Does copyright law really prevent a user from PRINTING/CONVERTING/MODIFYING a file?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Hans Barnhofter, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. This is very interesting so it would be nice to get a real legal opinion as
    I am NOT a lawyer and I do NOT know or understand copyright law as it
    pertains to individual use and I am not a moral person by any means (I live
    in a glass house and so do you and the manufacturers).

    From a legal standpoint, does the BMW shop-manual & owners manual copyright
    really say what you imply above?

    a) For example, does the BMW copyright really prevent you from PRINTING
    (for your own personal use) the beemer manual you purchased for $100 or the
    bimmer owners manual you downloaded for free from them? (Note the password
    protection can disable printing unless you manually remove that printing
    restriction as described in this thread.)

    b) Does the BMW copyright say you can't convert the manual to Microsoft
    Word, Microsoft RTF, Adobe FrameMaker, JPEG, GIF, AutoDesk DXF, Adobe
    PostScript, etc.? (Note the methods described allow you to do all of these
    conversions, and more.)

    c) Does the BMW copyright say you can't add or delete pages from the
    documents you bought or downloaded from them? (The methods described allow
    you to add and delete pages as desired.)

    d) Does the BMW copyright say you can't cut and paste text from and to
    those documents you bought or downloaded from them for use in an email or
    other personal use? (The methods described enable copy and paste of lines
    of text as needed.)

    e) And, lastly, (and perhaps most important for this thread), does the BMW
    copyright say you can not take a JPEG of a page of the beemer or bimmer
    shop manual and then annotate that page with your problem for the purpose
    of posting that newly annotated PDF to a bimmer or beemer forum for the
    purpose of obtaining help in repairing your motorcycle or automobile?

    In summary, my question to the legal folks is, if all these five desires
    (printing pages, converting pages, adding or deleting pages, cutting and
    pasting text from pages, and annotating pages with photos for repair
    purposes) are actually expressly forbidden in the BMW copyright, then we
    should not be running or suggesting this conversion of password-protected
    PDF to password-free PDF files!
     
    Hans Barnhofter, Jul 29, 2005
    #1
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  2. you can do anything you want with the file such as your scenarios of b, c,
    d, etc. All day long, all you want. But you CANNOT distribute (i.e. sell
    or otherwise give out as a an item of value) the manual in any shape or
    form, regardless if you added, deleted or played with the pictures. That is
    so simple surely you do understand.

    Seems to me you are desperately trying to make their stuff yours.... and
    that's not legal. You might get away with it, though companies are more
    protective of their copyright materials than you might think....
     
    You_Know_Who~, Jul 29, 2005
    #2
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  3. If they sold you the manual and if they password protected it so that
    you can't print it or delete pages from it or save it in another
    format, then you are breaking their copyright law by printing the
    manual, saving it in any other format than the original format, or by
    deleting pages or reordering pages from that said manual.

    You (and everyone else who is printing and deleting and reording and
    convering pages from these manuals) are breaking the law in the United
    States.

    Specifically, in Germany, it's perfectly legal to print & reorder pages
    and delete pages and convert your BMW manual to text because strong
    40-bit password protection has been illegal in most of Europe for years!
     
    Interested in the Answer, Jul 29, 2005
    #3
  4. Hans Barnhofter

    John Adams Guest

    If the law in the United States prohibits such use, the law in the
    United States (like virtually all laws passed by the corporate
    whores in DC in the past ten years) is silly and deserves to be
    ignored.
     
    John Adams, Jul 29, 2005
    #4
  5. It gets even worse on the Adobe side of things!

    I haven't seen this stated but this proposed method of removing the
    password on Adobe PDF 7.0 documents also allows complete backward
    compatibility of these later-version Adobe PDF documents to older
    versions of Adobe PDF readers.

    Adobe doesn't like that because it reduces the value of newer version
    Adobe products which can only read the newer versions of PDF files.

    Therefore, you are breaking Adobe software licence agreements simply by
    making an Adobe PDF 7.0 file compatible with Adobe 2.0 PDF or Adobe 3.0
    PDF formats!

    Again, this would only hold enforceable in the United States (so in
    this case, Adobe NA would be the one to attack you and not BMW NA for
    making BMW service manuals compatible with older Adobe PDF-reading
    software!
     
    Interested in the Answer, Jul 29, 2005
    #5
  6. Hans Barnhofter

    wilt Guest

    Go to http://www.whatiscopyright.org/ which is written and maintained
    by an attornety, and read. To encapsulate information from that
    site...
    Copyright covers written and electronic (as well as other forms) of You
    cannot translate material copyrighted by others without their
    permission. You can use material for 'fair use' (explicit definitions
    of that term) if you credit the copyright holder. You can use
    information for educational non-profit purposes, but NOT verbatim
     
    wilt, Jul 29, 2005
    #6
  7. But can you legally convert the copyrighted material from a newer version
    of incompatible PDF to an older version of compatible PDF?
     
    Hans Barnhofter, Jul 29, 2005
    #7
  8. Hans Barnhofter

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Hmmmm. I guess I can just happily ignore any law that I think
    is silly.

    I guess we all can.

    Ken
     
    Ken Weitzel, Jul 29, 2005
    #8
  9. Hans Barnhofter

    Charlie Self Guest

    Unless you're caught doing so and prosecuted.
     
    Charlie Self, Jul 29, 2005
    #9
  10. Hans Barnhofter

    Frank ess Guest

    I don't have a "user agreement" with Mr Adobe, with regard to his PDF
    file format.

    My friend Mr PDFInterpreter displays and saves the content of a PDF
    file of unknown origin. I look at it and benefit from its information.

    What agreement or law have I violated?

    I mess with the content of the file. I send it to Mr Third Party who
    has no agreement with either Mr Adobe or MrPDFInterpreter and who
    benefits similarly. What agreement or law have I violated? What
    agreement or law has Mr Third Party violated?

    How likely is it that Mr ForThePeople will prosecute any violations?
    Mr Adobe?
     
    Frank ess, Jul 29, 2005
    #10
  11. Hans Barnhofter

    Tony Guest

    Tony, Jul 29, 2005
    #11
  12. Hans Barnhofter

    NotMe Guest

    | On 29 Jul 2005 07:22:01 -0700, wilt wrote:
    | > BMW holds copyright. That means YOU MUST get BMW permission to use
    | > their illustration in your manual, if you intend to distribute it. You
    | > have the right to photocopy something for your OWN use, such as a copy
    | > in your shop and a copy for your home office. But to copy something
    | > for distribution to others is technically illegal and the copyright
    | > owner can come after you! It is not merely about 'morals', it is about
    | > your own risk to LEGAL EXPOSURE and lawsuit.
    |
    | This is very interesting so it would be nice to get a real legal opinion
    as
    | I am NOT a lawyer and I do NOT know or understand copyright law as it
    | pertains to individual use and I am not a moral person by any means (I
    live
    | in a glass house and so do you and the manufacturers).
    |
    | From a legal standpoint, does the BMW shop-manual & owners manual
    copyright
    | really say what you imply above?
    |
    | a) For example, does the BMW copyright really prevent you from PRINTING
    | (for your own personal use) the beemer manual you purchased for $100 or
    the
    | bimmer owners manual you downloaded for free from them? (Note the password
    | protection can disable printing unless you manually remove that printing
    | restriction as described in this thread.)
    |
    | b) Does the BMW copyright say you can't convert the manual to Microsoft
    | Word, Microsoft RTF, Adobe FrameMaker, JPEG, GIF, AutoDesk DXF, Adobe
    | PostScript, etc.? (Note the methods described allow you to do all of these
    | conversions, and more.)
    |
    | c) Does the BMW copyright say you can't add or delete pages from the
    | documents you bought or downloaded from them? (The methods described allow
    | you to add and delete pages as desired.)
    |
    | d) Does the BMW copyright say you can't cut and paste text from and to
    | those documents you bought or downloaded from them for use in an email or
    | other personal use? (The methods described enable copy and paste of lines
    | of text as needed.)
    |
    | e) And, lastly, (and perhaps most important for this thread), does the BMW
    | copyright say you can not take a JPEG of a page of the beemer or bimmer
    | shop manual and then annotate that page with your problem for the purpose
    | of posting that newly annotated PDF to a bimmer or beemer forum for the
    | purpose of obtaining help in repairing your motorcycle or automobile?
    |
    | In summary, my question to the legal folks is, if all these five desires
    | (printing pages, converting pages, adding or deleting pages, cutting and
    | pasting text from pages, and annotating pages with photos for repair
    | purposes) are actually expressly forbidden in the BMW copyright, then we
    | should not be running or suggesting this conversion of password-protected
    | PDF to password-free PDF files!

    It's not a question of what BMW's copy right says as a copy right says only
    that BMW owns all rights to the work product. The real question is what
    does BMW say (terms usually contained in BMW's license to the work) you can
    do with the work product.
     
    NotMe, Jul 29, 2005
    #12
  13. Hans Barnhofter

    NotMe Guest

    "John Adams"

    | > Hans Barnhofter wrote:
    | > > In summary, my question to the legal folks is, if all these five
    desires
    | > > (printing pages, converting pages, adding or deleting pages, cutting
    and
    | > > pasting text from pages, and annotating pages with photos for repair
    | > > purposes) are actually expressly forbidden in the BMW copyright
    | >
    | > If they sold you the manual and if they password protected it so that
    | > you can't print it or delete pages from it or save it in another
    | > format, then you are breaking their copyright law by printing the
    | > manual, saving it in any other format than the original format, or by
    | > deleting pages or reordering pages from that said manual.
    | >
    | > You (and everyone else who is printing and deleting and recording and
    | > convering pages from these manuals) are breaking the law in the United
    | > States.
    |
    | If the law in the United States prohibits such use, the law in the
    | United States (like virtually all laws passed by the corporate
    | whores in DC in the past ten years) is silly and deserves to be
    | ignored.

    In which case those that ignore the law can be sent to jail.
     
    NotMe, Jul 29, 2005
    #13
  14. Hans Barnhofter

    NotMe Guest

    | Go to http://www.whatiscopyright.org/ which is written and maintained
    | by an attornety, and read. To encapsulate information from that
    | site...
    | Copyright covers written and electronic (as well as other forms) of You
    | cannot translate material copyrighted by others without their
    | permission. You can use material for 'fair use' (explicit definitions
    | of that term) if you credit the copyright holder. You can use
    | information for educational non-profit purposes, but NOT verbatim

    Your assumptions on educational non-profit are *far* too broad. copy right
    is about ownership which is the right to determine how the work product is
    used.
     
    NotMe, Jul 29, 2005
    #14
  15. Hans Barnhofter

    John Adams Guest

    "Can" is the operative word here.

    "Treason doth never prosper. What is the reason?
    For if treason prosper, none dare call it treason."
     
    John Adams, Jul 30, 2005
    #15
  16. Hans Barnhofter

    wilt Guest

    <<Your assumptions on educational non-profit are *far* too broad. >>
    I assumed NOTHING...I was merely taking information from the web site
    which was responsible for the information that I summarized. The point
    was that copyrighted information which is copied in order to education
    others can be used without violation of the copyright owner, but not
    verbatim!

    --Wilt
     
    wilt, Jul 30, 2005
    #16
  17. Hans Barnhofter

    rustydustin Guest

    Hi Frank,

    This argument sounded reasonable upon first inspection and I don't
    profess to know the answer ... but the question seems reasonable.

    I wonder what happens if that PDF of unknown origin was actually a
    copyrighted document of unknown-to-you origin. Let's make it more
    obvious by saying it's not only copyrighted, but, marked "top secret
    confidential".

    Again, I don't know how to interpret the law here 'cause I can see it
    going two ways.

    One way would be that you never signed an agreement with Adobe nor with
    the copyright owner who stamped the document top secret and
    confidential so you are not beholden to either one of them.

    The other way would be that you knew or should have known (once you
    opened the document with "genericPdfInterpreter.exe" that it was a
    copyrighted document that was marked top secret and confidential.

    I'd expect the law to be basic in its interpretation but in this
    particular case, I'm very confused as to what is the legal
    responsibility of the party with the generic pdf reader/writer who
    decrypts a document of unknown origin only to find out it's a
    copyrighted document of top secret nature.

    The question seems to become what is our individual responsibility when
    we've never signed anything beholding us either to Adobe (whose
    admittedly extremely weak password protection we've circumvented) or to
    the copyright holder (who now can't make a buck off of us).

    Any ideas?
     
    rustydustin, Jul 30, 2005
    #17
  18. Hans Barnhofter

    wilt Guest

    << wonder what happens if that PDF of unknown origin was actually a
    copyrighted document of unknown-to-you origin...The question seems to
    become what is our individual responsibility when we've never signed
    anything beholding us either to Adobe (whose
    admittedly extremely weak password protection we've circumvented) or to

    the copyright holder (who now can't make a buck off of us). Any ideas?
    My roommate in college was a law student (now a retired attorney at
    57!) I recall that "Ignorance is no defense" was an operative phrase.
    The fact that you failed to read the sign saying "No parking on
    Thursday morning Street Cleaning" is no defense against a parking
    ticket when you park at the forbidden time, and no judge will let you
    off the hook for that when the sign is clearly visible. And "I didn't
    know" is no defense against driving in the Diamond commuter lane alone
    and you can clearly speak English and read the sign which defines a
    commute car with appropriate passenger count. Similarly one must
    assume someone unknown to you owns the copyright, so one should not
    blatantly copy the text or drawing.

    --Wilt
     
    wilt, Jul 30, 2005
    #18
  19. Hans Barnhofter

    kashe Guest

    Sure, but there may be a risk attached. Globalization
    basically means a race to the bottom for all but corporate rights.

    You can be sure the British Stalinization of their country
    through the obsessive, ubiquitous installation of video surveillance
    (6,000 [known] cameras in London's downtown area alone, fer
    chrissakes) will be held up here in due time as a necessary "tool" for
    the DHS types. In turn, the Europeans will be happy to accept our
    version of copyright, currently extending until everyone now alive has
    expired, will be the norm globe-wide.

    And if you don't like the situation, be advised that they can
    get your job done somewhere in Asia by preteens for $0.17 a day.

    And just when the hell did the cents sign disappear from
    keyboards.
     
    kashe, Jul 30, 2005
    #19
  20. Hans Barnhofter

    NotMe Guest

    "John Adams"

    | > | > Hans Barnhofter wrote:
    | > | > > In summary, my question to the legal folks is, if all these five
    | > desires (printing pages, converting pages, adding or deleting pages,
    cutting
    | > and pasting text from pages, and annotating pages with photos for repair
    | > | > > purposes) are actually expressly forbidden in the BMW copyright
    | > | >
    | > | > If they sold you the manual and if they password protected it so
    that
    | > | > you can't print it or delete pages from it or save it in another
    | > | > format, then you are breaking their copyright law by printing the
    | > | > manual, saving it in any other format than the original format, or
    by
    | > | > deleting pages or reordering pages from that said manual.
    | > | >
    | > | > You (and everyone else who is printing and deleting and recording
    and
    | > | > convering pages from these manuals) are breaking the law in the
    United
    | > | > States.
    | > |
    | > | If the law in the United States prohibits such use, the law in the
    | > | United States (like virtually all laws passed by the corporate
    | > | whores in DC in the past ten years) is silly and deserves to be
    | > | ignored.
    | >
    | > In which case those that ignore the law can be sent to jail.
    |
    | "Can" is the operative word here.

    In that those who own the copy right can take action independent of the
    police there is a considerable hammer. OTOH a criminal case under copy
    right/trade mark violation is almost a slam dunk ... what prosecutor worth
    his salt won't take to shooting fish in a barrel especially as I'm an
    upstanding citizen and tax payer and the other party is clearly a low down
    thief.

    I should note that in most instances under the OP post the injured party is
    not the software manufacture but the person who created the work itself. So
    if they don;t take offense/action for copy right violation I doubt the
    software manufacture take action in the circumstance outlined.

    FWIW I create copyrighted material *all* the time using the latest and
    greatest software (I have the canceled checks to prove it <g>) but I
    likewise deal with clients that use older or alternate software systems. As
    the originator and holder of the copy right I can (and do) do with my work
    product what I chose.

    OTOH if you don't have my express written permission to modify my work
    product best not mess with me and mine. (this is an example I'm not that
    much of a designated A**H*** but I do hire professional S.*.Bs to protect my
    interest when the need presents itself). BTW evidence of criminal activity
    uncovered during civil discovery is admissible in a criminal case.

    Don't believe it? Check on the number of arrest for the sale of counter fit
    merchandise in various parts of the USA. Does it happen in all cases? No.
    Does it happen in most cases? Again no ... but how many are willing to take
    that chance?
     
    NotMe, Jul 30, 2005
    #20
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