Re: What do I do?


Terry Carroll (
Thu, 15 May 1997 11:33:54 -0700 (PDT)

On Thu, 15 May 1997, Steve Summit wrote:

> (Furthermore, note that under the Berne Convention none of this
> has anything to do with your explicit copyright notice;

Actually, it does. If Vince had included a valid copyright notice, the
copier is not, as a matter of law, permitted to raise the defense of
"innocent infringement," because, as a matter of law, if the copy of the
work he's copying from has a copyright notice, you're deemed to know it's
copyrighted. Even so, "innocent infringement" serves only t reduce, not
eliminate, damages.

Vince's notice doesn't meet the statutory requirements for a valid
copyright notice (it omits the copyright owner), but that probably
wouldn't matter much if this were to actually go to litigation. That's
because the burden of showing that infringement was innocent is on the
infringer. As a matter of law, the bike shop would be allowed to _plead_
innocent infringement, but as a matter of fact, given that Vince's FAQ
says "Copyright (c) 1997," that's going to be a pretty tough burden to

> (Or are there laws against impersonating a lawyer?)


Terry Carroll       | "The invention provides means for continuously
Santa Clara, CA     | trapping sparrows and supplying a cat and     | neighborhood cats with a supply of sparrows."
Modell delenda est  |                - U.S. Patent no. 4,150,505