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Old 07-29-2003, 06:11 PM   #41
KaVir
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Better, better, but your example is not only unusual, it also deals with a case whereby the infringer copied key parts of the copyrighted work (ie creative concepts, in the same way as a character from a novel can be copyrighted beyond the actual words that describe him or her). The same could certainly not be said about the quote which sparked this thread, which would quite clearly be considered de minimis.

Note that copying a sentence and a half from a book of 142 pages has been considered "de minimis", as has copying 30 characters out of 50 pages of source code. (ref)

See also Palmer v. Braun (4/9/2002, No. 01-14511) : "Braun copied fifteen sentences from the Avatar Course materials. The district court found that these fifteen sentences represent de minimis infringement"

Also worth noting is Aberto-Culver Co. v. Andrea Dumon, Inc., 466 F.2d 705 (7th Cir. 1972) which held that the phrase "most personal sort of deodorant" is not copyrightable.
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Old 07-29-2003, 07:00 PM   #42
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KaVir:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Better, better, but your example is not only unusual,
One case is all I need to disprove your claim that short sequences of words cannot be protected by copyright.

As soon as you say (if you do), "Well, maybe SOME phrases or names are so distinctive that they can be protected when used in certain ways," you're agreeing with me and recanting your continued assertions that brief sequences of words cannot ever be so protected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
it also deals with a case whereby the infringer copied key parts of the copyrighted work (ie creative concepts,
It wasn't the concepts (ie, ideas, as your own cites also make clear)- it was the way of expressing them that was held to be protected. Particularly, as little as two words: "meter drop."

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Originally Posted by
The same could certainly not be said about the quote which sparked this thread, which would quite clearly be considered de minimis.
I disagree- what was used is one of the most distinct and recognizable pieces of the work.  Further, it was specifically chosen BECAUSE it is so greatly identified with Tolkien in the minds of the intended audience.  This is solidly in the territory Mason and I covered with our earlier cites.

If you want to say, "Well, I don't think that this particular use infringes," then we'll have to (hopefully amicably) disagree.  If you continue to say that such short excerpts can NEVER have any protection merely because they're short, I will continue to contend that you are wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Note that copying a sentence and a half from a book of 142 pages has been considered "de minimis", as has copying 30 characters out of 50 pages of source code. (ref)
specifically
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Braun copied fifteen sentences from the Avatar Course materials. The district court found that these fifteen sentences represent de minimis infringement
and
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Also worth noting is Aberto-Culver Co. v. Andrea Dumon, Inc., 466 F.2d 705 (7th Cir. 1972) which held that the phrase "most personal sort of deodorant" is not copyrightable.
The courts you cite did not say that NO excerpt of that that length can be protected by copyright, only that these two examples were not in this particular context protected by copyright.

This is not evidence that very brief sequences of words are never protected by copyright, only evidence that not EVERY brief sequence of words can be protected by copyright.  I have not made any claim that these cases disprove.

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Old 07-30-2003, 12:13 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Note that copying a sentence and a half from a book of 142 pages has been considered "de minimis"
The full reference looks like this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Use in novel of one seventh of page copied from 142 page copyrighted history is fair use, since copied portion represents neither substantial nor material part of history, was insignificant in value and extent of copyrighted material, and did not prejudice sale, diminish profits, or supersede objects of original work; copied material had no effect on sale of novel and did not relate to theme of history; copyright proprietor could not be damaged by publication of novel; action is de minimis. Toulmin v Rike-Kumler Co. (1962, SD Ohio) 137 USPQ 533, affd (1963, CA6 Ohio) 316 F2d 232, 137 USPQ 499, cert den (1963) 375 US 825, 11 L Ed 2d 58, 84 S Ct 66, 139 USPQ 566.
and was found here.

I have to say, having skimmed through the other info on the page, that the use of the particular sentence in question would be if not de minimis then at least fair use. The sentence in the original post fulfills the same criteria:
1. copied portion represents neither substantial nor material part of history
2. is insignificant in value and extent of copyrighted material
3. does not prejudice sale, diminish profits, or supersede objects of original work;
4. copied material has no effect on sale of novel
5. does not relate to theme of history(in copyrighted material)
6. copyright proprietor can not be damaged by use of the sentence.

In short: I agree with KaVir - this is de minimis - or failing that, fair use.
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Old 07-30-2003, 01:06 PM   #44
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Quote:
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One case is all I need to disprove your claim that short sequences of words cannot be protected by copyright.

As soon as you say (if you do), "Well, maybe SOME phrases or names are so distinctive that they can be protected when used in certain ways," you're agreeing with me and recanting your continued assertions that brief sequences of words cannot ever be so protected.
As I've already explained, the case in question deals with a concept (in much the same way as a character in a novel can be protected by copyright law) rather than just the phrase itself.  Indeed your link specifically mentions that it was "Cook's complete expressions in conveying the meaning of "meter drop" and "rolling stock"" which were deemed creative and thus protected by copyright, and that "Where the copied protected portions are only a small part of the larger work, as is the case here, that material must be qualitatively important to either plaintiff's or defendant's work".

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Originally Posted by
It wasn't the concepts (ie, ideas, as your own cites also make clear)- it was the way of expressing them that was held to be protected. Particularly, as little as two words: "meter drop."
It was the meaning behind them that was copyrighted.  If I had written a short story about "rolling stocks" which referred to the frame holding a ship which had rolled down a hill, it would obviously not have been an infringement - any more than writing a story about Spock the duck who was living on a farm.  In that respect, it is no different to the example you attempted to use previously of a character name falling under copyright.  In both cases it was not the name of the character/concept, but the creativity behind it, that falls under copyright protection.

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Originally Posted by
I disagree- what was used is one of the most distinct and recognizable pieces of the work.
I disagree.  It was just one sentence within the work, and was hardly qualitatively important to the work.

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Originally Posted by
Further, it was specifically chosen BECAUSE it is so greatly identified with Tolkien in the minds of the intended audience.
Did you verify this with the mud owner, or did you just assume it?

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Originally Posted by
This is solidly in the territory Mason and I covered with our earlier cites.
Yes - solidly in the area of having nothing to do with the name itself, but with the creative work behind it.
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Old 07-30-2003, 01:56 PM   #45
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Welcor:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
I have to say, having skimmed through the other info on the page, that the use of the particular sentence in question would be if not de minimis then at least fair use.
de minimis is tricky, and something that reasonable people may disagree on.

If it's not de minimis, then it has to fall into one of the categories of fair use.  Which one do you believe is applicable (or more than one)?

Please note that there are also cases where small quantities have been found to be infringing (300 words/200,000 in one example findable through my other links)

Context is strongly dependent here: History or a technical manual explaining a process can be very close without infringing.  Creative works sometimes have wider scope (there are only so many ways to say "General Washington crossed the Delaware" or "Tighten the engine bolts in counterclockwise order" while there are many more possibilities for interactions of characters in a novel).

KaVir:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
As I've already explained, the case in question deals with a concept (in much the same way as a character in a novel can be protected by copyright law) rather than just the phrase itself.
Whatever the reason, certain uses of certain short sequences of words (possibly even a single word in the case of a character name in certain contexts) may not be allowed in certain contexts.

This seems to be directly contrary to your (initial? continued?) position that the phrase in the ad cannot be infringing simply because of its short length.  If the phrase sufficiently invokes the protected character/expression of an idea/whatever, it can't be used in certain ways.

As you said earlier, you may be able to write a children's story about a cat and dog named Spock and Kirk.  But try to market a pet food with a starry background, a space ship, and the phrase "Spock and Kirk's favorite" pictured on the front and you might find yourself in lawsuit territory.

Practically speaking, precisely what is protected in the above description is not important to our present debate: whether the use of a certain distinctive phrase can infringe someone's copyright.

The answer, which you seem to be agreeing with (while emphasizing that it's not "just" the phrase that's protected), is yes.

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Originally Posted by
In both cases it was not the name of the character/concept, but the creativity behind it, that falls under copyright protection.
Which is the same misdirection as before.  You started out saying that this particular use of that phrase in that ad could not possibly infringe on a copyright BECAUSE IT WAS SHORT.

Now you're saying that a phrase can't be protected in and of itself as a sequence of words, but only as a result of the meaning it conveys in a context.  This is true, but irrelevant to the issue we're debating: whether any particular use of a short phrase is capable of infringing copyright.

Clearly, it is possible for a short sequence of words to cause a copyright infringement in the general case.  This ad? I happen to think so, you and Welcor don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Me:"Further, it was specifically chosen BECAUSE it is so greatly identified with Tolkien in the minds of the intended audience."


Did you verify this with the mud owner, or did you just assume it?
I read the owner's posts* in this thread.  He said that it was a parody.  Thus, he clearly intended that the phrase's origin be recognized.  I don't happen to agree that it's a parody, but the fact that he claimed it was provides evidence that the use was intentionally invoking Tolkien's IP in the minds of the audience.

Stilton

*Ok, Ok, someone CLAIMING to be in a position to represent the intent of the ad.  I'm inclined to think that he's genuine lacking evidence ot the contrary.
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Old 07-30-2003, 02:36 PM   #46
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Heh, this is getting funny. Stilton, that last sentence of yours didn't make sense... are you suggesting it's not actually my ad? Or that I lack some other kind of evidence?

Yes, the phrase was deliberately chosen, for humour value. Although I have seen one good argument above to suggest that it isn't protected as parody, I have seen case history that suggests that it is, and that the parodic intent need not be the primary purpose of the work. This, in addition to the aspects that Welcor mentioned relating to the factors to be taken into account, leads me to believe the usage is permitted.
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Old 07-30-2003, 03:08 PM   #47
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Kylotan:
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Originally Posted by
Heh, this is getting funny. Stilton, that last sentence of yours didn't make sense... are you suggesting it's not actually my ad? Or that I lack some other kind of evidence?
No, since the thread was getting nitpicky, I was acknowledging that _I_ have no evidence that the person who placed the ad was the person posting in this thread, or that he/you have anything to do with the people who placed it or authority to speak for them.

I'm not suggesting that _YOU_ have to prove anything :)

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Originally Posted by
I have seen case history that suggests that it is, and that the parodic intent need not be the primary purpose of the work
I respectfully disagree with your position that your ad can be construed as parody, for the reason I pointed out: the use seems the same, not a comedic distortion.

Topmudsites has run other ads that I think of as sketchy (like the ripoff of the Mastercard ads "X... $AX, Y....$AY, Z....Priceless") and there have been ads here and elsewhere that other people have thought sketchy that I didn't ("The #1 mud!"). As I've said, I'm perfectly willing to accept differences of opinion on "does THIS infringe?", vs "Is it possible for ANY (phrase, use of a character name, etc) to infringe?", which has a quite clear answer ("yes").

Your ad meeds many of the criteria for being benign (like it being hard to imagine the ad impairing the sales of LOTR), but isn't so safe on certain other grounds (it's an intentionally selected distinctive phrase intended to be recognized).

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Old 07-30-2003, 04:49 PM   #48
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The point in question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Kyloton:"Not with ten thousand men could you survive the Abattoir. It is folly."

LOTR:"Not with ten thousand men could you do this.  It is folly!"
The issue here is, in other words, whether this is infringement:
"Not with ten thousand men could you .... It is folly!"

I - obviously - can't see how it can be, as you see on my previous reply. The criteria set up by the US federal court through their rulings.

Stilton:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
de minimis is tricky, and something that reasonable people may disagree on.
Which is why we must look at previous decisions by the courts of law to get an idea of the laws' interpretation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
If it's not de minimis, then it has to fall into one of the categories of fair use.  Which one do you believe is applicable (or more than one)?
Using 10 words out of LOTR which contains about half a million words is in my opinion a clear example of de minimis.
Also, since you asked: In my previous reply I stated that it was fair use due to:
1. copied portion represents neither substantial nor material part of history:
 If the sentence had not been in LOTR, LOTR wouldn't have been a less successful (or creative) piece of literature.
2. is insignificant in value and extent of copyrighted material
10 words/500.000 speaks for itself.
3. does not prejudice sale, diminish profits, or supersede objects of original work
 Actually, after a thought, this might make people want to get the book/movie. It's not like you can read this line, and then don't have to read LOTR.
4. copied material has no effect on sale of novel
See 3.
5. does not relate to theme of history(in copyrighted material)
 The sentence "Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly!" doesn't include reference to any plot, character, idea or concept in LOTR. Nor does the copied material.
6. copyright proprietor can not be damaged by use of the sentence.
 Noone is going to be upset at Tolkien for the use of the copied text. It's not like it's a porn site that's using it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Please note that there are also cases where small quantities have been found to be infringing (300 words/200,000 in one example findable through my other links)
Yes, 300 words, I've found that reference as well. That's 30 times as much as what we're discussing here. And taken from a substantially shorter text.
The sentence in this case - "Not with ten thousand men could you .... It is folly!" - does not constitute a significant part of the work (qulitatively nor quantitatively), so the court decisions are clear: It is de minimis.
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Old 07-30-2003, 05:49 PM   #49
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Welcor:
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Yes, 300 words, I've found that reference as well. That's 30 times as much as what we're discussing here.
And what we're discussing here is 5 times as much as the two words in the case I cited :)

I agree with much of your determination on the individual points. I think that the phrase is distinctive enough to be protected in the context it's used here, though it doesn't identify characters or much plot by the literal words.

I also dispute the idea that you can predict de minimis results with any accuracy by looking at most precedents. If you have to ask, it seems like you might well be found to have infringed.

I wonder:
Do you think it would be an acceptable use for an ice cream parlor to market their biggest tub-o-goodness with the slogan "Not with ten thousand men could you survive the Apocalypsundae. It is folly!"?

If it is acceptable, why don't we see more marketing by big corporations using cultural icons/quotes from Tolkien, Star Wars, etc.

I think you and I have reached the point of respectful disagreement. KaVir might still have his sword out, though ;)

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Old 07-31-2003, 11:19 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
And what we're discussing here is 5 times as much as the two words in the case I cited
I've taken the time to read your reference, and it seems to me that the fair use in the case falls due to:

1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
- The use of "meter drop" and "rollong stock" is used in a commercial (mainly for-profit) way.

2) the nature of the copyrighted work
- The nature of the work is not considered (both are non-fictional).

3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
- The phrases were (as testified by the copyright owner) "an important part of the work" and "an important part of {the copyright holders} life" and are thus deemed "a qualitatively substantial part of the work". (I agree on this one - after all it's one of the reasons people buy the book.)

4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
- The use of the copyrighted material (in a course for stockmarketeers) serves the same market as the original work. Thus, the court decides that the use of the copyrighted material affects the market for the original work.

My own note: I don't undertsand why they didn't buy a set of books for the seminar instead...

This case is so different from the point we're discussing, that I'm surprised you'd use it as a reference. Especially to prove that the use in question is not fair use.
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Old 07-31-2003, 01:57 PM   #51
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Welcor:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
I've taken the time to read your reference, and it seems to me that the fair use in the case falls due to:
Yes, the use was infringing because of its specific circumstances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
This case is so different from the point we're discussing, that I'm surprised you'd use it as a reference. Especially to prove that the use in question is not fair use.
Ah, but I wasn't: I was using it to prove that KaVir's initial claim that short uses get an unconditional 'free pass' on infringement is false. This particular use may or may not be ok, but KaVir's supporting argument was incorrect. A very short phrase is capable of infringing.*

Stilton

*To address the quibble about whether it's the phrase or the expression of the concept behind it that's protected: you could reword that to read "a very short phrase is capable of causing infringement." This is an angels-on-the-head-of-pin argument, though: If by using a phrase one can infringe a copyright, the terminology describing the infringement is a matter for lawyers, not us.
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Old 07-31-2003, 02:00 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Whatever the reason, certain uses of certain short sequences of words (possibly even a single word in the case of a character name in certain contexts) may not be allowed in certain contexts.

This seems to be directly contrary to your (initial? continued?) position that the phrase in the ad cannot be infringing simply because of its short length. If the phrase sufficiently invokes the protected character/expression of an idea/whatever, it can't be used in certain ways.
The statement I originally made was that copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. Right from the very beginning I made it clear that it wasn't the usage of a name (such as Spock or Kirk) that was the copyright violation, but the usage of the creative work behind it. Your more recent link is exactly the same situation again, except referring to a short phrase rather than a name, and actually backs up my earlier posts about copyright extending to the creative concepts behind the actual words themselves.

My argument has remained consistent throughout this thread, so I'd appreciate it if you'd stop attacking straw men.
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Old 07-31-2003, 03:32 PM   #53
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KaVir:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
My argument has remained consistent throughout this thread, so I'd appreciate it if you'd stop attacking straw men.
You joined the thread, apparently saying that the ad couldn't be infringing because it fell into one of four categories (presumably, short phrases):
Quote:
Originally Posted by
KaVir, July 22 2003,17:17 (entire message in post, sig etc stripped):  

Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases.
We argued a bit.  Mason stated some things better than I had been doing.  You said that you'd been consistent.  I then said, because I was becoming unsure of what your real claim was:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Stilton,  July 28 2003,12:50:

Then your first post is one of:
1) citing an FAQ as evidence  that the ad is infringing
2) citing an FAQ as evidence that the ad is NOT infringing
3) something else.

Which is it? (If (3), please explain)
You replied:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
KaVir, July 28 2003,18:04:

Yes, 2 is what I am attempting to do,
So, you have agreed that your original post was intended to (using the language you later provided a link to in the FAQ) constitute evidence that this particular use of a short phrase was not infringing because, as the FAQ you cite says, NO short phrase can be copyrighted.

Note that I agree with the portion of your position that says a phrase cannot normally receive a grant of copyright as such.

But, what's relevant here is that a particular use of a phrase in a particular context can CAUSE copyright to be infringed (if it sufficiently invokes, by its mere mention, a character, story, etc that IS protected).

Your statement was literally correct.  Claiming that its truth constitutes conclusive evidence that this particular ad cannot be infringing was/is incorrect.

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Old 07-31-2003, 05:15 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
So, you have agreed that your original post was intended to (using the language you later provided a link to in the FAQ) constitute evidence that this particular use of a short phrase was not infringing because, as the FAQ you cite says, NO short phrase can be copyrighted.

Note that I agree with the portion of your position that says a phrase cannot normally receive a grant of copyright as such.

But, what's relevant here is that a particular use of a phrase in a particular context can CAUSE copyright to be infringed (if it sufficiently invokes, by its mere mention, a character, story, etc that IS protected).
A name or phrase does not receive copyright protection. The meaning conveyed by a name or phrase is what may fall under copyright protection, as in the case of certain characters (eg Kirk, Spock, Gandalf, etc) or phrases (rolling stock), which clearly refer to the original work, and are thus a form of derivative work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Your statement was literally correct. Claiming that its truth constitutes conclusive evidence that this particular ad cannot be infringing was/is incorrect.
The advert given here is/was a completely different issue to the one that you and Mason have been arguing. The phrase mentioned by the original post was simply that - a few words. They did not represent some creative character or concept, and thus would very clearly be considered "de minimis".
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Old 07-31-2003, 05:47 PM   #55
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KaVir:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
A name or phrase does not receive copyright protection.  The meaning conveyed by a name or phrase is what may fall under copyright protection, as in the case of certain characters...
Uh, yes.  We do not disagree in substance here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
The advert given here is/was a completely different issue to the one that you and Mason have been arguing.
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

The issue I have been arguing is that your use of that FAQ answer as proof that this ad cannot possibly infringe BECAUSE_THE_AD_ONLY_USES_A_BRIEF_PHRASE is bogus.

I have backed up my argument by presenting instances in which certain uses of certain brief phrases have been found sufficient to create an infringement .  This is sufficient to invalidate your reasoning.  Arguing your conclusions or the FAQ statement back at me doesn't make your reasoning valid.

QED.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
The phrase mentioned by the original post was simply that - a few words.  They did not represent some creative character or concept, and thus would very clearly be considered "de minimis".
That's an opinion, not a fact.  It would be very presumptuous of either of us to attempt to make a de minimus ruling one way or ther other.  Stating an opinion is fine, and I have endeavored to label mine as such.

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Old 07-31-2003, 06:16 PM   #56
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To summarise, with key quotes from our discussion so far...

Me: Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases.

Mason: Not entirely true.

Me: I believe you are thinking of trademarks.

Stilton: No, he's correct.

Me: Copyright law does not protect names or phrases.

Mason: Trademark status does offer protection for names such as Star Wars and Luke Skywalker. However, both names are also protected by copyright.

Me: No, they are not...it's not the usage of the name, it's the usage of the creative work behind it.

Me: I never claimed that a character couldn't be protected by copyright law (because quite obviously it can). What I said is that a name cannot be protected. And it cannot.

Stilton: Mason's cites to the contrary?

Me: Once again I reiterate, the names do not receive copyright protection. Ever. It is the characters that receive such protection.

Stilton: For a recent demonstration of short phrase protection (if you trust the 9th Circuit in the US) see...

Me: ...your example...deals with a case whereby the infringer copied key parts of the copyrighted work (ie creative concepts, in the same way as a character from a novel can be copyrighted beyond the actual words that describe him or her).

Stilton: One case is all I need to disprove your claim that short sequences of words cannot be protected by copyright.

Me: As I've already explained, the case in question deals with a concept (in much the same way as a character in a novel can be protected by copyright law) rather than just the phrase itself.

Stilton: To address the quibble about whether it's the phrase or the expression of the concept behind it that's protected: you could reword that to read "a very short phrase is capable of causing infringement."

Me: The statement I originally made was that copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. Right from the very beginning I made it clear that it wasn't the usage of a name (such as Spock or Kirk) that was the copyright violation, but the usage of the creative work behind it.

Stilton: But, what's relevant here is that a particular use of a phrase in a particular context can CAUSE copyright to be infringed (if it sufficiently invokes, by its mere mention, a character, story, etc that IS protected).

Me: A name or phrase does not receive copyright protection. The meaning conveyed by a name or phrase is what may fall under copyright protection, as in the case of certain characters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Uh, yes. We do not disagree in substance here.
So just to clarify, are you saying that you do now actually agree with what I've been saying right from the start - that names and short phrases are not protected by copyright, but instead it is the meaning (or creative work) behind them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
Curious, as I've been arguing the same point throughout the entire thread, and yet now you seem to be claiming that I have changed my viewpoint - when in fact all you've done is gradually shift your own wording until it came in line with mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
I have backed up my argument by presenting instances in which certain uses of certain brief phrases have been found sufficient to create an infringement.
No, you have attempted to back up your argument by presenting one example which backs up part of my earlier posts (about copyright being able to extend beyond the literal words themselves to the creative work behind them), and using it to attack the other half of what I said (that copyright does extend to the names or short phrases themselves), while conveniently ignoring the fact that I said the first part. I'm sure there's a name for that type of fallacy, but I can't be bothered to look it up right now.

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That's an opinion, not a fact.
It's an "opinion" based on legal wording and precedent.
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Old 07-31-2003, 06:55 PM   #57
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KaVir:
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Originally Posted by
To summarise, with key quotes from our discussion so far...
SNIP a whole lotta stuff

Stilton: But, what's relevant here is that a particular use of a phrase in a particular context can CAUSE copyright to be infringed (if it sufficiently invokes, by its mere mention, a character, story, etc that IS protected).

Me(KaVir): A name or phrase does not receive copyright protection. The meaning conveyed by a name or phrase is what may fall under copyright protection, as in the case of certain characters.
That final exchange is a good summary of how this has gone:
Stilton: "Particular uses of particular phrases can generate infringement"
KaVir: "A name or phrase does not receive copyright protection. The meaning conveyed..."

You're dodging the issue. Big'ol straw man. What the heck else could I have meant but usages which invoke particular, protected meanings?

Haven't checked the rest of the quotes in detail for accuracy, but sounds about right.

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Me:Uh, yes. We do not disagree in substance here.

So just to clarify, are you saying that you do now actually agree with what I've been saying right from the start - that names and short phrases are not protected by copyright, but instead it is the meaning (or creative work) behind them?
Don't build a war over whether the proper way to describe a situation like the one we're discussing is "This phrase is protected" or "This particular use of that phrase generates an infringement because it invokes a character, story, etc. sufficiently to ..."

Over the course of the thread, I have switched to the latter phrasing to be consistent with you, rather than argue about it as you attempt to do above.

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Me:Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

Curious, as I've been arguing the same point throughout the entire thread, and yet now you seem to be claiming that I have changed my viewpoint - when in fact all you've done is gradually shift your own wording until it came in line with mine.
Rather than quibble over terms, I have started to bring my usages closer to yours. Where do I claim that your viewpoint has changed? (I did ask for and get clarification to make sure I understood it)

The point you have been arguing over the whole thread seems to me to be the same, too: _A_, because _B_.

_A_ may or may not be true (opinion question). _B_ is either irrelevant or untrue depending on whether you use the FAQ's language or yours, respectively ("isn't protected in and of itself" vs "cannot make a given use of material infringing by invoking context and meaning". Your very first post doesn't make any sense with the first usage- it wouldn't demonstrate anything about the present situation, so why would you have posted it? The second usage I have proved to be untrue, ie that a short phrase is capable of generating an infringement.

_A_ BECAUSE _B_ is thus proven to be high-grade organic fertilizer.

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Originally Posted by
No, you have attempted to back up your argument by presenting one example which backs up part of my earlier posts (about copyright being able to extend beyond the literal words themselves to the creative work behind them), and using it to attack the other half of what I said (that copyright does extend to the names or short phrases themselves), while conveniently ignoring the fact that I said the first part. I'm sure there's a name for that type of fallacy, but I can't be bothered to look it up right now.
It's not a fallacy. If you say _A_ because _B_, and I can demonstrate that _B_ isn't applicable or isn't correct, I've demonstrated that your proof is invalid. I recognize quite well, and have never made a claim to the contrary, that what I have done is not sufficient to prove much about the proposition _A_ itself.


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Old 07-31-2003, 08:06 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
That final exchange is a good summary of how this has gone:
Stilton: "Particular uses of particular phrases can generate infringement"
KaVir: "A name or phrase does not receive copyright protection. The meaning conveyed..."

You're dodging the issue.  Big'ol straw man.
I'm dodging nothing.  Names and short phrases are not protected by copyright, no matter how much you try to wriggle the wording around.  It is the meanings conveyed by some names and phrases that can be protected by copyright, and the example that started this thread is quite clearly not one of them - it is simply a statement, and does not represent any further creative meaning beyond its own words.

And please learn what a straw man is before throwing the term around.  An example of a straw man would be where I pointed out that names are not protected by copyrighted, to which you responded by attacked the statement that a fictional character could not be copyrighted - a statement I had never made, nor even implied.

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Originally Posted by
What the heck else could I have meant but usages which invoke particular,
protected meanings?
Well after reading your various comments:

Me: Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases.

Mason: Not entirely true.

Me: I believe you are thinking of trademarks.

Stilton: No, he's correct.

Me: I never claimed that a character couldn't be protected by copyright law (because quite obviously it can).  What I said is that a name cannot be protected.  And it cannot.

Stilton: Mason's cites to the contrary?

Stilton: One case is all I need to disprove your claim that short sequences of words cannot be protected by copyright.


It seems fairly clear that you originally believed names and short phrases could not be protected by copyright.  It seems apparent that you've now shifted your view to the same as mine, which makes it difficult for me to understand why you're still arguing.
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Old 07-31-2003, 08:54 PM   #59
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KaVir:
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I'm dodging nothing.
When I say "Some short combinations of words can cause infringement of a copyright" you say "Phrases, blah, blah, cannot be protected by copyright".

That's a straw man- answering a different issue than was raised. If you want to be picky and say that a phrase itself can't be copyrighted, in the face of the precedents you've been handed you simply have to admit that a phrase used in a particular context can still be the instrument of an infringement. In fact, you have repeatedly agreed that characters, stories, key themes, etc. can be protected but have steadfastly avoided admitting the validity or applicability of any of the supplied contexts in which that has demonstrably happened.

This makes your first post either spurious (addressing nothing, because the literal words themselves did not constitute the strong part of the case against the ad) or wrong (inappropriate proof).

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And please learn what a straw man is before throwing the term around.
We've been through this already a few threads ago. I don't even think you have a clue where the term comes from without googling it up. You evidently think it has something to do with caricature or exageration. It doesn't. I'll give you a hint: rather than fighting the real opponent, it's setting up a dummy (straw man) and cutting it apart (with a sword, back when they used straw dummies).

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Originally Posted by
It seems fairly clear that you originally believed names and short phrases could not be protected by copyright. It seems apparent that you've now shifted your view to the same as mine, which makes it difficult for me to understand why you're still arguing.
I have repeatedly explained the terminology shift. Amusing- I was attempting to avoid difficulties by transitioning from the concise ("that might be protected") to your preferred circumlocution ("that phrase might bring to mind blah, blah, to such degree as to conjure the theme of, blah, blah..").

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Old 07-31-2003, 09:12 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
When I say "Some short combinations of words can cause infringement of a copyright" you say "Phrases, blah, blah, cannot be protected by copyright".
If you're going to use quotes, please use things that were actually said, so that they can be viewed in context.

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That's a straw man- answering a different issue than was raised.
Except that it's your answers to my issues which are the straw man arguments. I made a statement (that names and short phrases are not protected by copyright), which you then repeatedly attempted to dispute by responding to something different. If you cannot answer my points, then don't answer them - because if you attempt to answer something different I will simply assume that you didn't read it properly and stress the point again until you do address it.

I had hoped you'd have learned this the last time that I had to explain to you what a straw man argument is, and why I refuse to be drawn in by people who try to use them on me.
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