NonCommercial and recovering costs

Todd A. Jacobs nospam at
Thu Jun 24 13:02:55 EDT 2004

On Tue, Jun 22, 2004 at 02:45:21PM -0400, Evan Prodromou wrote:

> My question: is it OK for me to go to an Internet cafe and print it
> out (paying a per-page fee)? Is it OK for me to take the PDF to a
> printer and have them print it out, for a fee?

The answer to the first question is a definite yes. Fair use clearly
allows you to create personal copies of something you already
own--although the RIAA would like you to believe otherwise. The cafe is
not selling you a book, they are renting you a printer, and are not a
party to the license in any way.

The same applies to the second instance, as described. Printing out a
PDF you own at a copy shop, or having it bound, or paying the post
office to mail it to Timbuktu, are all allowable activities. What
complicates the second example is when the purpose of the reproduction
is not for personal use. In the Kinko's case that other respondents
mentioned, the problem was that reproducing quantities of entire books
fell outside what the courts considered fair use. Since the books were
obviously commercial product, and were being reproduced in quantity
(presumably so students could avoid paying for the actual books), the
courts could identify both infringement and economic harm to the

Bottom line: you can do almost anything you like with a CC licensed
work, provided you don't redistribute it except under the terms of the

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