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   Are Old Post Cards Copyrighted?
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   Author  Topic: Are Old Post Cards Copyrighted?  (Read 6347 times)
JimIvey
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Re: Are Old Post Cards Copyrighted?
« Reply #5 on: Jun 22nd, 2006, 11:30am »
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"Forgotten?"  I would have to had known of that rule to have forgotten it.
 
Okay, here are some new "facts."  About 15 special agents in Disney character costumes and full S.W.A.T. gear showed up -- I think there was Mickey, Goofey, and who's the girl duck?  They stormed the building, dragged my wife out, grabbed all the Disney paraphernalia (including some Barney and Sesame Street paraphernalia under mistaken beliefs re ownership of that material) and piled it up on the front lawn and had a mid-day bonfire.
 
Here's the eerie part.  They started with a big bonfire, then had a smaller one when they found more stuff, then a third one when they found yet more stuff.  Because of the arrangement of the bonfires, they left a 3-circle image looking very much like the Mickey Mouse silhouette logo.  So Disney sued again.  The city re-planted that grass, but then you had a bright green Disney logo in the browning summer grass -- so, they had to plow under and re-plant the entire lawn.  That was cheaper than the license Disney was offering.
 
So, those are some new "facts" for this telling of the story....
 
Wink
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JSonnabend
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Re: Are Old Post Cards Copyrighted?
« Reply #6 on: Jun 23rd, 2006, 8:06am »
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on Jun 22nd, 2006, 7:56am, Rob Taft wrote:
do you want kids to have to see the cultural icon mickie mouse smoking a cigar on some billboard as he rides to a baseball game with his family.
 
Yes, it does not make sense to extend rights indefinitely as the idea is to get them in the public domain, but there should be some exceptions.

 
And who would you appoint as the morality police?  For that matter, what standards would you suggest?  Applying different copyright terms based on the content of a work (as opposed to the subjective type of work) flies in the face of the First Amendment, does it not?
 
- Jeff
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Re: Are Old Post Cards Copyrighted?
« Reply #7 on: Oct 26th, 2006, 5:35pm »
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on Jun 22nd, 2006, 9:27am, JimIvey wrote:
Ah, I see it's time for one of my favorite anecdotes in response to Disney as the guardian of modern-day family values.  My apologies to the long-time participants here who have heard this story before.
 
My wife used to run a city-owned day care center -- infants up to preschoolers.  On occasion, a parent would bring in a child's favorite video as a sort of pacifier -- to placate the child in times of stress.  On occasion, times of stress would ensue and the video would be played for that child.  On occasion, other children might watch along side.  On occasion, the video would be a Disney video.  
 
So, she received a cease and desist letter from Mickey himself -- stop this illegal theft of my and Minnie's intellectual property or we will sue your arse.  Did it matter that at no time was a Disney video the primary (or even a significant) activity in the day care and that videos were never advertised as an activity provided for the children at the day care?  Nope.  Airing a Disney video in a place of business where someone other than the owner might actually see part of it was enough to get the lawyers' briefs all in a bunch.
 
After that, children who were comforted by Disney videos went uncomforted during times of stress at the day care center.  Hooray for Disney family values!
 
As for "what then protects our children?", we do.  Remember Joe Camel, the cute cartoon camel smoking Camel cigarettes?  If you don't, then all the complaining by parents and child advocates worked.  If you do, it still worked and you remember the controversy from about 10 years ago or so.  But protecting children was never the intent of intellectual property law.  We have other mechanisms for that.
 
Regards.

 
Forgive my ignorance, but how is it theft of intellectual property to show a movie that you've paid for? Is this a restriction covered by US copyright legislation or does it come as a term of purchase? And if the latter, how would the average consumer be aware of this restriction and consent to it at the time of purchase? Lastly, would this restriction extend to other types of copyrighted works, e.g. lending out a book?
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JimIvey
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Re: Are Old Post Cards Copyrighted?
« Reply #8 on: Oct 26th, 2006, 5:59pm »
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on Oct 26th, 2006, 5:35pm, chuckles wrote:
how is it theft of intellectual property to show a movie that you've paid for? Is this a restriction covered by US copyright legislation or does it come as a term of purchase? And if the latter, how would the average consumer be aware of this restriction and consent to it at the time of purchase? Lastly, would this restriction extend to other types of copyrighted works, e.g. lending out a book?

Under terms generally associated with videos and such, it's for the private use of the purchaser or any assigns (subsequent owners).  So, you can't just buy the Little Mermaid DVD and invite people over for $1 each to watcht it -- or start your own movie rental company or low-budget theatre.  In essence, no commercial use.
 
You know stores that play music as background music?  They have to pay extra for that.  I used to take kempo karate in a dojo that played their own home-grown mix tapes for sparring on Thurs. nights.  They got a nice polite letter from ASCAP asking them to stop or pay what ASCAP perceived to be a very reasonable license -- I think it was $75/month for up to 20-25 people in the place of business at any one time.  
 
So, how does one know about these limitations?  It's usually in that FBI notice that you like to FF through at the beginning of a video -- can't do that anymore with most DVDs, so take a moment and review it.
 
The other way you learn about that is you read your mail.  You'll get a letter from ASCAP or maybe even Mickey in his quest to protect family values from unpaid viewing of his work.
 
Lastly, DVDs for home use cost about $15.  DVDs for use in a movie rental business cost about $90+ -- you see, more rights cost more.  So, if you paid $15 or thereabouts for your movie, chances are you can't show it to anyone else or Mickey will have to get a little goofey on you.
 
Okay, ready for the law school quiz?  Let's look at some grey area.  Suppose you buy a movie and all your friends want to watch it but don't want to buy it, so you throw a party and everyone who comes must bring something -- beer, chips, those funky Groucho Marx plastic glasses, you know, the typical party stuff.  Is that a commercial presentation of the movie?  You ask for goods in exchange for showing the movie.
 
Ah, some clever student points out that any damages would be too small for the copyright owner to really take any action.  However, from what I understand, there is absolutely no such thing as too small an infringement on Mickey's IP.  They go after everything, no matter how small.  Your best hope is that they never find out about your party.
 
Regards.
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Re: Are Old Post Cards Copyrighted?
« Reply #9 on: Oct 26th, 2006, 7:02pm »
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No doubt I wouldn't stand a chance against Mickey in court even if I happen to be legally right, but this seems to go against what they taught us in Contracts 101. Both parties need to consent to a contract in order for it to be binding. If I buy a DVD and I'm not informed of any restrictions on use at the time of purchase, then the contract between me and Mickey via their agent, the retailer, is unrestricted use of the DVD in exchange for $15. For Mickey to then inform me that I can't do so and so with the DVD would appear to be an imposition of a later term that I never agreed to and that I shouldn't be bound to.
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