Subject: Re: Seriously: Any need for modelines, license text in private code? (Copyright question)
From: (Rob Warnock)
Date: Fri, 04 Aug 2006 00:07:18 -0500
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>
George Neuner  <gneuner2/> wrote:
| I don't know where you are, but in the US, there are 3 types of
| copyright: implicit, explicit and registered.  All are provisionally
| enforcible depending upon the nature of the infringement.
| An implicit copyright exists simply by authoring the work.  No notice
| is required to have an implicit copyright, however it is not legally
| enforcible.

Yes it is. This whole categorization changed in 1989 when the U.S.
finally(!) became a signatory to the Berne Convention on Copyrights.
I don't know the exact nuances of the changes, but the "born
copyrighted" presumption now applies in the U.S., too. See the
last two paragraphs of the "History of copyright" section of
<>, and also the second
paragraph of the section on "Obtaining and enforcing copyright":

    In the United States, copyright has relatively recently been
    made automatic (in the style of the Berne Convention), which
    has had the effect of making it appear to be more like a property
    right. Thus, as with property, a copyright need not be granted
    or obtained through official registration with any Government
    Office. Once an idea has been reduced to tangible form, for
    example by securing it in a fixed medium (such as a drawing,
    sheet music, photograph, a videotape or a letter), the copyright
    holder is entitled to enforce his or her exclusive rights.

Though it goes on to say that registration *before* any infringement
may increase the damages the copyright holder might be able to
recover in a lawsuit.


Rob Warnock			<>
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