Copyright blurb?

Subject: Copyright blurb?
From: "Geoff Hart" <Geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 13:00:52 -0400

Kevin Feeman <<...was asked to come up with a standard
copyright blurb for our company's documentation which will
have to go through Marketing and Legal to make sure it is
correct.>>

If it's a legal issue, don't waste your time: none of us non-
lawyers is qualified to write something that will pass legal
muster, and after all, that's why your company has lawyers,
isn't it? The last update of the copyright legislation I have in
my hands (for Canada, but that should be essentially identical
for the U.S., since we're both signatories of the Berne and
Universal Copyright conventions) states that you don't
actually need to include anything. If you do, the standard
copyright notice contains only three things:
- the word "copyright" and/or the (C) symbol
- the name of the copyright holder
- the year of publication.

If your company really wants to add legal gobbledygook
such as "all rights reserved", it's redundant, but leave that up
to the lawyers. And if you're really worried about legal issues,
you need to formally register the copyright. You can still
challenge someone in court without a registered copyright,
but your rights to damages are severely limited.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca (Pointe-Claire, Quebec)
"Perhaps there is something deep and profound behind all those sevens, something just calling out for us to discover it. But I
suspect
that it is only a pernicious, Pythagorean coincidence." George Miller, "The Magical Number Seven" (1956)




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