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bpeoples's avatar

Copyright law & space shifting?

Asked by bpeoples (2546points) December 21st, 2010

I have a little situation at work, and I think I have a way to solve it, but it requires doing something that would have to fall under copyright fair use, and I’m not sure if it does.

If I have a book with a copyright, and no other license granted from the publisher, and I scan that book into a pdf and then archive the book in the basement, have I now violated the publisher’s copyright?

To me, this is space shifting (which is a little legally dubious ), but is at least arguable. We’re certainly not letting the pdf off our local network.

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6 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Get ready for fines and jail time. If it is copyrighted material you cannot (oh by the way use it on a network) digitally copy the book. Copyright books are ” not to be digitally copied ” per copyright law.
If your company authorized it, the company too maybe held accountable by law.

bpeoples's avatar

Can’t find a reference to digital copies in copyright law. Of course, 106.1 does cite ”... copies” which could be digital or otherwise.

The exception I think it could fall under is 107’s “research” provision. But I could be misunderstanding “research”

janbb's avatar

I believe you can copy a certain amount for the book for “fair use” (i.e. research purposes) but not the whole book.

bpeoples's avatar

@janbb Yeah, and it looks like the US Copyright office is saying “The courts will decide fair use”.

I’m going to stay out of this and not scan the fricking book.

janbb's avatar

@bpeoples I wouldn’t. There are a lot of issues around it; a number of references came up to the Google digitizing project; it is definitely illegal without permission.

marinelife's avatar

You are violating the copyright for sure.

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