Things You Might Like to Know about Copyrights Written by Jan K.
You may be under false impression that before you can get your text published, you must "get copyright" to your own written material. You might also think that in order to get copyright, you must "apply" for it. This is just not so. In following few paragraphs, I'll give you some simple facts about copyrights that may help you in your quest to get published. First, it is important to understand that you cannot "copyright" an idea; you can only copyright what you have written. That is, you might have just written greatest self-help manual on how to breed guppies. And you did, indeed, file for your copyright with Library of Congress. Three weeks after completing formal copyrighting process, you find out that manager of your neighborhood pet store (where you've been buying your guppies) has just sold TV rights to a new hit show "Breeding Guppies" and he is using many of same principles that you've outlined in your manual on how to go about guppy breeding. So, naturally, since this is 21st Century and you live in America, you want to sue guy. You think you have a sure thing, and you are dreaming of million-dollar award that jury is sure to give you. But…you'd better not put a down payment on that Guppy Farm in Iowa just yet. The manual you wrote, exact words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters that you wrote, belong to you. It is illegal for anyone to reproduce or use any of that text, in part or in whole, for profit without your permission. However, you must be able to prove that your exact words have been stolen before you can get an award for copyright infringement. So, you know that guy with his hit TV series? Well, unless he's reading from your manual word-for-word, or attempting to sell your manual as a supplemental text that he's written, then he's probably doing nothing illegal. He's just using idea of breeding guppies. You do "own" copyright to your text, all its words and clever phrases. And you don't even have to file with Library of Congress in order to have copyright on your text. The copyright is conferred upon you minute you write your New York Times Bestseller. All you have to do is be able to prove, beyond any doubt, date that you wrote material. For your protection, then, it is wise to print and date your material, and establish with a third party through a written communication that you have just finished your text. At that time, you can legally affix copyright symbol (the letter c inside a circle) to your work. Now here's where a formal copyright comes in. By filing with Library of Congress (and paying them their required application fee), you can establish definitively a date of copyright that will stand up in any court of law. Any judge or jury will defer to your date over someone else who can merely claim by word of mouth that his text came
Protecting your on-line real estateWritten by David Seitz
Now that you have an active website and ezine, you should be concerned about protecting it! Let's face it, your website is wide open to anyone with an itchy right clicking finger and an Internet connection.
Protecting your intellectual property and website content is not as difficult as most people think. I imagine you put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into your website's planning, concept, and creation. Correct? Why not take an extra couple of hours to protect it from all Internet slime that's waiting around corner to steal it?
Your first step in your security checklist should be a trip to "10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained." You may find many of your questions answered here. http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html
Once you get feel for kind of protection that's readily available to you, it's time to get serious!
All copyright, patent and trademark information you need can be found through following resources.
Congressional Web Site http:/ homas.loc.gov/home homas2.html http://www.uspto.gov
Copyright & Fair Use at Stanford University Libraries http://fairuse.stanford.edu/
Also be sure to visit World Intellectual Property Organization at: http://www.wipo.int
Copyright Office http://www.loc.gov http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright
Here is another excellent website on copyrights. I am sure you can dig up trademark and patent info here as well as a ton of other free advice. The name suits site well: http://freeadvice.com/law/570us.htm
Here is a popular patent search system http://sunsite.unc.edu/patents/intropat.html