by jkiley
7 replies
How can I check if something is copyrighted or not?

thanks
#copyright
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

    How can I check if something is copyrighted or not?
    Apart from things which are so old as to be "out of copyright", Jason, there really isn't a reliable way other than asking the author, and assuming until proven otherwise that everything you didn't create yourself is copyright-protected.

    The problem is that there's absolutely no compulsion to "register"/"record" copyright in any way. There isn't a "central source" where you can check and know that if something isn't listed, it follows that it isn't copyright-protected (though the opposite - often not so helpfully - may be true, in various countries, to varying extents).

    Copyright just exists as soon as a work is created.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Santos
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Copyright just exists as soon as a work is created.
      This is a good point:

      "The use of a copyright notice is no longer required under U. S. law, although it is often beneficial."*

      "Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work."*

      I'm not a copyright lawyer, so I'll leave the details to the big guys:

      *http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf

      Another resource I find particularly useful: http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm
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  • Profile picture of the author jkiley
    Thanks for reponses but I want to see if some name is copyrited or not. How would I find that out?
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

      Thanks for reponses but I want to see if some name is copyrited or not. How would I find that out?
      What do you mean by "some name"?

      There's no copyright in titles at all.
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    • Profile picture of the author ForeignProfessor
      Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

      Thanks for reponses but I want to see if some name is copyrited or not. How would I find that out?
      Maybe you mean trademarked?

      If so, I don't know how to check from a legal stand point.

      Maybe you could google the term and see whether a big website with (tm) turns up =)
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Santos
    3rd page of http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf

    "Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols
    or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation,
    lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients
    or contents"

    Hope this helps. =)
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