[cc-licenses] multiple licenses of same image

Dana Powers dpk at stanford.edu
Fri Jan 26 17:01:37 EST 2007


I can only speak hypothetically because I'm still a law student, but this is
my take.

Registration is never required for copyright protection, so in that respect
the answer is no.

It is usually a good idea to register if you think you'll end up in court
one day.  It may also be a good idea to the extent that people are trying to
find you for licensing opportunities through the copyright office's db.  But
in these cases I believe that a single registration will suffice.  You'll
still get the bonuses of registration to the extent that there is
reproduction of creative expression from the registered work - which
assuming the two are closely related this should be quite significant.  The
signaling of authorship is also unaffected as long as people can still find
you in the db, which I suspect they would using a title like "photograph of
duck" and "author drew roberts."  Moreover, if you're using CC licensing the
by-attribution is probably better anyways.

I find that the primary reason for multiple registrations is to extend
copyright protection.  If you make work A in 2006, and transformation B in
2030, the shared expression from A may enter the public domain before the
additional expression added in B.  Of course this is usually only the case
in works for hire with set protection terms because standard authors get the
same protection term for all works: life+70.  I believe that you'll find
this is the case if you search the US copyright office for movies which were
originally black and white and then later "colorized" when the technology
became available.  I was hoping to verify this with "Casablanca," but the
copyright office's search db seems to be broken right now.  oh well.

ianyal,
Dana

On 1/26/07, drew Roberts <zotz at 100jamz.com> wrote:
>
> On Friday 26 January 2007 04:30 pm, Dana Powers wrote:
> > The proposed argument:
> >
> > 1) simple transformations (like taping a radio broadcast) infringe the
> > reproduction right, not the derivative work right
> > 2) therefore creation of a simple transformation is a "reproduction" not
> a
> > "derivative"
> > 3) and also therefore licensing a work for reproduction necessarily
> implies
> > licensing all simple transformations
> >
> > this is a straw man.  i don't think anyone disputes that licensing a
> work
> > under CC-ND still allows a user to do simple transformations -
> compression,
> > for example.  this should be uncontroversial.
> >
> > the question is whether a user with a license to reproduce a work may
> > freely copy anyone else's simple transformations without obtaining extra
> > permission.  the fallacy in the above argument is the assertion that a
> > "reproduction" will not contain additional creative expression.  This is
> > simply not true (in the U.S. at least).  Take movie soundtracks, for
> > example.  In order to put music in a movie, the producer has to get a
> sync
> > license, which is a license to reproduce the work in synchronization
> with
> > the movie.  Although this constitutes a reproduction it doesn't imply
> that
> > the movie as a whole is not also independently copyrightable.
> >
> > The distinction an infringement of the reproduction right and an
> > infringement of the derivative work right is simply not the issue here.
> > What we are interested in, rather, is whether a higher resolution work
> has
> > additional creative expression which is protectable under copyright law.
> > Because it is so easy to reach this threshold  in the U.S., I believe it
> > does.
>
> If it does work this way, should it then be registered as a separate work?
>
> >
> > I should also mention that White-Smith was a case about whether piano
> rolls
> > were protected by copyright as reproductions of a musical work.  The
> court
> > ruled that they were unprotected because they were not plainly
> perceivable
> > by a human as the original work.  But this human perception test has
> been
> > overturned by statute.  See Apple Computer v. Franklin Computer, 714
> > F.2d1240 at 1248 (
> > 3d.Cir. 1983); 17 USC 102.  Moreover, the White-Smith decision occurred
> > well before the current derivative work right was enacted in 1976.
> >
> > Dana
> >
> > On 1/26/07, drew Roberts <zotz at 100jamz.com> wrote:
> > > On Friday 26 January 2007 01:56 pm, Peter Brink wrote:
> > > > Sorry for the late reply...
> > > >
> > > > Terry Hancock skrev:
> > > >  > Peter Brink wrote:
> > > >  >> A "work" must be the result of a creative act - the same
> > > >  >> goes for derivative works. A mechanical transformation is in
> itself
> > > >  >> not a creative act, the result of such a transformation is a
> copy
> > >
> > > and
> > >
> > > >  >> not a derivative work. If I scan a picture and make two versions
> > > >  >> available, one in low resolution and one in high resolution,
> those
> > > >  >> two images are _copies_ of the _same work_.
> > > >  >
> > > >  > Perhaps so. This seems like a plausible, but debatable legal
> theory.
> > > >  > Can we clarify what jurisdiction(s) you feel this applies to?
> Your
> > > >  > email address suggests Sweden (at least that's what I think "se"
> is,
> > > >  > please correct me if I'm wrong).
> > > >
> > > > What we are talking about here is really what it takes for a thing
> to
> > > > be a copy of a work. Common to (almost) all jurisdictions is that a
> > > > copy is a reproduction, in any form, of the work (see also art. 9.1of
> > > > the Berne Convention). Then what is a reproduction? In the U.S. case
> > > > White-Smith Music Pub. Co. v. Apollo Co. (209 U.S. 1 (1908)) the
> > > > concept of a copy was defined as follows: "[a] copy is that which
> comes
> > > > so near to the original as to give to every person seeing it the
> idea
> > > > created by the original". Substitute "seeing" with "perceiving" and
> you
> > > > get a statement with global relevance.
> > > >
> > > > It's pretty obvious (to me at least) that if a radio station plays a
> > > > piece of music, using a high quality copy, and a listener tapes that
> > > > piece, then the listener has created a copy of the music played by
> the
> > > > radio station. That the tape copy is of lower quality, i.e. that
> > > > information was lost when the music was transmitted using radio
> waves,
> > > > is really of no consequence. The file used by the radio station and
> the
> > > > file on tape may not identical and to a computer they may appear to
> be
> > > > different objects but to a person they are still copies of the same
> > > > work – and that's what matters. Every person hearing the copy played
> by
> > > > the radio station and then hearing the copy on tape would say that
> they
> > > > have heard the same piece of music.
> > > >
> > > > Just modifying a work a bit is not enough to turn it into a
> derivative
> > > > work. If you have a low-resolution digital copy of a painting, and
> add
> > > > information so that the result is a medium-resolution image, that
> every
> > > > person seeing it would say is the same picture as the painting, then
> > > > you still have a copy. It doesn't matter that you have used skill or
> > > > made choices to produce the medium-resolution image – if it appears
> to
> > > > be the same picture as the painting to an objective viewer, then
> it's a
> > > > copy.
> > > >
> > > > Then, when does a thing quits being a copy and becomes an adaptation
> > > > (or a derivative work)? It must be pointed out that it's very
> difficult
> > > > to provide hard and fast rules for when a work is a copy and when it
> > > > has been transformed so much that it's a derivative. This is
> something
> > > > that courts decide on a case by case basis. As a general rule there
> > > > must be a difference between the original and the adaptation and
> this
> > > > difference must be perceivable by an objective person. In civil law
> > > > jurisdictions an adaptation must be the result of a creative act, it
> > > > obviously needs not be as original as the original work, but there
> must
> > > > be some creativity involved in the formation of the work. In the U.S.
> a
> > > > derivative work must (in theory) be substantially different from the
> > > > underlying work. The Feist decision would seem to imply that
> derivative
> > > > works need to be the result of a minimum of creativity in the US
> too,
> > > > but that might be a false assumption on my part.
> > > >
> > > > In any case, in all jurisdictions the amount of difference needed
> > > > depends on a) what kind (or type) of work we are talking about and
> also
> > > > b) on how (relatively speaking) original the work is. A highly
> original
> > > > work has in general a wider scope of protection as compared to a
> work
> > > > of low originality. It takes more to create a derivative based on a
> > > > piece of "art music" then it takes to create a derivative based on,
> or
> > > > even an original work inspired by, a piece of pop music.
> > > >
> > > > The scope of protection afforded to a work must however end
> somewhere.
> > > > At some point a derivative must cease to be a derivative and become
> a
> > > > new original work, otherwise the formation of new works would be
> > > > seriously hampered. This problem is solved differently in different
> > > > jurisdictions. There is a US case where an artist based a set of
> > > > sculptures on a photo. The court found that the sculptures where
> > > > derivatives of the photo. A Swedish court would, I think it's safe
> to
> > > > say, find it obvious that when someone transforms a work from two to
> > > > three dimensions the result is a new independent work. The opposite
> is
> > > > not true however; a photo of a sculpture is a copy not a derivative
> > > > under Swedish law.
> > > >
> > > > A personal observation is that US courts seems to take the
> commercial
> > > > value of a work into consideration when assessing its scope of
> > > > protection. That is not done in civil law jurisdictions, as far as I
> > > > understand. Swedish courts, for example, does not take the monetary
> > > > value of a work or the time and money invested in making it in
> > > > consideration when deciding whether a thing is eligible of copyright
> > > > protection or not. Nor do they use investments as a factor when
> > > > assessing the scope of a works protection.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > /Peter Brink
> > >
> > > So, taking this all into consideration, does this mean you disagree
> with
> > > Mia?
> > > Or do you agree with her and I am too dim or too ignorant at this
> point
> > > to see it?
> > >
> > > all the best,
> > >
> > > drew
> > > --
> > > (da idea man)
> > > National Novel Writing Month
> > > Sayings (Winner 2006)
> > > http://www.ourmedia.org/node/262954
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > cc-licenses mailing list
> > > cc-licenses at lists.ibiblio.org
> > > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/cc-licenses
>
> --
> (da idea man)
> National Novel Writing Month
> Sayings (Winner 2006)
> http://www.ourmedia.org/node/262954
> _______________________________________________
> cc-licenses mailing list
> cc-licenses at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/cc-licenses
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/cc-licenses/attachments/20070126/3f0845bf/attachment.html 


More information about the cc-licenses mailing list