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Brief Companies and Copyrights

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The Public Forum is a community service project that is focused on ensuring that all PF debaters have equal access to high quality research.  One of the things that sets champion teams apart from others is there access to high quality search engines like Lexis Nexis, which give them access to articles hidden behind paywalls.

 

What are the copyright implications for distributing cards cut from these articles, for free? Does this activity fall under fair use? We have access to EBSCO, Lexis Nexis, etc and while we are focused on ensuring equal access, we also want to remain compliant.

 

Thoughts?

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You're fine

 

If it was bad, this site would have been shut down years ago due to the combination of trading, free posting, and vdebates

Edited by ARGogate
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You're fine

 

If it was bad, this site would have been shut down years ago due to the combination of trading, free posting, and vdebates

Mexican drug cartels are fine

 

If it was bad, they would have been shut down years ago due to the combination of selling drugs, beheading people, and laundering money.

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The Public Forum is a community service project that is focused on ensuring that all PF debaters have equal access to high quality research.  One of the things that sets champion teams apart from others is there access to high quality search engines like Lexis Nexis, which give them access to articles hidden behind paywalls.

 

What are the copyright implications for distributing cards cut from these articles, for free? Does this activity fall under fair use? We have access to EBSCO, Lexis Nexis, etc and while we are focused on ensuring equal access, we also want to remain compliant.

 

Thoughts?

Disclaimer: this is not legal advice, it's normative commentary on a legal controversy.

 

It's a clear case of fair use. It is well settled that four factors control any fair use analysis by the Court.

 

These four factors are:

  • the purpose and character of your use 
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion taken
  • The effect of the use on the potential market

Each of the four factors cuts in favor of fair use. 

 

Compilation services from otherwise copyrighted materials are transformative in purpose and character. See White v West Publishing (holding that Westlaw's verbatim, complete copying of briefs and opinions was "transformative" because of database indexing functions). In short, the process of carding work is "transformative". Nor is the use of these articles commercial or self-serving; the purpose of these articles is to train and educate debaters, which the Court has consistently found as support for fair use.

 

"Work nature" also favors fair use. The United States Supreme Court held in Stewart v Abend that ""n general, fair use is more likely to be found in factual works than in fictional works" where there is a higher level of creative input than factual works. Fair use is also likelier to be found when the information presented is not the first impression of that information, i.e. that the work is previously published. This is to ensure that authors control first expression of their work. Since the articles are all previously published, both indicators of this factor cut in favor of fair use. 

 

The amount and substantiality of the portion taken further supports a finding of fair use. Though there is no exact test for how much of a work is substantial, the cards taken are not for the same substantial purpose as the article, i.e. to advance the canon of literature in a particular academic or scholarly field. Instead, the portions of the articles taken are for a substantially different purpose, i.e. to educate debaters and facilitate debates. 

 

The effect of the use upon market value strongly supports a finding of fair use. Providing free debate research has no logical tie to the consumer market which these articles target, to wit: fellow academics and subscribing institutions. No institution's decision to purchase Lexis can be reasonably said to hinge on whether or not you provide free evidence for high school students. Even if you sold these works, this factor would favor fair use because it targets a different market than the original articles target, and therefore has a low probability of affecting market value negatively (and a potentially positive one insofar as it drives attention, traffic, and citations to their scholarship). 

 

Love,

Snarf.

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You're fine

 

If it was bad, this site would have been shut down years ago due to the combination of trading, free posting, and vdebates

this site mostly avoids shutdown by lack of visibility to the people who would sue lol

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"There is no justice in following unjust laws. It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture.

 

We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take stuff that's out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.

 

With enough of us, around the world, we’ll not just send a strong message opposing the privatization of knowledge — we’ll make it a thing of the past. Will you join us?"

 

-Aaron Swartz

Edited by pigasus

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"There is no justice in following unjust laws. It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture.

 

We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take stuff that's out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.

 

With enough of us, around the world, we’ll not just send a strong message opposing the privatization of knowledge — we’ll make it a thing of the past. Will you join us?"

 

-Aaron Swartz

Have to admit that I found this hilarious with your signature.

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Have to admit that I found this hilarious with your signature.

His sig is from the leader of a satirical anarcho-marxist group from the sixties (satirical as in they used jokes to further marxism, not that they made fun of marxism in favor of capitalism).  That adds a whole new dimension to his post

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