Re: legal status of ©?

Systems Administration account (alibaba!
Sun, 14 May 1995 18:21:39 -0700

Date: Sun, 14 May 1995 18:21:39 -0700
From: alibaba! (Systems Administration account)
Message-Id: <9505150121.AA00614@alibaba>
Subject: Re: legal status of &copy;?

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has a web
page:  with a link to
the US Copyright office (gopher).

According to their "Copyright Basics" page:


Copyright Secured Automatically Upon Creation

The way in which copyright protection is secured under the present
law is frequently misunderstood.  No publication or registration
or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure
copyright (see following NOTE). There are, however, certain 
definite advantages to registration.

                       *    *    *    * 
NOTE: Before 1978, statutory copyright was generally secured by 
the act of publication with notice of copyright, assuming 
compliance with all other relevant statutory conditions.  Works in 
the public domain on January 1, 1978 ( for example, works published
without satisfying all conditions for securing statutory copyright
under the Copyright Act of 1909) remain in the public domain under
the current act.

Statutory copyright could also be secured before 1978 by the act
of registration in the case of certain unpublished works and works
eligible for ad interim copyright.  The current Act automatically
extends to full term (sectin 304 sets the term) copyright for all
works including those subject to ad interim copyright if ad 
interim registration has been made on or before June 30, 1978. 
                      *    *    *    *
> Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created,
> and a work is "created" when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord
> for the first time.  "Copies" are material objects from which a
> work can be read or visually perceived either directly or with the
> aid of a machine or device, such as books, manuscripts, sheet
> music, film, videotape, or microfilm.  "Phonorecords" are material
> objects embodying fixations of sounds (excluding, by statutory
> definition, motion picture soundtracks), such as cassette tapes,
> CD's, or LP's.  Thus, for example, a song (the "work") can be fixed
> in sheet music ("copies") or in phonograph disks ("phonorecords"),
> or both.

If a work is prepared over a period of time, the part of the
work that is fixed on a particular date constitutes the created
work as of that date."

Hope this helps,

Jennifer Jackson			World Wide Web, Inc.

"Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition" -Timothy Leary