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Old 12-15-2010, 12:35 AM   #1
Ellis Amdur
 
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Possible Copyright Violation?

In the "voice of experience section (I cannot post there, so I'm starting a new thread), there is a thread entitled Osensei's Memoirs Download. It links to what, at first impression, was a translation of genuine memoirs. When I clicked the link, I found a composite of quotations taken from various Aiki News publications, that the anonymous complier offers as a free download. As these were English translations of the Japanese, and are quoted in bulk, this seems to me to be a violation of copyright. Perhaps, legally, I am wrong. It troubles me, however, that people seem to feel that because Osensei is a legacy for all of us, then the remaining images (pictures, videos, and writings) that others, most notably Stanley Pranin has published, often at considerable expense and sometimes at a financial loss, are free. People simply put the films of Ueshiba up on YouTube and Stanley, who has edited, preserved and in many cases, saved these films from deterioration, does not get a dime. It just doesn't seem right.

Ellis Amdur

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Old 12-15-2010, 12:55 AM   #2
Walter Martindale
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

No argument here.
Walter
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:58 AM   #3
niall
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Hi Ellis. I found the document by chance. It doesn't seem to be a book or a publication available anywhere else. It seems to be a compilation of quotes from old magazines which would not otherwise be read. The document says at the top:
Quote:
These were assembled from O Sensei's memoirs printed in the Aikido magazine and other places. I pass them along because as people practice the art without contact with the founder they may miss much of what he imparted and his intention in teaching what he called ‘the art of peace.' In hopes that his teachings be remembered, please share these with all who study the art.
They are to be given for free to anyone interested [in] aikido or not.
It was on the cityaikido page which seems to be Robert Nadeau Sensei's dojo site. That's a pretty good endorsement.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:38 AM   #4
kewms
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Old magazines have copyright, too. Many other publications have put their archives online; the current lack of an online version is not a license for piracy,

Presence of the file on a respected dojo's web page doesn't guarantee its legitimacy, either. Lots of people believe things about copyright that aren't true.

Katherine
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:03 AM   #5
Michael Varin
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote:
Lots of people believe things about copyright that aren't true.
For instance that they are NOT draconian, stifling, and monopolistic.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:01 AM   #6
Ellis Amdur
 
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

I know for a fact that Stan has a lot of material that could be published, including films of aikido greats, if he had the money to edit them properly. There is also a lot of written material that could see the light of day if he could afford the translation.

Maybe he would if all the people who viewed the Osensei tapes on the web - instead - bought his videos. One can read all the old AikiNews articles, I believe, through a nominal membership fee to Aikido Journal.

As I said, I do not know the legal ramifications of compiling a PDF of quotes from another's magazine. It just hit me that Stan is someone that people should be far more grateful to. Without his work - which he often did at a loss - and sometimes at personal cost as well, a lot of the current discourse on aikido, much less aikido and Daito-ryu and internal strength would not be possible. He deserves respect for what he's done - and to me, this means some extra care in considering how we use his work.

Ellis Amdur

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Old 12-15-2010, 03:15 AM   #7
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Hello,

I returned home a few minutes ago and found that Niall had posted them in a post on the Ki is Kindness thread.

I downloaded the PDF file and found, as Ellis did, that there is no indication of who made the translations and where the original Japanese texts are.

In my own contributions to AikiWeb, citing the utterances of Morihei Ueshiba, I have always been very careful to indicate the source, with dates of publication and page references. The two main collections are Aiki Shinzui, Takemusu Aiki, and a collection of doka translated by John Stevens and published by Kodansha. There are also random quotations in Kisshomaru Ueshiba's books, of which there is invariably a Japanese original.

I second and fully support the sentiments expressed by Ellis in regard to Stanley Pranin.

Best wishes,

PAG

P A Goldsbury
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:15 AM   #8
SeiserL
 
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

I completely support protecting and supporting the rights of writers.

I am free to share only what I personally write.

I often think that people who steal and then make public other people's hard have nothing to say themselves.

Why the need to take from people who offer so much to us all?

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:01 AM   #9
Michael Varin
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
I completely support protecting and supporting the rights of writers.
Then, whether you realize it or not, you also support the censorship of information and ideas.

This is an extremely important issue, very timely, and one that has been taken for granted for far too long.

If anyone out there is prepared to expand your thinking and challenge your current beliefs, I strongly reccomend reading Agaisnt Intellectual Monopoly, which is available for free, here.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:48 AM   #10
sorokod
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Hello Peter

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello,
In my own contributions to AikiWeb, citing the utterances of Morihei Ueshiba, I have always been very careful to indicate the source, with dates of publication and page references.
PAG
what is your take on the question of compensation?

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Old 12-15-2010, 10:57 AM   #11
kewms
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Then, whether you realize it or not, you also support the censorship of information and ideas.

This is an extremely important issue, very timely, and one that has been taken for granted for far too long.

If anyone out there is prepared to expand your thinking and challenge your current beliefs, I strongly reccomend reading Agaisnt Intellectual Monopoly, which is available for free, here.
I take it you're not a writer...

Katherine
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:39 AM   #12
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I know for a fact that Stan has a lot of material that could be published, including films of aikido greats, if he had the money to edit them properly. There is also a lot of written material that could see the light of day if he could afford the translation.

Maybe he would if all the people who viewed the Osensei tapes on the web - instead - bought his videos. One can read all the old AikiNews articles, I believe, through a nominal membership fee to Aikido Journal.

As I said, I do not know the legal ramifications of compiling a PDF of quotes from another's magazine. It just hit me that Stan is someone that people should be far more grateful to. Without his work - which he often did at a loss - and sometimes at personal cost as well, a lot of the current discourse on aikido, much less aikido and Daito-ryu and internal strength would not be possible. He deserves respect for what he's done - and to me, this means some extra care in considering how we use his work.

Ellis Amdur
Stanley sometimes gets a bad rap for being "commercial". What? He's supposed to do this work for free? And then do some other job so he and his family can eat? This is an attitude that really ticks me off.

Stanley's recompense for the hours he spends on his work would be less than minimum wage if computed hourly. His contribution to Aikido cannot be exaggerated. Much of what we know about Aikido history, the Founder himself, and Daito Ryu as a martial art has been almost entirely through his efforts. The Aiki Expos will, in the long run, be seen as pivotal events in American Aikido. No person in the world could have put his events together except for Stan Pranin.

The absolute minimum we can do to help him is to subscribe to Aikido Journal. It always amazes me how many "serious" Aikido practitioners have never subscribed... The first hundred dollars I ever made teaching, I turned right around and bought the (at the time) complete back issues. Stanley lost money on the Aiki Expos. Yet there are folks around who think he's commercial... I buy as many of his videos and books as I can possibly afford so he can keep up the work.

There is so much more to do... Stanley has vast archives of photos, interviews, etc that need to be digitized and stored off site so that they will never be lost. He has historical information that will never be released until the principles are no longer with us. This material is irreplaceable. Putting Stanley's material up on YouTube so folks don't feel the need to buy anything from him hurts Stanley and by extension hurts Aikido.

If you see something good on YouTube, go buy a copy from Stan so he can keep up the great work he is doing.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:05 PM   #13
Keith Larman
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Just a small bit of applause for what George wrote.

Michael, I agree that in some instance copyright law and especially groups like the various music and movie groups have truly mishandled things. However, the underlying attitude of entitlement that accompanies so many of these arguments is downright offensive to those who write, or at least try to write for a living. Or produce things. Or produce art. Seeing something you designed 2 months later being mass produced as a crappy knock off isn't exactly flattering. Especially if you put a lot of work and hard won expertise into the endeavor.

I am a person who occasionally receives royalties. It helps pay for my mortgage and my daughter's health care. The laws *are* in fact over broad and in some cases way over-reaching. However, they are also the only protection many small, independent producers of content have. And quite frankly I would never have done some of the things I did without a guarantee of royalties. I couldn't have. I have bills to pay.

Most arguments on either side of the coin cherry pick their examples. Just like I use my own. There are merits to both sides in that there are examples on both sides where the laws work and don't work. The issue in this thread isn't copyright law in general. It is about Stan Pranin's work. And the work of others in our own community. Work that they devoted huge personal resources to provide to the world. And work we should all be supporting. And even if you're not willing to pay for what they did, the least you could do is respect *their* wishes and leave it be.

If you want to argue about drug companies and submarine patents, by all means. But if we're going to discuss the sacrifices of guys like Stan Pranin, well, don't you think out of simple respect for him as a fellow Aikidoka and scholar you should consider his wishes?

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Old 12-15-2010, 12:24 PM   #14
SeiserL
 
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Then, whether you realize it or not, you also support the censorship of information and ideas. This is an extremely important issue, very timely, and one that has been taken for granted for far too long. If anyone out there is prepared to expand your thinking and challenge your current beliefs, I strongly reccomend reading Agaisnt Intellectual Monopoly, which is available for free, here.
IMHO, giving credit where credit is due is not censorship, its honor and integrity.

I read the conspiracy theory site your suggested and just found it another rationalization/argument for wanting something for free.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:12 PM   #15
kewms
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
The issue in this thread isn't copyright law in general. It is about Stan Pranin's work. And the work of others in our own community. Work that they devoted huge personal resources to provide to the world. And work we should all be supporting. And even if you're not willing to pay for what they did, the least you could do is respect *their* wishes and leave it be.

If you want to argue about drug companies and submarine patents, by all means. But if we're going to discuss the sacrifices of guys like Stan Pranin, well, don't you think out of simple respect for him as a fellow Aikidoka and scholar you should consider his wishes?
What Keith said. Regardless of what you think of copyright law in general, the idea that people like Stan Pranin should be compensated for their efforts seems like a no-brainer to me. If you can think of a mechanism that both makes such materials freely available and supports content creators, let's hear it.

Katherine
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:45 PM   #16
Fred Little
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
What Keith said. Regardless of what you think of copyright law in general, the idea that people like Stan Pranin should be compensated for their efforts seems like a no-brainer to me. If you can think of a mechanism that both makes such materials freely available and supports content creators, let's hear it.

Katherine
Sometimes I think it a pity that it isn't possible to recommend individual comments.

This comment -- along with those of others who have gently pointed out the difference between the civil and humane value of taking care of and rewarding individuals whose efforts have been of benefit on the one hand, and a merely ideological approach that has no concern for individuals, except as abstract units or interchangeable quanta subject to the amoral operations of abstract ideology -- is one of those times.

FL

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Old 12-15-2010, 02:12 PM   #17
Marc Abrams
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, giving credit where credit is due is not censorship, its honor and integrity.

I read the conspiracy theory site your suggested and just found it another rationalization/argument for wanting something for free.
To Add to what Lynn was saying....

The time, effort, money, etc. that people spend to put together material that they later copyright is not a trite act. Wanting something for free without any sense of responsibility, cost, appreciation that goes with it, is simply narcissistic entitlement. How many people do you know who work for free? Why should someone's work products be assumed to be free?

If we like the work production of someone, then by all means support it. That means paying a reasonable price for a copy it, promoting the value of the work product to others, etc.. A person like Stanley Pranin, has dedicated his adult life to enlightening us in a particular area of endeavor. He should be allowed to profit from the fruits of his labor. I certainly profit from the information that I have gained from his labors. I would not allow someone to make a copy of any of his books, DVD's, etc. because of the respect and appreciation that I have for everything that he has done to put his works together. The act of publishing copyrighted material without permission and paying the cost of doing so, is wrong from an ethical and legal point of view- enough said...

Marc Abrams
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:22 PM   #18
Alfonso
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

I hadn't even seen that link and document, and now all of this hubbub made me look . My eyes are burning, and now I have to go renew my Aikido Journal subscription! (and get all the articles in DVD format).

you are all accused of distributing piracy and promoting illegal reading

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:36 PM   #19
Garth Jones
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

With a few dramatic exceptions, artists, writers, singer/songwriters, etc. make a very thin living at what they do. Having their work posted for free and/or repackaged by somebody else without permission just makes their struggles harder.

One of my favorite singer/songwriters, Gillian Welch, has a sad and moving song about this that I happened to listen to earlier today. 'Everything is Free' can be found, for free, pirated on YouTube.....
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:09 PM   #20
niall
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Let me just run through the facts here because I would like to keep things in perspective. I do not advocate piracy except in speech on talk like a pirate day. This is not a video or song. It's not a long extract from a book. This is a short document of quotes compiled from a number of old magazines. The document is not being made available on aikiweb. It is freely available on the internet. The site where it can be read and downloaded is not a suspicious file-sharing site. It is a reputable aikido dojo run by one of the top aikido teachers in the USA. That teacher is a personal acquaintance of Stanley Pranin. One of the instructors in that dojo is an attorney. The document explicitly encourages the copying and distribution to other people. If you don't want to read it or download it that is your choice.

Last edited by niall : 12-15-2010 at 05:12 PM.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:15 PM   #21
kewms
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Has anyone asked Mr. Pranin his opinion of the file?

Katherine
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:28 PM   #22
Ellis Amdur
 
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Niall wrote:
Quote:
This is not a video or song. It's not a long extract from a book. This is a short document of quotes compiled from a number of old magazines. The document is not being made available on aikiweb. It is freely available on the internet. The site where it can be read and downloaded is not a suspicious file-sharing site. It is a reputable aikido dojo run by one of the top aikido teachers in the USA. That teacher is a personal acquaintance of Stanley Pranin. One of the instructors in that dojo is an attorney. The document explicitly encourages the copying and distribution to other people. If you don't want to read it or download it that is your choice.
Ok, let's take this apart.
1. "This is not a video or song. It's not a long extract from a book. This is a short document of quotes compiled from a number of old magazines." Extracts of quotes of copyrighted material. I've written and published nine books, to date. Let's say someone does me the favor of compiling a similar document of the "best of Ellis" - and rather than whetting anyone's appetite, a number of people do not buy any of my books - heck, the best of it is there. The truth is that my business has slowed way down, because of government funding cuts to institutions where I usually teach. I'm becoming increasingly dependent on my writing. If I will not make money from that either, I'll do something else.
2. " The document is not being made available on aikiweb." Never said it was. There was a notification on Aikiweb - Aikiweb is a discussion group. I chose to discuss it.
3. "It's freely available on the internet." That's the point! I didn't accuse anyone of making a profit. I "accused" someone of distributing for free what they didn't have right to distribute.
4. "its not a suspicious . ...it's a reputable aikido dojo , etc." Well, then, that makes it alright. For example, if my arm was broken in a reputable aikido dojo with a famous teacher, I have no grounds for complaint. So what if there are attorney's in the dojo. My heart beats easy, then, because as everyone knows, attorney's can always be trusted!
5. Last sentence. "If you don't want to read or download it, That's your choice." Niall -exactly right. So as part of this community, I'm raising the issue to encourage others to do the right thing and not aid and abet such actions. I didn't say shut down the website, or sue them either. I simply encourage people to respect copyright such as this - including the debt of a "moral copyright," even if it's not technically illegal, and recompense Stanley for the irreplaceable work he's done.

Ellis Amdur

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 12-15-2010 at 09:38 PM.

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Old 12-15-2010, 09:37 PM   #23
crbateman
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Has anyone asked Mr. Pranin his opinion of the file?

Katherine
Stan runs into this kind of stuff all the time. He knows that much intellectual property law, especially where the internet (and laws, or lack thereof, of other countries) are involved, is often cryptic and largely unenforceable, at least without great expense.

We've talked about it at times when I've told him about liberties I've seen taken with his hard-earned material. He pretty much is reluctantly resolved that there realistically isn't much he can (or can afford to) do about it. He prefers to take the high road, rather than make a stink about it. More's the pity, as his work is absolutely crucial to transmit the history of aikido to others. The best we can do to help him is to support his website and buy his products, while boycotting material that we suspect has been plagiarized.

Hopefully, those who complain that his website looks like an infomercial, and that he hopes to be paid for his efforts, rather than giving everything away, will temper their positions. The man works his tuches off, and there is nobody else who can do it like he does... period.

Soapbox returned to the storeroom...

Last edited by crbateman : 12-15-2010 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:15 AM   #24
niall
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

OK Ellis thanks for that. I put that link because I thought it was a genuine document. I'd rather turn this into a positive thing than internet policing. I'll put this message on the voices of experience thread too.

Ellis Amdur, Peter Goldsbury and others have suggested that there might be a problem with copyright for this document. So anyone who reads or downloads it or who has already is encouraged to check out Aikido Journal's site:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/blog/

Please check it out. And please consider subscribing. There are some special offers of DVDs for new subscribers:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/subscribe

And while you're thinking about that please also think about becoming a contributing member of aikiweb. (But I can't find a link for that! I hope it's somewhere on the home page or the forums page - maybe it could be a little more visible?!).

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats


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Old 12-16-2010, 12:44 AM   #25
Walter Martindale
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Re: Possible Copyright Violation?

I run into this occasionally, too.
In a former role, I was paid to produce a monthly newsletter, and in the later time of that role (2000) I was putting it on the web. Moved to a different country for a different job, shortly thereafter got an e-mail "What do you think of this?" - the attachment was something in Portugese. Well, I don't read Portugese, but it's close enough to other latin-based lingos that I thought it looked a little familiar, so I put it through Babelfish - the rough translation from that was one of my articles on club development (not an MA - if you're familiar with me you'll know it's rowing).. The person who sent my translated article to me told me that his club president had sent this to all the members of his club and wanted to have a meeting to discuss it. (I guess that makes me international) but... BUT... the club president didn't attribute the IP to the original author (um... me). Now, I wrote that as an employee, so it was just part of my job to write it, but as the author, and with my employer (or was it me?) the holder of the copyright, I think it was wrong to NOT put my name with the article.

More recently, I've put something about fitness testing on my (then) employer's web-site. Lo and behold, a few months later, it's on a US website - again - with my name not associated...

I think I have the right to be a bit cranky, and I think so does Stanley Pranin, even if he was exerpted, where I was just out and out copied. I'm sure a lot of Mr. Pranin's work has also been straight up copied, and I think that's worng. er... wrong.

Regarding being a contributing member - I've been there but now I'm between jobs and ain't gonna contribute to anything until that's been modified...
W
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