COPYRIGHTS and the WTS publications

by MacHislopp 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • SixofNine

    Just a note, it would be practically impossible to 'violate' the WTBS copyright.

    They have no profit from the literature (supposedly), and they are willing to give it away free (certain restrictions apply).

    Beyond the lack of any monetary reason for there to be any copyright violations, as Simon brought out, fair use allows for just about all the uses I have ever seen from opposers on the web.

    As a not for profit religious organization, they are really just being silly even mentioning copyright in relation to their words.

  • ianao


    Long time no see (maybe not looking in the right place).

    Good to hear from you again, hope you are doing well.

  • MacHislopp

    Hello everyone,

    thanks to you all for the excellent,
    analitical post!

    In the end I'll keep doing like most of you...use whatever
    seem reasonable and profitable for us and our "friends ".
    A word of praise for the www links.

    Agape, J.C.MacHislopp

  • Frenchy

    Hello, ianao. I'm doing well, thank you and I hope that you are well also. I have been away for a while but I'm back for the time being at least. It's very good to see everyone.

    -Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it-

  • Moxy

    to 6of9:
    > As a not for profit religious organization, they are really just being silly even mentioning copyright in relation to their words.

    now that i have to object to. copyright has nothing to do with money. if you are familiar with open source, or GNU licensing, you know that licenses and copyrights can be very important even to freely distributable products to help ensure that they are put to the use the author intended, within the bounds of fair use. and i am not aware that the society has said anything that gives the idea they object to fair use, as simon mentions. whatever their motives are, and the odd tack of the QFR article aside, they are well within their rights. how old does a publication have to be before it passes into the public domain tho, is it something like 50 years?


  • willy_think

    my take on the copyright issue is how easy it is to see the "lie" if you have access to old or even new WTB&TS inc. publications. this being so, you will need to quote them which thay will try to stop at all costs.... "protect the corporate image" if i can't cuote them exactly then any thing i say can be denied


    repetitive= word association= mind control

    this technique is one of the WTB&TS favorites!!

    the ideas and opinions expressed in this post do not necessiarly represent those of the WTB&TS inc. or any of it's subsidiary corporations.
  • SixofNine

    Moxy, I'll have to stay by my original statement; it's just silly for the org to be spouting off about copyright.

    You said that copyright has nothing to do with money. It seems to me to have everything to do with money, primarily. Not only money, but mostly.

    Here are some more specifics on the type of use we are talking about (I maintain that it all falls easily under "fair use"):

    the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include -

    (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether
    such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit
    educational purposes;
    (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
    (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in
    relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
    (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or
    value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

    As a not for profit, the "effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the work", is nil. (although we who post their words hope the sum efect is huge ) As a religious organization, with bookmaking to no end, any and all re-use of their words is going to be for the purpose of, "criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research".

    So for them to say...

    “…Related to this, Christian should avoid putting onto, or downloading
    from, electronic bulletin board material that is copyrighted (as are the
    Society’s publications) and that is being copied without legal permission
    from the owners .” just silly.

    Of course, if you notice, they carefully did not say that doing so was a violation of copyright. They just said, "christians should avoid doing it".

  • SixofNine

    Adding on to the post above.

    The only copyright violation I can think of would be to copy their stuff, and then try to sell it for profit.

    Funny thing is, even then, their only remedy might be to get a judge to tell you to cut it out. Again, they aren't out any money, and, ostensibly, their publishing work is furthered.

    The postings of the Elder book might be an infringement, since it is posted in its entirety, and it is not offered to the public in the first place. But I have to think that even that would be a hard sell in most courts. I think everyone who has posted the Elder book online can certainly argue they have good "fair use" motives.

  • Thirdson

    Uh hmmm,

    Just one other point about copyright. Doesn't the WTS freely and liberally quote other publications usually without accurate reference to the source? They also use a whole range of photos (with credit) available from such organizations as the US Army, UN, WHO...all organizations under the control of "Satan". Maybe Satan's stuff is OK to copy!


    'To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing'

  • jschwehm


    When I was at Bethel, I took a trip to Boston with some bethelites who worked in the graphics department. They told me about the time someone stole the layout of a Johnny Walker Whiskey add and put it on the cover of the Watchtower magazine. The company that makes Johnny Walker Whisker threatened to sue and the Society changed the cover of that issue of the Watchtower when they published the bound volume. I believe David Reed talks about this in one of his issues of "Comments From the Friends".

    Jeff S.

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