Goldmine or Landmine?

27 replies
I'd like to know your thoughts and opinions about a situation that has presented itself to me.

About two weeks ago a very good friend of mine who has been a very successful Internet Marketer informed me that they were leaving the business to pursue another ambition in movie directing. I was asked if I was interested in receiving their entire hard drive of accumulated IM library including software, PLR, MRR, e-books, reports, training courses and video courses and the list goes on.

I responded with a "sure why not" without thinking about the reality of what it would mean to have sudden access to all this.

Well, as promised by my friend, a couple of days later I received a UPS delivery of a 1 terabyte hard drive nearly full of everything imaginable related to IM. After plugging the thing in and looking through the hundreds of directories and thousands of files, I realized that much of the material was purchased by my friend.

My question is this. Have I received a goldmine that I can exploit for profit or is this a landmine and by using or selling any of the material purchased by someone else will blow up in my face?

My friend has since gone on a reclusive vacation so I've been unable to ask exactly what I can do with all this.

Anyone care to comment?
#free content #gifts #goldmine #inherited #landmine
  • Profile picture of the author TheCren
    For crying out loud read it all! The PLR and MRR things can be resold by you no questions asked. Be sure to read the licenses that came with them to be sure of specifics. As for anything that isn't PLR or MRR, I would wait before I tried to sell it. However, surely you can get started reading the materials. And start putting the information to work creating a successful online business for yourself.
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    • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
      Originally Posted by TheCren View Post

      For crying out loud read it all! The PLR and MRR things can be resold by you no questions asked.
      Not necessarily.

      Plenty of PLR comes with nontransferable rights, meaning his friend may not have the right to pass on the PLR rights to Rich.

      Even MRR can fall into a gray area, IF the terms of the MRR license says that the content CANNOT be given away. (Which seems to be the case here.)
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      • Profile picture of the author TheCren
        Originally Posted by R Hagel View Post

        Not necessarily.

        Plenty of PLR comes with nontransferable rights, meaning his friend may not have the right to pass on the PLR rights to Rich.

        Even MRR can fall into a gray area, IF the terms of the MRR license says that the content CANNOT be given away. (Which seems to be the case here.)
        I never said pass on the PLR rights (I never do if I can help it). I said sell it. PLR is automatically the right to sell it. You can read the license for the price limits, etc.
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        • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
          Originally Posted by TheCren View Post

          I never said pass on the PLR rights (I never do if I can help it). I said sell it. PLR is automatically the right to sell it. You can read the license for the price limits, etc.
          Just to clarify so that no one reading this confuses the issue...

          In most cases, PLR licenses only give the original buyer of the PLR content the authority to sell it.

          IF this PLR came with nontransferable rights, that means that the only person in this situation who has the right to sell the content is Rich's friend. And that would mean Rich does NOT have the right to sell it (because Rich didn't purchase a license from the original PLR content provider).

          (Again, the above only applies if this stuff came with nontransferable rights.)


          Cheers,
          Becky

          P.S. BTW, here's my disclaimer: I'm not an expert and this is not legal or professional advice! The only advice I'm giving is to check and comply with the terms of the license.
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        • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
          Originally Posted by TheCren View Post

          I never said pass on the PLR rights (I never do if I can help it). I said sell it. PLR is automatically the right to sell it. You can read the license for the price limits, etc.
          Not if you didn't BUY it in the first place, unless his friend received giveaway rights with it. Some PLR includes giveaway rights, some doesn't.

          R Hagel is right in all her answers, you have to check the license for each product on a case by case basis. It's not like you have to read them all at once, just start with the ones you're interested in using.

          Your friend probably does not have the right to transfer ownership of commercial products. That is seldom included with digital products because it works against the copyright holder. Even PLR often prohibits giving it away because the author wants to protect the interests of all the buyers.
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          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
            Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

            Not if you didn't BUY it in the first place.

            R Hagel is right in all her answers, you have to check the license for each product on a case by case basis. It's not like you have to read them all at once, just start with the ones you're interested in using.

            Your friend probably does not have the right to transfer ownership. That is seldom included with digital products because it works against the copyright holder.
            Dennis, I'm just not seeing how transferring ownership of a physical drive with the only copy of a digital product to a new owner works against the copyright holder.

            In my mind, it's the equivalent of giving someone a book or CD (neither act being a violation of copyright as far as I know). In turning over the object to another person, I'm relinquishing my right to use it, so the rights to the object still rest in only one person. Just not the original buyer.

            If passing along the physical copy of a digital product were in fact a copyright violation, it would kill the market for second-hand CDs and DVDs.

            Commercial use might be a violation of an individual license, but I don't see how personal use of this gift can violate anything...

            Maybe I'm just addled from wandering around in the guts of a WP theme and the codex most of the day, but that's how it looks to me...
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  • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
    In most cases, regular ebooks, training materials, etc cannot be shared with others. The only exception is if they explicitly come with reprint rights, giveaway rights, etc. So if your friend brought those training courses for his own use and is now sharing them with you, that's probably not allowed. (Meaning you can't even read or view them for your own use if your friend doesn't have the right to share them with you.)

    The content that comes with resell rights is a different story. If those products came with giveaway rights (meaning your friend is allowed under the terms of the license to give them away to you), then certainly you can use them for your own use.

    HOWEVER -- you'll again need to check the license to see if you can resell them to others. For example, lots of PLR can be modified, given away and sold... but no rights pass on to the end users. So if that's the case with your PLR content, you wouldn't have any rights to modify it, give it away or sell it (only your friend would have those rights since he purchased the license).

    BOTTOM LINE: Check the licenses. And if there aren't any licenses or the licenses don't specify how you can use the content, be safe and assume that you have NO rights to the content.

    Cheers,
    Becky
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Mann
    I'm sure that it would take about a hundred years to read all that stuff. LOL But can I use the video training courses on my own site? Say as a paid membership private area?
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    • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
      Originally Posted by Rich Mann View Post

      I'm sure that it would take about a hundred years to read all that stuff. LOL But can I use the video training courses on my own site? Say as a paid membership private area?
      The only way to know for sure is to check the license. If the product didn't come with transferable rights / giveaway rights, then assume that you don't have any rights to it. (And you should delete it entirely if you find that your friend didn't even have the rights to give it to you for your personal use.)

      Becky
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      • Profile picture of the author Rich Mann
        Thanks Becky,
        I see nothing in the training courses that indicates copywrite or licensing but I know many of the faces in them. As far as I know, my friend has no duplicate copies of any of the material. I was sent the working external HDD from their computer used for storage.

        I'm not an expert in copywrite or licensing law that's why I posed the question. I know there are some very knowledgeable Warriors that may know.

        So am I to understand that if someone buys a digital product they do not have the right to transfer ownership of that material?
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  • Profile picture of the author JP Wilson
    Hi Rich. It would depend on the rights. You would have to consider the rights for each product on a case by case basis, being extremely thorough in the process.

    Even though we tend to categorize resale rights by MRR & PLR, there can be a different set of guidelines and specifications for each product, regardless of the categorization. For instance, some products won't allow you to sell them for less than a certain price or give them away for free. For those situations, your friend would not have the authority to pass the rights along to you, thus meaning that you would not have legal authorization to sell or distribute them either.

    I would imagine, however, that as long as the terms for each product aren't breached, then you should be perfectly fine to sell and profit from the ones that don't say/imply otherwise.

    Either way, consider what you have to be a blessing my friend. To be given the entire library of a well-established, successful marketer is a privilege that many would give quite a lot for. Sell what you can, but learn even more.

    PS Didn't mean to give redundant advice but several people posted while drafting this response. Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Mann
    JP Thanks for the advice. I certainly feel exceptionally privileged not only for the friendship I have shared with my friend, but also that out of all the other friends my friend has, I was the one chosen for such a special honor.

    I would estimate that there are several hundred hours of video training alone in this material. I just get a little spooked at the "rights" issue. I don't think my friend even gave it any thought. They were totally caught up in anticipation of going on vacation. I really gave it no thought either. But now reality has smacked me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Mann
    Thanks again Becky.
    So I guess that my excitement is tempered with the knowledge that I may not even have the right to prosper from the knowledge that I could glean from any of the material.

    Looks like Landmine is the more appropriate perspective. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by R Hagel View Post

      In most cases, regular ebooks, training materials, etc cannot be shared with others. The only exception is if they explicitly come with reprint rights, giveaway rights, etc. So if your friend brought those training courses for his own use and is now sharing them with you, that's probably not allowed. (Meaning you can't even read or view them for your own use if your friend doesn't have the right to share them with you.)

      Cheers,
      Becky
      Becky, since he got the whole physical hard drive, we might be in a gray area there.

      If I buy a physical book, and give it to Rich, there is still only one copy of the book in circulation.

      If I buy a book, rip the binding off and make a photocopy, I'm violating copyright since there are now two copies in existence and the original author has only been paid once.

      My (layman's) opinion is that Rich inherited the right to read/listen to/watch the files on that drive when he took physical possession of it. That's assuming his buddy didn't keep a copy for himself...
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Mann
    Update:
    I just got off a skype call with my friend and I was told that the contents of the drive are the original and only copies of the material and that they were all purchased by my friend. I was also told that it is believed by my friend that there shouldn't be any copywrite or licensing issues because none of the material has been sold, copied or altered. Only that ownership had been transferred.

    I don't know though. What my friend said makes sense but, then again, I just don't know how the laws are applied to this kind of thing. Seems like a big waste if someone gives you something as a gift that they owned and nothing can be done with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Mann
    Thanks Dennis,
    I guess I'll have to just go through the stuff and see what's usable and what's not. BTW nice PR5 site you have.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kory Pearman
    If he resells it, how will anyone know HE didn't buy it in the first place?

    Serious question.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by Rich Mann View Post

      Thanks Dennis,
      I guess I'll have to just go through the stuff and see what's usable and what's not. BTW nice PR5 site you have.
      Thanks Rich.

      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      Dennis, I'm just not seeing how transferring ownership of a physical drive with the only copy of a digital product to a new owner works against the copyright holder.
      I know, John, I'd have thought the same way if it weren't for one thing...I used to work at a computer store back in the 90s before I started working for myself. When we'd sell used computers we were required to wipe out the software, even the operating system because it licensed to someone else other than the new buyer. If you read the EULAs when you install software, a lot of it states the license is non-transferable. That's not so much different from ebooks, it's both software. I based my comment on that, but I could be wrong.

      Originally Posted by korypearman View Post

      If he resells it, how will anyone know HE didn't buy it in the first place?
      Serious question.
      Good point, Kory. In all likelihood no one would ever know, but if I'm reading Rich right he's interested in keeping a clean conscience. If it were me, I'd read everything that interested me, and check the licenses of the things I was interested in selling.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    I'm pretty sure that the courts have already ruled on this issue with regard to intellectual property rights being an asset that carries implicit resale rights. Used CD music stores have been through it. Software companies have been through it.

    If a license doesn't specifically deal with the issue one way or another, UCC & intellectual property laws and court case decisions come into play.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rich Mann
      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      I'm pretty sure that the courts have already ruled on this issue with regard to intellectual property rights being an asset that carries implicit resale rights. Used CD music stores have been through it. Software companies have been through it.

      If a license doesn't specifically deal with the issue one way or another, UCC & intellectual property laws and court case decisions come into play.
      So what was the bottom line of those rulings? Do you know the answer? Seriously, there's so much on this drive that it could easily take me months to go through it.
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      • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
        Originally Posted by Rich Mann View Post

        So what was the bottom line of those rulings? Do you know the answer? Seriously, there's so much on this drive that it could easily take me months to go through it.
        Well, there are still used CD stores and you can buy licenses of software from people on Ebay and such, right?

        In fact, one of the big problems with the RIAA and music piracy is court rulings which legally permit a person to make a personal backup of digital software for archival purposes. Are you buying the plastic disc? Or the data on it?
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Callen
    I agree. Read all of it. The worst thing that could come out of it is you'll be an expert on the topic. I probably wouldn't sell any of it. Just read and learn from it. Then create your own stuff based on what you've learned.

    Brad
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  • Profile picture of the author Sandy Barris
    WOW, Congrats on the big score.
    I agree with Brad.
    Pick and choose wisely.
    Time is precious and I'd hate to see you waste it on stuff that outdated.
    That said, each doc will hold many gold nuggets.
    It might make some sense to list the titles
    post them here and take a quick survey
    to discover which are worth your time.
    Have Fun...
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  • Profile picture of the author lacraiger
    dont resell. just read.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Quote:
      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe
      Dennis, I'm just not seeing how transferring ownership of a physical drive with the only copy of a digital product to a new owner works against the copyright holder.

      I know, John, I'd have thought the same way if it weren't for one thing...I used to work at a computer store back in the 90s before I started working for myself. When we'd sell used computers we were required to wipe out the software, even the operating system because it licensed to someone else other than the new buyer. If you read the EULAs when you install software, a lot of it states the license is non-transferable. That's not so much different from ebooks, it's both software. I based my comment on that, but I could be wrong.
      I see your point, Dennis. I guess I've read enough ebooks that I have a hard time thinking of them as software. Even then, it seems like a license violation, rather than the actual copyright.

      I guess Rich's best course is to read the individual licenses if they are present, then let his conscience be his guide.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rich Mann
      Thanks for all the feedback from everyone. There's over 800 gigs of material on the drive I have spent the last five days just drilling into the directories and sub directories.

      It's truly amazing how well organized my friend is. There's literally hundreds of training courses and thousands of e-books and reports. I lost count of the software titles.

      Talk about info overload. If I had a staff of 4-5 people I still think it would take a few months to go through all the material. Guess I'd better get busy. lol

      Rich
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  • Profile picture of the author gb4biz
    Rich, You got excellent answers from everyone here. I just sold my original copy of CorelX3...Before I did, I contacted Corel and got permission to transfer my license. I agree with everyone here, check what interests you now, if you can use it and have a question about resale, contact the original author to get permission. You'd be amazed at how many will give you a positive response.

    Enjoy your Treasure!
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