Re: Valid copyright notice


Charles Poynton (
Fri, 16 May 1997 00:10:23 -0500

Concerning the discussion initiated by Vincent Cheng, whose Mountain Biking=
FAQ was commandeered, he says that "I put the little copyright thing at the=
end of it." "Little thing" is right - it says "Copyright (c) 1997". A=
valid copyright notice must include your name.

You might also consider making a little more explicit what you consider=
reasonable or unreasonable use.=20

=46inally, I suggest that any such notice is more effective at the front of=
the FAQ than at the end. The first section of my FAQ is entitled "Where=
this document lives," and that section spells out not only the location of=
the document but also what I consider to be reasonable use. Should a person=
mirror or otherwise copy my FAQ,either (a) he retains this section [in=
which case the reader knows the story of the document's ownership, origins,=
and permanent home], or (b) he deletes or modifies the section, creating=
evidence of his intention to subvert the copyright.

Various people followed-up,

> ... I would hire a lawyer ... to write a cease-and-desist letter. ...

> ... my understanding is that this would be a civil action for money. ...

> ... Hire a cheap laywer and bounce the following past him. ...

> ... Definitely, definitely, definitely take legal action. ...

I've heard that the U.S.A. is litigious, eh! Wouldn't a more reasonable and=
Canadian approach be to send a nice polite note to the organization that is=
reposting your FAQ, suggesting what you think they should do? (Make your=
copyright explicit, link to your site, take it down, ...).

Terry Carroll <> writes,

> Here's what I have in my Copyright FAQ. ...

> ... Nothing in this article represents the views of Santa Clara University
> or of the Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal. ...

It'sa curious that none of the views of the copyright FAQ are shared by=
either of those organizations!

Just kidding. Couldn't resist.