Beginners Endgame Exercise 4 / Discussion

Charles: The Van Zeijst web columns are all marked as copyright.

Rakshasa: IANACL, but i thought you couldn't have copyright on a game position. (and please prefix your name like others)

Bill: Yes, but criticism is fair use. The published material has a mistake, an oversight which is the point of this exercise, which is different from the one posed in his column.

Charles Yes, this can be defended as fair use, certainly. By the way, I think I'll use whatever format I choose. And the copyright issue in relation to use on SL is not one on which a complacent position is suitable. I suppose Bill will clarify all on posting the solution.

Bill: Charles, the mistake is shown in the attempts page. I also mention it on the main page.

Rakshasa, I agree with Charles that copyright is a serious issue for SL. I would not have posted this exercise but for fair use.

Rakshasa: I think you are missing my point. From what i know of copyright law, you can't have copyright on a game position. So fair use is irrelevant in this case. This is why the games played in tournaments can be freely copied. (Though the right to live coverage is different)

Charles We get a lot of opinionated opinions about copyright here. You say 'game position'; you're sure this is a game position rather than composed, then. It is also relevant, I think, that Bill has included copyright notices in past postings to for his own work.

Rakshasa: It's more than an opinionated opinion, but less than a copyright lawyers opinion. There is no copyright on game positions, whetever they are constructed or not. This includes problems. The only thing copyrighted is any text that is included.

Charles So, this would apply, you say, to publication in Japan? Recalling, as one should, that the history of Japanese copyright law since 1899 has had an emphasis on the protection of 'artistic works', which is rather different from that in other countries. We began to discuss these matters at Japanese copyright law. There is further discussion at Kf Lenz, too; with a clear assertion that it is Japanese copyright law at issue, here. Also his [ext]

(Anon) what relevance does Japanese copyright law have to somebody like Rakshasa who is norwegian(?)

Rakshasa: I don't know about Japan, but the server isn't located in Japan so those laws don't apply. Besides, how does the protection of 'artistic works' apply to go problems?

Charles As I say, opinionated. Publication here (see SL copyright) releases things under the OCL. Obviously SL should, given that, not encourage posting of anything, the general release of which under OCL would cause upsets in the go world. There is clearly opinion in Japan that protection of go records should be quite extended. To the extent that go is thought of as a traditional art, when played at pro level, this is consistent with a whole thrust of the law there. A tsumego problem composed by Hashimoto Utaro or Kada Katsuji can be thought of as a small work of art by a master; the attitude that once published in a book or newspaper it is just fine for anyone to grab the position and file-share it around could cause a lot of offence.

Rakshasa: I'm opinionate on this because i'm right;) You must apply the copyright law of the country where you are publishing, not where the original work was published. Japan's copyright law does not apply in this since the server is in germany. (According to whois)

The OCL does not matter since the OCL can only cover things that can be copyrighted.

Copying problems and games without giving credit can cause offense, and is in my opinion a bad thing to do. But that doesn't change whetever it is legal or not.

Note that i don't know German copyright law but i do assume they are close to what WIPO recommends.

Charles From SL Copyright:

Internet copyright issues are complex and differ across jurisdictions. SL aims at being a good netizen and tries to take a stand which is reasonable and acceptable to all parties.

I think this supports the line Bill and I have been taking in discussing this. When money involved is small, and case-law non-existent (and likely to remain so), it seems fairly pointless to discuss legal advice from non-experts.

dnerra Your point about locality seems wrong, Rakshasa. You don't think Japanese laws might be binding to Japanese ISPs distributing the SL content? (If you are as informed as you claim, you may well have heard that German ISPs have been ordered to block international internet sites because they violate German law.) Anyway, this discussion is moot IMHO. I take the above quote from SL Copyright not as an opinion, but as a decision by the SL hosts and administrators, that we should respect. After all, they are taking the legal responsibilities for the distributing the content that we add.

Rakshasa: [ext] clearly comes from someone who should be an expert or have access to experts.

Charles I think it just says, 'if you want legal advice, pay for it'?

Rakshasa: If you read it carefully you'll see that it hints that it is covered by "the TRIPS Agreement" without making it in a way that could be considered a legal advice. (I know a guy that works on copyright issues for the FSF, i'll ask him)

Charles ... and that level of comment shows why?

Rakshasa: Free advice does not equate with bad advice. You can refuse to see, but please don't go around claiming the world is dark.

Charles Well, it seems we can't have any (this has happened before) discussion in relation to copyright, however well-focussed, without some self-appointed expert thinking we have to refute his theories, or back down. I made no claim about the general position; I simply pointed out that the web columns were marked as copyright; that we have discussed this before (and Herr Lenz, who has looked closely into it, hasn't clarified the general position); and that there is standing SL policy on this. I have also pointed out that attitudes in Japan, on which friendly relations useful to anyone in the go world may depend, may be based on quite rational points of view that also have standing in Japanese law. I'm quite familiar with arguments from the chess case; you have not really claimed that the chess case extends, hypothetically, to Japan. You have cited an email, which was either in advance flagged up as something that was to be posted on the Web, or (quite possibly) posted without the permission of the official replying. But in any case the content is simply a quote from a hugely general, textbook characterisation of what could be protected by copyright ('expression' rather than 'concept') with no commitment at all on the part of the sender. In fact, a perfect official answer - cannot be refuted whatever happens. I have no idea why you think this is decisive, It would only be relevant if someone was really claiming the 'idea' or 'theme' in a go problem could be protected. A straw man.

rubilia: I don't know if it is the case here: Sometimes discussing turns out to be harder to a mixture of native and foreign speakers than it uses to be to foreign (or native, resp.) speakers only. Most contributors at SL seem to understand English well enough to take part in object-focussed conversations, while it is fairly difficult to express implications and undertones in a foreign language exactly the way which sounds appropriate to a adroit writer (like is Charles, for example). Maybe rakshasa does really claim to be the only right one - who knows. However, I am not sure whether the wording I'd have chosen here would be so much different if I only wanted to point out some said-to-be competent oppinions that I had heard of.

WIPO recommends this to all member countries. I think this would cover what is "reasonable and acceptable to all parties". Unless you want copyright law in Micronesia to hinder you from publishing something? (Though Japan is more relevant here;) It is resonable to follow what the country where the server is situated and what the WIPO recommends.

SL can make policies if it wants. But the policies does not say (or are not clear) whetever content on SL should follow certain local copyright laws. It just says we should be good netizen, IMO that would be following the most common laws.

ilanpi: In my opinion (yes, I have one!), the issue in this case does not come down to copyright, but to basic politeness. As I figure it, the statement: "The Van Zeijst web columns are all marked as copyright" can be understood to mean: "Van Zeijst does not appreciate having his material used without his permission." So, politeness would indicate to leave his stuff alone, or just add a link to it, as I did recently.

Beginners Endgame Exercise 4 / Discussion last edited by tapir on July 8, 2012 - 00:53
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