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werewitt

A copyright question (Spoonfed Chinese Anki deck)

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werewitt

I've just discovered that part of "SpoonFedChinese" Anki deck (not all of it though) is http://www.zhongwenred.com/ (search some sentences on google with adding zhongwenred to the search), nicely cut into pieces and somewhat rearranged. Are there any copyright issues with it if the guy is selling the deck? https://sellfy.com/p/js46/ 

 

Am genuinely interested where "fair use" stops in case of selling study materials based on others' work. :mrgreen:

(Given "No results found for Mark Neumann "zhongwenred.com"" I would assume that site is not his creation.) 

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stapler

As far as I can tell (I haven't used deck, but I have seen it's preview) the bulk of it is copyrighted material from a website that was closed down a long time ago called smartfm or iknow(?) and another set of decks called "mastering chinese". All have been removed from ankiweb for copyright reasons. So it looks like this person is reselling a deck made up of material from multiple other copyright holders.

 

nb. the deck probably also has zhongwen green and blue. I'm not sure about the copyright status of those webpages.

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werewitt

 

2 hours ago, stapler said:

I'm not sure about the copyright status of those webpages.

 

Any original work is copyrighted even if copyright has not been applied for, unless copyright is specifically waived somehow.

 

The question still stands - what's the legal/copyright status there? Does something like "fair use" apply or he's totally robbing whoever originally created that content?

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imron

It's unlikely to fall under fair use. So either he has an agreement with the original copyright holders or he is infringing copyright. 

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shoe22

I have many of the old Ankiweb decks, and have shared with many people, didn't think twice. I thought I remembered that SmartFM went Creative Commons, but I searched it and there is some debate about that. What does this mean for person-to-person sharing?

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werewitt

@shoe22 It depends on the country you're in, but most likely materials for research/study fall under "fair use" (unless you somehow make profit from them). IANAL.

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trevorld
Quote

What does this mean for person-to-person sharing?

 

If the deck is properly "creative commons" i.e. all original work used in the deck were originally released under compatible creative commons licenses (and maybe the public domain) then feel free to continue to share away.  The fact that they have been taken down from Ankiweb for copyright violations suggest this isn't actually the case.  

 

If a deck was created using lots of example media from a non-creative-commons sources then it could be illegal to P2P share it.  This is more likely to be true if the deck uses a lot of examples from very few media sources so it might then fail what in the US what we'd call the "amount and substantiality" test of "Fair use".

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use#3._Amount_and_substantiality

 

Also different copyright holders have different levels of aggressiveness in searching out and suing P2P sharers (which partially depends on whether they believe such P2P sharers add or subtracts sales to their media and whether they believe the sharer is personally profiting off their work).

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