Photcopying of out of print books

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Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Guest » October 14th, 2003, 7:57 am

I wonder if Richard or someone else who knows the facts can give me an answer to an ethical question. I have borrowed a friend's copy of _The Book of John_ which has been long out of print.
The question is one of ethical photocopying for one's own use. I teach grad school and often hand out parts of an out of print book (an article or chapter) to my students. It is wrong for me to copy this book for my own use? Thanks for any help.

Bill Mullins
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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Bill Mullins » October 14th, 2003, 8:23 am

Ethics are a subjective, personal subject. What is ethical for me may not be ethical for you or anyone else on the Forum. However, I think most folks would say this is unethical.

It is against copyright law, which is a far less subjective standard.

Of course, if you have John Mendoza's permission, it becoms ethical and legal.

I think he lives in the St. Louis area. Try one of the online phone books, and give him a call. Most magicians, when asked, are very friendly and helpful.

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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Richard Hatch » October 14th, 2003, 9:07 am

I am not sure that Bill is strictly correct in saying that for Samuel to make a photocopy of the book would be in violation of copyright law. The "fair use" provision of copyright law allows some photocopying of copyrighted materials for private use. That is likely what allows Samuel to distribute such materials to his students as well. It would be in violation of copyright law for someone to profit from making such copies, by selling them, for example.
I am not a lawyer, so perhaps someone who is could clarify for us the "fair use" provision...

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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Frank Yuen » October 14th, 2003, 9:15 am

I would think that "fair use" does not extend to an entire book but only a section. Personally, I would agree with everything in Bill Mullins' post.

Frank Yuen

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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » October 14th, 2003, 9:20 am

OWNING, OWNING UP, AND FACSIMILES THEREOF

Ive long been morbidly fascinated by the changes that have occurred regarding the ways information (in the supposed semi-secret world of magicdom) is transmitted and exchanged and the rules of ethical conduct that supposedly governs these actions. Because I have a stake in protecting intellectual property, Im often torn between acknowledging the often-unruly aspects of the First Amendment and an impulse to keep secrets relatively exclusive and safe from the plunders of information thieves. As all of us know, information technology has empowered EVERYONE, including hackers and thieves. In the Commons of the Connected World, innovation clashes with corporate protectionism, freewheeling creativity clashes with legal forces, market forces, and laws that may eventually be enforceable in draconian ways.

I remember when Xerography altered the behavior of producers and consumers (of magic information) 30-35 years ago. Now there are copy machines in libraries and the concept of fair use is stretched to its limits. There are three layers to the Internetthat massive space of freedom, anarchy, and thievery: the physical layer, the code layer, and the content layer. I doubt that the physical layer can be significant altered or reformed. The code layer (which decides how content and applications flow) is another matter. Because of the big, big bucks involved in protecting certain media, the battle will continue to be waged. Right now, there is plenty of info to be easily plundered.

Bill Mullins is right: Ethical behavior, particularly in our chummy, insular world of magicdom, comes to a personal, grass-roots level. Dont rip off your friends. Dont rip off your esteemed colleagues. Value any work by paying for it.

If you want to plumb the depths of this subject, I recommend reading THE SOCIAL LIFE OF INFORMATION by John Seely Brown and Paul Dugrid and THE FUITURE OF IDEAS by Lawrence Lessig.

Most magicians, however, are simply interested in the work and when and where they can get it at the cheapest price. Its likely that file-sharing (to absorb cost) is as common these days as borrowing a magician-friends books was in the recent past. Copying DVDs is not as easy, but the technology will soon be here at a cheaper price. Scanning of course is done more frequently than photocopying. E-mail attachments soar through cyberspace.

Still, there are some ironies. There are Xeroxed copies of CARDS AS WEAPONS out there, yet many consumers want hard-cover first editions and will pay hundreds of dollars for a mint copy.

I donated a few of my modest, esoteric books to local libraries. Most were eventually stolen or never returned. Others had pages torn out. Many were xeroxed.

In the end, you must examine your own moral code and establish its parameters.

So...

Anybody want to borrow my copies of THE BOOK OF JOHN? <g> I have three of them. Two I bought with hard cash. One is hardcover; the other is soft-cover. The third is a Xeroxed copy that was sent to me unsolicited with annotations.

Or, as Bill Mullins advises, check with John Mendoza. He may have a copy or two to sell. Also, H & R and Andy Greget may have used copies. There ARE options.

So it goes

Onward

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 14th, 2003, 9:28 am

Here's the story: it does NOT matter whether the book is out of print or not. The only thing that matters is whether the book is legally in the public domain and is no longer copyrighted.
If the Book of John bears a proper copyright notice (if it was published prior to 1978) then it is fully copyrighted.
The only photocopy (or electronic, digital copy)that may be made is for the use of the person who already owns the book. In other words, if you consider the book valuable and don't want to take it on vacation, then you can make a copy for yourself.
It is illegal to make copies for anyone else, and whether they are given away or sold makes no difference: either action constitutes a damage to the copyright owner.
There are laws specifically governing the copying of articles in an educational situation. This is different than "Fair Use."
Photocopying tricks from The Book of John (for example) and giving them to someone is illegal, because it constitutes a damage to the copyright owner. If the book is out of print, then it damages the copyright owners ability to wait until demand has built up suffiently to demand a reprint. If people are copying the best tricks and handing them around, why is he going to reprint the book?
Just don't do it!
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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Richard Hatch » October 14th, 2003, 10:10 am

Makes sense, but doesn't the lending of copyrighted material, whether by a lending institution such as a library or simply from friend to friend also "constitute a damage" to the copyright holder, and yet it is (I think!) not in violation of the copyright to lend books. Why not?

And clearly making copies for one's own use does not protect the copyright owner. The value of used videos has traditionally been very low, because the owners often make copies for themselves, then sell the originals. I assume that in selling the originals, they should have destroyed the copies as well, but can't imagine many did...

Surely someone on this forum is a lawyer with background in intellectual property who can clarify this issue.

I hope that we can all agree that the selling of copies of copyrighted materials is not only unethical but illegal. Ironically, the author of the book in question here sold a pirate edition of THE HARBIN BOOK OF MAGIC on eBay a few years back, proclaiming it as "scarcer than the original". I believe it fetched about $800...

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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Bill Mullins » October 14th, 2003, 10:34 am

Originally posted by Richard Hatch:
Makes sense, but doesn't the lending of copyrighted material, whether by a lending institution such as a library or simply from friend to friend also "constitute a damage" to the copyright holder, and yet it is (I think!) not in violation of the copyright to lend books. Why not?
Because the act of loaning a book does not make a new copy, and the making of copies is what the copyright laws restrict.

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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 14th, 2003, 10:34 am

I believe there are specific exemptions from the law for libraries and the law is what determines what does and does not constitute copyright infringement. Perhaps Farmer will appear and give us some insight!
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Guest

Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Guest » October 14th, 2003, 10:44 am

Thanks for the help. I won't copy the book but if someone has one for sale and wants to e-mail me I would be thankful.

Again, I didn't want to steal anything, but simply wanted to know what the aternatives were for getting a book that was out of print. Richard makes a great point about allowing demand to build up until the book can be reprinted with profit.

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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Pete Biro » October 14th, 2003, 11:00 am

There are several (H&R, Greget, Myers, Walker-and more) dealers that carry "out of print" books.

I strongly suggest anyone looking for "oop" books contact said purveyors and give them your want lists.

GO CUBS!
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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Pete Biro » October 14th, 2003, 11:01 am

You would also be surprised how many magic books, old and new, you can find by searching on www.abebooks.com
:cool:
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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Brad Henderson » October 14th, 2003, 11:08 am

I know Cannick had the Mendoza books at one time, as well.

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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Pete Biro » October 14th, 2003, 11:08 am

There were a few books by Mendoza on Abe's one of interest was "The Magic of Chris Kenner" another "Don Englund" and several on ventriloquism.

Hmmmm.... Kenner book may be a killer.
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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » October 14th, 2003, 11:12 am

I can't remember if I saw it when I was in Canick's shop a few weeks ago, but feel free to ask him. His website is www.canick.com. If you don't see it listed, send him an e-mail or call him up. I believe he has a lot of things that are in the store that are not listed on the website.

-Jim

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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Oliver Corpuz » October 14th, 2003, 3:10 pm

The following is not to be considered legal advice and is for discussion and educational purposes only.

Copyright laws do cover the right of loaning, rental and selling.

A copyright owner generally has five exclusive rights in the copyrighted work: 1) Reproduction, 2) Modification (derivative works), 3) Public Distribution (including sale, rental, lease, or lending), 4) Public Performance, and 5)Public Display.

Consider all the different kinds of copyright rights "a bundle of sticks" with each individual stick representing a single copyright right.

The copyright owner can do whatever he wants with each individual stick. The owner can let you borrow a stick for a set period of time (limited use of a right), rent you the stick (grant you a license to use that right by paying the copyright owner a licensing fee or royalties), sell you the stick (making you the owner of that specific right represented by the stick), or keep all the sticks for himself (reserve all rights). Using a stick you don't own or have authorization to use makes you liable for copyright infringement. (Note: There are execptions to copyrights, but many exceptions are generally misunderstood and not applied correctly).

Example. If I am the registered copyright holder of my out of print lecture notes, "Oliver's lecture notes", I can grant you specific permission to make a copy of the lecuture notes for your personal, private use. (I grant you my "right of reproduction" stick for make one (1) copy of my lecture notes for your personal use and I keep all other reproduction rights). If I have only granted you this right and only this particular right, then you do not have authorization to use any other of my copyright rights (as I still keep all the other sticks for myself and retain ownership of the reproduction stick). If you make another copy of my lecture notes and give the copy to someone else, sell the copy I permitted you to make to someone else, even lend the copy to someone else to use, you have violated rights of mine protected by copyright law and can be liable for damages if I pursue an infingement claim. I only granted you the specific right to make a copy for your own personal use, so you are not permitted to use other copyright rights represented by "other sticks" I own or use the "reproduction" stick again to make more copies. So if you violate my copyright "I will 'stick' it to you and sue you."

Another example, copyright owners of magic DVD's generally have messages reserving the rights of "No Public Performance" and "Prohibiting Rental". You may have the right to resell the DVD to another person, but if the copyright owner has reserved the right to rent the DVD to others, you'd be infinging if you rent it.

Vist the Library of Congress webpage for a Primer on Copyright Basics.

http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html

This following page at the Electronic Frontier Foundation also has a good primer relating to multimedia and web developers.

http://www.eff.org/CAF/law/ip-primer

Again, if you have questions on copyright law, you really should consult an attorney that practices copyright law. (I don't).

- Oliver

Guest

Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Guest » October 15th, 2003, 9:30 am

...and the Fair Use exclusion...?!

:cool:

Oliver Corpuz
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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Oliver Corpuz » October 15th, 2003, 12:48 pm

Originally posted by WarlockDrummer:
...and the Fair Use exclusion...?!

:cool:
The fair use limitation on a Copyright owner's exclusive rights uses a four part test found in section 107 of the copyright act. The four considerations are:

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Whether the "fair use" test is met is subject to interpretation (reasonable minds can differ on its application), the individual circumstances surrounding its use, and court rulings in your jurisdiction. The penalty for infringement can be substantial, so consulting a copyright attorney would be wise to ensure your proposed fair use would be a successful defense to a copyright infringement claim.

Asking the copyright owner for and obtaining permission to use copyrighted material is the best way to avoid infringement.

In the example in the topic at bar, copying an ENTIRE book/manuscript would very likely not pass factor #3, and fair use would likely not be a successful defense to infringement.

The library of congress's page on fair use.
http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

The University of Texas' guidelines on the fair use test.
http://www.utsystem.edu/ogc/intellectua ... 2.htm#test

- Oliver

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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Brisbin » October 15th, 2003, 3:03 pm

The timing of this thread is interesting. A well-known purveyor of new and used magic sent me an e-mail offering today. The list included a "poor photo copy" of the Harbin book for $9.00!

If it wasn't true it would be funny dept. - Michael Close's story of having someone (I'd bet more than one) ask him to sign photo copies of his books at a convention.

In the case of "The Book of John," I'd be surprised if he realized any profit from the original distibutor of that book. I don't want to get flamed, but if you know the book, you know who originally sold it. If you make a copy of Mr. Mendoza's book, it amounts to depriving the author of his compensation a second time. :(
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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 15th, 2003, 4:12 pm

If anyone wants a copy of The Second Book of John (I think it's called John: Verse Two), I have a hardcover I'd be willing to part with. $75 takes it. Posts here only, please. (When I say a "copy," I don't mean a photocopy, but the actual book as published.)
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Re: Photcopying of out of print books

Postby Guest » October 18th, 2003, 9:41 am

Greetings:

Shortly before this thread started, I sold first editions of The Book of John & John: Verse 2 for $80 together. Sorry, Samuel. I'll keep an eye out. BTW, a number of dealers in used magic books keep records of customer wants. You might try asking a few to do this.
Best,
Michael

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