Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fair use vs copyright infringement


[[Friday update]] Matzav.com has so far refused to comply with my request to remove my translation. They have simply taken it off the main page and placed in the "Torah World" section.
They insist that since they have credited me with the translation they can publish it on their site. This is clearly a copyright infringment. I responded that they can keep it on only if they remove half of the answer in the teshuva and publish a link to this blog.

=========================
Just noticed that one of my posts was published in full on another blog without even a link to the original. However I was given credit for the post. As far as I can ascertain - one should not publish a complete article without permission. How much of an article constitutes fair use is a matter of debate. I did request that the posting be removed.

This problem is discussed in a cogent article on JTA entitle "Steal this post!" by Daniel Sieradski

[...] One phenomenon that appears to be accelerating the decline of at least some Jewish news organizations is the rise of a group of Jewish news aggregation Web sites, predominantly serving the ultra-Orthodox community, which copy and republish in-full, without permission or payment, content from more prominent Jewish news sources, robbing them of both desperately needed licensing fees and revenue-generating Web site traffic. [...]

56 comments :

  1. Once upon a time, I had a website of my own, oriented to introductory information about Judaism. The site was entirely non-profit and no longer exists (the free hosting by my ISP was discontinued).

    In any event, at one point, quite by accident, I discovered another website that had extensively plagiarized my site, taking entire pages without credit (the only changes, in some cases, being converting transliterated Hebrew words from the Ashkenazic pronunciation to the Israeli). After a few unanswered e-mails, I did a little work and found that virtually the entire site was a compilation from other sites - many pages were simply a mix of material from two or three different webpages.

    I sent another e-mail to the website which I copied to several other individuals who had also had their material plagiarized. At this point the fellow responded, claiming that not only had he not plagiarized my site, but that, in fact, I was the one who had plagiarized him!

    I was taken aback, as the ostensible purpose of this fellow's website was entirely for the purpose of spreading "ahavas Yisrael."

    Sigh.

    Water over the bridge. I guess, in a way I should be grateful, as this other website still exists when mine doesn't, so some of my material is still out there.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Welcome to the Internet.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would like to start off by saying that the issue here is copyright infringement, not plagiarism. They correctly attributed the article to you, they just may not have been right in publishing it.

    And I am inclined to agree that their usage was inappropriate, especially without linking to the original. Nevertheless I would like you to articulate how it is that their's does not qualify as "fair usage" while yours does, since it consists entirely of material which is presumably under someone else's copyright. In other words, while you did translate the work, the piece is the intellectual proper of someone else and is reproduced (with attribution) in it's entirety.

    I've done the same thing (albeit with less skill or even competence), and tend to view it as generating interest in the original work as well as making halachic discussions more accessible, but I wonder how you would draw the line between your publishing Rabbi Wosner's words and their doing so?

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  4. Because you post the material on the Web it is pretty much open source... which means that according to fair use policy and plagarism rules and laws of most universities and nations, it can be used and republished in its entitrety so long as it is sourced. Since this person did not source it to you, your blog, or, preferably, both, it is definite plagiarism.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yirmiahu said...

    I would like to start off by saying that the issue here is copyright infringement, not plagiarism. They correctly attributed the article to you, they just may not have been right in publishing it.
    =============
    you are correct - just changed the title of this post.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Do you ask Time, JPost, or whatever it is before you publish their articles on your blog?

    I noticed quite a while ago that your blog contains hardly any posts you wrote yourself...

    ReplyDelete
  7. There are sites (which some people use as their primary source of news, apparently), at which a good part of the content is articles copied from other news sites. Not excerpts, but entire articles (sometimes with minor changes). Should I be dan lekaf zechut and assume they did this with permission?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yirmiahu said...

    And I am inclined to agree that their usage was inappropriate, especially without linking to the original. Nevertheless I would like you to articulate how it is that their's does not qualify as "fair usage" while yours does, since it consists entirely of material which is presumably under someone else's copyright. In other words, while you did translate the work, the piece is the intellectual proper of someone else and is reproduced (with attribution) in it's entirety.
    ============
    I am not going to try and produce a comprehensive discussion of copyright and Torah. for those interested they should read Prof Nachum Rakover's work 'Copyright in Jewish Law" Rav Zalman Nechmiah Goldberg also has an important discusion of the issue.

    I should also note that there is one teshuva in the Igros Moshe which addresses this issue. However, as R'Efraim Greenblatt - who asked R' Moshe the question told me - the teshuva is difficult to understand.

    It seems clear that one can object if he thinks that his words are not properly thought out or will be misunderstood. This is another teshuva in the igros where Rav Moshe objected strongly to an English summary to the Igros written by R' Rakkefet to his index of the first 5 volumes of the Igros Moshe. The original teshuva states that R' Moshe was willing to go to secular court to stop the publication of this index because he felt that it would allow ignorant people use a distored understanding of the Igros with disasterous results. That line was deleted when the teshuva was published in the 6th volume of the Igros. Rav Moshe did not object to an index and he did permit the publication of R Padawer's English summary of R Mosh'e views on Shabbos and Yom Tov.

    Rav Chaim Vital buried his commentary to the Arizal - which was later dug up without his permission and published.

    Rabbi Akiva Eiger's teshuvos were published by his son - despite his explicit prohibition of publishing them.

    As a general rule there is no such thing as copyright in Jewish sources - what we have is based on dina demalchusa dina. What did exist was a cherem against those who published works without rabbinical approval. This was done primarily to ensure that it was economically viable to print seforim - and not because of intellectual ownership.

    There have been a number of major cases concerning ownership. The battle of the Vilna Shas is a good example.

    However by and large Hebrew seforim are published to be read and commented on. The Shulchan Aruch copies views of the Rambam and others without attribution as do other famous poskim.

    When I published my Daas Torah source book I asked both Bar Ilan and DBS for permission to publish their texts. Both said there was no problem as long as I was not publishing the material in full and thus would constitute publishing the original work.

    So while it can safely be assumed that the original teshuva can be cited - this is not so regarding translations. I object to people publishing my translations without getting my permission and acknowledging my authorship. Other translations such as Artscroll also object to use of their translations without permission.

    Much seforim - including coloring books - are published for use in yeshivos with the assumption that since this is done for the purpose of Torah study - the author would not object. That assumption is simply wrong.

    There is much more to be said - but in sum there is a basic distinction between the original Hebrew source which is assumed to be permitted as long as the full work is not published and a translation or analysis of even a part of the original source - which is generally prohibited

    ReplyDelete
  9. shoshi said...

    Do you ask Time, JPost, or whatever it is before you publish their articles on your blog?

    I noticed quite a while ago that your blog contains hardly any posts you wrote yourself...
    ======
    This is covered by the fair use doctrine. Ideally one should ask permission. But works can be published without permission if the original is not published in full - which I generally do not. What constitutes fair use is widely debated. The author of the essay that I published regarding racsim objected to my publishing more than three paragraphs. While I think I could have legitimately used more and that it would have benefited her also by having more published - I complied with her request.

    ReplyDelete
  10. mekubal said...

    Because you post the material on the Web it is pretty much open source... which means that according to fair use policy and plagarism rules and laws of most universities and nations, it can be used and republished in its entitrety so long as it is sourced. Since this person did not source it to you, your blog, or, preferably, both, it is definite plagiarism.
    =================
    Actually I was cited as the author - but no link was provided to see the original. Also one can not cite the entire piece just by citing the source.

    ReplyDelete
  11. p_almonius said...

    There are sites (which some people use as their primary source of news, apparently), at which a good part of the content is articles copied from other news sites. Not excerpts, but entire articles (sometimes with minor changes). Should I be dan lekaf zechut and assume they did this with permission?
    ================
    Those who use material with permission state that explicitly. If there is no mention of permission you can safely assume there was none granted.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "This is covered by the fair use doctrine. Ideally one should ask permission. But works can be published without permission if the original is not published in full - which I generally do not."

    Interesting. I thought that you are just allowed to publish short quotes, let's say a paragraph or so.

    But we agree that you are not without fault in this area, so I understand your anger, but on the other hand: when you sit in the glasshouse, don't throw stones...

    ReplyDelete
  13. shoshi said...

    Interesting. I thought that you are just allowed to publish short quotes, let's say a paragraph or so.

    But we agree that you are not without fault in this area, so I understand your anger, but on the other hand: when you sit in the glasshouse, don't throw stones...
    ============
    Shoshi - this comment has some interesting distortions. You first assert without source that fair use is only for short quotes - that is simply not true.

    Then based on this false assertion you say that we both agree that I am also guilty of violating fair use doctrine - I never said any such thing.

    Then you say that "you understand" my anger - what anger are you referring to? A site misused my material. I am in correspondence with them to have them remove this material.

    I don't agree that I am throwing stones in a glass house.


    Why don't you trying reading what I say instead of commenting on something I didn't write or mean.

    ReplyDelete
  14. 1) I do not assert, I said "I thought" which does not state that this is reality.

    2) You said that an author complained that you posted more than he thought was a fair part of his article on your blog. You corrected the problem after he complained. From this, I conclude that you are not without fault, since the author had to complain and you did something he did not want.

    Where is the distortion?

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  15. shoshi said...

    1) I do not assert, I said "I thought" which does not state that this is reality.

    2) You said that an author complained that you posted more than he thought was a fair part of his article on your blog. You corrected the problem after he complained. From this, I conclude that you are not without fault, since the author had to complain and you did something he did not want.

    Where is the distortion?
    ===============
    Shoshi - please reread what I wrote - this is not the first time you have totally misunderstood the written word.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "I don't agree that I am throwing stones in a glass house"

    Take a close look at your blog...

    I suppose aroung 90% of the material is simply taken form other news sources, and I suppose a large percentage of these 90% is taken without asking for permission first.

    Furthermore, you sometimes change the title, which can be quite misleading.

    So all in all, you seem to have a very generous (lenient) interpretation of copyright issues.

    So why do you complain that someone has an even more lenient interpretation? Perhaps he thought you would be happy that he makes you more known.

    (PS: I do not really think that the major newspapers are really happy with people like you copying almost entire articles on their blogs, but I suppose you are to small a fish for them to care).

    ReplyDelete
  17. Daas Torah said...
    Rav Chaim Vital buried his commentary to the Arizal - which was later dug up without his permission and published.

    In actuality R' Vital hid most of his works in the Damascus geniza, though a few books were actually buried with him.

    In his lifetime he published Eitz Daat Tov, Shaare Kedusha, and Eitz Haim(though not the one we have today, but it was the one the Baal HaTanya relied upon in the Tanya).

    A while after his death his son, Shmuel Vital, claimed that his father came to him in a dream, and told him that he could not enter his place in the world to come on account of his works not being published. He instructed his son(in the dream) to exhume his body, and to take certain books that were buried with him, as well as certain books hidden in the geniza and to publish them. From this we have the Shemoneh Shaarim.

    A great deal of time later, R' Avraham Azulai(the grandfather of the Chida) and R' Yaakov Tzemach were instructed in a dream to go to Damascus and were shown where in the Geniza they would find certain books, and also to again exhume the grave and to take certain books. The Chida himself tells this story in his Shem Gedolim Ma'arkhet Sefarim, ma'arkhet 70:70. From this we recieved, Otzrot Haim, Kehillat Yaakov, Adam Yashar(which all together R' Tzemach and later R' Pappars used to compile the Eitz Haim we have today) as well as the Ar"i's commentary on Sepher Yetzirah, R' Vital's commentary on Sepher Yetzirah, and two of R' Vital's works on Kabbalah Ma'asit.

    After the Yom Kippur war when R' Vital's body was recovered from Damascus, I am told by several Mekubalim that were a part of the move, that they dropped his coffin in Ben Gurion and it broke open. They found then that there were yet more books buried with the holy Tzadik whose body had not decayed. These were then removed, and to the best of my knowledge, lacking reshut from Shmayim, they have not been generally published.

    ReplyDelete
  18. according to this source:

    http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

    I doubt that what you do on your blog is covered by "fair use".

    According to the definition given in this article, fair use essentially refers to quotation in the frame of your own (scientific) work, i.e. you are allowed to write an article and to quote from someone else's work in order to prove your point.

    But I seriously doubt that just putting 3/4 (or even 100%) of a newspaper article on your blog is covered by "fair use".

    In this source, it specifies, that you should always ask for permission when in doubt.

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  19. Hold on: as far as I can see, the article that was copied against your will was written by "Rav Wozner".

    Is this correct?

    Did he give you permission to publish it here?

    What is "your work" in all this? Typing it into the post? Translating it?

    ReplyDelete
  20. PS: If this article is really by Rav Wozner and you posted it on your blog without permission, then you infringed copyright.

    If the other blog took it from you and published it, they infringed Rav Wozner's copyright, but I doubt they infringed your copyright.

    ReplyDelete
  21. http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107

    § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use40

    Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include —

    (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

    (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

    (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

    (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

    ReplyDelete
  22. shoshi said...

    PS: If this article is really by Rav Wozner and you posted it on your blog without permission, then you infringed copyright.

    If the other blog took it from you and published it, they infringed Rav Wozner's copyright, but I doubt they infringed your copyright.
    =================
    Shoshi these issues were addressed in previous comments - please read more carefully.

    As a general rule - rabbonim who write responsa do not mind if they are copied and translated and widely disseminated.

    A possible exception is where the issues are very complex and they might be misunderstood by the laymen.

    If you go to http://www.hebrewbooks.org/home.aspx

    you will see that he has given permission for his teshuvos to be distributed freely as pdf.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I could not find the page where Rav Wozner gives permission that his works be copied freely.

    But let's assume he gave it: where is your problem?

    If Rav Wozner wants his works to be spread, where is your problem when a blog takes it from your blog and spreads it even more?

    You did not answer the question:
    "What was your work in the article?"

    ReplyDelete
  24. shoshi said...

    I could not find the page where Rav Wozner gives permission that his works be copied freely.

    But let's assume he gave it: where is your problem?

    If Rav Wozner wants his works to be spread, where is your problem when a blog takes it from your blog and spreads it even more?

    You did not answer the question:
    "What was your work in the article?"
    ==================
    My translation does not belong to Rav Wosner. If I publish the Hebrew text - then I can't object to someone copying that text. However the translation is a separate work.

    Another example the Igros Moshe belongs to Rav Moshe and his heirs - However my index to the Igros Moshe belongs entirely to me.

    Similarly if someone discusses copyright law and includes Rav Moshe's teshuva in the discussion - Rav Moshe could not prevent the discussion of his views.

    ReplyDelete
  25. They uncovered his body after y. Kippur ?????details please?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Well: perhaps the Amen should not be louder than the bracha.

    If Rav Wozner allows you to publish his responsa on internet, why would you be so petty about your translation?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Daas Torah said...
    My translation does not belong to Rav Wosner. If I publish the Hebrew text - then I can't object to someone copying that text. However the translation is a separate work.

    Translations(from personal experience) fall into a very unique category. One cannot translate a copyrighted work and claim that work as his own. You do need the permission of the copyright holder to publish or distribute a translation of an author's work in any way.

    If the Teshuvot have been made public domain by the copyright holder, as with R' Wozner than you obviously are free to do as you please. However, if I were to translate the Iggros Moshe or the Hazon Ovadiah, I could not publish those works, even without the original langauge text, if I have not obtained the permission of those who hold rights to them.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Tzuki kadara said...
    They uncovered his body after y. Kippur ?????details please?

    His body was moved to E"Y like that of many Tzadikim. Aside from that details are sparse. For various reasons it was not a highly publicized move.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I don't see a copyright notice on this blog! In fact, the notice that "My translations are copyrighted" implies that everything else is not and may be copied and used freely (although I'm no lawyer).

    ReplyDelete
  30. mekubal said...

    Daas Torah said...
    My translation does not belong to Rav Wosner. If I publish the Hebrew text - then I can't object to someone copying that text. However the translation is a separate work.

    Translations(from personal experience) fall into a very unique category. One cannot translate a copyrighted work and claim that work as his own. You do need the permission of the copyright holder to publish or distribute a translation of an author's work in any way.

    If the Teshuvot have been made public domain by the copyright holder, as with R' Wozner than you obviously are free to do as you please. However, if I were to translate the Iggros Moshe or the Hazon Ovadiah, I could not publish those works, even without the original langauge text, if I have not obtained the permission of those who hold rights to them.
    -------------------
    Let me rephrase your observation. If I published the translation of the Igros Moshe or someone other work - than I would need permission. To translate part of a work i.e., part of a teshuva - is commonly accepted fair use as anyone who has read any scholarly work can attest.

    The original copyright owner would not own my translation - he at most can block my publication of the translation.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Gil Student said...

    I don't see a copyright notice on this blog! In fact, the notice that "My translations are copyrighted" implies that everything else is not and may be copied and used freely (although I'm no lawyer).
    ===========
    you are right - perhaps I should say everything is copyrighted. But I was told by a copyright lawyer that the clear intent to copyright material is adequate to have copyright protection.

    ReplyDelete
  32. How can you say part of a Times or J Post article you just took from somewhere else is copyrighted?????

    I don't get it.

    Don't forget that this makes up around 90% of the articles on your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  33. "I don't see a copyright notice on this blog! In fact, the notice that "My translations are copyrighted" implies that everything else is not and may be copied and used freely (although I'm no lawyer)."

    But we are talking about the use of one of his translations.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Re: "Fair Use"

    What is considered "fair use"? How far does fair use go?

    I don't think there is a clear answer. This point constantly gets brought up in secular court, with inconsistent rulings.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Daas Torah said...

    So while it can safely be assumed that the original teshuva can be cited - this is not so regarding translations. I object to people publishing my translations without getting my permission and acknowledging my authorship. Other translations such as Artscroll also object to use of their translations without permission.


    But on what basis? What is the halachic (and [separately] legal for that matter) basis that an original Hebrew republishing of a teshuva by an outside party is permissible, while at the same time claiming that an English translation of the very same translation is not permissible?

    ReplyDelete
  36. shoshi said...

    How can you say part of a Times or J Post article you just took from somewhere else is copyrighted?????

    I don't get it.
    ==============
    Shoshi you are right that you don't get it. Sometimes your hostility gets the better of you. When you are not concerned with catching me or someone else make a mistake - your comments are very intelligent and perceptive. Why are so hostile?

    To answer your question. Putting a general copyright notice does not give you the copyright to material which isn't yours. It is a simple way of saying - "all that I have the right to copyright I am copyrighting." It also doesn't protect you from being challenged on your right to copyright. It simply is a notice everything on the sight is not free and ownerless

    ReplyDelete
  37. shoshi said...

    Well: perhaps the Amen should not be louder than the bracha.

    If Rav Wozner allows you to publish his responsa on internet, why would you be so petty about your translation?
    =============
    I guess you think that anyone who copyrights or patents something is being petty?

    ReplyDelete
  38. Joseph said...

    Re: "Fair Use"

    What is considered "fair use"? How far does fair use go?

    I don't think there is a clear answer. This point constantly gets brought up in secular court, with inconsistent rulings.
    ============
    good point.

    What is clear is that copying an entire article is not covered by fair use

    ReplyDelete
  39. Joseph said...


    But on what basis? What is the halachic (and [separately] legal for that matter) basis that an original Hebrew republishing of a teshuva by an outside party is permissible, while at the same time claiming that an English translation of the very same translation is not permissible?
    ==================
    This is based simply on the common usage. I am not aware of any objection to someone publishing a specific teshuva. That is because the authors are concerned primarily with their views being publicized. However the authors would clearly object if most or all of the teshvos were republished in book form. A translation or analysis of the teshuva is treated differently

    For example Bar Ilan has an exellent computer program Cotar - which has a large collection of journal articles summarizing and analyzing a wide range of halachic issues. They do not allow these articles to be freely copies and distributed. However they told me that I could publish part of a teshuva which I am translating or analyzing from the responsa program.

    If the rabbonim changed their attitude then it would be prohibited to publish the full teshuva - perhaps only a part or summary would be permitted by fair use.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Yirmiahu said...

    "I don't see a copyright notice on this blog! In fact, the notice that "My translations are copyrighted" implies that everything else is not and may be copied and used freely (although I'm no lawyer)."

    But we are talking about the use of one of his translations.
    ===============
    good point

    ReplyDelete
  41. 2I guess you think that anyone who copyrights or patents something is being petty?"

    That's not the case that applies here:
    As I said: The "Amen" should not be louder than the bracha.

    You used Rav Wozner's intellectual property without asking him for explicit permission, assuming that he agrees to having it published without you paying copyright.

    In this context, I think it is petty to insist on your copyright, if, in the first place, you took the text from someone who renounced copyright.

    By the way: As far as I understood, you did not ask him either wether he agreed with the translation, whether he felt that your translation rendered what he had said as he wishes.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Shoshi wrote

    By the way: As far as I understood, you did not ask him either wether he agreed with the translation, whether he felt that your translation rendered what he had said as he wishes.
    =======================
    The standard practice in journals is to translate sections without asking permission and without asking the author to read the translation and approve it. It is also standard practice to publish an analysis of someone's views without first getting permission or approval.

    Somebody like Rav Wosner doesn't have the time to read everything that is written about him. I would assume that if there were complaints that the translation misrepresented his views and that this was causing problems - he would protest. Even if he protested it would typically be about the accuracy of the translation - not about the publication of the translation

    Again I am not the first or only one to translate a teshuva from a major rabbinic figure. Permission is not asked nor is it expected.

    Regarding your judmgent that I am being petty - I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

    ReplyDelete
  43. D"T said...
    Let me rephrase your observation. If I published the translation of the Igros Moshe or someone other work - than I would need permission. To translate part of a work i.e., part of a teshuva - is commonly accepted fair use as anyone who has read any scholarly work can attest.

    The original copyright owner would not own my translation - he at most can block my publication of the translation.


    EXACTLY! Even if you translated the entire Igros Moshe, the copyright holders wouldn't own your work, but on account of the nature of it, you could not publsh without their permission and them being entitled to some form of royalties(unless they waive that right in granting permission).

    To do only a part, a single Teshuva, or even mutiple Teshuvot dealing with a single issue, that you can translate, and publish without hindrance. IF you have added explanatory text of your own, it is even better legally as that shows more of your own originality and thus right to the intellectual value of the work.

    To bring this around to the point at hand. You definitely own the translation of the R' Wozner Teshuva, and thus should be properly crediited. If your work has been published in its entirety without your permission that becomes a definite problem.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Recipients and PublicityAugust 16, 2009 at 8:32 AM

    Poster "shoshi" is probably none other than poster "roni" -- the patterns of the interactions and deliberate misreadings almost on an ADHD level are the same -- and who both just thrive on heckling and creating red-herring distractions with krumme pilpulei shel hevel.

    What do others think please?

    ReplyDelete
  45. "It is also standard practice to publish an analysis of someone's views without first getting permission or approval."

    That's something. When you analyse someone's works, it is not as if this person said it, whereas a translation reproduces what the person said.

    Standard copyright warrants that an author approves a translation of his work, as long as it is under his copyright.

    I am quite surprised that US newspapers regularly flaut this principle. Are you sure this is the case or just asserting something you do not know for sure?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Rabbi Eidensohn: What recourse do you realisstically have if the blog ignores your demand to remove (or reduce) your material?

    Of course you theoretically can take them to Beis Din or Court. But as a realistic matter the costs involves would be more than its worth. And as far as Beis Din is concerned, since Matzav (like similar sites to it) is anonymous -- its domain name is registered anonymously and the site itself does not publish its owner(s) name -- you would first have to go through the effort and expense of uncovering it owner, something most likely only doable via a court-order, and even then no guarantee of success.

    So essentially it would seem you have limited to no recourse.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Shlomo Zalman said...

    Rabbi Eidensohn: What recourse do you realisstically have if the blog ignores your demand to remove (or reduce) your material?...
    So essentially it would seem you have limited to no recourse.
    =====================
    Actually Matzav.com is in fact ignoring my request. You are right that these sites are anonymous and thus beis din is not a effective route. I hope to get some influential individuals to write about this topic and raise the awareness of the problem.

    I am concerned more about how this attitude works in relationship to child abuse. I have a large amount of material which shows there is no problem of mesira etc. However I am concerned that the response will simply be "so what - do not confuse me with facts."

    Thus this situation gives me an opportunity to see how to actually change entrenched attitudes which have no halachic basis. I really am not interested in publishing a thousand page book that people will either not buy or will simply say "that is great in theory but not in practise."

    Any suggestion are appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  48. shoshi said...

    Standard copyright warrants that an author approves a translation of his work, as long as it is under his copyright.

    I am quite surprised that US newspapers regularly flaut this principle. Are you sure this is the case or just asserting something you do not know for sure?
    ===============
    You need to understand that there is a large difference between the translation of an entire work and one teshuva. Actually I only translated one of three issues mentioned in the teshuva.

    There seems to be a universal recognition that translations of fragments of a large work - are not threats either economically or likely to have a serious impact on the understanding of the original - even if the translation is mistaken.
    An author does need to authorize or approve a translation.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Shoshi,

    Things that can be translated without requiring permission be acquired and or without approval:

    1)Anything that is Public Domain.

    2) Any given part of a single work so long as it does not constitute a significant majority of the work. What constitutes significant majority depends on locale and other factors is is often a point of contention within court cases.

    3) Anything not bearing copyright notice that is published in the public domain. For instance R' Ovadiah Yosef publishes a weekly halacha psak, stated on the psak is the intention to redistribute, a fair and accurate translation is within rights.

    Only whole works, or that would qualify as a substantive majority need authorization from the copyright holder of the original work. In such a case the transaltion is the intellectual property of the translator and the original copyright holder is entitled to royalties. Much like when music bands sample the music from another band.

    What D"T has done is translate a part of a teshuva(which is a part of much larger work) what was placed in public domain by the copyright holder.
    His own publication of that translation, while done in a public forum, was made with a copyright declaration of rights retained. Infringement upon that is quite simply a copyright violation.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Recipients and Publicity said...

    Poster "shoshi" is probably none other than poster "roni" -- the patterns of the interactions and deliberate misreadings almost on an ADHD level are the same -- and who both just thrive on heckling and creating red-herring distractions with krumme pilpulei shel hevel.

    What do others think please?
    =============
    I strongly disagree. Shoshi often comes up with good observations and questions - she just insists on encasing them in hostile angry barbs. This is reflective of someone who has been deeply hurt and as a result has trouble in trusting people. Roni on the other hand has a lot of confidence and trust in others - perhaps too much - especially R' Tropper. His hostitlity comes only when he feels that R' Tropper is being treated unfairly.

    So while they both certainly make the rest of us work harder - I'd rather be put on the defensive by aggressive comments than face the apathy I received from Matzav.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. No, I'm not deeply hurt, nor am I identical with "Roni" (I suppose this would be easy to verify according to IP-Addresses).

    I just like to show people their own contradictions and I understand that they often do not like it...

    ...and I suppose: the more entrenched the contradiction is in their whole value system, the less likely they are to be able to see it (and the more they will tell me that I do not understand them if I keep insisting).

    So I guess I am quite a provoker, but the more people believe in themselves, the more provoked they will feel, because there will be no room for criticism.

    Daas Torah, I noticed that you seem to like "publicity", you seem to like to see your own name on a piece of written work. So I suppose that is what makes you react so strongly in this case.

    As far as the copyright of a translation is concerned: I agree translating is a lot of work, and I agree that one should be credited for it.

    But in the light of the fact that Rav Wozner invested supposedly even more work into the original, and renounces his copyright (as far as you assert), I feel that it would not be in his spirit to start a fight because "Matzav" just wrote your name in the last line and did not established a link to this page.

    Meanwhile I followed your blog for about 18 months, and I came to the conclusion (for me, personnally) that it does not deserve its name.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Recipients and PublicityAugust 17, 2009 at 5:27 AM

    Observation: Anyone who has followed the language and meanderings of poster "Roni" on this blog and has been paying close attention to his/her various writings and syntax "styles" that swing from wild incoherence to meticulous usage of words to cleverly nuanced red-herring distractions with smatterings of lomdishe divrei Toirah, will have noticed that clearly more than one poster has used that ID, and in all probability there have been a few EJF staffers and partisans, including Tropper himself, who have used the "Roni" ID from various IP addresses, so that it is still fully possible that "shoshi" and "roni" are one and the same given that they both seek to undermine and annihilate the foundations of this blog and by the way they sneer at and question the credibility of its owner who is barve enough to put his name, face and credibility in the opne for all to see at great risk and personal sacrifice. This is amrak of the height of intellectual honesty and a mevakesh ha'emes and which is why i respect what he is doing and why I see fit to join him as best I can. He is an ish yashar awash in an online ocean of broken and twisted reeds.

    Both shoshi and roni equally have no interest in objective debate that can result in early consensus by avoiding emotionalism, tendentiousness, and pointing of fingers in order to on balance arrive at both common sensical and correct standard hashkafic and halachic conclusions. Both shoshi and roni seek to keep the kettle boiling over imagining that they are putting others on the "defensive" when it's quite easy to see through their blatant primitive trolling.

    Correct me if I am wrong here please.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Our IP addresses are from different countries.

    I doubt Roni would really be ready to travel to a distant country just for the sake of this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  54. http://www.thejewsofuganda.org/history7.php

    As far as I learned from the link above, the Ugandan community split into to factions, one is near to the conservative movement, the other one yearns for an orthodox Giur.

    (This reminds me of this joke about the jew who strands on a lonely island and builds two synagogues: they are converting,and yet there is already divisiveness about "orthodox" or "conservative".)

    ReplyDelete
  55. 1) A shul took a piece (a translation from the Chayei Adam) that I had written, and sent out the whole thing to the membership on their email list. I talked to a lawyer friend about it, and he said they shouldn't have done it without asking. On the one hand, I was thrilled that their rabbi liked it so much. On the other hand, I really wish they had asked. I certainly would have said "yes," but taking without asking, well.

    I do reprint some material from a shul's shabbos mailing on my blog from time to time, but I asked the author of those sections if he and the shul would mind. He liked the idea.

    2) A magazine once reprinted another short translation that I have on my website. The editor wrote to me, and we worked on it for a couple of days, rewriting it so it would be clearer to a non-Jewish audience, and they paid me for my work. That's the way it should be done, and is done by professionals.

    Clearly these guys are not professionals. But are they actually "thieves"? You've been discussing Jewish vs. Secular law: isn't this a case of "this one gains, that one doesn't lose by it?" If you have no financial loss, on what basis could you sue for copyright infringement?

    ReplyDelete
  56. Thanbo
    Clearly these guys are not professionals. But are they actually "thieves"? You've been discussing Jewish vs. Secular law: isn't this a case of "this one gains, that one doesn't lose by it?" If you have no financial loss, on what basis could you sue for copyright infringement?
    ==============
    are you saying this according to Jewish or secular law. We are not talking about whether these people are thieves but simply whether what they have done is prohibited.

    Haven't seen any sources that I have to prove loss before I can object to use of my material. Do you have any?

    ReplyDelete

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