Copyright Guidelines for Posting on LSP
Posted 06 February 2005 - 02:19 AM
PART 1: COPYRIGHT
International copyright law exists to protect the rights of individuals in regard to the ownership of their work and its reproduction.
Basically this means that from the moment a work is committed to a permanent medium for instance, paper, film or electronically stored means it becomes the property of the creator.
Copyright law varies in detail in many countries but all have the basic foundation that it is illegal to copy, re-publish or make gains from another’s work without their express permission. This usually has to take the form of written consent and can be electronic. Verbal consent will not stand up in a court of law.
A: BASIC COPYRIGHT
The types of works that copyright protects are:
1.original literary works, e.g. novels, instruction manuals, computer programs, lyrics for songs, articles in newspapers, some types of databases, but not names or titles original musical works;
2.original artistic works, e.g. paintings, engravings, photographs, sculptures, collages, works of architecture, technical drawings, diagrams, maps, logos;
3.published editions of works, i.e. the typographical arrangement of a publication;
4.sound recordings, which may be recordings on any medium, e.g. tape or compact disc, and may be recordings of other copyright works, e.g. musical or literary;
5.films, including videos, DVD, CDROM and the broadcast of these.
Ideas are not copyright but it does protect the form that the idea is presented in.
B: EXEMPTION AND ‘FAIR USE’
Fair use is allows the copying of work on the understanding that the copy doesn’t deprive the owner of commercial income or economic impact (i.e. sales of a book diminish because of copying into a public domain). Beware that fair use of a work that has commercial value can result in legal action on the part of the owner to establish whether fair use was justified.
For example, ‘fair use’ with a literary or artistic work, for the purposes of non-commercial research or private study does not infringe any copyright in these works or the typographical arrangement of published editions of these works. Fair use has been interpreted by the courts on a number of occasions by looking at the economic impact on the copyright owner of the use; where the economic impact is not significant, the use may count as fair use.
So, it is probably within the scope of fair use exception to make single copies of short extracts of a copyright work for the purposes of non-commercial research or private study. However this use has its dangers and in the US and UK it is not unusual for fair use to be contested in court where the copyright owner believes that fair use is depriving them of commercial gain.
The other fair dealing exception covers use of a copyright work for criticism, review or news reporting.
This area allows the use of material where it forms part of a critique (product review) and provides the reader with an original opinion of the work. For instance you can review a kit and include images of the box artwork in the review as that image has already been made available to the public. You can also part copy another review work but only to illustrate your own opinion. Plagiarism is to be discouraged in all forms.
Other exceptions are the use of parts of a work and whilst it is acceptable to copy and use parts of a work or part of an image in an article it has to be contested as to what is regarded as a substantial part. There are guidelines but these vary from country to country for instance the UK Copyright Licensing Authority copyright allows 5% or one chapter from a book whichever is greater. There is no specific private use exception rule or for the purposes of private study.
C: REGISTERING COPYRIGHT OWNERSHIP
There is no requirement to register a work as copyright but some countries do recommend that this is carried out The US has a copyright registration facility. Proof of ownership can usually be made from production of the original work or a copy which has been signed sealed and posted back to the owner unopened, or deposited with a secure place.
There is also no legal requirement that a work be marked with the copyright symbol © or that a notice of copyright should exist, but again some countries recommend that this is done and in the case of an electronic image it is advisable that some form of watermark is used to identify ownership. The lack of a copyright mark does not imply that the work is in the public domain and for free use.
PART 2: TRADEMARKS
Registered Trademark is any sign which can distinguish the goods and services of one trader from those of another.
A sign includes words, logos, colours, slogans, three-dimensional shapes and sometimes sounds and gestures.
A trade mark is therefore a "badge" of trade origin. It is used as a marketing tool so that customers can recognise the product of a particular trader. To be registrable in the UK it must also be capable of being represented graphically, that is, in words and/or pictures. This has implications in that logos when applied to military aircraft can be seen to be a ‘badge’ of origin and can be theoretically trademarked to prevent unauthorised reproduction.
Countries vary in their trademark laws and it is wise to seek local clarification on just what might be a trademark. To illustrate this both the Canadian Armed Forces and the British Armed Forces have trademarked their logo’s unit badges and insignia to prevent unauthorised commercial gain and reproduction. It is usual for licences to be obtained to reproduce these trademarks for commercial use. Advice can usually be found by contacting the relevant Defence Department public relations office. Although trade mark registration is specific to the country of origin it may well be that the trade mark holder has applied for international rights to protect the logo world wide. Regardless of arguments to counter this on the grounds of infringement of public rights, they are within their legal rights to apply trademarks to logos and markings
The ™ symbol and the ® symbol are different in that the trademark symbol denotes a logo as trademarked but not necessarily as registered whilst the ® symbol denotes a registered trademark. In the UK it is illegal to mark your logo as ® when it is unregistered. It would be interesting from a decal point of view to see if there are tiny ® or ™ symbols on all of the RAF’s aircraft…
APPLYING ALL THIS TO POSTING ON LSP
So from the above it is obvious that permission must be sought from the owner for the right to reproduce their work in any form of published material.
DISCUSSION FORUM POSTING:
Unless the image is owned entirely or the owner has assigned rights for its reproduction, the posting of images in their entirety on a discussion board is prohibited. The exception to this is the ‘substantial part’ exception where a smaller part can be used to illustrate a point made in the text. Finding pictures and posting them for people to look at is copyright infringement and could lead to prosecution if it’s proved that the image has commercial value.
The format of reviewing a product and using original images to illustrate the accuracy of the product must have a direct connection to be able to use the ‘fair use’ clause. In basic terms a lovely and rare colour shot of a Fw190D-12 cannot be claimed to be ‘fair use’ when you are reviewing the accuracy of the kit as the image will not support your criticism and is nothing more of a Fw190D-12. Where fair use can be seen is the use of a detail photo which illustrates the detail discussed in the review. Likewise the use of a whole scale drawing to illustrate accuracy is not ‘fair use’ but the reproduction of part of the drawing could be argued to be. In all events permission has to be sought first and adequate reference must also be made to the source/owner. This isn’t just common courtesy but an acknowledgement of the origin. Failing to acknowledge sources is basically saying “this is mine”. It is also worth noting that translating a foreign language article verbatim is also copyright infringement.
An original article such as a feature article on the build of your own model also has exceptions in that to illustrate the accuracy of a model it is acceptable to publish part of an original image to support the idea that you’ve researched the subject. This in essence falls under the review and criticism exceptions and in this instance you are illustrating your opinion. Again it is prudent to seek permission if at all possible and to assign ownership acknowledgement.
Large Scale Planes website cannot accept responsibility for any actions, legal or otherwise arising out of the posting of images and information on the website or disregard of the information included here and it is in your interests that these notes are for guidance.
It is strongly recommended that you seek further clarification from official copyright bodies in your country of origin. Producing work in one country and publishing it onto a website hosted in another nation doesn’t provide exemption from copyright.
Be careful, the web and the opportunity for people who own trademarks and copyrights to search and find infringement have made it a whole lot easier to find and pursue infringement. Litigation is the new pastime as more and more people see the possibilities of making money. The above is intended for guidance and it’s strongly recommended that you research further If you believe you may have inadvertently violated someone’s copyright or indeed have had your rights violated by another.
Web links to the legal-ese stuff:
US Copyright law:
UK copyright law:
European Copyright info:
© Large Scale Planes 2005
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