I received an email from a reader insinuating that someone emailing me a copy of the notes and questions was a violation of copyright. So here’s how I understand the law and correct me if I’m wrong:
Reproduction is when you take someone else’s work and say it is your own or you take an intellectual property and claim it as your own (like the scraper does when he steals your work and posts it on his site).
Distribution is where you receive a copyrighted material (either through purchasing or giving it away). Here’s what I found on the following website that says it better than I ever could:
“The distribution right grants to the copyright holder the exclusive right to make a work available to the public by sale, rental, lease, or lending. This right allows the copyright holder to prevent the distribution of unauthorized copies of a work. In addition, the right allows the copyright holder to control the first distribution of a particular authorized copy. However, the distribution right is limited by the “first sale doctrine”, which states that after the first sale or distribution of a copy, the copyright holder can no longer control what happens to that copy. Thus, after a book has been purchased at a book store (the first sale of a copy), the copyright holder has no say over how that copy is further distributed. Thus, the book could be rented or resold without the permission of the copyright holder.
Congress has enacted several limitations to the first sale doctrine, including a prohibition on the rental of software and phonorecords.”
So, according to the first sale doctrine, once BSF hands you the notes and questions, you are free to do with it as you wish with no restrictions.
Am I correct or does someone else have another take?
The reason I’m exploring this is because I don’t want to be sued by BSF for violating anything and am thoroughly debating/praying about NOT posting my answers due to this fact.
I do not reproduce anything: I never post the notes or the questions; just my answers which is my intellectual property.
It seems we are covered on distribution as well if I understand the first sale doctrine in US copyright law.
However, I’m about to throw in the towel. I’m tired of being accused of violating BSF’s copyright, their rules, their distribution, their spirit, their “you-name-it.” It’s a hassle I just don’t need right now in my life where I’m struggling in other areas.
I’m trying to do what’s right here in God’s eyes and follow this where it takes me but there comes a point where I say, “Enough is enough.” Maybe He moved me here to make me quit. I don’t want to believe that but only God knows.
I just wish BSF themselves would acknowledge me instead of ignore me or at least give their blessing to this endeavor and others I have suggested. Instead, it’s muteness and to me the fight is no longer worth it. I don’t want to invest myself (and doing this is a HUGE investment not only time-wise but emotionally, etc) into an endeavor that only meets with criticism, nay-sayers, and those looking to accuse me of something.
This is not against the nice gentleman who emailed me his concerns. He raises a valid point and for that I am grateful. I can’t afford a lawsuit. I think it would break my heart.
If BSF headquarters asked me to stop, I would. If they said continue, I would. If it’s up to me to decide, it’s probably a no.
If you ask me, BSF just doesn’t want to acknowledge the changed times and I don’t have the time to wait on them to wake up and realize we are in a flat world, a global economy, and our younger generation lives on the Internet. I simply don’t. My days are numbered on this planet as are yours and I am acutely aware of this fact as I watch my kids sprout before my eyes and my dogs get older with every day.
I don’t believe this website is my ultimate calling from God. It’s just something I do. So I would rather invest my few precious hours a day I have to do my stuff on other callings from God than BSF.
Opinions will be appreciated and I will weigh them before I decide (especially if BSF responds, hint, hint so feel free to share this if you happen to know any of them). I am looking to hear from the ones who’ve been here since the beginning, who have expressed how much this means to them, and who have supported me when I was down. Newbies are welcome to comment as well but the old-timers and those I “know” would be appreciated.
Please comment on your understanding of the law and if I am violating anything as well. I have considered removing all BSF postings.
Feel free to email me as well if you don’t want to go public: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am too upset right now to say any more…