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Re: Author name in copyright notice

David Paleino wrote:
> I believe that the copyright notice should carry the real name of the author,
> shouldn't it?

Most of the world doesn't have rules about copyright notices, so
there it doesn't matter what you put in such a notice. The only complication
you may encounter is that copyright law often creates a rebuttable
presumption that copyright is owned by whoever has put his name on the
publication. If the work says "Copyright John Doe" you'll have to prove 
you are behind that alias.

In the USA, the only legal reason to use a copyright notice is to
prevent someone from raising an "innocent infringement" defense.
If there's a valid notice on the work, the infringer cannot claim
he didn't know his actions would constitute an infringement.

A proper notice requires (17 USC 401);
"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."

I couldn't find any explanations on what a "generally known alternative
designation" of the author would be. You can read that as a pseudonym,
but "generally known" seems to imply that it has to be a famous pseudonym
(i.e. everyone knows who's behind it).

Worst case the notice is declared invalid. That doesn't mean others
can copy with impunity - it's still infringement. Infringers also cannot
simply claim innocent infringement. They still have to prove this
(17 USC 504(c)(2)). Best case for them then is that the court lowers
the damages awarded to the copyright holder.


Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch & European patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies: http://www.iusmentis.com/
              Arnoud blogt nu ook: http://blog.iusmentis.com/

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