Do their need to be provisons made for folks to update their personal information.

There was a thread on the local Linux users group about folks keeping their recorded information accessable.

One poster sugested that the modus operandi that they used was to scan every piece of paper that they found of use, and then shread the original. That they had likewise decided to make ogg or MP3 films of their old cassette tapes and throw the tape away, and likewise their old VHS home movies.

Besides the worry about keeping all those bits from bit rot, I can see where that sort of practice might make things easier to find.

BUt I wonder if they are setting themselves up for a copyright hastle? Persumably every paper not only includes the love letters that they get from thir Girl/Boy friends but also the bills that they get from folks like MasterCard and the City of Ottawa asking them to pay for their beer and the transit deficit. It would include newspaper clippings and WIRED magazine. The manual for their 2005 Chevy and their Sony radio, the menu from the Main Street Cafe, and their Kids report card.

Some of the creators of those documents may OBJECT to the making of a copy?

Of all the data that this person sugested they wanted to "bit-i-fy" only the music on the old tapes is covered by current exemptions. (not even the DJ talking that is probaly between some of the songs!) the rest could be ordered deleted as part of a copyright crackdown?

Does the copyright law have to be changed to allow such "personal use" , whould keeping the originals as a backup in case of bit rot cause more problems to copyright? What about the VHS copy of Barbarella or The Deep that may be in with those home movies?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

First Sale Doctrine..

There are two parts to this: one is the question of "personal use", and in this I believe that whatever someone does in the privacy of their own home should be entirely unregulated by copyright. Only when the content enters or leaves the home (via telecommunications or via some physical media) should copyright be allowed to come into play at all.

The second is the concept of the "first sale doctrine" where the copyright holder does not have the right to exclude you from loaning or selling that original copy. The problem is that if you destroy the original, then you no longer have any "first sale" rights at all. The private copy you made is private, and you have nothing that you are (or should be) allowed to loan or resell.


Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.

Copying and destroying original ruled upon by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Canada already ruled on the issue of making copies of copyrighted works with the destruction of the original.

Théberge v. Galerie d'Art du Petit Champlain inc (Mar 28 2002)

Summary: Paintings were purchased, then transfered to different (higher quality) materials, then resold. This transfer destroyed the original of the painting. The artist objected under copyright law.

Ruling: It is legal to make a copy (regardless of the copyright holder's wishes) if the process of making the copy destroys the original.

Note: In this case, the mechanical process that was used to make the copy automatically destroyed the original. The copy-destroy process was one single process, rather than a copy process, and then a destroy process as would be the case of scanning a paper. Given other legal treatments of transitory vs fixed works, I believe that the court wouldn't mind if it was 2 processes and treat it as one process for the purpose of this precedent.

Keeping a backup, that's a different story. I don't know how the courts would rule on that.

BTW: My comment is released into the public domain, and may be freely reposted.

Copy that destroys original.

While that was a precedent setting case, I don't think that it can be interpreted as liberally as you seem to be. The specifics of the case were important.

Say we were talking about recorded music. A company takes old tapes (casette, 8-track, real-to-real, etc) and using high-quality audio recording equipment makes a standard Compact Audio CD out of them. Customers come in with their old tapes and leave with a CD, with the tapes being blanked/destroyed/etc by the company. The customer is told that the resulting CD was an "original" and that they could loan or resell the CD if they wished (IE: this was not a "private copy" that received assistance from a company, something I don't think would fly eithor).

While this should be interpreted the same way as the Théberge case, I suspect that any company that opened shop and did this would be sued. I'm not convinced we would have seen the same outcome in the courts.

It would have been great if this did happen as the bubble that the major labels are claiming should be the "norm" for their industry never would have happened. One of the reasons for the bubble was people re-buying their music in CD format when they already had the music in other formats.


Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.

Copy that destroys original

I see no practical difference between the Théberge case and your example. Neither is/was a private copy so the private copy issue can and should be ignored. The only difference is that I don't think it's possible to transfer music from one medium to another without making a copy, even if that copy is transitory. That is the only specific to the Théberge case that can make it more difficult to apply to other copywrited works. I disagree that there was something specific to Théberge that makes it less relevant to any other art.

If a machine existed that copied and destroyed the original music in one process, then it would be exactly the same as the Théberge case. The major labels wouldn't have a leg to stand on in that instance.

However the Théberge case does apply to all copyrighted works not just paintings. You can purchase a copyrighted work, alter the medium on which it was presented and resell it as a profit making venture against the wishes of the copyright holder. That is what the Théberge case was all about and while the decision was not unanimous, it was conclusive.

BTW: Saying that any company that did this would be sued is sort of a given. The record companies sue their customers, their artists, and anyone else they don't like just because they don't like them. They will sue anyone and everyone for no good reason and do it without a legal leg to stand on.

re-buying music

It would have been great if this did happen as the bubble that the major labels are claiming should be the "norm" for their industry never would have happened.

Yes and no. People did/do/will continue to re-buy copywrited works* in new mediums due to the convience.
*(music does not have special status)

Regardless of the legality the practical aspect that's more important. Is that it's a pain to transfer something from one medium to another. Take the people on that Linux users group for example. I simply can't imagine how much effort it would be to scan every useful piece of paper I wrote and put it onto a computer, let alone everything I own. I can't even be bothered to transfer home movies from VHS to DVD even though I know that shortly I won't have or be able to buy a working VCR.

I can't snap my fingers and put everything I own in printed form onto my computer. But if there was a device that could do that, then I'm pretty sure that the Théberge precedent would say "yes you can do that, and you can do it as a business too." That is what the case was all about after all.

That case is actually much more narrow.

I read the case, and I think both a narrow and a broad interpretation would apply. For a simple interpretaion, what the galary was doing was NOT realy copying and the court has really confirmed it. The Galary was basicaly buying an authorised copy of the picture, and removing the paper that the image was shipped on, and replacing it with Canvas. (Thus creating an object incorpoarting the original image taht is preceved by many buyer as more valuable).

Almost all of the judges rejected any claims except under moral rights, and so they agreed that this is not a copying case.

This is NOT a case of making a copy and destroying the original.