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Copyright for derivative work

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Comments

  • Skoob_ym said:

    By treaty, the US respects the copyright laws of other countries

    Indeed, because it's actually part of the world ...

    but what I meant is that I believe the USA is the only country where a copyright has to be officially registered before court action can be taken over infringement of it.

    So how would that work, if I were to sue you for copyright violations, without having registered my work? Suppose that I wrote a story that included a lengthy passage about kangaroos, and I later discovered a nearly identical passage in your work. How would I prove that I wrote mine first? Or at all?

    For that matter, what would prevent me from lifting a lengthy passage from your work, back-dating a  "manuscript" copy, and then suing you on an entirely spurious claim of a copyright violation?
    In the US you cannot sue for copyright violation unless the work is registered with the US Copyright Office. In your example, that would be sufficient to show precedence. Without the registration, you would probably be out of luck.

    The burden of proof regarding your backdated copy would be on you...and I think that would be pretty difficult if that copy had not been registered.

    By the bye, the answers to most copyright questions can be found at https://www.copyright.gov  It is my go-to when issues like this are raised.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    In the US you cannot sue for copyright violation unless the work is registered with the US Copyright Office.

    That's a puzzle because most cases to do with copyright are civil and not criminal, and I think the US rule that copyrights had to be registered was removed late 1980s.

     In your example, that would be sufficient to show precedence. Without the registration, you would probably be out of luck.

    It's often a matter of who has the best proof, the same as with any case, or even just accusations. Many places that take money for registering a copyright unfortunately do not ask for concrete proof, or the almost impossible task of asking others if they have any objections to the copyright being registered before it is.

    The burden of proof regarding your backdated copy would be on you

    Very true.

    ...and I think that would be pretty difficult if that copy had not been registered.

    But never impossible, because whoever claims infringement will also have to prove the rights are theirs. Registration is not 100% proof, even though it could help.

    By the bye, the answers to most copyright questions can be found at https://www.copyright.gov  It is my go-to when issues like this are raised.

    That site does not address the entire world, however, and Lulu is used internationally. This is our Gov's site. https://www.gov.uk/copyright

    This is part of that site -  https://www.gov.uk/defend-your-intellectual-property

    Perhaps Lulu could develop registration? How the right can be proven to them is another matter. All Amazon et al ask is "Do you have the right ... and a box to tick. Which possibly covers them legally, but no one else.

    But anyway, if one is fortunate to be published via a traditional publishing house, one usually has the protection of their vast legal clout, because it's in their best interests, also.


  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    BTW. I do art too. I have been accused of copyright infringement twice. The first was valid, the use of a copyrighted word as part of the title of some art. It was Lulu who told me, but not who had reported it, so I found the writer's agent and asked him. I said, "oh, right, sorry," and removed the word. It was as simple as that. They had no objections to my art based on the stories, or to the use of names within the stories. (All the same Lulu removed them! (When Lulu also had the publishing of art options).)

    The second was art based on some very familiar people in a film. But images of them or even people dressed like them, are all over the internet, including 1000s of places selling dress-up stuff. It was not actually something they could copyright, oddly enough, or they had not bothered to. Only the film was copyright. That was a corporate bluff it seems. They never replied to my many "huh?!" emails, not even to say it was not them who objected. The site that art was on temp blanked it, and eventually agreed no infringment had occurred. But by then I had changed the names, anyway, and could not be bothered changing them back to, guess ...

    https://www.zazzle.com/playpussys_six_poster-228491958347817730


  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    How suit over copyright infringement are handled will vary by jurisdiction.

    Even though copyright is considered automatic since the US does offer official copyright registration, suits over infringement in the US would normally require a registration. Sans registration a computer hard drive or multiple drives showing previous iterations of an unregistered work might be sufficient for a suit, the qualifier being how much money the plaintiff has to throw at attorneys versus same for the defendant; the party with the best attorneys for the money would likely win.

    In the UK the process for showing provenance involves a sealed copy of the work sent by the author to the author via registered mail or deposited with a lawyer being examples. Hard evidence a computer forensics expert could verify and probably would also help prove a case, but again money and quality of attorneys would likely avail...

    In any case it behooves the writer or artist involved to follow best practices in their jurisdictions for protecting their IP Rights.

    I would delve a bit deeper but unfortunately a lot of my time is kind of like

  • In the US you cannot sue for copyright violation unless the work is registered with the US Copyright Office.

    That's a puzzle because most cases to do with copyright are civil and not criminal, and I think the US rule that copyrights had to be registered was removed late 1980s.

    According to the latest FAQ from the US Copyright Office:

    Do I have to register with your office to be protected?

    No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration.”



    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • BTW. I do art too. I have been accused of copyright infringement twice. The first was valid, the use of a copyrighted word as part of the title of some art. It was Lulu who told me, but not who had reported it, so I found the writer's agent and asked him. I said, "oh, right, sorry," and removed the word. It was as simple as that. They had no objections to my art based on the stories, or to the use of names within the stories. (All the same Lulu removed them! (When Lulu also had the publishing of art options).)

    The second was art based on some very familiar people in a film. But images of them or even people dressed like them, are all over the internet, including 1000s of places selling dress-up stuff. It was not actually something they could copyright, oddly enough, or they had not bothered to. Only the film was copyright. That was a corporate bluff it seems. They never replied to my many "huh?!" emails, not even to say it was not them who objected. The site that art was on temp blanked it, and eventually agreed no infringment had occurred. But by then I had changed the names, anyway, and could not be bothered changing them back to, guess ...

    https://www.zazzle.com/playpussys_six_poster-228491958347817730


    Are you sure it was not a trademark you infringed?
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Skoob_ym said:

    By treaty, the US respects the copyright laws of other countries

    Indeed, because it's actually part of the world ...

    but what I meant is that I believe the USA is the only country where a copyright has to be officially registered before court action can be taken over infringement of it.

    So how would that work, if I were to sue you for copyright violations, without having registered my work? Suppose that I wrote a story that included a lengthy passage about kangaroos, and I later discovered a nearly identical passage in your work. How would I prove that I wrote mine first? Or at all?

    For that matter, what would prevent me from lifting a lengthy passage from your work, back-dating a  "manuscript" copy, and then suing you on an entirely spurious claim of a copyright violation?
    In the US you cannot sue for copyright violation unless the work is registered with the US Copyright Office. In your example, that would be sufficient to show precedence. Without the registration, you would probably be out of luck.

    The burden of proof regarding your backdated copy would be on you...and I think that would be pretty difficult if that copy had not been registered.

    By the bye, the answers to most copyright questions can be found at https://www.copyright.gov  It is my go-to when issues like this are raised.
    My point precisely. :smile:
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    How suit over copyright infringement are handled will vary by jurisdiction.

    And dependent on country, too, some not giving a hoot.

    Even though copyright is considered automatic since the US does offer official copyright registration, suits over infringement in the US would normally require a registration. Sans registration a computer hard drive or multiple drives showing previous iterations of an unregistered work might be sufficient for a suit, the qualifier being how much money the plaintiff has to throw at attorneys versus same for the defendant; the party with the best attorneys for the money would likely win.

    That's often the case (no pun intended.)

    In the UK the process for showing provenance involves a sealed copy of the work sent by the author to the author via registered mail or deposited with a lawyer being examples.

    That's an old idea, no longer considered valid.

     Hard evidence a computer forensics expert could verify and probably would also help prove a case, but again money and quality of attorneys would likely avail...

    Quite so.

    In any case it behooves the writer or artist involved to follow best practices in their jurisdictions for protecting their IP Rights.

    Indeed. It's a greater problem now virtually free self-publishing is available. Without the money and clout of a huge publishing house also wishing to protect their assets, even if they don't own the copyright, one is one one's own. It's also a problem with self-published e-books because they can be copied very easily and slapped on some site for sale. It's not easy to keep an eye on the entire internet for ripped off works.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    Are you sure it was not a trademark you infringed?

    Nope, because I did not reproduce the actual registered design. But apparently, as I have said previously, they can also be copyrighted. It was a made-up word unique to the publications, and they had copyrighted it, too.

  • Names can also be trademarked. That is why everyone says "The Big Game" instead of "The Superbowl(TM)" (NFL(TM))
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    Indeed. That's what we said. They are words made up by them, so they can do. Although usually a trademark is a design.
  • At least in the US, names cannot be copyrighted. They can only be trademarked.

    According to the USCO: "Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. In some cases, these things may be protected as trademarks. Contact the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, [email protected] or see Circular 34, for further information. However, copyright protection may be available for logo artwork that contains sufficient authorship. In some circumstances, an artistic logo may also be protected as a trademark. "

    For example, if a word has been turned into a unique design, that design might be eligible for copyright, but the word itself would not be.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    There are of course always some who try to be a bit shifty when it comes to copyright and registered trademarks. Many years ago, Levis I think it was, tried to register those back patch leather labels in 1000s of different colours as exclusive to them, attempting to block any other jean company from using such patches. Silly as it sounds. Thankfully some registration office thought so too and refused it and gave them a lot of bad publicity about it.

    Another is a French car manufacturer who give their cars three digit numbers instead of names. One year they brought out a new model and seeing as it was a large people carrier they wanted to use four digits, ending in 007 (I think the 7 was the year.) The company with the copyright to James Bond strongly objected, claiming people would believe they endorsed it, or something. Needless to say, the car company eventually decided to ignore them, and nothing more was said.

  • There are of course always some who try to be a bit shifty when it comes to copyright and registered trademarks. Many years ago, Levis I think it was, tried to register those back patch leather labels in 1000s of different colours as exclusive to them, attempting to block any other jean company from using such patches. Silly as it sounds. Thankfully some registration office thought so too and refused it and gave them a lot of bad publicity about it.

    Another is a French car manufacturer who give their cars three digit numbers instead of names. One year they brought out a new model and seeing as it was a large people carrier they wanted to use four digits, ending in 007 (I think the 7 was the year.) The company with the copyright to James Bond strongly objected, claiming people would believe they endorsed it, or something. Needless to say, the car company eventually decided to ignore them, and nothing more was said.


    And that is because trademarks, unlike copyrights and patents, must have the same context in order to be actionable.

    In a copyright or a patent dispute, depending on your side of the matter, you are either saying "This intellectual property belongs to me and you have trespassed upon my property" or you are saying "No one owns this, so I have every right to use it."

    By contrast, in a trademark dispute, regardless which side you are on, you are essentially saying, "The poor innocent consumer, in his [implied] stupidity and blindness, might be so deceived by the infringement as to think that he is buying my high-quality goods, when in fact, he is buying cheap knock-off rubbish."

    Thus a model 007 Citroen (or Renault, or whatever) would not infringe on the trademark of a movie, so long as it did not actively associate itself with the movie or with products based on the movie. By contrast, a movie called "007 Things I Hate About Blues" would be actionable under the James Bond franchise (because it might be mistaken for a Bond movie) and under the "10 things I hate about you" movie, with the same logic -- Because it has the same CONTEXT, i.e., motion pictures and related merchandise.

    An interesting trademark case arose surrounding Coca-cola and its use of polar bears in its Christmas advertisements. Coke was successfully sued and prohibited from using any such ads within the State of Alaska, where there exists a "Polar Cola" which is a small regional bottler of cola-based drinks. In that case, the court rightly held that Polar Cola owned the trademark within that region, and that images of polar bears drinking cola drinks might deceive the consumer.

    In copyright and patent, the deception of the consumer is not the issue. This is a major distinguishing point regarding trademark as opposed to copyright or patent.

    (I ain't no lawyer, this ain't advice, y'hear?)
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    In effect a trademark is a copyrighted design, so it's still really a copyright, just under a different name, but unlike a copyright a registered trademark can last forever, if updated now and again. It can be a very grey area. Many knock-offs are illegal due to the use of a registered trademark. Such as Rolex. If the 'fake' watches did not carry that name they would not be breaking a law, apparently. (Unless they are infringing some patent, which they don't seem to be doing.) It's a shame in away because at times only Rolex can tell they are not actual Rolexes, they are that good. Rolex, like so many companies are really protecting a price. A watch as good as a Rolex for $15?!! perish the thought ...

    One case in the UK, was about the use of the name Harrods. The famous store suddenly took a dislike to one of our local shops also being called Harrod's, but one cannot register a common surname, unless it's done as a unique design. The local shop had not copied any design, Harrod was the name of the owner. THE Harrods 'lost interest' in the argument.

    A lot of art is copyrighted, but as a 'design', could they be classed as and registered as trademarks too?

    The use of trade marks is very old, going back to the likes of stone masons and carpenters. They got paid by what they did, so they carved a small mark exclusive to them, so that the payers new who had done what. And of course they liked to mark their skill. "I did this."

    Hallmarks are also a form of trademark. One is to say which office had checked it and stamped it, another marked who had made it.

  • Look, everyone...pretty much everything you need to know about copyrights and trademarks in the US---and the differences between the two---is contained in the FAQ pages on the sites I have posted here innumerable times. Frankly, why people don't refer to these is beyond me.

    https://www.copyright.gov/
    https://www.uspto.gov/
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    We do. But the entire world is not the US. It can be very grey.
  • Papi_SoñolientoPapi_Soñoliento Southern Escarpment Hill Country Librarian
    I tried but the chorus of "Papi, Papi!" with the occasional "Honey!" thrown in for good measure kept me from focusing.
    Look, everyone...pretty much everything you need to know about copyrights and trademarks in the US---and the differences between the two---is contained in the FAQ pages on the sites I have posted here innumerable times. Frankly, why people don't refer to these is beyond me.

    https://www.copyright.gov/
    https://www.uspto.gov/

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius
    What's the harm in discussing many aspects of the subject anyway? If people do not use the forum Lulu may get rid of it.
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