Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Florida

is a PDF made with an illegal program a legal file?

Asked on 1/09/14, 5:10 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Mitchell Interaction Law

Your question is a bit lean on specifics. Assuming that by "illegal program" you are simply referring to an illegal copy (i.e., an infringing copy with respect to copyright) of the program used to convert a document into the PDF format, then I don't see any connection between the legality of the copy of the program and the legality of the PDF file.

Consider this: It is not illegal to read (in private) a stolen infringing copy of a book. Making an infringing copy is illegal, and stealing anything is illegal, but reading the stolen infringing copy is not.

Similarly, while it is illegal to infringe the reproduction right by making an illegal copy of a computer program, privately performing the program is not an infringement of the copyright, which does not extend to non-public performances.

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Answered on 1/09/14, 10:55 pm

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