From CrossWire Bible Society
Revision as of 10:04, 19 August 2007 by Osk (talk | contribs) (Fair Use Doctrine)

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Crosswire respects Copyright and other Intellectual Property Rights.

As such, it discourages the creation, or conversion of resources into a format that is used by The Sword Project unless permission to do so has been obtained.

US Copyright Law

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 stands as current US Copyright Law.

Under US Copyright law, there is no differentiation between commercial, and non-commercial purposes. Unauthorized creation is a violation of the copyright act. Unauthorized distribution is a violation of the copyright act.

There is no "safe harbor" defense for creating unauthorized derivative works. There is no "safe harbor" defense for unauthorized distribution of copyright material.

Public Domain

In the United States, “Public Domain” can be assumed if all of the following conditions are met:

  • The material was originally published in English;
  • The material was distributed in the United States prior to 1923;

If those conditions are not met, then the only safe assumption one can make, is that the material is under copyright protection. Obtain permission for creating a resource prior to doing so.

Fair Use Doctrine

In recent years, courts have greatly restricted what constitutes "Fair Use". US Statute Law does not specifically define "Fair Use".

When an organization claims "Fair Use", the courts apply a four prong test.

  • Type of organization that used the material;
  • How easy the material is to get;
    • How old the material is;
  • What the material is used for;
  • Commercial activity related to distribution;

Moral Rights

The concept of “Moral Rights” is enshrined in French law. It is only found indirectly in US Law1.

The idea behind “Moral Rights” is that the original creator of a work has the right to declare certain derivatives, or uses to be “off-limits”.

French Law specifies the following:

  • The Right of Integrity;
    • Mutilation or Destruction that would prejudice the author's honor or integrity is not permitted;
  • The Right of Attribution;
    • The true author has the right to have his/her name attached to the work;
    • Non-authors may not have their name attached to the work;
    • Mutilation or Destruction on that would prejudice the author's honor or integrity is not permitted;
  • The Right of Disclosure;
    • The author has the final decision on where, and when to publish;
  • The Right to Withdraw or Retract a work5;
    • The author has the right to prevent further dissemination of their material;
  • The Right to reply to a critic;
    • The right to have the reply published in the same place as the critic's expression;


This concept is found in Japan. It is not enshrined in Japanese Case Law. Nor is it enshrined in Japanese Statutory Law. It exists, purely because the companies that create the characters, upon which Doujinshi are based, have turned a blind eye to the copyright violations. It exists simply because it has been more profitable for those firms to ignore the copyright violations, than to enforce them.