International copyright issues

5 replies
I have a few questions:

I'm developing a product of my own that I intend to sell over the Internet and I'm concerned about a few things.

About the copyright issue, do i have to trademark my product in my country of residence (this is expensive as hell) or can i just put a

Copyright by (Insert Name Here) in (Year i made it)
and deal with the legal issues personally?

How do you guys do this? Is there a on-line service that allows to make copyrighted products and to sell them on-line? Something like Creative commons comes to mind and the GNU but they don't allow, to my knowledge, to sell your content and keep the ownership rights.
#copyright #international #issues
  • Profile picture of the author The Pension Guy
    You are talking about different things: copyright and trademark.

    1. Copyright. If the location shown in your profile is correct, that country is one of those that signed and ratified the Berne Convention, which is the international agreement governing copyright. The general description is that:
    Under the Convention, copyrights for creative works are automatically in force upon their creation without being asserted or declared. An author need not "register" or "apply for" a copyright in countries adhering to the Convention.

    Does it help?

    2. Trademark. Unless you want to make the title of your work or your "brand" a registered trademark - you don't need to worry about this.

    Finally, you are wrong: both under CC and GNU you can sell anything and everything, if you find a buyer. They are free as in "free speech" and not necessarily as in "free beer".

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, just like to read
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  • Profile picture of the author TheGodfather
    i think this helps, thanks one again.

    I will look up if we have that agreement signed or not....

    update: here is what we got:
    - the Berne Convention, of September 9, 1886, for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, as revised at Paris on July 24, 1971, and amended on October 2, 1979.
    that is the only Berne part that i've found (for now) that we have signed

    POST NOTE: I've read just now that I am allowed to add a TM and a (C) sign to any original inventions of mine with out any legal issues.

    SWEET
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    TheGodfather

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  • Profile picture of the author mikemcmillan
    Yes, you don't need to register a copyright with the Copyright Office to place a copyright notice on your original works. However, registering your copyright has advantages. But I would check the trademark thing. Unless that has changed recently I believe you actually need to register a trademark to use the ® or TM symbol. I would be curious to see where you got your info. Not saying you are wrong, but I'd like to know.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Originally Posted by TheGodfather View Post

      POST NOTE: I've read just now that I am allowed to add a TM and a (C) sign to any original inventions of mine with out any legal issues.
      Be sure to spell out "copyright" or use the "©" symbol. The "(C)" is not a valid copyright symbol. And, although the copyright notice isn't required, if you're going to take the time to do it (which you should), be sure to do it the proper way with either "copyright" or "©".

      Originally Posted by mikemcmillan View Post

      But I would check the trademark thing. Unless that has changed recently I believe you actually need to register a trademark to use the ® or TM symbol. I would be curious to see where you got your info. Not saying you are wrong, but I'd like to know.
      You must have a registered trademark in order to use the "®" trademark symbol. But, that's not the case for the ™ symbol. If a trademark is registered, you can use ®. If it is not registered, you use the ™. Or, if you are claiming a trademark for a service, then you use a service mark, SM.

      It's been that way for as long as I can remember. And, the source is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office:
      Any time you claim rights in a mark, you may use the "TM" (trademark) or "SM" (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim, regardless of whether you have filed an application with the USPTO.
      Should I register my mark?

      Of course, that's only for the U.S. Other countries will probably vary in their trademark laws.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheGodfather
    I got my info here
    Copyright - proper use of the copyright symbol

    Dan is right, you can use the TM symbol but if you have a registered trademark then you have to use the other sign. I'm just happy that i can use the copyright symbol and the TM symbol... that's enough for me.
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