iBooks, DRM, Copying & Fair Use

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Timothy, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. Timothy macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Any Lawyers here? I'd like to explore a class-action lawsuit against Apple for infringement of fair use of copyrighted material in iBooks.

    Most of my reading is done for the purpose of research. Apple has a feature within iBooks that allows me to highlight a passage and copy/paste it. However, this feature is disabled on copy protected books purchased through iBookstore.

    To my view, this is prior restraint on protected activity. Its application materially harms my ability to use copyrighted materials as allowed by laws governing the fair use of such materials.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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  3. darngooddesign macrumors G3

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    #3
    I think its ridiculous that everyone automatically blames Apple.

    The DRM was probably the publishers ideas, so your suit should be with them, this is especially true if not all of the iBooks bookstore's books have DRM.

    As a side note, Apple already has an anti-DRM precedent. They, Apple and Amazon, forced the music labels to drop DRM from the iTunes Store.

    If you are in school, you will probably have graduated before a CA suit yields results.
     
  4. diabolic macrumors 68000

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    #4
    I'd agree that Apple isn't at fault and shouldn't be the target here. The functionality is available. I'm certain it's a publisher decision.
     
  5. darngooddesign macrumors G3

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    #5
    Heh, I just edited my post to make it less harsh. LOL
     
  6. Timothy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I'm sure a lawsuit would include both publishers and Apple. Does Apple employ the restriction a priori on every copyrighted book or is it selectively used on only those books specified by specific publishers?

    And btw, this isn't me hating on Apple. These are important questions as we enter this new realm of technology where an increasing number of books are delivered in eBook format. Apple could even choose to join such an action against publishers.
     
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    Your proposed suit isn't really on the mark anyways. You're just complaining that it's more difficult to use a printed reference due to some sort of DRM that disallows straight copy/pasting. Nothing's actually preventing you from using that material by just typing out whatever it is you want to use.

    Are you proposing a suit on the same grounds against print material, that also doesn't let you copy/paste text?
     
  8. skubish macrumors 68030

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    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

    Sorry buddy but you have no case. Fair use just means you are allowed to use passages from copyrighted material. It doesn't mean Apple has to provide an easy method to do so.
     
  9. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #9
    +1. For the lawyers here. Can the public file a class action against people who tie up valuable court time with frivolous lawsuits?
     
  10. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

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    #10
    As opposed to real books where copy and pasting is simple? So you're complaining that you can't highlight.

    And what is the damages suffered? If highlighting is a problem, then buy the printed copy of the book, no one is stopping you.

    I would give you a cookie for your efforts but it was already given out.
     
  11. Timothy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Sure, I get the distinction. I think the question remains.

    Again, this isn't hating on Apple; I agree that the end target is publishers, but insofar as Apple may be complicit in an activity that restricts legal use that question should be determined.

    Lawsuits are not merely punitive; they also serve the purpose of clarifying the law. As I said, Apple may even choose to join such an action.
     
  12. miles01110 macrumors Core

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    #12
    It doesn't, though. Your right to fair use is not being infringed upon in any way other than a technical process that can be easily circumvented, thus you have no case.
     
  13. darngooddesign macrumors G3

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    #13
    To be fair, I do hope that the restriction on c/p from eBooks is lifted. Fair use has not been eliminated as you are still able to use the content for research, but...

    Traditionally, you would xerox the page, set it next to you and key in the content. If you can't print pages from iBooks, there is no equivalent method on a single window device like the iPad. Proofing your research would be a major hassle as well.
     
  14. rorschach macrumors 68020

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    Um, you can still retype the passage yourself. Nothing prevents you from doing that.

    No law requires Apple to provide you with the means to copy passages from books. Otherwise they would have been violating the law before 3.0, because those OS versions had no copy and paste at all.

    And there's the question of whether fair use is a "right" at all, or simply a defense to an accusation/charge of copyright infringement.
     
  15. Timothy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Bingo.

    Wasn't it a good thing that DRM was lifted for music in iTunes? I think bringing pressure here serves that same beneficial purpose for the iBookstore.

    I'm not as certain on this point as you are. Let me ask you though, are you saying that you wouldn't wan't the ability to use the feature universally?
     
  16. miles01110 macrumors Core

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    Now I'm the one that's confused. Lawsuits deal with questions of law, not with questions of desire. You can't bring about a class action lawsuit just because you "want" some feature or because you feel entitled to it.

    I personally don't care about copy/pasting DRM on the iPad because I don't have an iPad. I can see lack of copy/paste being annoying, but it's still only a minor roadblock if you actually need to use the material.
     
  17. Timothy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Except that even then the lack of the feature was being universally applied. Here it is being selectively applied.

    Anyone know how the kindle handles this?

    I'm not suggesting that desire is a basis for the lawsuit; I'm just exploring your reaction here. Is it rooted in a desire to protect Apple? Publishers? Content creators?
     
  18. miles01110 macrumors Core

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    #18
    It's rooted in a desire to give you an honest appraisal of why your proposed class action lawsuit will be a waste of your time.
     
  19. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #19
    They only have certain books in their bookstore. Accessibility isn't universally applied.

    Some kindle books are permitted to be read aloud while others block the feature.

    The above to examples and yours all fall into the category as that's how it is. It's not illegal. They aren't preventing you from hand typing anything.

    And APPLE isn't selectively doing anything. The publishers are.
     
  20. bradg33 macrumors member

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    #20
    I think this is one of the key questions. Is "Fair Use" an affirmative legal right, or is it merely a defense? If it's merely a defense, you have no "right" to use the material and can't prevail in a suit for being denied such access.

    Further, it's not really much different that PDF's that haven't been OCRd on your computer. You can't copy and paste from those.

    As others have said, the inability to copy and paste isn't infringing on your right, if it is a right, of fair use; all that the lack of this feature does is fail to assist you in exercising that "right." You are still free to use the material, you just have to manually re-type it just like you would have to if it were a hard-copy book.
     
  21. Timothy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    2 points:

    You don't care at all about questions of fair use? Just because you don't currently own an iPad?

    Yours and other responses here seem to assume that prior technology (printed pages) should be the guiding principle here. I don't. I suddenly live in a world where ebooks are my norm & copy/paste has long been a norm in the digital world.

    I think the knee-jerk reaction to defend Apple here (Hey! I'm a fanboy too!) is causing some to argue positions they might otherwise not take. No?

    In the not too distant future, many books will ONLY be available as ebooks; there won't even be a printed version. If I can't print the page, and I don't have two computers side-by-side, how will I even copy that which I'm allowed to copy by law?

    Making a task onerous so as to discourage legal use should violate fair use in my view.
     
  22. Timothy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Do you know this for certain?
     
  23. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #23
    The old fashioned way? Pen and paper. (a.k.a. the only way you were able to make copies from any book before the advent of the photocopier in 1949).

    B
     
  24. bradg33 macrumors member

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    #24
    While you make some valid points here (though I don't necessarily agree with them), you're still operating under the assumption that fair use is an affirmative right. I'm not so sure it is.

    Also, you take issue with the idea of not having 2 computers side by side in order to copy the text and being unable to print the page. What if you're at a library that doesn't have a copy machine? Is the library violating fair use by not allowing you to copy the page so that it's easier to make "fair use" of the material? Also, with a computer (iPad/e-reader aside) you can multi-task. Word processing window on one half of the screen, text on the other. I can do that even on my 13" MacBook Air. The iPad is far, far, far from meeting "normal" computer standards and by design isn't really made to write research papers.
     
  25. miles01110 macrumors Core

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    #25
    Did I say that?

    I'm not going to try any further to convince you that your lawsuit is frivolous. Go see an attorney, maybe you'll listen to them when they bring up the exact same points myself and others have brought up. It's your time, not mine.

    You'll open a word processing program on your computer and type. Just like you would normally.

    DRM is ostensibly to prevent illegal use, so you're not going to get far down that avenue either.
     

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