Audio Magazine Distortion Analyzer article

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Joined 2001
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Thanks for your well-intentioned actions. If you happen to speak with an intellectual property attorney along the way, I'd be curious to know if posting this material qualifies as an example of fair use. Perhaps it may, as it was done for a noncommercial instructional purpose.


If you're listening our there -- being an author yourself, can you shed any light on the issue of fair use as it applies to posting of copyrighted material on the web? This is good stuff to know for future reference, as I'm sure there will be other instances of folks wanting to post articles from now-defunct pubs that have DIY interest.
I'm at work now, hence good to's the home setup that's going down in flames.
Fair use is generally construed as being for the original purchaser. If I buy a CD of Miles Davis, for instance, I can record a cassette for my car. I cannot (legally) record a cassette for you. You'll have to buy your own CD and make your own cassette in order to remain with the boundaries of the law.
Non-commercial/non-profit/educational use/etc. doesn't enter into the equation. If you post copyrighted material in a public place (without permission from the holder of the copyright), you have no control over how it's used. Saying that it's for "educational purposes" is an empty phrase; even the writers of text books are paid for their work (not as highly as you might assume from the prices they charge for textbooks, but that's another matter). I don't know what the contract between the author and Audio magazine looked like, but I'd be very surprised indeed if one or the other (or 'their successors, assigns...' etc.--fancy contract talk for saying that they can sell their rights to others or put the rights into a Will in case of death, and so on and so forth...) didn't retain copyright over the article.
Trust me, writing doesn't pay well...that author needs every penny he can get. I once read that there are fewer than 200 full-time authors in the US. Your first reaction is something along the lines of "hogwash!" But once you start numbering people: Tom Clancy, Anne Rice, whoever, you find yourself running out of obvious names after about 25 or 50 people. A lot of the folks you might think are full-time, aren't. Many of them are professors at schools, and simply happen to write on the side.
I happen to be re-reading Lord of the Rings at the moment. Tolkein was a professor at Oxford (I think--someone will pop up and tell me if I'm wrong) in spite of the number of copies the Ring books sold. That's the usual story, rather than the exception. (Somewhat closer to the theme of this site, Horowitz & Hill are both still teaching in spite of the relative success of The Art of Electronics.)
The advice still holds: Don't quit your day job.
I have no illusions that I will ever be full time as an author. I'm lucky if my writing income breaks even with the cost of the computers I buy to write my stories upon. I imagine the same is true for the author of the Audio article.

"Fair use" isn't necessarily limited to the "purchaser", at least in the U.S.A. For instance, I can (in theory) discuss your circuit in the context of later developments in signal theory, as long as the major content of the work is original. In practice, this is often problematic as lawyers start coming into play, and companies will sometimes pay off the IP holders just to avoid the trouble. The line between wholesale copying and illustrative inclusion is often blurry. (the former is certainly not permissible)
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