Query by Steven J Pemberton: Why does the myth of “poor man’s copyright” persist?
Whenever someone here posts a question about “how do I copyright my [story|novel|poem|whatever]?” (sometimes even when they don’t), at least 1 of the answers will recommend what is known as a “poor man’s copyright”. This is exactly where you post a copy of your work to yourself and do not open it when it arrives. Supposedly, if someone ever copies your operate with out your permission, the postmark on the envelope proves that whatever is inside the envelope was in your possession on that date. Easy, inexpensive, helpful, proper? Effectively… two out of three ain’t poor. It will not stand up in court, and it never has.
I’m guessing most of the people on Y!A are in the USA. Have a look at this page from the internet site of the US Copyright Office:
Towards the bottom, it says about poor man’s copyright: “There is no provision in the copyright law concerning any such kind of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration.” The Copyright Office is the branch of the government that keeps records of copyrights and who claims to personal them, so it does not get any much more official than that.
Further up that page, it says: “In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is designed. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. operate.” So not only is poor man’s copyright useless in court, it doesn’t even save you the $ 35 that it charges to register a copyright!
What about other nations, then? Not all of them have copyright offices. Some of them favor to let the courts sort it all out. See, for instance, this page from the UK’s Intellectual Property Office:
At the bottom, it says: “[A] creator could send himself or herself a copy by particular delivery post … It is important to note, that this does not prove that a operate is original or created by you. But it may be helpful to be in a position to show the court that the function was in your possession at a distinct date.” That is not extremely encouraging, is it?
(Both these links came from http://www.snopes.com/legal/postmark.asp )
So why does this myth persist? You’d believe that if poor man’s copyright worked, at least one individual would have effectively used it when attempting to guard his copyright. Can any individual point to a situation exactly where an individual has used it in court and the judge hasn’t just laughed and thrown the case out? Cases that didn’t get to court don’t count, since the infringer was not being forced to act by somebody with the power to impose significant payments on him.
Why does the myth persist? Why is there so a lot ignorance in the world?
(Initial recommended category – Society & Culture -> Mythology & Folklore. Much more appropriate than I know?)
Some answers are missing the point… I am not asking how you truly protect a copyright. I am asking why some men and women insist on spreading incorrect information about how to do that.
The writer in the Stephen King story should’ve stated “I’ll see you in court, then,” but I suppose Mr King likes messing with people’s heads…
Very best answer:
Answer by Johnny Relentless
None of that says that it doesn’t function. Proving you had something in your possession by a specific date – say, an earlier date than yet another person’s copyright claims to have written something can be all you need to have. A copyright is automatic and exists from the moment one thing is designed. Registering it is just the very best way to prove that it is yours, not necessarily the only way.
Possessing said that, I’ve by no means understood the complete thought of the poor man’s copyright anyway because I can mail an unsealed envelope to myself and when it is postmarked I can place something I want to in it at a later date.
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Question by Karen G: What is the greatest way of obtaining donations for a silent auction?
I am the occasion co-chair for a Canadian children’s charity and we are getting a fundraiser on April 29th. A single of my “jobs” is to obtain as several silent auction items as achievable. I have hit up a number of huge firms but it appears that unless you have an “in”, they don’t actually want to assist out. I would appreciate any advice. Thanks!
Answer by purpleppleeater25
for one particular go in ready with your data….neat and typed on a paper and speak with the particular person in charge. an additional point that attracts men and women is advertisement. if they donate a thing will their firm name be someplace about the silent auction giving them acknowledgement for their assistance??? on your paper that you take with you type up who is sponsoring the event and what the positive aspects are of the occasion…exactly where the proceeds will go and what a difference can be produced with items small or huge…great luck
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