Difference between revisions of "Judge:Copyright"
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Revision as of 08:01, 20 December 2011
In all text that follows, the Judge refers to all services available online under the domain wcipeg.com and its subdomains, regardless of whether they are accessed at said domain or otherwise.
The following text documents a set of guidelines. Users who do not follow this policy will probably not be banned, unless the administrators are legally compelled to repeatedly remove copyrighted content originating from one user. However, said users shoulder a nonzero probability of facing litigation for breach of copyright. On the other hand, I am not a lawyer, so I cannot guarantee that following this policy will avoid legal action. The servers for the Judge are located in the United States, but the administrators are Canadian citizens.
Any problem statement on the Judge is potentially copyrighted, since it is a written work and written works are automatically covered by copyright immediately after they are created. Furthermore, nearly every problem on the Judge was written by someone other than one of the Judge's administrators. For example, some problems are credited to the Canadian Computing Competition, in which case their copyrights are held by the Center for Education in Mathematics and Computing at the University of Waterloo. To determine the copyright holder of a problem statement:
- Look between the main menu and the title on a problem description page. If a source is stated, such as "IOI '05 ...", the problem statement was taken directly from that source (usually a contest). To find copyright information for this problem, consult the official website of the source, or contact the organization responsible for the source.
- Look between the Memory Limit and the Submit link on a problem description page. If a user is stated as author, for example, "Author: SourSpinach", and no source is stated, that user should be assumed to be the copyright holder of the problem statement.
The copyright owner of a problem statement should be assumed to also be the copyright owner of the problem's test data.
When there is no source and no author stated, the problem statement and test data may be assumed to lie in the public domain. If this is not the case but it is not immediately obvious who the copyright holder(s) is/are, and you wish to use the problem statement and/or test data for your own purposes, please contact the administrators at [email protected].
The availability of a problem statement and/or test data on the Judge does not imply that permission to make the problem statement and/or test data available on the Judge has been explicitly granted by the copyright owner. The Judge is operated for educational and noncommercial purposes, and the administrators of the Judge therefore believe that our use of the problem statements qualifies as fair use under applicable law.
Note that one cannot actually copyright a problem. At best, one can copyright the problem statement. For example, if a math problem reads "find the value of <complicated expression>", you are free to rewrite it as "let x = <complicated expression>. Find x" without violating copyright. It is a matter of courtesy, not one of law, to credit creative works such as problems to those who actually conceived them.
The analysis of a problem, viewable by those who have solved it, should also be assumed to be copyrighted. There should be a byline in every analysis, indicating the author and copyright holder for that analysis. If not, the analysis may be assumed to lie in the public domain.
When posting comments, ensure that you are not violating applicable copyright laws. For example, posting large amounts of copyrighted material or entire copyrighted works without the permission of the copyright holder is illegal; however, quoting a few sentences from a text, provided that the source is properly cited, is almost always legal (and permitted on the Judge).
Under certain interpretations of copyright law, email messages may be considered copyrightable. The same, naturally, applies to comments posted on the Judge. Insofar as posted comments are considered to exhibit original authorship, they are automatically covered by copyright. Please do not make unauthorized use of comments posted by other users.
Submission of code whose copyright is held by another person to this Judge without authorization probably qualifies as fair use in Canada and the United States, but might not be legal in other countries. Don't take our word for it though, because we are not lawyers. (There is probably in any case no prior case history applicable sufficiently broadly to predict anything either way.) Creation of derivative works for private education/research purposes is also considered fair use, so it is probably legal to modify somebody else's code and then submit it. However, this can only be allowed as long as no unauthorized use is made of such code by other users, as the code may then be said to have been distributed, which disqualifies the original use from the application of the fair use doctrine and constitutes a breach of copyright law. We therefore ask for your cooperation in respecting the intellectual property rights of both users and non-users where applicable laws exist so that we can continue to allow you to view other users' submissions and to submit code not completely authored by you.
In order to discourage unauthorized use of another user's code, the text of another user's submission is converted into a graphical form before it can be viewed by you. However, this does not preclude copying out the code manually, or digitally extracting it through such techniques as optical character recognition. If you wish to use the content of another user's submission, please do not resort to such techniques. Instead, ask that user to provide you with a copy of the code. If your request is refused, please do not attempt further to retrieve the code. If the user consents, ensure that he/she gives you satisfactory copyright/licensing information for the code, including explicit indication and demarcation of any parts of the code to which that user himself/herself does not own the copyright.
The user is advised to keep in mind that the Judge is one of the only online judge sites on which all code is publicly viewable by default (providing that the viewer, excepting that he or she is an administrator, or that he or she is the author of the problem, has fully solved the problem to which the code was submitted). This necessitates the existence of parts of this notice and we thank you for your cooperation in complying with it.