Re: Looking for Copyright info

Subject: Re: Looking for Copyright info
From: Tracy Boyington <trlyboyi -at- GENESIS -dot- ODVTE -dot- STATE -dot- OK -dot- US>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 08:02:39 +0000

> I have a dilemma. It is regarding copyright. There is someone in my organization who
> feels that it's perfectly ok to "steal" graphics (GIF files) from other web sites for
> use on a site we are creating for a client. I'm not comfortable with this - isn't it a
> violation of copyright?

You are correct -- this is absolutely a violation of copyright unless
the owner of those images specifically states that they are available
for free use. And even then you could be on shaky ground; some people
offer "copyright-free" graphics that they stole from other people's

> In other words, if a web page contains a copyright statement,
> doesn't it cover all contents (text and graphics) on that page.

Yes. And even if it doesn't contain a copyright statement, the
text and graphics are *still* copyrighted. Here's an excerpt from a
post to the Hypertext Writers Guild's mailing list (including some

> It is no longer necessary to register a work: the
> copyright is created at the same time that the work
> is "fixed in any media"--and, yes, electronic files
> specifically count.

> No registration is necessary, no checks, no
> double copies.

> If you made it, you own the copyright until
> you transfer it.

> Now, if you want to SUE someone over
> your copyright, you will then need to register
> it (this is a common source of confusion between
> the old and new laws), but that's also become
> a simpler process.

> However, you don't need to register in order to
> "enforce" a copyright: normally, informing
> someone by letter of the fact that you hold the
> copyright in a verifiable way is enough to
> alert them to the fact that they would LOSE a
> court case; the problem gets resolved without
> going to court, and no registration is required.

> Again, I know this is such a major change that
> many people, particularly those looking at some
> of the classic references, are confused by it.

> Here are some very helpful URLs which should
> clear up the confusion:

> 1) The HWG's own FAQ on copyrights

> 2) The world-famous, most referenced copyright
> article on the web:
> 10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained


> (specifically discusses e-mail vs newsgroups)


Tracy Boyington trlyboyi -at- genesis -dot- odvte -dot- state -dot- ok -dot- us
Oklahoma Department of Vocational & Technical Education
Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA

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