View Full Version : Copyright 101

2014-02-11, 11:17 AM
]I have a webcomic that I am tryig to get copyrighted. I went to the http://www.copyright.gov/ site,filled out an electronic template,and after nearly a year I got this e-mail:

am examining this text, photograph(s), 2-D artwork, website claim. Copyright
does not protect website. Please allow permission to remove the reference.
There was no readable content on any of the html files. You will need to
re-upload those for examination. I saw plenty copyright photos and artwork.

Log into eCO, go to the Homepage where are your cases are displayed, highlight
the SR number for the case in question, and click. The screen should display 2
choices, "Electronic Deposit" and "Send by Mail." You should choose "Electronic
Deposit" and follow the instructions. Please upload the deposit within 20 days
and send a return email indicating you have uploaded the deposit. If you
continue to have upload problems please call our Technology Office at
202-707-3002 and they can help you resolve the uploading problem.

Please note that if we do not receive a response to this message within 20 days,
we will close this case without processing your registration or notifying you
further, and forward your deposit copy(ies) under the provisions of the current
copyright law. The fee is not refundable. If you re-apply for registration
after the case is closed, you must send a new application, copy and fee. The
effective date of registration will be based on the new submission.

And I replied with this:When I uploaded the website,I included ReadMe text files to identify the work in question,and simple instructions as to how to see each page as presented:"One can see the pages merely by double clicking an html doc and a browser should open up revealing the page as online. Any questions can be directed to me at [email protected],thank you."As it is the artwork,and the ideas expressed in them and the writing that I wish to copyright,so I would like to know what I need to upload to achieve this. Would Assembling the completed pages in JPeg format be easier for processing? I have been prolific in the time I waited for answers so it will be a monumental task,but one I am willing to do considering whats at stake. Please enlighten me.

Now...I am sort of panicked. I balk at the thought of trying to resubmit everything to these guys. So how did YOU do this,Mr. Giant?

Please enlighten ME.

Mobius Twist
2014-02-11, 11:36 AM
If you created it, even if you post it to the public domain, it's copyrighted implicitly.

A copyright is not a trademark. You cannot lose it over time. You don't need a government body to certify it. It's just yours, as the creator of whatever medium you work in. That said, it may help in cases of contested copyright, to have additional recognition, though if your content is stolen by an international party it may not matter anyway.

I don't see how your reviewer can claim that "copyright does not protect website," so long as you created said website.

2014-02-11, 11:42 AM
Um... what exactly are you trying to do here? :smallconfused:

2014-02-11, 04:40 PM
Um... what exactly are you trying to do here? :smallconfused:

I'm trying to figure out if Rich went through this process to safeguard his intellectual property,or at least find advice on how to establish my own.

One would hope that owning the domain name,having finished works displayed at another,and all the original artwork lying in heaps would be sufficient enough to say to the legal community "this character is MINE". But when dealing with corporations who would plagiarize a fresh idea with impunity and toss a congaline of lawyers into your attempts to thwart their plans of plastering your hard work onto so many lame and shoddy products,you may want to hold onto your creator's rights by any means necessary. Such is my plight:to find out how its done by a successful self supporting fellow artist. Or being able to state,"This Stuff Copyright 2014 by ME"is a lot simpler than dealing with a government official STUPID enough to ignore a ReadMe text file and try to read html!

Also, would such copyright methodology cover the introduction of new characters and writing,as an evolving plot inevitably spawns. I forsee my work being made into movies someday,and I worry about retaining creative control over such things,let alone making a living from it. Now is the time to do the research,before the contents of my soul wind up as Happy Meal embarrassment.

So...help? Puh--lezze?

Surfing HalfOrc
2014-02-11, 08:19 PM
So...help? Puh--lezze?

Um, sorry, we can't.

Da Rulez:
Professional Advice: Please do not give any form of professional advice to other posters, whether it is solicited or not, even if you are a licensed professional in that field (and especially if you are not). This includes (but is not limited to) legal, financial planning, psychological, and medical advice. As a rule of thumb, if you need a license to practice such a profession, you can't practice it here. You may suggest that someone seek out such a professional away from these message boards, but you may not actually dispense any other guidance. This rule is to protect those who need such advice from the possibility of being misled with faulty or even dangerous suggestions - however well intentioned - and to protect both you and us from unforeseen liability.

2014-02-11, 08:56 PM
Yeah we can't actually give you advice, but from the content of the email I don't think you have to worry about your artwork or photos. The problem seems to be the content of the HTML files, based on that email, which I am in no way going to assess as either legitimate or illegitimate.

Roland St. Jude
2014-02-11, 08:59 PM
Sheriff: The Forum Rules prohibit giving legal advice.