Discover how trademark, patent, and software law can help small business, entrepreneurs, and inventors. Check my blog for questions and answers.

Don't sell guides to help others break copyright law

Can I legally sell step-by-step information online to show people how to download copyrighted stuff, like games, music, albums?

How does it help to tell people how to obtain copyrighted works without permission from the owner? How would you feel if someone used your step-by-step guide and was later sentenced to a jail term? What if that person didn't understand that your step-by-step guide described a process that might be criminal? What if that person was a single parent? What would you do? Would you offer that person a refund? Care for their child while they were in jail?

I can appreciate copyright law may not be perfect, but selling, or even providing, information about how to disrespect the creativity of others does not make a positive contribution to our law or our society. So, a creative prosecutor might find a creative way of prosecuting this type of activity, even if a specific statute was not written to anticipate this behavior.

If you don't like our copyright system, get involved in changing the system. If you want to make money, look to the current statutory system to setup up an internet radio station, or whatever. Changes in the law do happen through activism by ordinary people. Lawyers and politicians are not the only people who decide what our laws do and protect. There is a lot not to like about our current system, particularly with regard to enforcement of copyright laws. Consider spending a little time reading about how the music industry goes about enforcing its rights.

As always, check the information that you find on the internet agains primary sources, like your own attorney.

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