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I've copied "It applies to any expressible form of an idea or information that is substantive and discrete and fixed in a medium." from Wp 'cause it seems to be a fairly good definition. I am eating Toast& honeychat 00:31, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Fair use[edit]

Although some people seem unwilling to admit this, copyright law normally provides fair use exclusions. These would typically allow an author to quote from works (ranging from books to email messages) for specific purposes, such as criticism. Some organizations and individuals use authors' lack of legal knowledge to bully them in to removing content from websites. The Chilling Effects Clearinghouse maintains a record of cease and desist letters sent for this purpose.[4]

Some people imagine that "fair use" exemptions require very strict conditions. Let's set aside all usages where the publisher is deliberately attempting to defeat copyright, a publisher is at high risk if they do that, and also at some risk if they merely link to an infringing use, again, with the intent to harm or defeat copyright.

Consider the implications with Denialgate. Those board communications were private and copyright to them for the organization is automatic. Just linking to copies of them could be legally hazardous. And we do have such links. However, the risk to RationalWiki and to users who place those links is still quite low, and practically disappears if possible infringement or "contributory infringement" is removed on request from the copyright owner.

However, in the other direction, consider the common practice on email lists of quoting an entire mail, with interspersed comment, or just copying the whole original with a brief comment at the top or bottom. Under a literal interpretation of fair use, as some make it, that's copyright infringement. Yet I've never seen any legal action from it, nor have I ever seen a takedown notice from an owner, the original author. They may happen, for sure, but real risk will only arise if usage is for-profit, or is outside community norms. (Such copying is normal on mailing lists, and thus to be reasonably expected when one sends material to a list.) Has anyone been sued for this? Taking an entire original post and posting it *somewhere else* than the original mailing list, which I've certainly seen done many times, would increase risk, but, again, if non-profit and not with an intention to harm copyright (i.e., original source is credited), practically no actual risk of loss to the "infringer." If there is infringement that is not fair use, the burden is on the owner to request publication cease. With a mailing list, though, the cat is out of the bag, there are now copies of the material on subscriber computers, if they keep them. Take-down can be addressed to the archive, and the archive service provider, if a list moderator doesn't respond or refuses. --Abd (talk) 15:38, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Not sure about missionality.[edit]

Reading some papers recently, and I was thinking of adding this sentence

Ambiguity in copyright laws, in the specific case of creative websites, to have a chilling effect on creative works

With this cite: Understanding Copyright Law in Online Creative Communities, but I'm not sure how much concern over the effects of copyright law is on-mission. Any feedback? Ikanreed (talk) 20:24, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Would Scientology's manipulation of copyright law help with making copyright law issues more on mission?Arachne1988 (talk) 21:51, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
That's absolutely on mission. Cranks love sending cease and desist letters in order to silence critics. Ikanreed (talk) 03:24, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
There's an argument for missionality in cases where the copyright holder uses it to remove critical youtube videos etc - misuse of copyright as a blunt censorship weapon. SophieWilderModerator 13:09, 16 December 2014 (UTC)