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Copyright



> I'd add that you can only sue for these profits IF you have properly
> registered the material with the copyright office. Without this step,
> with what is known as statutory copyright, you may only stop the person
> from infringing your copyright and destroy all illegal copies. WITH
> proper registration you may sue for damages X 3. There is a big
> difference as you can see.
>
> this is my understanding of the law as of 4-5 years ago, I hope it
> hasn't changed...

This is still true.  As soon as a work is created, it is automatically considered to
have a copyright, even if you don't put the copyright sign on it and even if you
don't register it.  If your work is unregisterd, you can only stop it's illegal use.
If your work is registered, you stop it's use and can sue for damages, as stated
above (I've never heard of the x 3 formula, though).  It's $20 to register work, and
you can register stuff in batches for the same $20, so it seems well worth it.  You
can get the forms off the Web at http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright

A lot of this seems very scarey to me, how many controls there can be on a person,
some in the guise of protection.  And although this seems like it might protect a
poor artist whose rights have been violated, the time and money and energy it takes
to pursue your rights in the legal system can prevent many people from getting
justice.

Heavy topic.

Pamela Rups
Computer Multimedia Specialist
University Computing Services
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI  49008
(616) 387-5016

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