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Old 05-11-2010, 08:40 PM
 
3,087 posts, read 5,968,845 times
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Can you just put a copyright footer there? or does it have to go through a legal process?

I see a lot of sites with:

All contents © 2004 - 2008
All rights reserved.


My site doesnt have this so i'm just wondering.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:03 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,127 posts, read 13,990,211 times
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When you create something original, it is automatically copyrighted to you so no, there is no legal process necessary. However, registering your copyright means that if you ever need to prove in a court of law that the work is yours and is original, you will have the proof you need. But registration is not mandatory and even if you do not display a copyright notification, it is still copyrighted to you.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:41 AM
 
25,953 posts, read 27,145,979 times
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PA2UK you may be correct, but in my work with music there are a lot of things in the 'public domain' that never had copyrights and many artists reworked the music and then put a copyright on their arrangement. One that comes to mind is When the Levee Breaks which was written in 1929 and remains in the 'public domain' and Led Zepplin put a copyright on their version of the song in 1974 and Dylan did it with the same song a few years ago. Automatic creation and recording does not automatically grant you copyrights, but I came across a website that says differently - so it may be different with music vs. some written word. Notice too there is a start and end date with that copyright he printed. I think you have to renew copyrights. But I'm guessing now. Here are some websites that will help you one being the 10 Big Myths about Copyrights.

Frequently asked questions about copyright.
U.S. Copyright Office - Frequently Asked Questions


Copyrights - Wikipedia
Copyright - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


10 Big Myths About Copyright
10 Big Myths about copyright explained


Federal Copyright Office
U.S. Copyright Office
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:20 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,127 posts, read 13,990,211 times
Reputation: 11882
Yes, a person can choose to make their work public domain. Just like on flickr, I think there is an option to make your photographs public domain. But that doesn't mean if someone doesn't put a copyright symbol on their photograph or other work, it is automatically public domain. And it doesn't mean an original work is not automatically copyrighted upon creation. The work IS copyrighted until the owner chooses to make it public domain. And as far as I know, that applies to all works, even music.

Also, as one of your links points out, copyrights can expire, putting the work into public domain. This is why you can find free old books available on the internet - their copyrights have expired.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:48 AM
 
Location: Coffs Harbour NSW Australia
22 posts, read 76,298 times
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I agree with PA2UK and nobody should have to put the copyright notice underneath their website. However, I have found that it does help to put it there anyway - it looks a bit more official and it may just put some people off from copying your content and using it illegally. Not everyone is aware that website content is copyright protected unless specified otherwise and if they don't see a copyright notice, some people may think it's OK to use it (which of course it isn't).

Because it's so easy to just put a little copyright notice at the bottom - I suggest to always do so, even if it's just to deter a few would-be "content thieves". It's a standard thing that I always include in my own websites and any websites I create for clients.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:09 PM
 
40,161 posts, read 41,766,549 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
registering your copyright means that if you ever need to prove in a court of law that the work is yours and is original, you will have the proof you need.
You are correct about the automatic copyright, it applies to any type of original work. Photos, writings, paintings, sculptures, recordings, video and a whole slew of other things. Registration will provide a date but it doesn't prove ownership, for example if I write something and then you register it I can most certainly sue you down the road.

The biggest advantage registration gives you is more options for damages if you sue someone for infringement.

Quote:
http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf

In general, copyright registration is a legal formality intended
to make a public record of the basic facts of a particular copyright.
However, registration is not a condition of copyright
protection. Even though registration is not a requirement for
protection, the copyright law provides several inducements
or advantages to encourage copyright owners to make registration.
Among these advantages are the following:
• Registration establishes a public record of the copyright
claim.
• Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration
is necessary for works of U. S. origin.
• If made before or within five years of publication, registration
will establish prima facie evidence in court of
the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in
the certificate.
• If registration is made within three months after publication
of the work or prior to an infringement of the work,
statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to
the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an
award of actual damages and profits is available to the
copyright owner.

• Registration allows the owner of the copyright to record
the registration with the U. S. Customs Service for protection
against the importation of infringing copies. For
additional information, go to the U. S. Customs and
Border Protection website at www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/import (http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/import - broken link).
Click on “Intellectual Property Rights.”
Registration may be made at any time within the life of
the copyright. Unlike the law before 1978, when a work has
been registered in unpublished form, it is not necessary to
make another registration when the work becomes published,
although the copyright owner may register the published
edition, if desired.
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