Re: question ..selling old floppy disks with designs

Jim_Stutsman <jim@...>

When you bought the designs originally, you bought a license to use them. But only YOU, not your friends, family or strangers on a train. You have saved the designs locally, which is a copy. As long as the original floppy is in your possession you're within the law, but when you give it away YOU are now using an illegal copy because you gave the license to someone else. Think of it like a book - you can loan a book to someone else, but you can't read it yourself until you get it back. Likewise you could give it away, but to be able to read it yourself you would have to make copies of all the pages, which is against the law. The problem with digital content is that it can be duplicated very easily. Some content creators install protection to keep the content from being copied, but that almost always works against those who use the content legally. That's why we never use DRM (Digital Rights Management) in our products.

The main problem is that people assume that copying is a "victimless" crime. Nobody knows, nobody gets hurt. A few years back we had a lady visit the store from Houston. At the time we were selling a monthly newsletter online for $15 per year. This lady proudly told us how much she enjoyed our publication and how she printed out copies for two of her friends. She might as well have said "Hey, I just put $10 worth of thread in my purse. Thanks for carrying such good products!" If she had known she was committing a crime, I doubt she would have been so forthcoming. On later digital products I put in a counter so I could see how many times each copy was downloaded. Surprise! One of our long-standing customers was downloading 2 copies every month, splitting the $4 cost with a friend. The $2 saved wouldn't even put a gallon of gas in the friend's Lexus, but it was hard for us to respect either of the ladies after that.

Now that I've stepped off the soapbox, let's get practical. Any designs sold on floppies could be from companies that are no longer in business. If you give the floppies away, are they hurt? No, that ship has sailed. Is anyone going to come after you? Almost certainly not. In fact, if you give them away I'd bet they wind up going to a design "hoarder". Back in the early days of home embroidery we had several customers that would proudly display box after box of floppies that they had copied from friends. They had thousands of designs for pennies of cost - and they were so busy "collecting" that they hardly ever stitched a single one!

--- In, fmacashley <no_reply@...> wrote:

OK, I'll start over....can I just give the old floppy disks away legally....not in this to make money; I don't need to sell them, but I have saved all the designs on computer, CD s, etc...and anyone can buy an external floppy disk to retrieve the designs if they are so it legal to just give them away????? Thanks

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