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Old 04-19-2002, 04:12 AM   #1
Samson
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It was recently brought to my attention that using ( C ) to signify copyright carries no legal weight. Instead, your supposed to use the "c in a circle" symbol. I was wondering though, if you mark something with ( C ), and somewhere down the road a legal battle erupts, will marking it that way at least be useful for pointing out that whoever is breaching the copyright should have reasonably known it was?
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Old 04-19-2002, 04:43 AM   #2
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You can use "©", "Copyright" or "Copr." - but as you point out, "( C )" has never been given legal force.  You can read a more thorough explanation here:

http://www.patents.com/copyrigh.htm#notice
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Old 04-19-2002, 04:21 PM   #3
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While I have reviewed KaVir's post and found it to be accurate, I still always feel it better to refer to an official source than another third party's interpretation of the official source.  Below is an explanation of copyright basics, from the U.S. Library of Congress, copyright division.

http://www.loc.gov/copyright/circs/circ1.html

Below is the homepage for the US Copyright Office.

http://www.loc.gov/copyright/

These two links should give you a good basic understanding of copyright law. Should you have any further questions, feel free to reply.
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Old 04-19-2002, 07:00 PM   #4
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And that's why I was asking, the official source doesn't bother to mention whether or not ( C ) is valid. But either way, it's been resolved. Now I just need to go through my code and update the headers to reflect it
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Old 04-19-2002, 07:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Samson @ April 19 2002,6:00 pm)
And that's why I was asking, the official source doesn't bother to mention whether or not ( C ) is valid. But either way, it's been resolved. Now I just need to go through my code and update the headers to reflect it
A quick note about federal statutes: If it specifically outlines what is valid, you can imply that anything other than that is not valid. This is a general rule, and is sometimes not true. However, the Supreme Court has instituted the "plain meaning rule" in Gemsco v. Wailing which essentially says if the statute is clear and unambiguous, courts are not allowed to read into it what is not there. That being said, when a statute is ambiguous, trouble often arises. In this case though, the Copyright office has specifically mentioned what is an appropriate way to indicate copyright, and therefore your best bet is to follow their guidelines.
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Old 04-20-2002, 03:56 AM   #6
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That's actually interesting to know.  Someone I know always that just adding a © *really* didn't mean anything (IE Someone could steal your work and then register it as their own) unless you formally registered it yourself.
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Old 04-20-2002, 07:09 AM   #7
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Lily, a work is protected by copyright the moment it is fixed in tangible form. The copyright notice provides additional protection, and in some countries (including US and Canada) you can't file your lawsuit unless you have also registered your copyright with the Copyright Office. Registering your work before infringement began may also allow the recovery of additional damages and costs.

In the UK (for example) there is no official registry of copyright, although there are some companies which you can register with (for a fee) and who will then act as an impartial independent witness - for example:

http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/co...tering(04).htm
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Old 04-20-2002, 07:55 AM   #8
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if somone just puts the © symbol on there work, dont the need to reg the work with the goverment for the © to be valid?
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Old 04-20-2002, 11:26 AM   #9
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Why don't people write down a nice little text along the lines of "This and that has been copyrighted to blah" instead? Using ASCII characters like © can ge someone out of trouble by claiming his character-set didn't support the © character. No one can evade plain text...

Except maybe people with cyrillic or chinese character sets... But that's a different story I believe.
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Old 04-20-2002, 05:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Xanferious @ April 20 2002,06:55 am)
if somone just puts the © symbol on there work, dont the need to reg the work with the goverment for the © to be valid?
The way in which copyright protection is secured is frequently misunderstood. No publication or registration or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright. (See following Note.) There are, however, certain definite advantages to registration.

------From the US Copyright Office. See the links in my previous post for the full details.
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Old 04-23-2002, 07:40 AM   #11
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Exclamation

Another related concern: To what degree are nicknames valid in copyright notices?

Copyright 2002 by Kavir

Would that have legal weight? You'd think not but then I see this in the links posted above:

[The third component of a valid copyright notice is] "The name of the owner of copyright in the work, or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of the owner."

Are internet nicknames like Kavir, etc, "generally known alternative designations of the owner"? I went to check out various mud code releases and the current practice seems to indicate the belief that they are not.

--cronel
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Old 04-23-2002, 07:54 AM   #12
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I don't have the link handy to where I got this from, but the basic premise I gathered from some things about internet aliases is that you can claim defamation of character to an internet alias if it is widely recognized in relation to a person's true identity. Such as KaVir is widely recognized as Richard Woolcock.

I would think this would lend the same weight to that. Also, consider it a pseudonym. Authors write under pseudonyms all the time, so why could MUD authors not do the same?

I'm pretty sure that someone else will have links that either verify or disprove this, though.
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Old 04-23-2002, 11:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Seth @ April 20 2002,4:26 pm)
Why don't people write down a nice little text along the lines of "This and that has been copyrighted to blah" instead? Using ASCII characters like © can ge someone out of trouble by claiming his character-set didn't support the © character.
As KaVir pointed out, "Copyright" is a valid plain text alternative to the symbol.
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Old 04-23-2002, 08:09 PM   #14
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Yes, it would be perfectly valid for me to use "KaVir", although anonymous and pseudonymous works are dealt with slightly differently in terms of duration - see here:

http://www.copyright.gov/faq.html#q46

Personally I prefer to use my real name in the copyright notice, though, and include my mud name in the header.
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Old 04-23-2002, 09:01 PM   #15
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If you wanted to register your copyright with the pseudonym you would use the following form, which also has an explanation of pseudeonyms.

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl101.pdf

P.S.  I got KaVir to use the official site!  Woo me!
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