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t3knomanser's Fustian Deposits

Legal Questions

How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

run the fuck away

Mad science gone horribly, horribly wrong(or right).

Legal Questions

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Some hypothets involving international law and copyright.

A) You travel to a nation with no recognition of US copyright law. There, you purchase a pirate DVD, which, in that nation, is 100% legal. You then fly back to the US with it in your possession. Have you broken the law?

B) You buy space on a webhost located in a similar nation, with no respect for US copyright. You create, on that server, a bittorrent tracker explicitly for pirated material. You advertise it all about the web, and it generates a large user base. You maintain it, even generate ad revenue from it, but not one single bit comes back from that server to your box. You never download anything from your own server, aside from basic maintainance. All the copyrighted material resides in East Timfuckrealistan, where that material is illegal. If it enters the United States, it's through someone elses computer. Have you broken the law?
  • IANAL, but i'm pretty sure the answer is 'yes' on both counts.

    for A - when you enter the US, you'll be in a state of unlawful possession of copyrighted work, which is illegal under title 17. the fact that you bought the DVD in a country where it was legal doesn't mean anything.

    for B - if you live in the US, you're still bound by US law. where the data is actually located and the fact that it never re-enters the US via your machine is irrelevant. by creating the torrent tracker, you're facilitating copyright infringement, and you're making your legal situation worse by profiting from it via ad revenue.
    • A) Makes sense as a crime, especially to prevent mass importing- because of the right of first sale, if I bought thousands of bootlegs and brought them over here, I could legally sell them, diluting the market.

      B) Revise it a little bit. You incorporate under that nations laws, and run the tracker via that corporation. Now, not only are no illegal activities actually performed in the US, but the entity responsible doesn't exist in the US.
  • Other issue is that US is so powerful internationally that we are able to get other countries and associations of countries to comply with and support our laws, and even when that is not possible, enforce our laws despite their jurisdictions. I need to do more reading on this.
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