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Old Tue Feb 18, 2020, 11:52am
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2020 NFHS Baseball Rules PDF

Found this online, good download for a soft copy PDF of 2020 Baseball Rules



https://cdn1.sportngin.com/attachmen...83944/NFHS.pdf
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Old Tue Feb 18, 2020, 03:37pm
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Originally Posted by BSBAL18 View Post
Found this online, good download for a soft copy PDF of 2020 Baseball Rules



https://cdn1.sportngin.com/attachmen...83944/NFHS.pdf
It's copyrighted. Are you sure it's OK to download it from a non-NFHS site.
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Old Sat Feb 22, 2020, 12:03pm
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Originally Posted by Rich Ives View Post
It's copyrighted. Are you sure it's OK to download it from a non-NFHS site.
It may have a copyright notice on it, but how much of the material in the document is original and therefore protectable by copyright? Usually they include some essays, photos, artwork or whatever that are copyrightable, and details of layout of the rules are copyrightable, but the text of the rules themselves, because they're 90+% cribbed from OBR, and because they're instructions that can be said only so many ways, are not copyrightable. So if someone were to take out everything but the text of the rules -- which is what everybody's interested in -- and distribute that, they could never lose a copyright infringement judgment.
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Old Sat Feb 22, 2020, 01:47pm
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Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
It may have a copyright notice on it, but how much of the material in the document is original and therefore protectable by copyright? Usually they include some essays, photos, artwork or whatever that are copyrightable, and details of layout of the rules are copyrightable, but the text of the rules themselves, because they're 90+% cribbed from OBR, and because they're instructions that can be said only so many ways, are not copyrightable. So if someone were to take out everything but the text of the rules -- which is what everybody's interested in -- and distribute that, they could never lose a copyright infringement judgment.
that's nonsense, it's their property
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Old Sat Feb 22, 2020, 03:25pm
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Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
It may have a copyright notice on it, but how much of the material in the document is original and therefore protectable by copyright? Usually they include some essays, photos, artwork or whatever that are copyrightable, and details of layout of the rules are copyrightable, but the text of the rules themselves, because they're 90+% cribbed from OBR, and because they're instructions that can be said only so many ways, are not copyrightable. So if someone were to take out everything but the text of the rules -- which is what everybody's interested in -- and distribute that, they could never lose a copyright infringement judgment.
Where's the "you gotta be kidding" emoji?
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Old Wed Feb 26, 2020, 04:35pm
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Originally Posted by Rich Ives View Post
It's copyrighted. Are you sure it's OK to download it from a non-NFHS site.


Rich:

I just checked the web page and it appears to be an actual PDF copy of the 2020 NFHS Baseball Rules Book. I have yet to be able to compare it with and actual 2020 NFHS Baseball Rules Book which I hope to do tonight.

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Old Thu Feb 27, 2020, 08:45am
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Originally Posted by scrounge View Post
that's nonsense, it's their property
No. The words of the rules themselves are not their property. I had this confirmed by an intellectual property lawyer and looked up the case law. But all you have to do is a text comparison with OBR, and you'll see there's nowhere near enough original material to get copyright protection.

The photos, the ads, the commentary at the beginning and end of the book -- those are Fed's property. But the rules themselves? They'd get laughed out of court.
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Old Thu Feb 27, 2020, 11:01am
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Considering the PDF in question contains those photos, prefaces, and advertisements, I'd say it's a problem.
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Old Thu Feb 27, 2020, 11:44am
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Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
No. The words of the rules themselves are not their property. I had this confirmed by an intellectual property lawyer and looked up the case law. But all you have to do is a text comparison with OBR, and you'll see there's nowhere near enough original material to get copyright protection.

The photos, the ads, the commentary at the beginning and end of the book -- those are Fed's property. But the rules themselves? They'd get laughed out of court.
Sure you did. I'm not saying I don't believe you but....no, that's exactly what I'm saying.
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Old Fri Feb 28, 2020, 08:00am
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Originally Posted by scrounge View Post
Sure you did. I'm not saying I don't believe you but....no, that's exactly what I'm saying.
You want his name, or that of the firm he worked for? Chris Garvey.

Just now I Googled "uncopyrightable", and one of the first hits was game rules. See https://www.americanbar.org/groups/i...copyright_law/

Here's another discussion: Games and Other Uncopyrightable Systems – Madisonian: Essays on Governance and More

The principle is recognized worldwide. From https://2jk.org/english/?p=137 , "In a recent case, where an Indian company created a game similar to Scrabble, the Indian court ruled that while one can protect the trade-name of Scrabble, the rules of the game were uncopyrightable (Mattel, Inc. v. Agarwalla):"

Quote:
In the realm of copyright law the doctrine of merger postulates that were the idea and expression are inextricably connected, it would not possible to distinguish between two. In other words, the expression should be such that it is the idea, and vice-versa, resulting in an inseparable “merger” of the two. Applying this doctrine courts have refused to protect (through copyright) the expression of an idea, which can be expressed only in a very limited manner, because doing so would confer monopoly on the idea itself.
Or look up Affiliated Hospital Prods., Inc. v. Merdel Game Mfg. Co. See https://www.law.nyu.edu/sites/defaul...20Doctrine.pdf

Besides, Fed's baseball rules have practically zero original content, being cribbed from OBR. Consider also how the wording of Fed's rules is arrived at: by a committee, having gotten input from surveys all over the country, making tiny amendments year after year. If you could produce a copyrighted work by such a process, who could possibly be determined to own it? Tiny pieces here and there? I doubt the committee members or secretary even sign a work-for-hire agreement abjuring personal copyright.
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Old Fri Feb 28, 2020, 08:02am
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Originally Posted by Altor View Post
Considering the PDF in question contains those photos, prefaces, and advertisements, I'd say it's a problem.
So copy just the text of the rules themselves and distribute that.
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Old Fri Feb 28, 2020, 08:17am
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Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
So copy just the text of the rules themselves and distribute that.
But they didn't. You are making points that, even if they are correct, don't apply to THIS example.

And yes, I recognize the irony that this is no different than any other post in this forum.
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Old Sat Feb 29, 2020, 10:06pm
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Meanwhile, nobody's really interested in the parts that are copyrightable. The ads? They pay you to print them; they'd pay you to read them if they could. The mugs of the committee members? Like all yearbook photos, of interest only to the subjects and their families. It would be very hard to prove damages even if they won on the point of infringement.
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Old Fri Mar 13, 2020, 11:02pm
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Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
No. The words of the rules themselves are not their property. I had this confirmed by an intellectual property lawyer and looked up the case law. But all you have to do is a text comparison with OBR, and you'll see there's nowhere near enough original material to get copyright protection.

The photos, the ads, the commentary at the beginning and end of the book -- those are Fed's property. But the rules themselves? They'd get laughed out of court.
As an IP lawyer myself, I can tell you that "original material," as you suggest, is not the standard. In fact, the USSC has ruled that the level of creativity does not necessarily have to be that high. Perhaps whoever wrote the original OBR code might have had a copyright infringement case against the first Fed code but that's their problem, and that horse is long out of the barn. It isn't relevant to this issue.

Plus, the issue here isn't whether there is a text file somewhere of ONLY the Fed rules starting with Rule 1 and ending with the last paragraph of the final rule. The issue is that there is what appears to be a downloadable PDF file of the actual rule book with everything that goes with it. The argument you make with respect to the OBR is only relevant to the hypothetical text file. The PDF file, which includes the other stuff Fed put in, IS under their copyright and is enforceable (to the extent they want it to be). You take the work as a whole. Just because there is something in the book that MAY not subject to the author's copyright doesn't mean the entire publication isn't. If that were true, every history textbook that ever existed that contained the Declaration of Independence or the Gettysburg Address (or a thousand other things) wouldn't be subject to the author's copyright. The fact that there MAY be a greater percentage of material in the Fed baseball rules that are similar in nature to OBR than a history textbook doesn't change this. I could compile a handbook with the Dec. of Ind., the Constitution of the US, and several other freely available founding docs and copyright that. I would definitely add commentary, but if I did and offered it for sale, you better not copy it and share it, regardless of how much public domain material we both agree is in there.

I think either you misunderstood your lawyer friend or he misunderstood your description of what the rule book was.
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Old Sat Mar 14, 2020, 03:36pm
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Originally Posted by Texas Aggie View Post
As an IP lawyer myself, I can tell you that "original material," as you suggest, is not the standard. In fact, the USSC has ruled that the level of creativity does not necessarily have to be that high. Perhaps whoever wrote the original OBR code might have had a copyright infringement case against the first Fed code but that's their problem, and that horse is long out of the barn. It isn't relevant to this issue.
Sure it's relevant. If you can show material is cribbed from somewhere else, they can't defend a copyright in it. And it's so easy to do that in this case, people are always searching for the differences in the codes, they're so subtle.
Quote:
Plus, the issue here isn't whether there is a text file somewhere of ONLY the Fed rules starting with Rule 1 and ending with the last paragraph of the final rule. The issue is that there is what appears to be a downloadable PDF file of the actual rule book with everything that goes with it. The argument you make with respect to the OBR is only relevant to the hypothetical text file. The PDF file, which includes the other stuff Fed put in, IS under their copyright and is enforceable (to the extent they want it to be).
Of course it is. Even the details of text layout of the rules themselves are copyrightable, except to the extent the merger doctrine applies -- i.e. where there are only a few reasonable ways to lay them out. Indeed Fed's football rulebooks used to be models of clarity in part because of details of layouit, compared to other codes, because there are various conceivable ways to lay them out -- the other codes did so and were harder to look up answers in quickly.

But it's not those details that most people are interested in. Most people just want text in an easily searchable form, and all one needs to get that is to make a .txt copy of that portion of the file and distribute that.
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