Thursday, March 07, 2013


Back in days when every law office had a Wang word processor, I was working for a large engineering firm with a large group doing environmental work.  They did not put me in the environmental group, but in the legal group drawing up the work contracts for the environmental group.  That was reasonable, RCRA and CERCLA were important to the contracts, but outside of the contract lawyers areas of expertise.  So I sat in the law group between the Wangs and the files.

Every lawyer in the SF Complex with an emergency project would first run to either the Wangs or the files.  They would see me, and if I did not look like my hair was on fire, I would get pulled into whatever emergency had been dumped in their lap.  Thus, at some point I have worked on most of the legal topics that might come up in a global engineering firm. A popular topic was intellectual property and copyright.

I have been accused of  copyright violations with respect to Brears.  If we look at, we see:

UK copyright law has a set of exceptions to copyright known as fair dealing. Database right has a similar set of exceptions. Fair dealing is much more restricted than the American concept of fair use. It only applies in tightly defined situations, and outside those situations it is no defence at all against a lawsuit for copyright (or database right) infringement.
s29.—(1) Fair dealing with a literary, dramatic, musical, etc, work, for the purpose of research for a non-commercial purpose, does not infringe any copyright in the work, provided it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement of the source.
s30.—(1) Fair dealing with a work for the purpose of criticism or review, of that or another work, or of a performance of a work, does not infringe copyright in the work, provided it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement, and provided the work has actually been made available to the public.

My use was strictly limited to non-commercial research on the actual function of knitting sheaths, and the source / author fully acknowledged. Thus, I am compliant with UK copyright law. Brears' material was never published in the US and there is no reservation of US copyright.  Thus, I am compliant with US copyright law.  See also


Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that an expert like you would call this phenomenon "ridges." Any experienced knitter knows that the term is "rowing out." and it's not a pretty sight. It happens when your purl sts are looser than your knit stitches. You would be laughed out of any guild.

It doesn't matter what tools you use or how fast or efficient you are if your product looks like crap.

Anonymous said...

except that when you say things like this: I reserve all intellectual property rights and copy rights for all material that I post here. You are welcome to look, read, study and learn. You are welcome to link to it. However, I worked very hard to develop this material and it is mine.

You do contravene the copywright law because you are claiming that you created it, ALL of it! What you should say is that for your own prose you wont the intelectual rights but not for things that you use as your resources you should reference them as such using things like the harvard referencing system.

=Tamar said...

Any book that quotes another source will still claim copyright of the whole as it is assembled. Separate acknowledgement of quoted elements is sufficient, as can be seen in, for example, Nancy Bush's book, Folk Socks, which in the first forty-odd pages has scarcely a page without extensive quotations from other writers, yet has a simple copyright statement on the copyright page.

Anonymous said...

Different anonymous commenter here: That's not actually the issue- The real problem is that the legal exceptions cited do not actually apply in this case. They are designed to allow people to make copies of texts or portions of texts for their OWN noncommercial use. Re-publication of that material without permission is still forbidden.

Select quotations may be acceptable as part of a critique or review (and again, ONLY if the reviewer has NO commercial interest- selling tools similar to those described in a monograph would almost certainly qualify as a commercial interest), but the bulk of the work must be original. Annotating someone else's text is not a true critique. Scanning and re-publishing whole pages of someone else' written work is not only illegal, but INCREDIBLY rude.

Giving access to one's own work away for free is very generous. Giving access to someone else's work away for free is criminal presumption.

Anonymous said...

yes =tamar it does but it doesn't claim that all of the things in the book are made up by the writer. They will be PROPERLY REFERENCED!!