© Copyrights ©
I've seen some rather disturbing developments on the web over the last few months. Specifically, companies like Disney, Lego, Viacom/Paramount, and others, are going after the authors of fan pages. Viacom's recent attempt to shut down a large number of "Star Trek" fan pages is especially disturbing, particularly when they assert that fan-created imagery is itself a violation of copyright (it's not - don't believe 'em). Similarly, they're pissed that some authors have posted episode and movie synopses on their sites. I must state in no uncertain terms that this is NOT a violation of copyright no matter what Viacom may have to say about it, and no court is gonna back 'em up on this.
However, some of the reaction to this has been.... well, rather extreme, and I'm not really sure I can support it fully. Because the people who own the rights to such things as Star Trek, Lego, Disneyland, and other properties DO have rights that need defending.
A ray of light, and common sense, has emerged.... oddly enough, from another major corporation, this time Warner Brothers. It seems that some suits at WB were planning a similar crackdown on the hundreds of web sites devoted to the syndicated television show "Babylon 5", which they produce. But at a meeting with series creator Joe Michael Straczynski and others, they were persuaded to soften their stance. Instead, they will now contact these site authors and ask them to clearly identify material that is protected by WB's copyright.
This position will enable the Babylon 5 site authors to continue doing what they do best: promoting the image of the show and the show itself, and giving the viewers of these sites an improved Babylon 5 experience. But most importantly, it covers the most important bases for Warner Brothers and still allows them to shut down a site operator who decides to try to "cash in" by representing his/her site in any way as "authorized" by WB.
So where does that leave me?
My site contains a whole lot of copyrighted material. Some of it is my own. Some of it I've been given explicit permission to use. But a great deal of it is used WITHOUT PERMISSION. To date, nobody has approached me from IRS Records, Numa Records, Beggar's Banquet, Polydor, or any other interested party, requesting/demanding that I remove said material, even though I know for a fact that representatives of all four of the companies I've named are aware of this site and of the use I've made of their material. THIS MUST NOT BE CONSTRUED AS AN ABANDONMENT OF THEIR COPYRIGHT IN THESE MATERIALS. Under US and Canadian copyright law, copyright is preserved with or without the copyright notice and is not abandoned if not actively protected.
As you'll see in my copyright list below, I have in fact acknowledged their copyrights since the day this site began - so you should interpret their inaction as an endorsement of my efforts to promote the sales of Gary Numan music and other related material. Simply put, the existence of this site benefits everybody who has a financial interest in promoting Gary Numan and his music, and this fact is duly recognized. (If any copyright holder feels otherwise, he/she is invited to contact me so that we can work out a solution).
However, after having read a whole lot of legal opinion on the matter of copyright protection, and in the spirit of WB's precedent-setting decision, I've decided that simply listing all the copyright holders below IS NOT ENOUGH. To that end, you will see copyright notices beginning to appear throughout the site in appropriate places as I get the time to update things. It is my hope that this will satisfy the copyright holders (again, listed below) that I'm using their material fairly, and to eliminate any outside perception that that their failure to stop it does not constitute an abandonment of copyright.
I call upon all Gary Numan fan site authors to follow suit. If you show an album cover scan, put a copyright notice next to it. If you borrow some song lyrics, include copyright information. Etc. It's a bit of extra work, I realize... but it's something we need to do if we're going to remain free to develop our sites and continue promoting Numan visibility on the internet.
And finally - if you would like to use material from this site that we (either Joey Lindstrom or Warren Racey Sealock) hold the copyright to, well, please feel free to ask. In most cases, all I'll ask is that you acknowledge the source. And in the case of the Alternate Numan Network Logo, you explicitly have permission to use it on your Gary Numan-oriented web site.
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