[Python-Dev] audiotest.au and possible copyright issues?

Guido van Rossum gvanrossum at gmail.com
Thu Oct 21 17:11:27 CEST 2004

On Thu, 21 Oct 2004 15:35:49 +0100, Michael Sparks
<michael.sparks at rd.bbc.co.uk> wrote:
> On Thursday 21 Oct 2004 15:29, Mihai Ibanescu wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > Here's an interesting bug:
> >
> > https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=136654
> Hi Mihai,
> That system requires a login in order to access that bug, and after
> registering I can't access the bug ("You are not authorized..."), and I
> doubt I'm alone in this. Could you elaborate further?
> > Is anyone aware of copyright issues on the Monty Python audio file?
> Since Sourceforge is hosted in the US, I _suspect_ at minimum if the file is
> sufficiently small that it's covered by fair use there, and in many countries
> (also whilst UK copyright law doesn't have that concept unfortunately). If it
> isn't I'd be willing to try and get in contact with the appropriate people.
> I'm not a lawyer though, nor able to grant permission if none hasn't already
> been, but I might be able to help *IF* there is an issue :)

I have the same problem (tried to register but still waiting for the
password to arrive via email) so I can only guess what this bug report
is about.

If it's some random user worrying about copyrighted materials, please
stop worrying. There are thousands of copies of the entire works of
Monty Python on the web; even if M.P. were somehow to decide to send
lawyers after each of those (which they don't), I still doubt that
they would care about a single 3 second fragment in telephone quality.
If we replaced it with a clip of *me* saying the same words I doubt
that most people would be able to tell which clip was the original.

But all that is irrelevant; only a lawyer's opinion counts. However,
my judgement is that it's not worth it for the PSF to spend money to
talk to a lawyer about; if someone already has a lawyer's opinion on
this I'd like to hear it. Non-lawyer opinions are useless in this
(even of lay-people who know a lot about the law) because it's not the
legal expertise that makes it valuable, it's the fact that it's a
lawyer who says it; what lawyers say (when wearing their lawyer hats)
has special significance to the law (at least in the US).

Let me promise you this: the second the PSF receives a
cease-and-desist letter about this from John Cleese's lawyer, we'll
remove it from the distribution. Until then, it stays.

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)

More information about the Python-Dev mailing list