Re: copyright wording (and an assault on Robert Frost)

Subject: Re: copyright wording (and an assault on Robert Frost)
From: Ed Gregory <edgregory -at- home -dot- com>
To: Jim Cort <jcort -at- totaltel -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 00:00:56 -0500

There are many great websites where lawyers and lay people wax eloguent and
not-so about copyright law. Uncle Sam runs one of the best of these at:

One does not "secure a copyright" in the same manner that you "secure a
patent" or "secure a trademark." Copyright attaches at the moment of
creation. Registration with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress
does not secure copyright. Neither does publishing it with or without the
copyright symbol.

If you shove the legal and moral issues aside, the practical question
becomes: "Will the creator of this copyright blurb ever know that I copied
it without permission, let alone care enough to sue me?"

That said, I offer my abject apologies to Robert Frost, along with the

Stealing Some Words on a Monday Morning

Whose words are these? I do not know.
There is no symbol down below.
Will their creator see or hear
that I've used them to save me dough?

My words are not as good, I fear.
This other language makes things clear.
What crime is it to cut and paste
A little snippet there or here?

I do not have much time to waste,
yet I don't want to act in haste.
What consequences would I reap
if my deliverable's unchaste?

To steal these words would make me cheap.
There might be lawyers poised to leap.
I'll write my own. I'm not a creep.
I'll write my own. I'm not a creep.

At 02:30 PM 9/28/99 -0400, Jim Cort wrote:
>I don't think copyright wording is usually copyrighted. I don't think the
>people who secure a copyright are looking to protect the language in the
>front of the book that says they're protected by a copyright.
>This being so, with regard to lifting someone else's copyright text, I'd
>say: Go for it. I bet that's what they did.

Ed Gregory

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