When does Copyright Protection begin, and what is required?

Monday, November 19, 2001 by adni18 | Discussion: WinCustomize News

When does Copyright Protection begin, and what is required?

Copyright protection begins when any of the above described work is actually created and fixed in a tangible form. If you write a poem, your copyright over that poem begins as soon as you set it in tangible form by writing the poem down on paper. Your copyright does not begin when you register it. It began when you wrote the poem on paper. Registering a copyright is just taking the protection a step further so as to leave no room for doubt that one is the creator of a work. My brother is a poet and musician. When he writes a new lyric, he immediately prints it out on paper, signs his name at the bottom with the © symbol to establish himself as the author, places it in an envelope and mails it to himself without opening it. His copyright begins when he prints it out on paper and sets his lyric in a tangible form. He creates proof as soon as he mails it to himself - the postmark establishes the date of creation. He then registers his copyright to further establish himself as the author, and because he happens to live in the United States and that is required for him to be able to sue for monetary damages. However, if somebody copies his lyric without permission before his copyright is registered, he still has the right to assert his copyright claim. The same applies to digital art and graphics...open a gif or jpg file that you created and look at the properties. It states the date that you saved it to your hard drive as the date of creation. If somebody copies a graphic from your web site I assure you that the date of creation on your copy of the file is earlier than the copy taken off your web site. Still doesn't feel safe enough to you? How about saving everything to a floppy and mailing it to yourself via certified mail? Keep the envelope sealed, wrap it in protective plastic and stash it in a safe place.

Somebody once asked if it was "illegal" to place the copyright © symbol next to your name if you have not registered your copyright. Unless you have stolen the work from somebody else and you are not the true author of the work, it is not illegal to place the copyright © symbol next to your name - it is your right to do so.

Reply #1 Monday, November 19, 2001 5:12 PM
Thanks for reiterating this ..

I hope some of the newbies will start to understand..
Reply #2 Tuesday, November 20, 2001 2:02 AM
Does this mean that all of the luna rips on wincustomize are "illegal"?
Reply #3 Tuesday, November 20, 2001 3:35 AM
Exactly. That's one of the reasons why I don't like ports.
Reply #4 Tuesday, November 20, 2001 8:02 AM
Thanks for putting this link on the front page. The linkware/shareware graphics community has been fighting copyright issues on the web for several years now, and they have put together many excellent resources for artists who want to protect their work. This is just one of the many valuable sites out there.
Reply #5 Tuesday, November 20, 2001 12:13 PM
Thanks to you Caylynn
Reply #6 Tuesday, November 20, 2001 2:14 PM
OS ports don't violate copyright, they violate trade dress UNLESS they use the actual graphics or derivatives of the originals which I don't think many do.

But trade dress is just as important as trademark and copyright and is really something every skin author should be familiar with.

What makes trade dress interesting here is that implied license can be granted. That is, if the owner of said visual property can be shown to be aware of a trade dress violation but says nothing then implied license. That is why apple was so vigorous about getting Aqua skins off.

Mac users informed Apple that sites has Aqua skins. Apple HAD to respond or face granting an implied license on trade dress. Apple isn't bad or evil, they did what they had to do and I support them (as I did at the time). I'm not sure how they feel now.

I think at this point, IBM and Microsoft have granted an implied trade dress license on their looks and feels (OS/2, XP). It was a Microsoft person, afterall, who demoed WindowBlinds at the launch of it and it had Luna on there.

What skin authors need to do is explicitly put into a readme or into their .uis file (or whatever skin they're making file) a statement that forbids the use of their material.
Reply #7 Tuesday, November 20, 2001 2:52 PM
"What skin authors need to do is explicitly put into a readme or into their .uis file (or whatever skin they're making file) a statement that forbids the use of their material."

Hey Frogboy,
Can you please, prepare a statement and submit it here, for the foreigners authors who don't know the English language very well, to use it in their works?
Reply #8 Wednesday, November 21, 2001 3:19 AM
"This package containing (list of files) was created by (name), which means you can't use it in your own works, 'cos then you're violating copyright and Abaddon shall rise out of the abyss and take hold of your soul"

Something like that. Not that hard.
Reply #9 Thursday, November 22, 2001 7:49 AM
These [works] are the property of [name] and shall not be used or communicated in any form without [his] prior written permission.

[Essentially, I have included this phrase on each and every working-drawing I have done since 1972].....
Reply #10 Thursday, November 22, 2001 2:14 PM
Thanks Jafo, you are Great!!!
Reply #11 Friday, March 18, 2005 8:34 AM
I have a question. How about picture tubes made in psp? Or a picture that is cut out in psp(like a wallpaper).If I took a wallpaper and cut out a picture from that wallpaper, and made it into a tube wouldn't I still be going against a copyright.I know that anything disney is considered copyright but if disney took Mickey and put it on a wallpaper and I turned around and cut it out. They would still have a right to sue me right? Just askin'I've been on this beef for ages with groups that I belong to.

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