Mechanical Music Digest  Archives
You Are Not Logged In Login/Get New Account
Please Log In. Accounts are free!
Logged In users are granted additional features including a more current version of the Archives and a simplified process for submitting articles.
Home Archives Calendar Gallery Store Links Info

Announcement: End-of-Year Fundraising Drive In Progress

Our End-Of-Year Fundraising drive is in progress. If you haven't contributed to the operation of the MMD in the last 12 months, this would be a great time to contribute. There's a PayPal link at the bottom of each page on the website.

If you aren't sure when you last contributed, please send me a note using the contact form at the bottom of this page and I'll look you up in my records.

Thank you for your generous support!
Jody

P.S. While your support is needed and appreciated, you do not need to contribute to be a subscriber. If you have subscribed and aren't receiving your Digest, please use the contact form at the bottom of the page and let me know. Thanks!

MMD > Archives > June 2004 > 2004.06.08 > 02Prev  Next


Copyright Theory & Boosey vs. Whight Ruling
By Matthew Caulfield

[ Ref. 040605 MMDigest "1899 Pianola Copyright Ruling Cited"

That "Boosey vs. Whight" ruling is interesting, as are Julian Dyer's
thoughts on it.  I had not heard of the case before.  I suspect that
the Kazaa defense will fail because that ruling seems outdated and
based on faulty premises -- or at least on premises that, if held to
be valid today, will undermine the foundation of modern copyright.

It puts me in mind of the White-Smith vs. Apollo case that was decided
by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1908 and resulted in excluding sound
recordings from U.S. copyright protection for the next 70 years.
(See http://laws.lp.findlaw.com/getcase/US/209/1.html )

The Supreme Court reasoned that the perforated music rolls which were
the subject of the litigation could not be read by a human, and hence
could not be registered with the Copyright Office.  That decision
led to endless piracy until modern copyright legislation, notably the
Copyright Act of 1978, made sound recordings copyrightable, regardless
of whether they could be read by a human -- that test no longer being
deemed a valid one for copyright purposes.

We look back at White-Smith vs. Apollo and see flawed and outdated
reasoning that, if applied today, would make many forms of expression
uncopyrightable.  Advances in technology require nations to
periodically rethink copyright theory in order to adapt their system 
to modern methods of recording human creativity.

For example, a decision had to be made a few years back in the U.S. 
on whether the [photo-resist] masks used in creating the circuitry 
of computer chips were copyrightable or not.  Graphic designs are
copyrightable, so why not computer chip designs?  Fortunately, none 
of the arguments pro and con harked back to the 1908 notion that
readability by the human eye should be a test of copyrightability.

Matthew Caulfield (Irondequoit, N.Y.)


(Message sent Tue 8 Jun 2004, 22:18:37 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Boosey, Copyright, Ruling, Theory, vs, Whight

Home    Archives    Calendar    Gallery    Store    Links    Info   


Enter text below to search the MMD Website with Google
Loading



CONTACT FORM: Click HERE to write to the editor, or to post a message about Mechanical Musical Instruments to the MMD

Unless otherwise noted, all opinions are those of the individual authors and may not represent those of the editors. Compilation copyright 1995-2017 by Jody Kravitz.

Please read our Republication Policy before copying information from or creating links to this web site.

Click HERE to contact the webmaster regarding problems with the website.

Please support publication of the MMD by donating online

Pay via PayPal

No PayPal account required

                                                       
Translate This Page

. .