Forum for Kawabata's Master of Go

Internet copy of the book at Is it legal? [#1853]

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Phelan: Internet copy of the book at Is it legal? (2009-06-02 21:43) [#6110]

senbazuru added a link to a copy of the book hosted at I deleted the link, as I thought it was an illegal copy. senbazuru asked me to prove that the link was illegal. I don't think it falls on me to do that. I searched for [ext] and found that it is apparently supported by the government, but has been involved in copyright violation lawsuits. I think it should be removed, but I'm not sure if I'm right.

senbazuru, could you show me that the copy is legal?

Librarians and deshi, what do you think?

HermanHiddema: Re: Internet copy of the book at Is it legal? (2009-06-02 21:53) [#6111]

AFAIK, according to copyright law, the copyright of a translated book remains with the original author. Since Kawabata's original "Meijin" is not in the public domain (yet), any translations are still copyrighted, unless the translator has proof that the original author relinquished the copyright to him or her. I think that in this case, the burden of proof is upon to prove they have permission to publish this work (from Kawabata's heirs, not from the translator).

tapir: Re: Internet copy of the book at Is it legal? (2009-06-03 12:32) [#6112]

The Russian Link is given in ru.wikipedia as well, without intervention so far. Here is a internet bookstore selling it ([ext] without ISBN or obvious publishing house given. I strongly propose asking Аркадий Богацкий (Arkadij Bogatskij?) before taking action.

PeterHB: Re: Internet copy of the book at Is it legal? (2009-06-03 03:54) [#6113]


I agree that removing the link is the right thing to do. This action is supporting what I believe is the general SL consensus, to disapprove of, and stand against what is loosely called 'piracy' of copyrighted books. This is a particularly bad thing for go books as with so few sold, the incentive to produce more is marginal already. SL doesn't want to cooperate in action that discourages go book authors.

Is the burden of proof on you or the community of SL deshi's to prove that this particular text infringes someone's copyright? No, in my opinion. A reasonable well-intentioned estimate of probability suggests this is copyright infringing. You cannot know for a fact, because the copyright owner may have assigned the rights in a private contract that we have no way of knowing about. That is true of all books. So a reasonable man assumes that standard copyright terms apply until shown otherwise.

'Standard copyright terms'. What does that mean? Yes, lawyers and governments being what they are there is no 'standard'. The United Nations WIPO is continually encouraging convergence, and minimum rights are covered by various international treaties (e.g. WIPO Copyright Treaty). From [ext] WIPO faq a key point is that the minimum copyright period is 50 years after the creator's death, with some countries extending it beyond that. So, a reasonable working assumption is that as Kawabata died in 1972, his copyright still extends until at least 2022.

I think it is also important to be seen to do the right thing by authors, even if someone could find some obscure legal point that allowed us to take their work. People with strong literacy and Go expertise, such as John Fairbairn or Charles Matthews have sometimes written respected pages in SL. They also happen to be copyrighted authors of other works. It is in the interest of SL not to carelessly offend the sensibilities of such people with no benefit to SL. A sweeping generalization is that copyrighted authors expect other's copyright to be respected, as well as their own.

I agree with Herman above. I think he appears to have the same point of view, just expressed in a more succinct manner.

reply ((no subject)) (2009-06-03 11:44) [#6114]

I don't think copyright protection really exists in Russia as it does in other countries. Whatever its status there, I think we would agree that it is not a legitimate copy in the place where Senseis Library is hosted.

PeterHB: Re: ((no subject)) (2009-06-03 13:38) [#6116]

The WIPO lists 'Russian Federation' as a contracting party to the WIPO Copyright Treaty from February 5, 2009

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