Somewhere around December of 2011, I discovered the eBook site Xin Xii. Not sure where, maybe it was Facebook. I decided what the heck; I’ll post a few of my short stories up there and see what happens. I’d never heard of the site, and frankly, I’m not even sure how to pronounce the name. Maybe like “Zin Zii” or “Hin Hii”- who knows! Anyone want to take a stab at that?
Let’s imagine I’ve bought a CD and ripped it to my computer to get MP3s of each track. (You kids can imagine I bought the album from Amazon and downloaded it straight to my computer, if that makes it easier to picture.) Then I copy one of the MP3s to my smartphone and set it as the ringtone for when the Evil Mastermind calls. I copy them all to my Kindle Fire and my MP3 player, each of which I’ll use to play the songs in different situations. I also leave them on my desktop computer where I’ll listen to them at times like now when I’m working at my desk.
Next I post a review on my blog where I quote a few lines (maybe a full paragraph) from your book and post it a few days later (okay, maybe weeks) to Amazon. It’s a five star review and you especially like one line (the one where I call it “the best book ever written”). You add a quote of that line (with proper attribution) to the book description on Amazon (and every other retailer), in large red letters across the top of every page on your website, and tweet it every hour on the hour with a bit.ly link to the book’s Amazon page.
Have either of us done anything wrong here? We’ve both copied something for which we don’t have the copyright. We didn’t ask for or obtain permission from the copyright holder. Continue reading “A Screed on Copyright”