A Legal Question

 
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Eleutherios1
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 12:21 am    Post subject: A Legal Question Reply with quote

Hello! I'm new here. I just made an account, but I can't get into it for some reason. Maybe I'm just stupid. Well,

Back in 2002 or so, I pieced together an archive version of Brian Bull's "Into the Purple Abyss" (You know, the great story site). It's a damn near complete archive of it (Barney vs. Batman is only partially recovered) -- everything else is included.

I found the ZIP file again, but I'm not sure if it's legal to post around. Brian Bull's site is no longer available at his old URL, and he seems impossible to track down. All his stuff has a copyright on it, so is it OK to distribute or not?
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Tangaroa
Jihaddi


Joined: 10 Apr 2004
Posts: 44
Location: Base Delta

PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 3:06 am    Post subject: Re: A Legal Question Reply with quote

Eleutherios1 wrote:
Back in 2002 or so, I pieced together an archive version of Brian Bull's "Into the Purple Abyss" (You know, the great story site). It's a damn near complete archive of it (Barney vs. Batman is only partially recovered) -- everything else is included.

I found the ZIP file again, but I'm not sure if it's legal to post around. Brian Bull's site is no longer available at his old URL, and he seems impossible to track down. All his stuff has a copyright on it, so is it OK to distribute or not?


IANAL, but I read Slashdot YRO threads...

Strictly legally speaking, you'd be infringing on Bull's copyrights by reposting the stuff without his permission, so yes, it would be illegal. However, it would be a civil rather than criminal matter, and up to him to initiate any legal action. You won't be harassed by the feds. Since he let the stuff float around BBSes (or at least I assume he did), I doubt he'd cause you any trouble unless you did something stupid like put your name on it or mix ads into it. Just make it clear somewhere that this is someone else's work that you're mirroring for historical/cultural/self-amusement purposes. You might be harassed by Lyons -- it was their harassment which made Bull pull his stuff -- but they don't have a legal leg to stand on. If that happens, contact the ACLU, EFF, and maybe MAD Magazine's lawyers.

My call, go ahead and rehost it. At worst you'd get a nastygram and just have to pull it.
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katster
the so-called admin


Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 180
Location: California, the land of fruits and nuts

PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 3:34 am    Post subject: Re: A Legal Question Reply with quote

Eleutherios1 wrote:
Hello! I'm new here. I just made an account, but I can't get into it for some reason. Maybe I'm just stupid.


Naw, the admins are stupid. I assumed somebody else had activated your account. (I saw it pop up in mail, but I've been buried in schoolwork for the last two weeks, so I didn't deal with it -- assuming somebody else would. Whoops.)

Anyway, it should work now. If it doesn't work now, feel free to hunt me down.

[Edit: Oops. My bad, I got two useraccounts confused. I told you I've been sorta out of it for a while. Yeah. Yours came up today, it won't work until it's approved, but it's approved now. Really.]

As for your question, I'll see if I can get the guy who writes 'IANALY' as opposed to 'IANAL' to answer. Smile

-kat
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she who wears too many hats
"et lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non conprehenderunt" --John 1:5
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Last edited by katster on Sun Dec 19, 2004 4:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Calculus
Admin Emeritus


Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 4
Location: Brooklyn, NY, US

PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In terms of Brian's permission, the most I can say is that I doubt he'd mind; he certainly isn't likely to sue you for posting them. Lyons (the creator of Barney) will be less happy, but my personal opinion is that they don't have a leg to stand on, legally speaking. They have already lost at least one well-known lawsuit over a Barney parody (Lyons v. Giannoulas).

Tang is absolutely right - this would be civil rather than criminal, in any case.

I am not a lawyer yet, though, so take all this with a grain of salt or three.
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Eleutherios
Spectator


Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for activating the account. Smile

You guys make some good points, so I'll go see if I can find a Geocities account or something to mirror this on. Thanks!
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