to abide by the rules of the country which has jurisdiction over you.


Unfortunately, you can't choose which country has jurisdiction over you. If you are 20 and visit the US you won't be served alcohol. Even if you are a French citizen. The local law applies.

WJM wrote:IMSLP is not in Europe.


It IS in Europe, as the service is available there.


WJM wrote:When UE starts "respecting" Mexico's life+100 copyright term, maybe they'll have a leg to stand on. If the Austrian or EU law applies to a Canadian operation, then Mexican law must also apply to Austria or the EU. Right?


Yes. A Mexican publisher could sue a European organization distributing public domain scores in Mexico. As a matter of fact, they could even sue IMSLP. The trial would take place in Mexico.

WJM wrote:If that country is that exercised about it, then they can do the blocking themselves.


It's not the country's interest that you violate.

WJM wrote:However, why does this principle only work uni-directionally? If someone in a country with a longer term can rely on that longer term to argue that something is still under copyright, even in the shorter-term country, can someone in the longer-term country not also rely on the shorter-term country's law to insist that the work is public domain?

Countries are sovereign or they are not.


Unfortunately, there is no universal "copyright" and "public domain". It changes from country to country, since countries are sovereign. Thus you have to respect the law of the country where you distribute the works. It's not that one country's law is enforced in another country.

PI
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Postby PI » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:32 am

WJM wrote:
PI wrote:They have the right to sue in Austria because they own the copyright there. Of course, this is not enough for motivation. There must be some money at stake. This is why noone cares that certain porn sites don't actually block minors. Or at least noone sues them.


Then let them sue IN AUSTRIA.

Go for it.


That was their intent, see the letters: Place of jurusdiction: Vienna.

PI
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Postby PI » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:35 am

IMSLP distributed music from its server located in Canada. Only Canada. That people from other countries can access their server is by their choosing. Just as it would be if he was offering printed editions by post-order from Canada.

Foreign countries have no jurisdiction over things published in Canada in accordance with Canadian law.


A very good point. If IMSLP were offering printed editions by post order worldwide, they would get the exact same letter from UE. The distribution medium is irrelevant. They would have to deny certain works from European customers.

WJM
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Postby WJM » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:42 am

PI wrote:It IS in Europe, as the service is available there.


In which case a European server IS in Canada.

And therefore, European companies MUST give me material which is public domain under Canadian law.

Right?

Yes. A Mexican publisher could sue a European organization distributing public domain scores in Mexico. As a matter of fact, they could even sue IMSLP. The trial would take place in Mexico.


And I'm sure in absentia, with no Mexican assets to go after, that would be really productive.

Unfortunately, there is no universal "copyright" and "public domain". It changes from country to country, since countries are sovereign. Thus you have to respect the law of the country where you distribute the works.


In this case: Canada.

WJM
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Postby WJM » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:43 am

PI wrote:That was their intent, see the letters: Place of jurusdiction: Vienna.


Good luck with that, when the person and server of interest is in another continent.

Canadian law, not Austrian, applies.

nicgios
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Re: Do we live in a world without copyright law?

Postby nicgios » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:08 pm

Universal Edition Vienna wrote:Universal Edition AG Vienna has been working for composers for more than 100 years and by protecting their copyrights will continue to enable the composers to get their royalties due.


Please, can you tell us how much are you paying Schoenberg, Marx, Janacek
and Bartok? :) Right now in 2007...

Universal Edition Vienna wrote:We regret and wonder why the removal of some of our works can have such an impact on the future running of this website.


You regret? "Our works"? What are you talking about?

nicgios

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Postby gchirag » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:21 pm

As a surprise the people who caused the shutdown of IMSLP are asking to put it back on the Internet.

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Postby gchirag » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:22 pm

Maybe they have realised this art form has to spread.

JCF Fischer
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Postby JCF Fischer » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:53 pm

PI,

The applicability of Austrian law is not as simple a matter as you describe. In general, a person or corporation is not subject to a jurisdiction's laws unless they have a physical presence within the jurisdiction. There are many kinds of web content, legal in Canada, which are unlawful elsewhere. For example, material critical of the mainland Chinese government would be unlawful in that country but permissible in Canada but under Canadian law may be posted on a Canadian web site with no obligation to censor the material if accessed from China. Other examples abound among more censorious countries of the world.

Accordingly, Austrian copyright law is relevant only to the extent that Canadian courts choose to recognize it, which in turn is determined by case law and statute. The Berne convention only requires international recognition of a copyright term of life+50. I am unfamiliar with the details of Candian law on this matter.

The examples you cite involving Microsoft differ because Microsoft maintains a physical presence in the countries at issue.


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