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Re: Implied vs. explicit copyright

On Mon, 21 Jul 2003, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> That's a nonofficial source.  But a brief web search will show you
> that the same thing is repeated a gillion times.

Everything I've read so far has claimed that (c) has no force of law,
whereas c-in-a-circle does. However, I'm unaware of a court decision
saying so one way or another. Non-legislative interpretations are
nice, but it doesn't have weight like judicial precedent.

Futhermore, in the US, the only thing such an omission would do is
effectively remove the copyright statement, not invalidate the
copyright itself.

I would not be surprised if you could make the claim that in systems
where there is no equivalent of a c-in-a-circle, (c) fulfills the same
role. I'd be genuinely surprised if most US courts didn't buy that
argument as well. [I can't speak for other court systems, however.]

> there is a reference which says that even trivial errors in certain
> parts of the notice count as no notice at all.

But as far as no notice goes, it still doesn't invalidate the
copyright; it just means that a defendant in such a case can claim
that they weren't aware of the copyright and avoid whatever the
appropriate escalation of damages is.

Now that we've gone through that, when you're copyrighting something,
the smart money is on doing _both_. Use Copyright (c) 1997 Foo Bar
Baz. Blah Blah Blah. Unless I've totally missunderstood the situtation
at worst, (c) will be interpreted as a no-op, and the copyright
statement will still control. At best, (c) will be equivalent to
c-in-a-circle, and you're still at the same situation.

Although I still wonder whether ascii art c-in-a-circle symbols are ok.
/   \
| C | 1997 Foo Bar Baz. No Rights Reserved.

Don Armstrong

It seems intuitively obvious to me, which means that it might be wrong
 -- Chris Torek


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