Placing things on the web is NOT placing them in the public domain. Most web site content is still subject to copyright and other considerations the same as applies to any other form of publishing. The only complication is that the laws that apply vary from one country to another so there may be 200+ different laws apply depending on which country the person viewing the page is in.
Originally Posted by CStrauss
Nothing proves the envelope was sealed and contained the contents you claim it did at the time it was stamped.
People could just send themselves unsealed envelopes, and then at some later time pop someone elses work into it.
actually its not total rubbish as I was informed of this by someone who works in the music copyright business a long while ago and he repeated these sentiments less than 2 years ago.
However, as stated its the lowest form of copyright.
If the work is recorded to CD/DVD the work will also show a timestamp.
The CD/DVD thing is too easy to spoof (just set your PC's clock back before recording). Neither method have any force what so ever under the law or in front of a Judge.
Originally Posted by Poxicator
OK, this needs more explanation than provided above.
The method described is referred to as "the Poor Man's Copyright" and is acknowledged by lawyers/attorney although unsurprisingly not recommended by them. It can easily be faked but it can provide the first step in proof of ownership and can be useful if used in a sensible way.
As an example, if you photograph an image, edit the image, create a final image, put all images onto a CD (with full workings eg. .psd file) mail the envelope by registered mail to a number of people including yourself and your solictor you will have a strong example of the Poor Man's Copyright. You can support this by various means eg. u/l to websites. However it will never be as strong as registering your work.
Its important to realise that by law your work is automatically protected as soon as it appears in a tangible medium (under the Berne Convention). However, as the law of copyright comes under civil rather than criminal law the costs of proving ownership in court can be rather expensive.
The Judge will rule on the strongest proof of ownership but its for you to consider the best method of doing so.
A simple solution would be to put the image in a Flash file. I don't know a lot of Action Script, but I'm sure you could write one that requires an authorizing variable from somewhere to display the image.
The wayback machine keeps copies of web pages from a large chunk of the web. If your page has been archived there then they have a record on their site of when they copied it. For web pages that would easily demonstrate that you had placed something on your site before a certain date.
The Poor-Man's method is a totally legitimate Copyright method.
A member of my family recently won a copyright case based on this method, her design being drawn some twelve years ago.
She only posted a copy of the work to herself, but also had a copy of her drawings for reference in an unsealed folder. However, both the sealed and non-sealed drawings were dated.
I don't know about elsewhere in the world, but in the UK the postal service record the timing and date of the posting of the parcel by "registered delivery" using timing precise to Greenwich. The computer system stores the sender's name and address, as well as the receiver's name and address, along with date and time of posting, location of posting and who received the parcel at the Post Office. A 'receipt' is then printed off with the date, time and location (as well as cost), along with a sticker which is placed on the package - again with date, time and cost of sending.
As long as the package is still obviously sealed and unbroken (the sticker can be placed over the seal if necessary to prove the date and content), then the Copyright is legitimate...
Why did the opposing attorney simply not claim that she sent unsealed envolopes to her self 12 years ago and when this case came up, simply threw in a drawing and sealed it ?
Originally Posted by pottersdt2k
All I can think of is that like Poxicator said, "The Judge will rule on the strongest proof of ownership" and the the other side must have had zero proof to support *their* claim.
Maybe there is also something to the fact that you are typically not talking millions of dollars in most of these cases. This method might work for something in the hundreds to thousand of dollars range, because the opposing side will not want to spend a huge chunk of change fighting the issue.
So I take back my original statement. It's not total rubbish, it's just not real reliable when you start talking big money.
You ever noticed those lines that they stamp on the back on every envelope? They are there to indicate that it hasn't been resealed.
Originally Posted by slaughters
How does that work? I seal the empty envelope by licking one tiny quarter inch spot in the corner and mail it to myself.
When I feel like stealing someone elses copyright I lift the flap on the side of the other corner, slip in an image then seal that side too.
How are printed lines on the back of an envelope going to stop that?
I think the strongest proof of ownership wins, but this whole mail it to your self scheme is an awfully weak, easy to beat proof of ownership.
Use of the wayback machine for web stuff is a nice solution though.
ok I'm not fussed about people saving my images, but it there a way to at least stop the save/print/email box that appears in the top left hand corner of an image??
It can be annoying...especially on a small image
Last edited by techtonyx; 07-04-2006 at 05:43 AM.
<meta http-equiv="imagetoolbar" content="no" />
The problem is quite simple - the browser should take care of the ownership. I mean that this is a problem of the structure of Internet. There should be a way that you can mark an image on your web site as "copyrighted" and the browser should protect them from stealing. Of course this includes something like encrypted copyright - the picture is send encrypted and if the browser supports copyright then it shows it.
As far as I can think of something that simple I believe that everyone can and one day we will have good way to protect our ownership. It's just a matter of time one of the big software companies to take a look at this problem and solve it once and forever.
Crap! If you think your images are so valueable don't allow them to be publicly accessible. Also you need to realise that just because they are publicly accessible they are still your property and subject to copyright.
Originally Posted by Avatar_sg
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