Copyright wording for PDF's

Subject: Copyright wording for PDF's
From: Peter Lucas <peterlucas -at- EARTHLINK -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 13:24:59 -0800

We've recently started distributing our manuals on a "PDF only" basis,
meaning we don't send printed manuals to our clients anymore. Our clients
are fine with that, but what I'm wondering is how some of you who distribute
your manuals via PDF handle the issue of making copies of the document and
how you phrase your copyright disclaimer at the beginning of the manual.

For example, we used to send our clients bound manuals, and they couldn't
make copies of the manuals without "expressed written consent" from our
company. Usually, if they wanted to make copies, they would call us for
permission to make copies, but we would just send them additional copies of
the manual instead of allowing them to run down to the local copy center and
make copies. That way it would give us an opportunity to help our clients
and also allow us to know who had additional copies of what. (Yes, it sounds
like a pain, but we were a pretty small company at that time.)

Now that we distribute using PDF's, our standard copyright disclaimer
doesn't really apply because we have to assume that some clients will need
to make copies. (We've done our best to get our clients to be paperless, but
there are still those that MUST have a printed manual.)

So, we were toying with the idea of having the copyright text say something
to the extent that it is OK to make copies from the PDF as opposed to making
a copy of the PDF and then taking that to a copy center and having mass
copies made. But isn't a copy just copy whether it's from a PDF or a printed
source???

As you can see I'm having difficulty sorting this out. Any feedback you
could provide either to the list or offline would be greatly appreciated.
Even some kind of source on the Internet would be great too.

Legal wording is a necessary thing, but not my strong point.

Additionally, my boss wants to put some kind of "This manual is copyright of
DSC", or something along those lines, on the bottom of every other page of
our manual. Do any of you do something like that with your manuals? I've
never seen or heard of that before.

TIA!

Peter Lucas
Sr. Scribbler
Decade Software Company
peterlucas -at- decadesoftware -dot- com


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