Understanding what a copy is

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In the first sentence of the second paragraph in the section "Defining derivative works", I'm confused by the use of the term "copy":

"Under general copyright law, format shifting from one medium to another is considered a copy and therefore a derivative work."

Given what I've learned so far on this page, the use of the term copy relates to exact, verbatim copy. I'm wondering if this sentence might be more clear if we said "format shifting...is not considered an exact, verbatim copy...."

Just a heads up to a sentence that I found difficult to understand.


ASnieckus (talk)13:19, 19 January 2011

mmm I see the problem -- a tough one to explain clearly (hence all the legal debates on what constitutes a derivative work.

A digital copy is a "verbatim" copy and prohibited under copyright law (because its a copy :-)

So legally we must keep the sentence ""Under general copyright law, format shifting from one medium to another is considered a copy."

So I suggest deleting "and therefore a derivative work." from the original sentence.

Should we add an example of format shifting after this sentence:

"For instance, if you have a digital image in jpeg format, converting the same image to another format, for example, the gif file format, that would be a copy and not permitted under general copyright law.

Mackiwg (talk)15:11, 19 January 2011

I think I'm starting to understand what this paragraph is about. I don't think I got it before. I made a few changes, incorporating your suggestions as well as other wording, to improve the explanation. See what you think.

Actually, now that I "think" I understand it, this seems to be a big point--the idea that CC allows copies, to some extent for all of the licenses even when the license includes ND.


ASnieckus (talk)13:19, 20 January 2011

Hi Alison,

Yip -- that's the point. CC licenses permit format shifting (which is not allowed under standard copyright.)

Glad you picked this up -- I suspect other readers may have been confused with the original wording. Much better now.

Mackiwg (talk)08:42, 24 January 2011