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Is it Illegal? Answered

Here's a forum where you can ask if something is illegal and hope to get answers... My question: I have a electronic version (I got it for free) of the book "Nikola Tesla Colorado Springs Notes" I want to print it because it's a pretty data intensive book and I don't want to go blind from reading it from my computer. So would it be illegal for me to print this for my own personal use (not selling, giving away, etc...) Part 2 of that question. If I were to take it to a place such as Pro Copy (a print shop) would they turn me down? It was copyrighted in 1978... I have to take it to a print shop cause I don't want to murder my printer with 431 pages of text

38 Replies

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snowfreak (author)2009-10-01

ooh could you send me that book too im not part of a group just interested in tesla coils thanks

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purduecer (author)2009-10-01

Odds are the print shop will turn you down. Some print shops don't allow you to copy/print more than 10 pages from a given book, just so they stay out of legal gray areas. If you don't want to murder your printer....take it to a friend's house, and murder their printer instead ;-)

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Kryptonite (author)2009-09-26

I have a question; is it illegal to have an airsoft rifle in Australia? Secondly; what are the laws about hunting with a blow gun in Australia?

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Flumpkins (author)2008-08-16

Is scanning a dollar bill illegal?

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seandogue (author)Flumpkins2009-08-28

no, i don't think so, but printing one and trying to pass it for the real McCoy or distributing it to others for that purpose can land you in federal prison

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codongolev (author)seandogue2009-09-23

heh, my brother did that once because he heard that some printers will write VOID all over it and he wanted to see it. when it didn't work, he was like, I'm holding a federal offense in my hand.... so he ripped it into tiny peices, threw them in different trash cans, ate some, flushed some down the toilet.....

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tech-king (author)seandogue2009-09-10

as long as you dont give it out ubder the pretext that its genuin its legal. only if you call it real money ir use it like real money will it be confiscated and you guilty of forging money.

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Deathstick (author)tech-king2009-09-22

I was watching the show about the DEA and they caught someone with a certain dollar amount (don't remember the amount) and said something to the affect of, "if it is under a certain amount that there is nothing they could do about it."

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spiker (author)Flumpkins2008-09-11

i don't know about now, but i tried to scan a Canadian 50 and my scanner told me "cant allow you to save", or something like that. i got a Lexmark x3470

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Deathstick (author)spiker2009-09-22

I've working in a print shop and our new digital press would send a copy of the bill to Zerox if you scanned it. Then on each copy you print it would put a very small serial number on the image that could be traced back to the machine. You have to be very weary about the things you do these days. If you where to attempt this again I would suggest an older scanner!

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Marsh (author)Flumpkins2009-09-11

I can't speak to scanning, but placing any American currency on a platform to take a life sized photograph is definitely illegal! We redesigned every bill we have because scanners and printers got so good. You connect the dots.

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V-Man737 (author)Flumpkins2008-08-17

Nope. Making a hard copy too close to the original size is, though.

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Goodhart (author)2009-08-28

things that would be considered inappropriate for the major portion of the membership (youth) would be for sure: nudity (or any form of pornography), etc. would be considered unacceptable I would assume. To be absolutely sure, you can PM any of the staff to ask...

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frollard (author)2008-08-17

Its illegal, depending on your country/territory/state/province/municipality....but good news; noone cares in the industry, so you can do it. Last suggestion, get it printed 2 or 4 pages per sheet, double sided, (if it was a novel to begin with), and that brings you down to 100 or 50 pages, highly reasonable, and still easy to read.

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guyfrom7up (author)frollard2008-08-17

well, I ended up just buying the book, it was on sale. it's not a small novel size, each page is almost a4

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arnie04 (author)2008-07-20

for question no.1, i would say no, because you have the digital copy and assuming you bought that version, if you can you may print it for personal use only. and question no.2, for sure kinko's won't let you do it (I assume that most print shops have same policy for copyrighted materials). They won't print anything with copyrighted materials. But if you acting sneaky, there's no way they can stop you.Just be careful of those kinko's prying eyes. hope thats helpful in any way

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blugyblug (author)2008-07-17

My question Is my instructable illegal? Like the thing IN my instructable... BTW i live in AUStralia

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Firebert010 (author)blugyblug2008-07-17

There's a good chance it is, depending on where you live. It's not the kind of thing you'd be arrested for, but maybe a visit from the cops and possibly a fine to go with it. I could be wrong. It depends on how much your neighbors care about a kid shooting things in your backyard.

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blugyblug (author)blugyblug2008-07-17

I dont think it is, just only if you go around shooting ppl on the street. Cuz thats what this guy said at my Archery Club. ("Dont go around with that bow on the street because the police will think you are shooting people"-After I bought my bow

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blugyblug (author)blugyblug2008-07-17

Except spud guns and bows are totally different

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gmjhowe (author)2008-07-17

a graphic shop? i work in the studio at the printworks. doing artwork/design etc.

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gimmelotsarobots (author)2008-07-16

If your not selling it, I'm pretty sure it's legal. I don't bother with electronic copies of books. Why? Here's a scenario: Half way through the book, message pops up "virus alert" computer crashes, computer recovery disk erases hard drive, money gone.

But usually if you have to ask yourself "is it legal?" it probably isn't. Does not mean it will stop you. >;-)

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Weissensteinburg (author)2008-07-15

I'm sure they won't care...It's not like you're trying to do anything mischievous with it.

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ichiwazaryu (author)2008-07-15

In california it would be legal. And yes some twit might turn you down.

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gmjhowe (author)2008-07-12

you could try asking someone whom works in an office, or has access to a large laser printer. we have one at work (we are a printworks tho) 431 isnt alot.

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Rishnai (author)2008-07-11

Well, I know that it would murder my printer, so I'd be inclined to try the copyshop, period. Maybe my printer would murder me. Either one is bad (dead printer or death at the robo-hands of my printer). enerally, the personal use/backup copy doesn't get cracked down on, even if it is technically "illegal" (I don't think any one knows for sure), but if your free copy is ill-gotten, they might be rougher. But personally, I don't think it's illegal, and haven't been faced with roadblocks when trying to print out e-books.

Are you sure that you can't order the hardcopy from the library? I happen to live in a major city which also happens to be one of something like two official government document repositories, so I can get my obscure government-paper fix and my obscure-book fix easily. And what the Denver library doesn't have, they can order. I've only run into one item that I couldn't get, and that was a 16mm obscure psychedelic film; they had it, but wouldn't ship out of state. Now maybe it's because I'm local to where Tesla worked, but I coulda sworn I saw a copy of that book lurking on the shelf just the other day...

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Rishnai (author)Rishnai2008-07-11

Checked at the library today... we do have a copy floating about, but it's not for shipping or checkout. Now I see why you didn't go that route.

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thematthatter (author)2008-07-10

A professional copy place SHOULD turn you down. but how places likes Staples gets away with it is they provide the machines, and materials but let YOU do the copying, then they charge for materials. So your print place might have a little DIY print stand that will let you hook up a thumbdrive or CD to and print away. Your next option is to go to a local libary and print it off at 10-20 pages at a time. Spend a couple hours, act like your really doing research and not just looking up porn.

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Big Bwana (author)2008-07-10

I don't know ? used laser printer

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Kiteman (author)2008-07-09

Point on copyright - copyright on published media (books, software etc) does not expire until 70 years after the death of the author. If authorship is shared, the copyright expires 70 years after the last contributor dies. I would burn the book to a disk (or load it onto a pendrive if they'll accept that), then just ask the copyshop to print off your word / pdf / whatever document. You don't have to offer copyright information, they don't have to ask. If you're polite, they just print it for you.

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Lithium Rain (author)Kiteman2008-07-09

Copyshops will copy or bind any book-they don't care. I've had it done(not to illegal copies, though).

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NachoMahma (author)2008-07-09
. As forgesmith points out, you probably have an illegal copy. Legally and ethically a no-no. :(
. You can make personal copies of materials you own.Legally and ethically OK.
. IIRC, it is not legal for someone else to make a copy for you. I don't have a problem with ppl downloading copies of materials if they have a legal copy (eg, downloading MP3s of CDs they own).
.
  • Disclaimer: I am neither a lawyer nor an ethicist.

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forgesmith (author)2008-07-09

For personal non-commercial use, barring a notice often at the front that forbids reproduction in such a manner without written permission of author and/or publisher, it is permissible to make a dead-tree version of an electronic document you own. This is as when you own a CD but make an mp3 for portable devices. Consider yourself limited to one copy, so there aren't many "personal" copies with different people, used in a manner where you will not be using both at once, nor can anyone else use it while you are thus electronic and print versions will be transferred together.

A print shop may decline unless you're the author of such a document over copyright concerns, depending on the format they might not be able to anyway, something like an e-book they may assume will be copyrighted thus don't bother with them. If you're dealing with counter drones at Staples they just might not care and will do it if they can.

However, that particular book is in print, Amazon lists hardcover, softcover, but no electronic version. The Wikipedia article links to two online versions, one (which also showed up from Google) is gone and the other (under construction) is likely not on a server in the US. The legality of any electronic version is in doubt.

Besides, how much do you think it'll cost to print, yourself or the print shop, versus what, say, Amazon wants?

PS: IANAL. LOL.

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mikeasaurus (author)2008-07-09

Part 1: Is it illegal to print out the book. Well we're probably going to go back and forth on this one however I'd say it's fine. If you started selling it that's when companies get mad as you are depriving them of their profits. Part 2: I do this all the time, I've never heard of anyone even caring what they copy and print out. I see what your concern is though, but really you're probably going to talk to some kid who earns minimum wage getting high on copier toner and ink pads, he' snot going to care if it's the bible or a nuclear weapons handbook. If you're that concerned about it try going to a copy place at a slow time of the day like 9pm, find some young punk and ask him to do it for you. If he gives you beef offer to grab him a coffee next door or something. Seriously. I used to work retail and bribes totally work.

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