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Re: Hypothetical situation to chew on

On Wed, 5 Jan 2005 22:03:44 -0500, Nathanael Nerode
<neroden@twcny.rr.com> wrote:
> Let me clarify.  :-)
> I have few complaints with the treatment of material for which the authors
> *claim* copyright.
> My complaint is about material distributed willy-nilly by its authors with
> *no* copyright statements and *no* licensing information.  Clearly the
> authors didn't intend "all rights reserved", but that's what current law
> assumes.
> In contrast, pre-1986 (I think) US law specified that works published (==
> deliberately distributed to the public by their authors) without a copyright
> statement went into the public domain.
> Note that this email message is subject to copyright, and can't legally be
> reprinted without permission (except for fair use, such as quotation rights).
> Under pre-1986 US law, it would be public domain, because I didn't affix a
> copyright notice.
> This change has, frankly, made a freaking mess.  This is why projects have to
> have statements like "By submitting a patch, you agree to license it to us
> under (license of choice)".  Under the old law, submitting a patch of your
> own authorship to a public bug tracking system would be publishing it, and if
> you did so without a copyright notice -- public domain.

As I understand US law (though my knowledge of it is just marginal),
the publishing without copyright notice wouldn't make it public
domain, but just not-enforceable. Very often in litigation, one would
register an already (long before) published work, to be able to
enforce it in the upcoming litigation.

I am not sure about this, but as a defense (the 'no, I am not
infringing your copyright'), it probably doesn't have to be registred,
but to be sure you should ask a US lawyer.

kind regards

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