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Rest in Peace
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Posted 02/08/2015   12:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bill Weiss to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
essayk is right - no sense in jumping to conclusions. I have not heard back yet from Bob or the other party, but I did not expect to hear so soon. I will post any news here as I am informed of it. I think it's wonderful that there is good support here, including a willingness to contribute if necessary. I do not believe that is an issue right now, but I'll try to add more info as it becomes available to me.
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Edited by Bill Weiss - 02/08/2015 12:22 am
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Posted 02/08/2015   01:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add disi123 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Amos Press sues Krause over numbering system

http://www.foundcollection.com/1_7c...91a86c_1.htm
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Posted 02/08/2015   01:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add disi123 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
http://goscf.com/t/9192

From 8/13/10


Quote:
Quote:
1847usa.com has been notified that Amos Press, the owners of the Scott numbering system, wish us to discontinue the use of Scott numbers. I realize that many of you use this site on a daily basis and regret any inconvenience this may cause. I will decide what direction to take regarding reinstalling certain portions of the site as time goes by, particularly those stamps that are not bought and sold exclusively by Scott number. Thank you to all the people who have visited the site over the years and my apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Bob Allen, 1847usa.com
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Posted 02/11/2015   5:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Newby Stamper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
So, Scotts are the only people that numbers the postal stamps? The postal service has them printed and Scotts numbers them?
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Posted 02/11/2015   6:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stallzer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Scott catalogs them.
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Posted 02/11/2015   6:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cjpalermo1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In my opinion 1847 needs a better lawyer, or an affordable one. In my opinion numbering systems are not per se eligible for US copyright protection. In my opinion if 1847 was using the designation "Scott No.", then switching to "No." or "#", followed by listings of numbers that happen to be Scott numbers, would leave Amos without a claim. In my opinion while SCOTT may serve as a brand name protectible under trademark law, the courts have repeatedly held that mere numbering schemes involve insufficient original authorship to qualify for copyright protection in the US. It is simply not a sufficiently creative act to assign a number to an object.

The "public domain" argument is not the strongest argument that 1847 can make. What they probably mean is the concept of "naked licensing," or acquiescence, namely that Amos has failed to pursue so many commercial users of "Scott No. X" that Amos has lost the right to enforce any brand rights in SCOTT against anyone.



*This is not legal advice. If this post contained legal advice, it would be followed by a bill.*
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Posted 02/12/2015   04:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add factus10 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
According to the Whois info for the domain name, the record doesn't expire until April 29, 2015, so it's not a matter of letting the registration lapse.
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Posted 02/12/2015   08:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essayk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Venting and sabre rattling aside, does anyone know what it has been costing Bob Allen to license the Scott numbering? The call from Amos to cease and desist is not new, since the thread disi cites is from 2010. The site is still up (or up again) from that time to now, so I assume he must have entered into a license agreement. If so, then this present order may stem from an inability/unwillingness to enter into a licensing agreement renewal, for which the cost has probably taken an increase.

Anyone know anything about all of that? As I said before, if it's just a matter of money, there are many who benefit who may wish to help out.
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Posted 02/12/2015   09:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think Scott (Amos) is very disingenuous about their claims. Looking at the "Copyright Notice" in the 2014 US Specialized catalog, there is nothing there about the numbering system. Then we have their "Trademark Notice" where "Scott Catalog Number, Scott Number and abbreviations thereof, are tradmarks of Scott Publishing Co., used to identify its publications and its copyrighted system for identifying and classifying postage stamps..." Surely Scott knows that a "system" cannot be copyrighted, and thus this language about a "copyrighted system for identifying and classifying postage stamps" is bull hockey. A "system," per se, cannot be copyrighted. It can be described, and the description can be copyrighted. And in essence, that is what the "Copyright Notice" in a Scott catalog does. This does not prevent one from referring to the Scott numbers!

But they have been very successful at intimidating the industry. Note this from an APS publication:

Quote:
2013 The Scott numbers are the copyrighted property of Amos Press Inc., dba Scott Publishing Co.and are used here under a licensing agreement with Scott.

The marks "Scott" and "Scott's" are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and are trademarks of Amos Press, Inc. dba Scott Publishing Co. No use may be made of these marks or of material in this publication, which is reprinted from a copyrighted publication of Amos Press, Inc., without the express written permission of Amos Press, Inc., dba Scott Publishing Co., Sidney, Ohio 45365.

What is this saying? Again, we have the confusing conflation of copyright and trademark, which are two very different things. But I think this confusion is what Scott wants. As I read it (and IANAL!), permission is not needed to use the numbers, but to use material "reprinted from a copyrighted publication." So yes, if the number, and the catalog descriptive information were copied verbatim, that could be a copyright violation.

But now that we are in the realm of copyright, and not trademark, why should "fair use" not apply? If I refer to a stamp and say that it is what Scott calls "C3" have I violated their copyright? Of course not. In fact, I could, under fair use, reprint the catalog description (contra the language Scott requires with those whom it "licenses" use of its numbering system). I just have to beware of the limits on fair use. If I reprint too much, I run afoul of the limits of fair use.

Scott/Amos cannot have it both ways. It cannot claim copyright, and then deny fair use. It can claim a trademark, but referring to a stamp by a Scott number is not a trademark violation.

Again, IANAL. But if a lawyer with expertise in copyright and trademark wants to join the discussion, I would like their take on the whole matter.

Basil

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Posted 02/12/2015   09:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A follow-up:



I think this explains the very careful parsing of words in the notice that Scott/Amos has those use to whom it "licenses" its "system":

Quote:
No use may be made of these marks or of material in this publication, which is reprinted from a copyrighted publication of Amos Press, Inc.,

They are not saying that the "Scott Numbers" cannot be used, they are saying that Scott Numbers which are "reprinted from a copyrighted publication" cannot be used. But this only extends to their use of the numbers in the particular form of expression represented in their catalogs. Personally, I'm not even sure appeal needs to be made fair use here, though I think it would suffice. But if they are trying to protect their "numbering system" they cannot do so except in the form that it is expressed in the catalog. If someone else wants to take the numbering system, and express it differently, Scott cannot appeal to copyright to stop that.

Or so it seems to me. But I repeat, IANAL.

Basil
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Posted 02/12/2015   09:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JLLebbert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I suspect the problem may not be that 1847usa has a legitimate right to use Scott numbers. Instead, it is likely the cost of possibly going to court to uphold that right.
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Posted 02/12/2015   11:12 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cjpalermo1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
But if a lawyer with expertise in copyright and trademark wants to join the discussion,


I am such a person and generally agree with the preceding three posts. I agree that fair use in the copyright sense is not particularly relevant, because a copyrightable work of authorship must first exist for one to proceed to the fair use analysis. If fair use applied, it is a somewhat subjective four-factor test that depends on the nature of the use (commercial, non-profit, educational), the amount of the work that has been copied, whether the copying affects the market value of the work, etc. The preceding posts do not provide enough facts about any particular use to undertake the analysis.




* The foregoing is an expression of personal opinion and cannot be relied upon as legal advice to anyone. To obtain legal advice, you should hire an attorney. I decline to form an attorney-client relationship with any reader. This is not an advertisement or solicitation. (If this message constituted legal advice, it would be followed by a bill.)*

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Posted 02/12/2015   11:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jogil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Does that mean that every time that we want to write either a philatelic study article or a philatelic study monogram that we need to ask them permission to use their catalogue numbers? I think it may have to do with how many catalogue numbers are in the publication which may also have a price next to each of them just like a regular catalogue so that this may be cutting into their original pricing catalogue which they don't like.
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Edited by jogil - 02/12/2015 11:26 am
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Posted 02/12/2015   11:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I am such a person and generally agree with the preceding three posts. I agree that fair use in the copyright sense is not particularly relevant, because a copyrightable work of authorship must first exist for one to proceed to the fair use analysis.
I am not sure I follow your concurrence here. I was saying that I think that fair use would (or perhaps could) apply to the catalogs themselves, and that if so, it would only apply to extensive "reprinting" of the contents of the catalog, and not to the numbers themselves, which Scott admits are a "system." And since the system itself cannot be copyrighted, and if fair use does not apply (and maybe this is what you were saying?) because we are talking about a system, then there should really be no impediment to using the numbering system in some other copyrighted expression of the system.

Scott has done a good job of muddying the waters over all of this.

Basil
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Posted 02/12/2015   11:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here's a paraphrase of the "Suppose..." hypothetical I copied above:

Quote:
Suppose, for example, a company publishes a catalog describing a new system for cataloging stamps. The copyright prevents others from copying or distributing the text and images associated with the cataloging system. But it will not give the company any right to prevent others from adapting the system itself for commercial or other purposes or from using the numbers ("procedures, processes or methods") described in the catalog.

What is copyrighted is the description -- how it is described -- and not the system itself.

Sadly, these matters are often decided not according to law, but according to who has the most money, or the most lawyers (but I repeat myself).
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