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RE: [dvd-discuss] Copyright ranges

--- "Glendon M. Gross" <gross@xinetd.ath.cx> wrote:
> No doubt your intellectual property is growing by leaps and bounds.  :)
> Do you need a means to ensure that the output of the script is not already
> copyrighted by someone else?
> (Can you imagine how much paperwork would be generated if each and every
> time the script was run, it submitted an online query to the U.S. 
> Copyright office?)
> For example, the old concept was that eventually the digital "monkeys" would
> type out the complete works of Shakespeare.  In that unlikely event, 
> would those works cease to belong to the public domain?  :)

Copying is usually proved by showing two things:
1) Substantial Similarity
2) Access to the work in question

Even if their is exact similarity, if there was no access (for example if the
first author had not yet published and was unknown to the second) then the
standard isn't met. The monkeys example you give would probably require a
person to select a piece of their total output. Since that person had access to
Shakespeare's works, it would be exceedingly unlikely that they would prevail
to show they had not copied Shakespear. 

Additionally, if by some miracle the characters were chosen in non ex-post
facto way, then the result would still not be coyprightable, because there is
no originality involved, all originality is attributable to "nature". Feist is
a good illustration of this: an alphabetical ordering of a cities residents and
phone numbers is not "original", therefore not copyrightable.

This is a theoretical subtlety of copyright law which. Copyright protects
"original" expression, not "novel" expression. In theory if two poets penned
the exact same Haiku truly independently, each would have an "original"
expression and would get a copyright on the result. If one granted universal
permission to copy, while the other did not, you would have to find a specific
copy that traced it's copying origin to the grantor. 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
> [mailto:owner-dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu]On Behalf Of Thomas Olsson
> Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2002 3:52 AM
> To: dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
> Subject: RE: [dvd-discuss] Copyright ranges
> In article <E06ADA0073926048AD304115DD8AB6BC01239726@mail.onetouch.com>,
> Richard Hartman <URL:mailto:hartman@onetouch.com> wrote:
> >
> > [snip]
> > > So the output "inherits" the rights attached to the input, if
> > > the process
> > > can be viewed as a conversion? Interesting.
> >
> > All theory mind you, my own view of what _should_ be, not
> > necessarily what _is_.
> I see. A simple rule like that would certainly make it easier to determine
> what rights you hold.
> > [snip]
> >
> > I do not see how the output of a search engine could
> > possibly qualify as "artistic expression".  Those programs
> > that spew out poetry and music might have an argument,
> > but a search engine?  It's like copyrighting your shopping
> > list (which is, unfortunately, possible IIRC ...)
> As a few people have noted, they might mean the page style etc., basically
> everything except the results.
> But if I copied their results only, and served them up in a style I had
> created, I'm pretty sure they would still view that as some kind of
> infringement.
> > > I am fascinated by the idea that you can publish and
> > > copyright billions
> > > of permutations of output, just by writing a script. I have
> > > already got
> > > a suitable script that demonstrates the stupidity of that,
> > > but I need more
> > > information about the laws to perfect it.
> >
> > I would be interested in seeing that script.  What have
> > you called it?  "MillionMonkeys.pl" perhaps ?
> >
> > ;-)
> That's an apt name, but this one is called "poems", since that is what
> it retrieves. I have tried to make it very similar to how Google works.
> So if they really have copyright on their results, then I have too.
> By requesting any of these poems, you hereby waive the right to attempt
> reverse engineering the script that retrieves them. Please press your nose
> against the screen here--> [I accept] before proceeding.
> Here are some examples of the poems I've made, I hope you like them:
> http://www.armware.dk/cgi-bin/poems/CfBG9mI2tHD.GInGyj474
> http://www.armware.dk/cgi-bin/poems/JrIwdu94jioJOIW083jj0
> http://www.armware.dk/cgi-bin/poems/BSwxV1Umfaogz2VDnrK43LD1xs6
> Feel free to try other filenames... who knows, you might find another of
> my poems! Just remember that they are all copyrighted. :-)
> Regards,
> Thomas
> --
> 	9876543210  Magic tab-o-meter.		http://www.armware.dk/
>          ^
>      The opinions expressed herein may not reflect official RIAA policy.

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