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Copyright question
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Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Copyright question on 09/09/2012 05:49:16 MDT Print View

There is an illustration from a book copyright 1981 that I have wanted to post to the forums. I obviously don't want to do anything that violates the copyright so I am curios if anyone knows if posting a scan would do so. I would give credit to the source. Anyone know?


Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes) - M

Locale: Midwest
copyright on 09/09/2012 10:14:10 MDT Print View

Google the terms "fair use" and contemplate the four questions proposed.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Copyright question on 09/09/2012 12:50:41 MDT Print View

1981 is after 1923 and clearly less than 70 years since the death (if any) of the author, so it is still subject to copyright protection.

Brian gives a way to assess if you can, none the less, post an illustration in a forum.

Factors in your favor are that (1) presumably you intend it to be educational (2) it is a minor component of the original book, (3) you don't intend to profit from the work. Perhaps also, (4) it would be unlikely to diminish the author's royalty sales of the original work and (5) you might provide critism or commentary (postive or negative) on the original and be using the illustration for that purpose (this would be a pretty clear-cut example of fair use).

Factors against such use would be if you are using it simply to avoid preparing your own illustration. (e.g. you can't reasonibly discuss a modern painting in an Art Appreciation class without looking at a reproduction of the work, whereas nothing stops you from preparing your own chart, map, or how-to diagram.)

Trumping all of this is that one is extremely unlikely to be pursued for a minor use in a minor venue. Unless you're using, say, a Coca Cola logo or Disney artwork for which the corporation vigorously defends their copyrights and periodically pursues violators to maintain their copyright protection.

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Copyright question on 09/09/2012 13:56:15 MDT Print View

...for which the corporation vigorously defends their copyrights and periodically pursues violators to maintain their copyright protection

Please note it's only trademarks that can be lost if not actively maintained. A copyright, even undefended, remains in full force until expiration.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Copyright question on 09/09/2012 14:01:29 MDT Print View

I bet this site is full of copyrighted images, with peoples avatars, and used in all the forums. Neither here nor there. Just a thought.

What's the book?

Have you image searched it to see if it is floating around out there already?

Edited by kthompson on 09/09/2012 14:20:06 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Copyright question on 09/09/2012 14:13:40 MDT Print View

Considering fair use, it should be perfectly okay to use. There is an extremely slim chance that the author would see it posted here and an even slimmer chance that he/she would be offended. If anything it would just promote interest in the book.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Copyright question on 09/09/2012 14:35:16 MDT Print View

"only trademarks that can be lost if not actively maintained"

Thanks Jeremy - my bad. Yeah, the really vigorous defenses that come to mind are the occasional ordering of a Coca Cola, being served a Pepsi and sueing about that. Hence restaurant chains that train employees to respond, "We serve Pepsi products, would that be okay?". This is prevent terms from becoming generic like Aspirin. Oops, bad example (just researched it) - Aspirin (along with heroin) lost trademark status in many countries in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. Yet another reason not to lose a war.

So the actions of say, Disney, are just to protect the commercial value of the copyright, not the legal right?

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright question on 09/09/2012 15:22:02 MDT Print View

Generally, yes. A copyright holder might ignore a particular case of infringement (even if it costs them potential revenue) but vigorously challenge another.

Consider if an adult movie producer made a somewhat racier version of Snow White.* Disney is unlikely to produce such a film themselves, so in a practical sense they aren't missing out on that revenue, but they will very likely claim infringement if only to protect their family-friendly image (and that of Snow White).

On the other hand, a small orphanage might stage a play for the local children's cancer ward using a Thomas Kinkade painting as one of the backdrops. In this case, it's a use for which the Kinkade estate would normally be paid, so there's clearly lost revenue, but they may choose to donate a license rather than look bad.

Although, you could say that in both cases the copyright holder is acting to protect the commercial value of the overall franchise.

*Assume it's not parody, so as to avoid 1st Amendment issues.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Re: Copyright question on 09/09/2012 17:59:11 MDT Print View

As always great info from all. The interesting thing is the author is actually one of our own BPL members. My next thought was to just check with him, but even then I wasn't sure if he owned the copyright or if it is the publishing company.

So who is it and what's the book?

The book is "How to make your own light weight camping and hiking gear." by Vick Hines. This book really inspired me as a child and continues to do so today. He provides plans and concept for tarps, frameless packs, sleeping bag, jackets, super sierra cup, etc.

The illustration in question shows his so called Mini-tent with a couple backpackers inside. The tent is suspended without poles by running line from a tree. One of the backpackers sleeps while the other is peaking out under the beaked roof and is reaching for tea cooking on a solid fuel windproof cone cooker. Vick dicussed and provides the plans for how to make the tent.

It is a cool book and really neat image. Unfortunatetly The book is no longer in print. I wanted to post the picture to discuss things that have inspired us.


Edited by jshortt on 09/09/2012 18:00:57 MDT.


Locale: South West US
Re: Re: Re: Copyright question on 09/10/2012 18:38:09 MDT Print View


Vick Hines used to post here on BPL quite often. He has a profile, but no PM. Maybe he'll see this and chime in. I never knew he had a book, thanks for heads up.



edit: I should have read more carefully and that you already knew he's a member.

Edited by oiboyroi on 09/10/2012 18:42:34 MDT.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright question on 09/12/2012 17:21:21 MDT Print View

Hi, guys,
I haven't posted lately. Too busy with projects. About the image and copyright stuff: I own the copyright to HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN LIGHTWEIGHT CAMPING AND HIKING GEAR. By publishing the designs, I threw them into the public domain for anyone to use. This was in the Dark Ages before the WWW, of course, so paper publishing was my way of getting good DIY stuff out there. I also wanted to light a fire under the manufacturers. Some of the designs got made, but the lightweight stuff didn't catch on. Ultralight and DIY needed a Ray Jardine.

The publisher, TAB Books inserted a statement after the copyright saying that images could be reproduced only with permission of the publisher. If it were up to me, you could post anything in the book (except the cover art! I didn't do that and don't know who did. The editor's teen-aged child, I imagine. What an embarrassment! Probably paid her out of my royalties such as they were. Past tense, notice.) The book is out of print and I seriously doubt that TAB would care (or notice) if you wanted to reproduce or post images -- unless you use them in an actual book. But I'm not a lawyer and that is NOT advice -- legal or otherwise. As far as I am concerned, you can post anything you like. Earlier posts make it sound as if it would be OK.

Anyway, most of the designs are way out of date. Some are awful, incompetent and embarrassing. Besides, we didn't even have fleece back then; it was just a rumor. We barely had fire. And practically no ultralight materials. Time marches on. So do the design possibilities.

Latest projects have included a nifty way to make gaiters that stay in place without Velcro, a nice little Rushton-type canoe, a quiet shooting bag, a custom day-pack that meets my idiosyncratic needs, an improved hammock, lots of experiments with hand loaded ammunition, and the construction of hiking trails all over the Southwest.

Always looking for better ideas,
Vick Roling Hines
(Spock, US Perimeter Bicycle Tour '79, Up the Rio Grande '89, AT '03, '04, '07)

Edited by vickrhines on 09/12/2012 17:30:18 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Copyright question on 09/12/2012 17:25:35 MDT Print View

Often wondered how you were, Vick. Good to see you again, and that you're still here. Ave!

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Copyright question on 09/12/2012 17:35:27 MDT Print View

Still kicking. My once heavy participation at BPL was sorta like a tiger pacing in a cage. If I get boxed in again, I'll probably come back to relieve my frustration at not being in the wild.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Copyright question on 09/12/2012 19:56:15 MDT Print View

I remember reading a book like that in maybe 1970? Maybe yours?

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Re: Re: Copyright question on 09/15/2012 15:28:32 MDT Print View

Not mine in 1970. Mine came out in 1981. You may be thinking of Gerry Cunningham's excellent DIY book. Light weight camping equipment and how to make it: including high altitude climbing gear, 1964. It's still available and still good.

By the way, Gerry was the first UL advocate that I know of. Had his own line of gear under the Gerry brand. Good stuff. V

Edited by vickrhines on 09/15/2012 15:39:28 MDT.