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Re: GDP: welcome, helpers!

From: Graham Percival
Subject: Re: GDP: welcome, helpers!
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 12:18:45 -0700
User-agent: Icedove (X11/20070607)

Trevor Bača wrote:
Please understand that there is a difference between piracy and
citation. No one is proposing the addition of a playable or readable
copy of anything to Mutopia or any other resource.

Turns out ...

... that fair use is American law. Perhaps that explains the confusion
on the list.


Unfortunately you are incorrect. Instead of pointing to wikipedia, at the very least I would recommend reading

This page is not authoritative by any means, but it is much more trustworthy than wikipedia.

"Fair use" is an American construct, but countries in the British Commonwealth have "Fair dealing". Similar legislation exists for non-commonwealth countries, although I wouldn't presume to be able to spell whatever the Dutch or Finnish law is.

"Fair use" is not a blanket allowance for copying small sections of a copywritten work. In my non-expert, no-legal-training opinion, it is designed for copying a small portion for the purpose of reviewing the work, such as a scholarly article or newspaper review. Unfortunately, the lilypond manual is not such a document.

I would also like to reinforce my distinction between morality and legality. I have infringed on copyrights -- I have photocopied an entire cello concerto from a friend so that I could see her fingerings and bowings. I owned my own copy of the concerto, but I wanted to see her personal annotations. This was illegal -- I should have copied her markings by hand, or borrowed her music for a few weeks. But I was certain that my action was morally justified (I owned an identical copy of the music, and I only wanted to see her annotations so I could combine them with my own, I wasn't seeking or offering financial compensation, etc), so I infringed the copyright without any guilt.

However, my personal beliefs about the morality of copyright should not influence whether we include material in the lilypond manual. Do I think that there are any _moral_ problems with including that short fragment of Ravel? No, not at all. The notion that this might be ethically wrong is laughable. Am I certain that there are no _legal_ problems? Unfortunately, no.

With the deepest of regret, I have removed this example until 1 January 1, 2008. At least this date is not too far away; the example will certainly be in the 2.14 release.

- Graham

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