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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings (Read 33859 times)
brabo
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #20 - 03/07/14 at 09:55:29
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Scarblac wrote on 03/07/14 at 08:51:11:
brabo wrote on 03/06/14 at 15:20:26:
Quality chess let me know that I am blocked from their blog. Reason they gave up was that they are irritated and they can set the rules as they want on their own ground. First time in 15 years on public forums that I encounter such policy.

On the other hand, it's a blog of a commercial company, and you were constantly promoting your own blog on it. That's not what caused this decision in the end I think, but it certainly contributed (I recall the "brabo, are you not ashamed?" comment).

If it did contribute, I think they have a point about being a little irritated about it, they are not your advertising platform. But then they shouldn't have banned you, they should have updated the blog's rules to forbid consistent promotion of other sites and delete posts of people who continued.

I do enjoy the blog and read most of the articles carefully Smiley (I am Remco G on the QC blog).

There are today 140 chess articles published on my blog. I believe they contain real content so if a topic on a forum touches one of the articles then I give a link where people can read more about it (often again containing a lot of links where again more info can be found). I consider it primary a free service (some people are even asking afterwards for the link if I don't do). Now my blog is a 100% free hobby. No advertisements, no fees so the only purpose is to interact with people about chess which can't be bad, right? I had never problems on chesspub and different other sites with the links. Anyway if chesspub prefers me not to use links anymore then I will stop with it but didn't see yet this request.

If I would promote a lot QC on my blog then I am sure they would've not minded my links.
  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #19 - 03/07/14 at 08:51:11
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brabo wrote on 03/06/14 at 15:20:26:
Quality chess let me know that I am blocked from their blog. Reason they gave up was that they are irritated and they can set the rules as they want on their own ground. First time in 15 years on public forums that I encounter such policy.

On the other hand, it's a blog of a commercial company, and you were constantly promoting your own blog on it. That's not what caused this decision in the end I think, but it certainly contributed (I recall the "brabo, are you not ashamed?" comment).

If it did contribute, I think they have a point about being a little irritated about it, they are not your advertising platform. But then they shouldn't have banned you, they should have updated the blog's rules to forbid consistent promotion of other sites and delete posts of people who continued.

I do enjoy the blog and read most of the articles carefully Smiley (I am Remco G on the QC blog).
  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #18 - 03/06/14 at 17:43:26
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ErictheRed wrote on 03/06/14 at 16:06:43:
Then someone takes a look at the data, wants to investigate a certain idea, does some analysis, publishes it in a scientific journal (or wherever), etc.  At what point does his work become copyright protected?  Is there some threshold of originality/difficulty that must be met?

Only the expression and the selection/arrangement are protected by copyright.  The idea itself, no matter how novel or "difficult" cannot by copyrighted.  The USA also has a phone book case on copyright-- Feist v. Rural Telephone.  The gist of that case is that the product of "hard work" is not subject to copyright absent a modicum of originality. 

Where the idea can only be expressed in one way, the idea is "merged" with the expression and the expression cannot be copyrighted.  19.Rxf7 is the expression of a rook sacrifice "idea", but since there is only one way to express that idea in short algebraic notation, there is absolutely no copyright protection even though, strictly speaking, the notation "19.Rxf7" is an expression.  Even entire variations are merged with the idea of those variations.  I think only the prose annotations and the editorial markings (!, +-, "with initiative", [] i.e., box, only move) would by protected by copyright.

I have mentioned in another thread that Russell Publications published an "unabridged algebraic" edition of Lasker's St. Petersburg 1909 tournament book.  Russell asserts a copyright in the front matter of the book, although it is in the public domain.  In the other thread, I noted that converting a book to algebraic notation does not create any new copyright-- even though technically speaking it is a new "expression" because the idea and expression are merged in chess notation.  Accordingly, Russell's copyright would only protect the cover art and the new foreword or preface.
  

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ErictheRed
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #17 - 03/06/14 at 16:09:34
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hicetnunc wrote on 03/06/14 at 16:00:05:
Brabo, I read some of your exchanges there, and I find their decision quite shocking !

QC acting in a bit of an extremist way...


It's not shocking to me.  I think the content of Quality Chess books is of very high standard, and I respect the chess works of Aagaard very much (the GM Prep series, for instance). 

On the other hand, if you've read some of their blog posts, comments on their website, comments in these and other forums, arguments with other authors (some which appear in printed books!), etc, it doesn't shock me in the least.
  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #16 - 03/06/14 at 16:06:43
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GabrielGale wrote on 03/06/14 at 01:45:09:
So, chess moves are not protected. bare chess games are not protected, but as an analogy to phone directories, a bunch of chess games arranged in a specific manner materially is protected again provided they satisfy the originality and other tests.

So, yes, Chessbase Megabase is protected. Even, I believe, TWICs weekly downloads are protected.

However, I think we should be slower to extend this analogy to analyses of variations. This is one which I am still thinking through in my own headspace.


Gabriel,

Law is not my field; engineering is, and to a lesser extent science (I have degrees in physics and engineering).  I would think that this sort of thing is well-covered in law, however, by analogy to analysis of data in other fields.

Often, raw data is made available to the public.  It could be anything--a nation's energy use, temperature temperature records, CO2 content of ice cores, optical data from telescopes, RF data from radio telescopes, demographics of a community--anything.  That raw data is not copyrighted, just as raw chess game scores are not.

Then someone takes a look at the data, wants to investigate a certain idea, does some analysis, publishes it in a scientific journal (or wherever), etc.  At what point does his work become copyright protected?  Is there some threshold of originality/difficulty that must be met?

Chess analysis does not have the same history as scientific analysis, of course, but I would presume that something very similar applies.  Often in science, hundreds of people are looking at the same set of data, not communicating with each other, and publishing their analysis.  That's very similar to the chess world I'd think, and from a legal standpoint I'd think that this has all been very well covered in the past.
  
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hicetnunc
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #15 - 03/06/14 at 16:00:05
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Brabo, I read some of your exchanges there, and I find their decision quite shocking !

QC acting in a bit of an extremist way...
  

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brabo
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #14 - 03/06/14 at 15:20:26
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Quality chess let me know that I am blocked from their blog. Reason they gave up was that they are irritated and they can set the rules as they want on their own ground. First time in 15 years on public forums that I encounter such policy.

I thought it could be interesting info to judge if continuing this thread still has sense.
  
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Stefan Buecker
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #13 - 03/06/14 at 06:59:16
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fling wrote on 03/04/14 at 23:08:07:
The critical definition is "Threshold of originality".

The German word for it is "Schöpfungshöhe" (we can do it in a single word). Lawyers searching for precedence cases are often using www.juris.de, it is one of the relevant go-to places in the web in (German) legal matters. The site also gives detailed comments. The search function at that site delivers 963 cases for the term "Schöpfungshöhe". I doubt that many are chess-related.   
http://www.juris.de/jportal/portal/t/zm9/page/homerl.psml/js_peid/PSuchportlet1/...

Searching for both "Schöpfungshöhe" and "Schach" delivers one result: Risthaus, Stefan: Spiele und Spielregeln im Urheberrecht - Rien ne va plus?. It may or may not be useful in respect to chess; there is a paywall.

A short summary of this 16-page article by Dr. Stefan Risthaus (published in WRP – Wettbewerb in Recht und Praxis, issue 6/2009, p. 698 ff.) is given here: http://www.spieleautorenzunft.de/newsreader-berichte/items/Spiele-und-Spielregel... . It seems that Dr. Risthaus is someone who is inventing new games. So the chess-related contents could be small.
  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #12 - 03/06/14 at 01:45:09
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 03/05/14 at 21:38:34:
A single phone number isn't protected by copyright either, but a phone book certainly is. A single chess game cannot be copyrighted, but a ChessBase database with a collection of chess games certainly is. -


I would like to narrowly respond to this bit without wishing to get into a discussion on the other postings.

Just to clarify (more for my own benefit, perhaps) that a single telephone number is not copyright protected and I would even go as far to say nor even a bunch of them per se. But what is copyrighted protected is the "arrangement", among other things, the bunch of telephone numbers provided they satisfy the originality and other tests. That is what is protected and hence the EU case on telephone directory which from memory came via from Ireland.

So, chess moves are not protected. bare chess games are not protected, but as an analogy to phone directories, a bunch of chess games arranged in a specific manner materially is protected again provided they satisfy the originality and other tests.

So, yes, Chessbase Megabase is protected. Even, I believe, TWICs weekly downloads are protected.

However, I think we should be slower to extend this analogy to analyses of variations. This is one which I am still thinking through in my own headspace.

PS. I would like to say that the recent postings, in my humble opinion, still conflate copyright law with other non-legal issues, which may be unhelpful in advancing the discussion.
  

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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #11 - 03/05/14 at 23:33:49
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Matemax wrote on 03/05/14 at 22:28:55:
I like this approach and start to use it with my work (which has nothing to do with chess):
http://zenhabits.net/uncopyright/

So this is someone who believes that "sharing" is better for him than having a copyright. Okay. But nevertheless he says:

Quote:
What if someone publishes a book with all your content and makes a million dollars off it? I hope they at least give me credit.

John Shaw has not credited properly, and that's what I find most annoying in the book. Why shouldn't he earn money? Everybody needs an income, and John has a family. It wasn't particularly nice of John to write "Bücker's analyses are too long" in his book, clearly refering to Larsen's "long analysis, wrong analysis", yet I guess this does not count as a "factual error" for the Quality Chess folks.

But even a patzer can expect to be credited properly, in accordance to the copyright law. This doesn't have anything to do with fide titles or black belts or tournament victories. It is just the basic, essential right for people who are doing mental work. Not just on a professional basis, you can also burn the analytical midnight oil when you are playing chess as a hobby.

Someone ("MHG") posted this comment at the Quality Chess blog ( http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/blog/?p=2593#comments ) :

Quote:
If an author lists his sources (books, periodicals, databases) in a bibliography i would expect that a new move (novelty) is not already mentioned in one of this sources.

Well said.
  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #10 - 03/05/14 at 22:28:55
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I like this approach and start to use it with my work (which has nothing to do with chess):
http://zenhabits.net/uncopyright/

  
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Stefan Buecker
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #9 - 03/05/14 at 21:38:34
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The website of the German chess federation ( http://recht.schachbund.de/extras.html ) offers a pdf document for download ("Urheberrechte Schachpartien", 70.7 KB). This is an 8-page expertise (authors: Wolfgang Unzicker, Ernst Bedau) covering the question whether a single, unannotated game can be protected by copyright. Their answer is a clear No.

A very narrow question, admittedly, without much relevance for an opening article or opening book. A single phone number isn't protected by copyright either, but a phone book certainly is. A single chess game cannot be copyrighted, but a ChessBase database with a collection of chess games certainly is. - No chess publisher or author will deny that a copyright for chess analysis exists. Otherwise they'd quickly find their own books on Russian torrent servers offered for download...

The paper mentioned above hints at earlier attempts to solve the question, e.g. to a graduation paper by Walter Jung: Gibt es ein Urheberrecht am Schachspiel? (1931), 61 pages.
http://books.google.de/books/about/Gibt_es_ein_Urheberrecht_am_Schachspiel.html?...

I am not sure whether I have this work, have to look.
  
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Stefan Buecker
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #8 - 03/05/14 at 19:41:39
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I am not a legal expert, but have access to some material which might help in this discussion. Over the years I've read a lot about copyrights. There have been legal quarrels with chess players involved. For example, about a broken contract between a publisher and an author. But in such a case, the chess aspect hardly matters, no need for justices or lawyers to learn chess.

It would be different regarding a legal quarrel about the copyright in an article covering a chess opening. This is very, very specific. There are no cases of precedence regarding chess books or articles, as far as I know. And certainly not a case decided from the highest EU Court. - That said, of course it is possible to study the existing precedences in similar fields (as far as similarities to chess books can go), and get at least a good idea whether a concrete case of (suspected) plagiarism in chess has a chance to succeed in court.

I've discussed the question with a lawyer with experience in the field of copyright laws. He had already had a client who seriously thought about suing a chess company, and the core of the quarrel was closely chess-related. This lawyer explained that in any serious court case on something so specific, the court would have to rely on the assessment of independent experts. So if someone dares to sue a UK chess publisher, who would be considered an expert? Nobody knows for sure, but I guess there is a chance that the court would choose Raymond Keene.
Roll Eyes

fling wrote on 03/04/14 at 23:08:07:
*The chess world is too little to have these kinds of fights. Seriously.

I can only agree. An author also can hardly afford to sue another author, so we will never get a high-level decision from a court. All we can hope for is that chess authors and companies have a mutual respect for each other's work. Some respect for the history of chess wouldn't hurt either, when you claim to be a quality publisher.
  
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brabo
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #7 - 03/05/14 at 08:17:23
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"John did not go through everything from that magazine, because he does not speak German."
A grandmaster writes a book of 650 pages but doesn't spend the time to find a translator while afterwards lots of the novelties happen to be already mentioned in the magazines.
This is not serious. Even if it is legally ok then still one would expect from the standard of quality chess and the volume of the book that this aspect would've been taken care of.
  
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Re: Novelties, copyright, inflamed feelings
Reply #6 - 03/05/14 at 08:12:58
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This thread could be a real eye-opener.  Smiley



Juvenile Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros; Hausrotschwanz), Pforzheim Main Cemetery, June 2013   (c) 2014 Stefan Bücker

Apologies to the bird for the sloppy presentation in the other thread.
  
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