L. M. Lloyd (ubik@austin.rr.com)
Wed, 27 Dec 2000 16:41:45 -0600

Hash: SHA1

I normally stay out of any discussion of fansubs, but I think it
should be pointed out that modern copyright law does allow certain
"fair use" exceptions to copyright violations. As far as I understand
it, the use of copyrighted material could fall under the fair use
clause if you are adding some sort of additional value (like possibly
translation) and not doing it as a commercial venture. To my
knowledge this has never been legally tested with fansubs, but there
have been several cases of various forms of non-commercial artwork
that utilize someone else's copyrighted material as part of the
artwork, that have been successfully defended under the fair use

I am not saying that this means that fansubs are legal, I am just
pointing out that copyright law is not as cut-and-dry,
black-and-white as you are making it out to be. For example, just
because you hold the copyright to a work, that does not mean you can
stop others from satirizing or parodying it. It has been found time
and again that satires and parodies are definitely "fair use."

I think that fansubs might well violate copyright law, but since it
is always a case of a big company bringing it's legal might to bare
on some intimidated individual, there has never been a serious legal
challenge to determine where fansubs fall in light of the fair use

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org [mailto:owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org]On
> Behalf Of Joseph Riggs
> Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2000 3:47 PM
> To: gundam@aeug.org
> Subject: Re: [gundam] Why Bad Form?
> Think about what you just said. According to what you posted,
> its basically okay
> to copy and distribute, to others, something that is not
> currently available in
> your own country. Following this logic, then why would any
> companies need to get
> rights in the first place? CPM could pick any show that had been
> released in
> Japan and release it over here without worrying about being sued
> for copyright
> violations or other annoying trivialities.
> The simple truth is that it flat out doesn't work that way.
> Now if a company ends up producing a product and for whatever
> reason its only
> copyrighted in that country, then sure you can go ahead and copy
> it if you are in
> a different country. But international copyright laws pretty
> much make this a
> non-issue.
> Legally speaking, there is no difference between a fansub and
> piracy. Practically
> speaking, the only difference is the price (as pirates are
> usually in it to make
> money, whereas fansubbers are usually in it to just to distribute
> product to fans
> who would otherwise be unable to get it).
> junior

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