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The Return of Citeable
I received this from another listserv, and I think that you might be
interested in seeing it.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 93 15:21:53 -0500
>From: Bruce Hayden <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Multiple recipients of list <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Copyright status on the net?
> Hello All,
> > Is it true that any material posted to Usenet is automatically thrown
> >into the public domain? If so, why? The best justification I've been able to
> >think of is that unlimited free copies of the material become available, but
> -some deleted-
> >No legal reason for it to be in the public domain. Best reasons that
> >I have seen for general availability on the net is either implied
> >license or fair use. My personal preference is implied license.
> >For more information, see Terry Carroll's copyright FAQ.
> I lack a copy of the 1988 Berne Copyright Convention at hand, but as I
> recall in the defination of what gives a piece of work copyrighted
> status is, briefly, that it is widely pubished. The folks who framed
> this document seemed to be thinking of traditional book/newspaper/etc.
> kinds of publishing and meant that if a book (or the like) were to be
> published and circulated it is copyrighted. The defination that the
> Berne folks used when applies to FidoNet and Usenet would seem to mean
> that everything is copyrighted as posting a message to a computer
> network falls within the defination of being widely published.
First, one of the major changes in the Copyright Act of 1976 from
the 1909 act was the protection of works from the time of
creation, instead of time of publication and/or registration.
Under the 1909 Act, a body of state common law copyright law had
grown up to protect unpublished works, while federal copyright
law was limited to published works. The '76 Act extended
copyright protection to unpublished works (17 USC 102) and
preempted the old state common law (17 USC 301). Note though that
for what are now called Decennial works - those created between
the adoption of the 1976 Act, and the BCIA (Berne Act),
protection could still be lost by failing to mark the work.
Secondly, I do not see anything in the Berne convention that would
counterdict the above changes in the 1976 Act, and indeed the BCIA
was declared not to be self executing so that we wouldn't have this
sort of problem.
Below are cited relevant portions of 17 USC 102 and 104.
Sec. 102. Subject matter of copyright: In general
(a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title,
in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of
expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be
perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly
or with the aid of a machine or device.
Sec. 104. Subject matter of copyright: National origin
(a) Unpublished Works. - The works specified by sections 102 and
103, while unpublished, are subject to protection under this title
without regard to the nationality or domicile of the author.
(c) Effect of Berne Convention. - No right or interest in a work
eligible for protection under this title may be claimed by virtue
of, or in reliance upon, the provisions of the Berne Convention, or
the adherence of the United States thereto. Any rights in a work
eligible for protection under this title that derive from this
title, other Federal or State statutes, or the common law, shall
not be expanded or reduced by virtue of, or in reliance upon, the
provisions of the Berne Convention, or the adherence of the United
Bruce E. Hayden 1720 South Bellaire Street
firstname.lastname@example.org 1100 Colorado Tower Bldg.
(303) 758-8400 Denver, Colorado 80222
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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