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Copyright Material vs. File Sharing - Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107


Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Hey Marc,

Just curious...what does this mean? From the header of your page?

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



Captain Nice
Staff member
I want to preclude any threats due to files users *may* post in the Forums. My lawyer and I discussed the situation and the disclaimer is to ensure that everyone knows files in the pdf_files directory and files users post as attachments in the threads are for research and/or education (you folks ARE posting the files for free and I'm not charging for use of the forums.... And, you ARE using them for educational purposes, aren't you???) - that I'm not making a profit from them (which I can't do if I charge for access to the Forums or the pdf_files directory).

In short, it's a disclaimer to help protect me. :thedeal: Any copyrighted material posted will be deleted.

E Wall

Just Me!
Super Moderator
Hazzarding a guess....

I think this refers to the information posted in the's free to anyone, no copyright, no profit, etc...

Jim Biz

And, you ARE using them for educational purposes, aren't you???)
Marc: I really believe most all of us are using the site for purley educational purposes... and Researching "how things may work best/better ideas" in similar industry settings.

I'm currently working with/for one of my "more ISO interested" co-workers (which as we all know can be difficult to find at times.)
He has found very clear explainations for auditing practices from discussion points we have had here in the Forums.
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Captain Nice
Staff member
I have the history of this site backed up at least monthly to CD-ROM back to when it went online to the public with a domain name on 5 January 1996. While I will admit we did break some rules on copyright from time to time, there was never a profit motive in any of it. The site has been - and still is - something I don't make a profit from.

While we have gone off on weird topics like "...How to Find, Clean and Cook Roadkill..." tangents and such from time to time, yes - I do believe that visitors here are here for educational and/or research purposes.

When I posted "...And, you ARE using them for educational purposes, aren't you???..." I was serious. While some 'fun' goes on here in the forums, it's pretty much people looking for answers. I have even included the statement just above the agree button for new users signing up. Well, the wording is changed to say you agree you want to register beause you are seeking educational and/or research material, but you get the idea.

One of the problems in all this is the site is and has been a 'problem solver'. That GM document was posted - what - 2 years ago - because someone needed it for their job or something. I'd really have to research backups to see. But - the point is, although it is a copyright document, it's a supplier requirement that is readily available to many people. But I guess I look at this through my liberal eyes. They'll pass it out to their suppliers for free (well, they pay in one way or another) who pass it around. In some cases a supplier is missed. Or whatever. This isn't some starving author or even a company making it's livelyhood by publishing the document. It's a customer requirement. I have a hard time understanding why they could care. Heck, they can't be afraid of a competitor getting their hands on a copy. Too many companies do business as Tier I's to several auto manufacturers.

In my liberal eyes, the only justifiable point was that the document was not the current version. To that I say only that we went through the discussion in the other thread about 'abuse'. If someone downloaded that document and assumed it was the latest version, they're being stupid. If the document is important to their business the'll have a direct connection - with Ford it's their "FSN" network.

I really think anyone downloading the document would be a case of something like where one got wind of a requirement or something and wanted to do some preliminary research (yes, research) on what it is and is about. Usually middle management types or technicians who aren't right in line to get the document until 'further down the pike' so to speak.

Yes - I can honestly say I view this site as a site mainly for research and education. And since only 12 people have actually bought 'Members' access, and 6 or 7 bought 'Premium' access, I can guarantee you the site does not pay for its self. Most people come here for free information - like going to a library.

This applies to everyone but Al and energy. They come here solely to harrass me because I'm a liberal... :thedeal: Of course, if I was a conservative, I'd charge everyone to even get in the door.... :p


Captain Nice
Staff member
Thoughts On Copyright Law


February 22, 2002

Copyrights out of control.
By Jacob Sullum

Irving Berlin wrote the original version of "God Bless America" in 1918, when Woodrow Wilson was president and transatlantic airlines were still a dream. The song was published 20 years later. Under current law, which gives works produced before 1978 a copyright term of 95 years, "God Bless America" will not enter the public domain until 2033.

Now imagine another composer who, like Berlin, writes his first big hit at 23 and dies at 101. If his breakthrough single came out today, no one could legally perform, record, publish, broadcast, or distribute it without paying for the privilege until 2150, 70 years after his death.

That's assuming Congress does not once again extend copyright terms, something it has done 11 times in the last four decades. If 148 years of exclusivity seems reasonable, why not 200 or 300?

Officially, Congress is trying "to promote the Progress of...useful arts," as the Constitution puts it, "by securing for limited Times to Authors" an "exclusive Right" to their works. But it's hard to see how extending the copyright on "God Bless America," as Congress did in 1998, serves that purpose. Even if he were still alive, Berlin couldn't exactly write the song again.

The disconnect between the intent of the Copyright Clause and its implementation by Congress is at the center of a case the Supreme Court recently agreed to hear. "By repeatedly extending the terms of existing copyrights," argue several publishers of public domain material, Congress can "achieve a perpetual copyright 'on the installment plan.' "

If intellectual "property" were morally indistinguishable from tangible property--as copyright holders suggest when they equate infringement with theft--there would be nothing wrong with a perpetual copyright. We take it for granted that ownership of a house or a diamond ring does not simply expire after a set number of years and that such assets can be passed on to descendants indefinitely.

A song, a movie, or a book is not quite the same, as the very existence of the Copyright Clause suggests. The Framers did not give Congress the power to grant people rights to their homes, farms, or personal possessions because such rights already existed. Indeed, protecting those rights was one of the main reasons for establishing a government in the first place.

Copyrights, by contrast, were understood to be a legal invention, and the justification for them was utilitarian: to promote progress and enrich the culture by giving authors an additional incentive to create. But the Framers recognized that copyrights could also impede progress and impoverish the culture by preventing people from building on the work of others. That is one reason copyright terms--originally set at 14 years, renewable for another 14--had to be limited.

Even with limits, copyrights were criticized by such luminaries as Thomas Jefferson, who recognized them as government-granted monopolies that would invite corruption. James Madison agreed that monopolies are "justly classed among the greatest nuisances in Government" but suggested they could be justified "as encouragements to literary works and ingenious discoveries."

Today copyright law is unmoored from the goal Madison had in mind, while the corruption Jefferson feared is evident every time Congress votes to line the pockets of big media companies by extending their monopolies. The hypocrisy of the entertainment giants makes this spectacle even harder to stomach: Disney, which has made a fortune by recycling other people's stories (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Hunchback of Notre Dame), can't bear the thought of letting early Mickey Mouse cartoons slip into the public domain.

In the case the Supreme Court has agreed to consider, the plaintiffs argue that using copyright law to to reward influential corporations is not just unappetizing but unconstitutional. Although their argument was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, at least one judge found it persuasive.

The Copyright Clause "is not an open grant of power to secure exclusive rights," Judge David Sentelle wrote in his dissent. "It is a grant of power to promote progress.... Extending existing copyrights is not promoting useful arts, nor is it securing exclusivity for a limited time."

This reading of the Copyright Clause would not address all the problems associated with intellectual property. But it would restore some balance to a debate that has been dominated for too long by the uncompromising, moralistic rhetoric of monopolists.

© Copyright 2002 by Creators Syndicate Inc.
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file sharing vs copyright


I don't know where to put this thread but I just want to know if, suppose I have a copy of MSA 3rd edition and somebody asked a question about MSA, will I not get jailed or something if i posted a portion of the MSA in response to that question?

coz sometimes, there are questions and I have a document to answer that question and yet decided not to share it because of copyright thingie.

And of course, life would be easier for us if we can share our files right?



Captain Nice
Staff member
You can post quotes from (portions of) a document - typically a paragraph or two, but you are not allowed to post the document as a whole. Some folks include a reference to the original which is appropriate.
Marc said:
You can post quotes from (portions of) a document - typically a paragraph or two, but you are not allowed to post the document as a whole. Some folks include a reference to the original which is appropriate.
We are only talking about copyrighted materials here. Most government documents for instance, are NOT copyrighted and may be copied without limit. Some documents may be in the public domain because no copyright was applied for or because the copyright has expired.

"Fair use" of a copyrighted document allows quoting portions, with proper attribution. An example would be quoting a paragraph or two from ISO9k2k. Entire documents may only be copied and distributed with permission of the copyright holder who may NOT be the author. Articles in Quality Progress, for instance have copyright held by ASQ, not the author.

Without direct information to the contrary, ALL written documents not issued by the U.S. government should be considered copyrighted.
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