Is there such a thing as a Public Copyright?

Michael Dorosh

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And what would you do if someone did copy it and sell it without your permission?
AIUI he has more legal ability to "do something about it" as a UK citizen than a US citizen would have in the same circumstances.
 

MajorDomo

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[FONT=&amp]I asked a friend of mine who is a well known Copyright and Trademark attorney for their take on the maps questions above.

Their answer with appropriate wordy lawyer verbiage follows below:

You asked whether there is such a thing as a “public copyright.” If you mean can someone allow any individual to use and vary the map he created while still exercising control to prevent a company from using commercially, that is the essence of the creative commons approach. However, the control is easier said than done. [/FONT]



[FONT=&amp]Copyrights cover works of original ideas that are fixed in a medium – essentially anything that capable of being performed, copied, tested, or repeated. A sound recording is a good example, a script (even though the performance may vary), etc. The copyright exists automatically upon creation, although adding a copyright symbol is a good idea to give notice. [/FONT]Registration is necessary in the US to enforce the copyright against an alleged infringer, whether just to stop someone’s use or to obtain damages. Registration and enforcement action in any jurisdiction should be given effect in any country that has signed copyright treaties. That’s most larger countries, but the procedures vary. (Germany does not require registration, for instance.) [FONT=&amp][/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]Maps are copyrightable, of course. But if it is derivative, the derivator is infringing on the copyright owner’s rights – if still under copyright and not disclaimed. For creative commons copyrighted material, the creator retains a copyright but licenses other to use, create derivative works, etc. – but subject to limited restrictions. The restrictions most often related to claiming copyrights in the derivative works, commercializing the use, or using material in a ‘repugnant’ way (sufficiently defined). But the more people are allowed to use and vary, the more difficult it is to catch and stop infringers.

Rich
[/FONT]
 

Honza

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Rich, thanks a lot for taking the time to ask.

The final copyright that I put on the maps is: "Copyright - Jan Rychetnik. Jan Rychetnik grants permission to print this sheet for personal use."
 

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Rich, thanks a lot for taking the time to ask.

The final copyright that I put on the maps is: "Copyright - Jan Rychetnik. Jan Rychetnik grants permission to print this sheet for personal use."
you might want to add the year after your name. helps in court cases to know when something hit the streets :devious:
 

Jeffrey D Myers

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Note further that registration in the U.S. before an infringement begins (EXC: registration within 90 days of first publication) is necessary for a plaintiff to potentially get statutory damages and attorneys fees for a suit being brought. Registration is required even for foreign authors (the Berne Convention has been held to be not self-executing with respect to the Convention's requirement that no formalities are needed to enforce one's rights).
 

Honza

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The copyright now reads: "Copyright - Jan Rychetnik 2016. Jan Rychetnik grants permission to print this image for personal use."

I added the date and changed the word 'sheet' for 'image'.
 

witchbottles

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Note further that registration in the U.S. before an infringement begins (EXC: registration within 90 days of first publication) is necessary for a plaintiff to potentially get statutory damages and attorneys fees for a suit being brought. Registration is required even for foreign authors (the Berne Convention has been held to be not self-executing with respect to the Convention's requirement that no formalities are needed to enforce one's rights).
registering can have fringe benefits. It brings your creation to the light of others who might be willing to simply buy the IP rights from you outright. That is how my father generated the initial capital that funded his business start up ( which ran for over 25 years as sole proprietorship successfully).

Shane Company jewelers bought his registered copyright for a gold alloy that was more resistant than those currently on the market for mass production of jewelry using lost-wax casting methods, and retained its brilliancy longer between chemical cleanings. They liked it for mounting semi-precious stones in otherwise exposed mounts that could result in stone loss from an impact.

They paid him $12,500.00 USD back in 1981 for it. A fair sale. My Dad founded his jukebox restoration firm with that seed money. And all of it from his fascination with a weekend hobby making one-off pieces of jewelry.

If you can find a copy of the August, 1976 issue of Arizona Highways, you will see inside a photo of a large sterling silver lost-wax cast cross with this alloy featured in each of the ends of the cross Top spherical opening was golden scroll with INRI - right arm was cat hands in prayer - the foot of the cross was a King James Bible open to Genesis 1:1, and the left arm was Mount Calvary with the three crosses.

Total dimensions were 12 " wide by 20 " tall, and a curvature structure offering about 1.5 " in depth. The work won the Western Region Gem and Mineral Society Grand Prize, was featured as a primary exhibit at the Arizona State Fairgrounds Gem and Mineral Room, and it is now on permanent display at Cross in the Desert United Methodist Church in Paradise Valley, AZ - a key exhibit in their sanctuary, with a small plaque recognizing my father for his dedication and donations to the church.

(Yes, we all got free tickets for everyone in the family for the Stat Fair that year, and free parking. My dad was interviewed and the write up was used in the Arizona Highways article.)

The month before my Dad's cross went on exhibit, one of his good friends in the hobby had carved from polished quartz crystal the " Spirit of 1776" display for the Bicentennial celebrations in Arizona - it is now on display at the State Capitol building's main lobby. You can see photos of that work in the July 1976 issue of Arizona Highways, it received for the registered owner of that copyright, a letter from then President Ford congratulating one of my Dad's best friends on his admirable craftsmanship.

His family still has the Presidential letter, framed on a wall with the flag that draped his coffin in 2008.

So registering your copyright does have fringe benefits, and it is quite inexpensive, actually.

Its not always "legalese" for allowing one to pursue damages for infringement.

:)
 

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18 U.S. Code Chapter 25 - COUNTERFEITING AND FORGERY

MMP will not ever print Skullz in black because it is illegal to print money.
 

Aaron Cleavin

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registering can have fringe benefits. It brings your creation to the light of others who might be willing to simply buy the IP rights from you outright. That is how my father generated the initial capital that funded his business start up ( which ran for over 25 years as sole proprietorship successfully).

Shane Company jewelers bought his registered copyright for a gold alloy that was more resistant than those currently on the market for mass production of jewelry using lost-wax casting methods, and retained its brilliancy longer between chemical cleanings. They liked it for mounting semi-precious stones in otherwise exposed mounts that could result in stone loss from an impact.
:)
Copyright I believe is only on words or other recorded forms of communication. I would think a patent on the means of producing the alloy is likely
what Intellectual property might may have been asserted on, even the alloy itself I don't think could be protected only the means of creating it.

I may be wrong on this but copyright on an alloy doesn't make sense to me.
 

RRschultze

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The copyright now reads: "Copyright - Jan Rychetnik 2016. Jan Rychetnik grants permission to print this image for personal use."

I added the date and changed the word 'sheet' for 'image'.
Why dont you add your date of birth and address so a few of us can come over a collect a personal copy !!! :)
 

Michael Dorosh

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Copyright I believe is only on words or other recorded forms of communication. I would think a patent on the means of producing the alloy is likely
what Intellectual property might may have been asserted on, even the alloy itself I don't think could be protected only the means of creating it.

I may be wrong on this but copyright on an alloy doesn't make sense to me.
Sounds like a patent to me.

http://www.google.ca/patents/US2243177
 

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Copyright I believe is only on words or other recorded forms of communication. I would think a patent on the means of producing the alloy is likely
what Intellectual property might may have been asserted on, even the alloy itself I don't think could be protected only the means of creating it.

I may be wrong on this but copyright on an alloy doesn't make sense to me.
It was a full patent registration. What was included was a release of intellectual property rights that was part of the document package. I received copies of the entire process settling my Father's estate two years ago.

None of which addresses the point I made that a simple registration had nothing to do with enforcement - and everything to do with a benefit for the IP rights holder. Quibbling over what specific classification an IP rights registration may be in US law is a bit pointless.


KRL, Jon H
 

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Rich, thanks a lot for taking the time to ask.

The final copyright that I put on the maps is: "Copyright - Jan Rychetnik. Jan Rychetnik grants permission to print this sheet for personal use."
You would be better off to put "Do not copy without permission".

Anyone who is honest will ask you first before copying, and some shops will actually read that warning and refuse photocopying attempts or reprints based on that. Not many, but some. Anyone who is not honest on the other hand is not going to care one way or the other.

"Copyright" is nothing more then a legal declaration that such and such was created by you. This paperwork can then be used officially in a court of litigation to sue for damages, of which there tend to be six common types (Compensatory and Speculative would be the two in this particular case). The law is so screwed up on this that you do not even have to submit a copy of what you are actually registering the copyright for. So any idiot (read - crook) can spend the money to register the paperwork and claim he invented the original Bible, which would then make all others derivative works, etc. It happens all the time in the software world, especially with patents on UI elements.

Simply put, most lawyers will tell you that if you are not going after more then 50K then you are wasting your time. You can worse case go through small claims court, but enforcement is dicey since most thieves are not local to your state or province and thus outside jurisdiction.

You should mark everything you do with Copyright warnings as a general rule, even if you are in countries like Canada where Copyright is assumed to belong to the creator of something the moment they create it.

Keep a paper trail of any dealings you have with printers or businesses around said work you create, and that will be useful as evidence submitted with any Discovery proceedings done as part of litigation work.

BTW most courts will not accept the old method of sending the original artwork or copies of the original works to yourself by registered mail. While the postal system is technically a legal notary, it is not accepted anymore in most courts I am aware of that deal with litigation. In small claims the judge may rule otherwise.

In the end it comes down to having a rich relative or lawyer in the family if you really want to hear honesty opinions on your options. No copyright will stop someone in non-signature countries that ignore international copyright laws. The only plus is that you might be able to get an injunction to prevent the crook from legally selling or distributing and stated derivative or your original work after he had it printed in that other country and imports the resulting product here for sale or distribution. This might work until legal decision is made by the court you have filed the lawsuit with, but even then crooks tend to find ways around it.

Google the whole "Bang game copyright decision" and you will see what I mean. Bang was openly pirated by a Chinese company, and that Chinese company won the court case unfortunately, which effects future legal decisions on outright game theft. These are the new realities.

When I was young and naive (no not last year) I made the mistake of distributing playtest material to playtesters that did not have my express "Do Not Copy" and "Copyright" declaration on it. Because of that I lost any real shot I had at going after one of my playtesters (who did have a rich daddy). He took my hard work and made millions of dollars off what he published. It was the very first game I created, and the blow I took from that nearly kept me out of game development forever. It is not a nice feeling to sit there and watch someone steal your hard work, much less make millions and get tons of positive press on it, when you know what they really did. Unless you have money there is almost zip you can do about it.

That is not to say your maps would get to that level, but weirder stories have happened in software game world where millions of dollars are commonly at stake, and simple ideas or innovations have changed an entire industry. It is why as a game developer you often have to deal with novel sized NDA and IP boilerplate agreements to work in that world. Look at what happened with Monopoly and some games like that where the actual creator was screwed and left penniless. It happens.

Will a copyright stop that from happening to you? Not in this day and age of enormous business arrogance that is everywhere. But a lawyer with litigation experience might disagree depending on how well you documented and covered your butt.

Good luck either way.
 

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It is doubtful the courts would find the exercise pointless. They are straight-forward definitions - best to use them correctly.

The definitions are here:

http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/
once again for the reading impaired:

...None of which addresses the point I made that a simple registration had nothing to do with enforcement - and everything to do with a benefit for the IP rights holder....
Let me clarify for you:

cherry picking a quote to make a straw man argument as you insist upon doing is rather pointless.
 

ZenRiver

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Let me clarify for you:

cherry picking a quote to make a straw man argument as you insist upon doing is rather pointless.
Your earlier comment was on the money (no pun intended). The legal document has the most value in the eyes of the court when considering claim to damages as compensation.

Sadly, It is entirely up to the copyright holder to pursue and legal enforcement, hence why it helps to a) have lots of money b) have two cousins who are litigation lawyers. Which in turn makes the laws a joke. When all is said and done current laws are structured to allow the state to turn a blind eye to IP theft and so give corporations the ability to steal openly any creative works they want.
 

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You would be better off to put "Do not copy without permission".

Anyone who is honest will ask you first before copying, and some shops will actually read that warning and refuse photocopying attempts or reprints based on that. Not many, but some. Anyone who is not honest on the other hand is not going to care one way or the other.

"Copyright" is nothing more then a legal declaration that such and such was created by you. This paperwork can then be used officially in a court of litigation to sue for damages, of which there tend to be six common types (Compensatory and Speculative would be the two in this particular case). The law is so screwed up on this that you do not even have to submit a copy of what you are actually registering the copyright for. So any idiot (read - crook) can spend the money to register the paperwork and claim he invented the original Bible, which would then make all others derivative works, etc. It happens all the time in the software world, especially with patents on UI elements.

Simply put, most lawyers will tell you that if you are not going after more then 50K then you are wasting your time. You can worse case go through small claims court, but enforcement is dicey since most thieves are not local to your state or province and thus outside jurisdiction.

You should mark everything you do with Copyright warnings as a general rule, even if you are in countries like Canada where Copyright is assumed to belong to the creator of something the moment they create it.

Keep a paper trail of any dealings you have with printers or businesses around said work you create, and that will be useful as evidence submitted with any Discovery proceedings done as part of litigation work.

BTW most courts will not accept the old method of sending the original artwork or copies of the original works to yourself by registered mail. While the postal system is technically a legal notary, it is not accepted anymore in most courts I am aware of that deal with litigation. In small claims the judge may rule otherwise.

In the end it comes down to having a rich relative or lawyer in the family if you really want to hear honesty opinions on your options. No copyright will stop someone in non-signature countries that ignore international copyright laws. The only plus is that you might be able to get an injunction to prevent the crook from legally selling or distributing and stated derivative or your original work after he had it printed in that other country and imports the resulting product here for sale or distribution. This might work until legal decision is made by the court you have filed the lawsuit with, but even then crooks tend to find ways around it.

Google the whole "Bang game copyright decision" and you will see what I mean. Bang was openly pirated by a Chinese company, and that Chinese company won the court case unfortunately, which effects future legal decisions on outright game theft. These are the new realities.

When I was young and naive (no not last year) I made the mistake of distributing playtest material to playtesters that did not have my express "Do Not Copy" and "Copyright" declaration on it. Because of that I lost any real shot I had at going after one of my playtesters (who did have a rich daddy). He took my hard work and made millions of dollars off what he published. It was the very first game I created, and the blow I took from that nearly kept me out of game development forever. It is not a nice feeling to sit there and watch someone steal your hard work, much less make millions and get tons of positive press on it, when you know what they really did. Unless you have money there is almost zip you can do about it.

That is not to say your maps would get to that level, but weirder stories have happened in software game world where millions of dollars are commonly at stake, and simple ideas or innovations have changed an entire industry. It is why as a game developer you often have to deal with novel sized NDA and IP boilerplate agreements to work in that world. Look at what happened with Monopoly and some games like that where the actual creator was screwed and left penniless. It happens.

Will a copyright stop that from happening to you? Not in this day and age of enormous business arrogance that is everywhere. But a lawyer with litigation experience might disagree depending on how well you documented and covered your butt.

Good luck either way.
"made millions of dollars"

Jesus what was it ?
 
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