Dynamic linking, was: Re: Dispelling BSD License Misconceptions

Arnoud Engelfriet arnoud at engelfriet.net
Sat Jan 27 11:34:24 UTC 2007

Matthew Flaschen wrote:
> Arnoud Engelfriet wrote:
> > The same can be said for an article. Although in that case you could
> > probably rely on fair use or citation rights as an excuse for your
> > derivation, so you would not be infringing.
> Do you still think it would be a copyright infringement (though possibly
> allowed by fair use) if no text was quoted?  I highly doubt that.

If no creative elements have been copied, then there can be
no infringement. But it doesn't have to be a literal quote
(like my quote of you above). The article can paraphrase the
point it's responding to. That can still be copying, although
it's almost certainly a fair use. 

>  In a somewhat similar case,
> > a US 2nd Circuit Case decided a trivia book for the TV show Seinfeld
> > was a copyright infringement. 
> > http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=2nd&navby=case&no=977992
> I disagree here, unless the Seinfeld book was using large amounts of
> exact quotation.

According to one source, the book "contained 643 questions regarding
characters, dialogue and plot details of virtually every episode of the
hit television comedy series "Seinfeld." Forty-one of those questions
included verbatim quotes of the show's dialogue, comprising roughly
3-5% of the total script of the quoted episodes."

The court considered the book to be a derivative work of the show
and rejected the fair use defense.

I found the court's response to the argument that only facts were
copied to be interesting: "The facts depicted in a Seinfeld episode are
quite unlike the facts depicted in a biography, historical text or
compilation. Seinfeld is fiction; both the `facts' in the various
episodes, and the expression of those facts, are plaintiff's creation." 


Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch & European patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies: http://www.iusmentis.com/

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