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Re: Implied vs. explicit copyright

tb@becket.net (Thomas Bushnell, BSG) writes:

> Andrew Suffield <asuffield@debian.org> writes:
>> This is a plausible argument. You should know by now that plausible
>> arguments do not form a basis in law; rather, it is merely the
>> position put forth by the counsel for the defence. Kindly refrain from
>> treating it as anything else.
> Oh, puhleez.  There is no more reason for taking '(c)' to mean
> anything in copyright law than taking 'Flobotzink" as meaning
> something.  Or do you have case law for this?  No, of course not.  You
> have no official reference for anything suggesting that '(c)' has any
> meaning, and I have reference after reference giving an explicitly
> exhaustive list of what does have meaning, in which '(c)' is simply
> never listed.

It certainly is.  That's a c in a circle.  It's not a flawlessly
perfect circle, but I drew one as best I could.  I can't draw a circle
well freehand either, and neither can I generate one on a modern
pixel-based printing device.  So I guess that symbol is useless,
unless approximations to it are permitted.

>> It does not say this:
>>  - No alternate representations form an acceptable notice
> Yes, it does.  Did you even to follow up the references I have from
> the United States Copyright office?  I guess not.
> http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ03.html says:
>   "Omission of notice" is publishing without a notice.  In addition,
>   some errors are considered the same as omission of notice.  These
>   are:
>     * A notice that does not contain the symbol [here they give the
>   symbol] (the letter C in a circle), or the word "Copyright" or the
>   abbreviation "Copr." or, if the work is a sound recording, the
>   symbol [the other symbol] (the letter P in a circle);
>     * A notice dated more than 1 year later than the date of first
>   publication;
>     * A notice without a name or date that could reasonably be
>   considered part of the notice;
>     * A notice that lacks the statement required for works consisting
>   proponderantly of U.S. Government material; and
>     * A notice located so that it does not give reasonable notice of
>   the claim of copright."
> If you are going to insist that I provide official references, the
> least you could do is read them when I provide them.

Ah.  So you were lying, or just didn't understand what you were
reading.  The following are all valid copyright notices:

* Copyright 2003 Sample Author

* echo "Copyright \copyright 2003 Sample Author" | tex

* "Copyright 2003 Sample Author.  Baboons are pretty"

* "This document was written in 2003 by S. Author.  Baboons are
  pretty.  He retains Copyright coverage on all of this document."

And, despite what you've been arguing against,

* Copyright (c) 2003 Sample Author

That's all.  There's no harm from putting a (c) in addition to the
word Copyright, and it might even make things more clear.  It gives a
nice retro, typewriter feel to a document.

>> I stipulate, again, that there is no legislated decision one way or
>> the other. And I am aware of no precedent in this matter.
> There is a clear legislated decision.  It says "you must do this".
> Then it says "if you don't do this, it's the same as no notice".  And
> there is a common agreement among a bazillion people that if you
> don't do it in just those terms, it doesn't come up.

Yup.  And despite your repeated rants about references, there's still
nothing that says "and adding an extraneous symbol voids your copyright."


Brian T. Sniffen                                        bts@alum.mit.edu

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