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Author Topic: Using Copyrighted Material  (Read 1822 times)
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« on: July 14, 2009, 05:20:16 PM »

Various people, on another thread, have already said what you can and cannot do with copyrighted material.  It all sounds very restrictive.  But we can learn to live within the rules.  Most websites have a contact email address somewhere on the site.  Sending an email to that address requesting permission to use images or text takes only a short time.  And usually, permission will be granted within a day or two.  In ten years of writing for the web, I don't remember a single refusal although I have had a few "failed to answer," which had to be treated as refusals.  I have never yet refused permission to any other authors to use any of my images or texts, although I prefer being asked for permission, if only as a way of keeping track of who to send updates to.  I think most of us who use the web to share information on our hobbies feel the same way, and are only to glad to say "go ahead" if you ask.

Here are some tips to make sure the answer is "yes" when you request the use of copyrighted materials:
-  Be polite.  You are, after all, asking for a favor, not demanding a right.
-  Be specific.  "I gotta use one of your pictures" just won't cut it.  If it is an image, give the exact url for that image, not just the url for the page that it is on.  If it is text, give the page url and quote the entire passage you wish to use (use cut an paste so there are no mistakes or misunderstandings.)  If it is an entire article, then give at least the url of the title page and the title exactly as it appears on that page.  "I want to quote your article on couplers" probably will get you no response at all, if the author has written several articles on couplers but "May I use your article titled 'Using E-Z Mate couplers on Older Rolling Stock'  starting on page http://www.cplrsrus.com/EZ-old-cars/index.html and ending on page http://www.cplrsrus.com/EZ-old-cars/page7.html.' is much more likely to get you a positive answer because the author knows exactly what you want.
-  Say why and how you want to use the requested materials.  Again, be specific.  Are you using the material in your own website article?  Or for illustrating a posting on a public forum?  Or??? And do you want to hot link to an image or upload it to your own web server or to a public image storage site?  For what period of time do you wish to use the material?  A month?  A year?  Indefinitely?
-  Credit the material, usually in the form "photo by S.Smith, used by permission"

Done right, the answer is pretty sure to be "yes"

Jim
« Last Edit: July 15, 2009, 11:24:03 AM by Jim Banner » Logged

Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
CNE Runner


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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2009, 08:38:17 AM »

Enough already!! I respect both of you; but it is time to move on. Jim and Bob: Please take your discussion offline as most of us are interested in model railroading - not legal procedure. My wife is a retired 'legal beagle' and chuckled at your extended discussion - wondering what place it had on a model railroad forum?

Personally, I had a major portion of my dissertation research plagiarized by a fellow doctoral student for use in a book he was publishing. We talked it over (NO attorneys) and reached an agreement that the second edition of his text would give me credit...he did just that. Matter closed.

Can we please get back to trains?

Sincerely,
Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
Woody Elmore

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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2009, 09:57:48 AM »

Copyright infringement and plagiarism is so widespread that there are actual computer programs that will tell you how much of a document has been copied. My college has a program called "TurnItIn" which checks academic sources such as scholarly journals and magazines. It will tell a professor just how much of a student's paper is copied verbatim.  I'm sure there are others for the various industries.

The problem with the internet is that things are passed around so much that it might be next to impossible to track down the original source of the infringement.

Anyway - back to trains, please.
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2009, 11:44:23 AM »

Thanks, Ray.  I have removed my discussion with Bob and see that he has done the same.  I too would have preferred to have the discussion off line, but unfortunately Bob does not list an email address.

I have retained my original post but simplified it to avoid further confusion.  That post does, I believe, relate to model railroading, or at least the on line discussion of it.  I like your solution to the plagiarism of your dissertation and in a perfect world, others would share the same attitude.  However, there are people who will hire a lawyer and will sue for copyright infringement if they smell any money in it.

Anyway, lets get back to trains

Jim
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Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
Terry Toenges


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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2009, 01:10:51 PM »

While copyright issues don't specifically apply to trains, I think it is an important subject for discussion on here because of the number of links and photos posted on here.
Better to prevent someone from doing wrong, rather than have them do wrong and then get in trouble.
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2009, 03:21:38 PM »

Jim - After reading (and rereading) my post several times I was concerned that my remarks would insult you or some other fine poster. I am gratified that they did not. While you (and Bob) didn't have to remove your posts; I appreciate the effort...I have the feeling that you are quite a guy - proud to know you through the forum.

I think you are also gave a logical explanation Terry -  by saying that the original intent of this thread was to keep people from "get[ing] in trouble". That was well said and oh so true.

Well, I am now off to try to convince my wife to help me build a copy of the Inglenook Switching puzzle for our next show...should be a great crowd attractor.

Have a great day and we'll see you down the line.
Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
SteamGene

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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2009, 04:22:00 PM »

Ray,
I think it's important that we guide people who don't know that internet content is protected by copyright law. 
I think it's also important to know that it is legal to copy something without permission, as long as what is copied is done in something like a review.  Ray says that Jim is "...quite a guy."  does not need Ray's permission.  OTOH, I saw a complete definition on Facebook of what a military brat is lifted off of Wikipedia, as well as a commercial brat logo.  Needless to say, I let the concerned parties know. 

Gene
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Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
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