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Public Information Research Inc. (Daniel Brandt) is a 501(c)(3)?

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

Thursday, December 29, 2005
13 years ago

According to Daniel Brandt, Public Information Research Inc., based in San Antonio, Texas, is formally classified as a 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service [1]. See also the Wikipedia article. [2]

I am unable to verify this information with the IRS [3]. Searching for "Public Information Research" should return the result (search for Wikimedia to see a working example). I also scanned through every 501(c)(3) organization in San Antonio, Texas, of which there are several thousand. There is nothing between "Promise Land Church Inc." and "Putting an End to Abuse Through Community Efforts Initiative."

See [4] for an explicit declaration of this status since 1996. There are others as old as 1993 as well.

[1] namebase.org/staffbl.html
[2] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_I ...
[3] apps.irs.gov/app/pub78
[4] groups.google.com/group/soc.or ...)(3)&rnum=2&hl=en#c273d21293ec2b88 groups.google.com/group/soc.or ...)(3)&rnum=2&hl=en#c273d21293ec2b88

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

The reason I find this information important is that, according to Brandt, the legality of the entire NameBase website relies on their non-profit status [1].

"In order to make the referenced pages available legally, the "fair use" provisions of the copyright law come into play. Two considerations are important when considering whether "fair use" is applicable: the amount of material that is reproduced, and whether it is produced by a nonprofit organization.

Apparantly they are selling the indexes of copyrighted books. At least, that's the impression you get. I haven't tried to purchase anything yet.

"Because of the nature of the cumulative indexing in NameBase, it is rare that more than one or two pages from a single book are ever ordered by a single NameBase customer at one time. This solves the first problem. The second problem is solved because PIR is a nonprofit public charity. The copying we do is the legal equivalent of using a photocopying machine in a public library.

The fact that books are copyrighted means that there are now two excellent reasons why NameBase has no competition: 1) it's much too labor-intensive, and 2) it would be illegal if the purpose was to make money, as opposed to educating the public. Both reasons make the PIR enterprise, from a commercial perspective, a complete non-starter. That's why NameBase has no competition. "

[1] namebase.org/unique.html

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Here is a list of all of the books they are selling pages from. I don't care if they are a non-profit, that's illegal!

namebase.org/nbslist2.html

Dan Tobias [PersonRank 6]

13 years ago #

And, isn't the concept of reproducing and disseminating parts of copyrighted books without the author or publisher's permission one of the big things that Google is being criticized, and sued, for these days? It's kind of funny to see the most prominent anti-Google person involved in such activity himself.

Daniel Brandt [PersonRank 3]

13 years ago #

Brian Mingus and Dan Tobias are misinformed. We own the copyright on our NameBase index, and it is registered at the copyright office. As for reproducing pages, yes we reproduce a handful of pages per month for registered users of NameBase. This falls under "fair use." In the 23 years we've been doing this, we've never had a copyright complaint. And yes, we have a 501(c)(3). Pub.78 does not list exempt orgs that are not required to file annual forms. We've not been required to file these forms for over five years now, because our annual revenue is under $25,000.

Google is copying the entire book without permission. We are manually compiling our own name index and adding value to it, and since we do this without using the index in the back of the book, we own the copyright on our index. The few pages we copy per month for registered users is peanuts. It's the equivalent of what you might do if you went to the library and copied a few pages from a book on their machine.

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I'm sorry, you /merely/ "reproduce" them?

No, you make copies of copyrighted works and sell them without the permission of the publisher. I'm sure you've seen the copyright page of a book before;

"All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyrights herein may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means--graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems--without written permission of the publisher."

Google does not do what you are doing. Unless Google has the permission of the publisher they show 2-3 sentence snippets. Google does not illegally sell pages out of books, and in my brief glance of your index I noticed 9 PAGE citations.

Daniel Brandt [PersonRank 3]

13 years ago #

Google: They plan to scan 7 million books in their entirety from the Univ. of Michigan. Eighty percent of these are copyrighted. They show snippets, and they drive traffic to their site with these snippets. They have 200 million searches a day, maybe more. They get rich from ads, and have a market cap of $122,000,000,000 at the moment.

PIR: we have never copied an entire book. Of the 800 books we indexed manually, each of the 800 books sees an average of one full page photocopied per year from that book. We are nonprofit. Gross annual revenue is under $25,000 for all income, and about $500 per year for the labor charge on the copies we make.

Which is "fair use"?

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Google doesn't drive traffic to their own site with the snippets...if any traffic is being driven it is, to use search engine marketing terms, a conversion to one of the links they provide to purchase the book at an external market place. I also notice you have these links but it looked more like an affiliation to me.

Public libraries typically have policies barring patrons from photocopying pages out of books because it violates copyright (read the notice above). Copy machines don't have the ability to show only 2-3 lines...that should give you your needed perspective.

And just in case...here's a little more...if I wanted page out of one of your references right now i'd first have to pony up $50 and then whatever you charge for the copy. That's hardly fair..how much of that is going to the copyright holder?

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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