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From: j...@netcom.com (Joseph P. Jarosz)
Subject: Copyright Notice in Source code
Message-ID: <joeyCvr1qt.72C@netcom.com>
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Date: Wed, 7 Sep 1994 07:49:40 GMT
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Hi there,
 
 I am about to distribute some software in source code form that I wish
to retain copyright to. My question is what do I have to put in the 
copyright notice to protect myself? I have looked at several other pieces of
software and noticed no consistency.

thanx,
joey

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From: head...@bdcv9.nrl.navy.mil (Kim Headlee)
Newsgroups: comp.software.licensing
Subject: Re: Copyright Notice in Source code
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Date: 7 Sep 1994 13:30:37 GMT
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Joey,

In article <joeyCvr1qt....@netcom.com>, j...@netcom.com (Joseph P. Jarosz)
wrote:

>  I am about to distribute some software in source code form that I wish
> to retain copyright to. My question is what do I have to put in the 
> copyright notice to protect myself?

  I don't have any of my "official" copyright law sources here with me, so
I'll be speaking strictly off the top of my head.  If I get any of this
wrong, I'm sure someone else will correct me!

1.  Accepted practice to invoke common-law copyright is to include the
phrase "Copyright (c)" followed by the year(s).  Like so:  Copyright (c)
1994.  (The "(c)" is perfectly okay to substitute for the "c-in-a-circle"
symbol.)

I remember reading in a MAC users' magazine several months ago that you
need only give the date every three years; for example:  Copyright (c)
1991, 1994.  I've seen this interval vary with different products, books,
etc.

2.  Common-law copyrighting will not hold up in court in a plagarism suit,
because it does not constitute proof of creation date.  I've seen much
discussion revolving around whether you can use the postal service to mail
yourself a copy of your disk or manuscript or whatever, and the general
wisdom was that that, too, can be faked (see a recent post by JMingo in
misc.writing).

If you feel you need ironclad protection, you can register your *completed*
work with the Copyright Office for a modest fee (around $20, if memory
serves).  I make a point about the idea of completion because it's a
Copyright Office stipulation, and . . . since when is software ever
completed? ;-)  If you'd like me to dig up the info regarding formal
copyright registration, please let me know.
-- 
Kim D. Headlee (head...@bdcv9.nrl.navy.mil)
DBA, Backgrounds Data Center
Naval Research Lab, Washington D.C.
202/767-9010

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From: egg...@twinsun.com (Paul Eggert)
Subject: Re: Copyright Notice in Source code
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References: <joeyCvr1qt.72C@netcom.com> <headlee-070994095225@bdcm40.nrl.navy.mil>
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 1994 18:40:32 GMT
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head...@bdcv9.nrl.navy.mil (Kim Headlee) writes:

 (The "(c)" is perfectly okay to substitute for the "c-in-a-circle" symbol.)

Since when?  I had always understood that in the US, proper notice
must use `Copyright', `Copr.', or c-in-a-circle, and that only
c-in-a-circle has international validity.  Reference:
William Strong, `The Copyright Book: A Practical Guide'
(MIT Press, 1981), p. 58.  Have the rules changed recently?