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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

    
Registering a copyright vs talking to a lawyer
Is getting a copyright the same as talking to a lawyer about your content
totter




msg:928591
 8:29 pm on Dec 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I was wondering if spending $30 to register a copyright with the Copyright Office could be roughly considered the same as talking to a lawyer about my content that uses material from another source. Would the Copyright Office reject an application due to a copyright violation?

The material in question has little monitary value, so I don't really want to waste alot of resources on it.

 

jimbeetle




msg:928592
 8:40 pm on Dec 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Would the Copyright Office reject an application due to a copyright violation?

Maybe if you don't tell them, they won't find out. ;)

Since you use material from another source, are considering registering a copyright for it, and are asking questions such as this, your best bet is to run right down to an IP attorney and get the straight scoop. There really isn't anyway that anybody here is going to be able to advise you.

For background before seeing an attorney you might want to read through as much as you can at www.copyright.gov. The "Copyright Basics" and faqs answer many questions in laypeople's terms (almost), and it should prepare you for some of the questions an attorney will be asking.

hunderdown




msg:928593
 8:46 pm on Dec 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

The Copyright Office doesn't check for copyright violations. How could they?

If your use of someone else's content goes beyond fair use, you can get into trouble whether you copyright it or not. As the other poster said, talk to a lawyer.

totter




msg:928594
 8:52 pm on Dec 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Actually I feel safe about what I have written. Well...actually I feel pretty safe about my material. After I wrote the content I started wondering why this hasn't been done before.

The way I should have asked this is there someplace that I can submit some copy and find out if someone already wrote something like it.

totter




msg:928595
 9:01 pm on Dec 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

The Copyright Office doesn't check for copyright violations. How could they?

I was thinking about written material only.

stapel




msg:928596
 9:39 pm on Dec 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

totter said:
...talking to a lawyer about my content that uses material from another source....I feel safe about what I have written....is there someplace that I can submit some copy and find out if someone already wrote something like it?

Which one is it? You wrote the content, and want to check (for some reason) whether anybody has ever written something similar on the same topic? Or somebody else wrote the content in "another source", and you're wondering if anybody is likely to catch your copying?

For the first, try Copyscape, TurnItIn, or some similar type of document-search service. For the second, yeah, talk to a lawyer.

Eliz.

totter




msg:928597
 10:30 am on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Eliz. wrote
Which one is it?

The answer is yes. I used content from another source and after reading the faqs from copyright.gov and fl102 (thanks jimbeetle) I now am certain it falls under fair use. My only other question about the piece is why it hasn' been done before. I don't think Copyscape or turnitin is going to work because this material isn't on the web. Amazon may turn out to be a good source however.

kevinpate




msg:928598
 3:36 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

> roughly considered the same as talking to a lawyer
in a word ... nope

in a few words ...
it is absolutely positively, not even in one's most bizarre dreamstate, even remotely the same thing as seeking, and then heeding, competent legal advice.

Actually, it's not even the same as a fair amount of reasonably attentive self-study of the parameters of fair use.

stapel




msg:928599
 8:28 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

stapel asked:
Which one is it? You wrote the content...[o]r somebody else wrote the content...?

totter replied:
The answer is yes.

You created new and original content by copying somebody else's stuff...?

On what basis have you concluded that your distribution of copies of their content is "Fair Use"? A run-down of the Guidelines and how your use fits within each point might be instructive....

Thank you.

Eliz.

jimbeetle




msg:928600
 11:20 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Fair use can be a fairly slippery slope. If you have any doubts at all bring the original and your piece to an IP lawyer and get a bit more solid opinion.

totter




msg:928601
 4:43 am on Dec 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

A little background about the piece...
The work of which I copied or paraphrased
Is only of factual nature
Is being used to create something new of value in a non-offensive manor, by the creation of new insights into the original, toward a group of people that the writers of the original do not and cannot market to
didn't follow the logical arrangement of the original - it is useless to the original market - the original is about how to fix widgets mine is about who fixes widgets
Is a small portion of the original content (However it is the heart of the original is about)
A disclaimer will be added to make sure that this won't be confused with the original.

I never made copies of their content. Once I finish my stuff I will show the original authors my work and ask if I can use their material, if I feel that it won't be wasting their time.

Basically what I am trying to figure out is whether something like what I made already exists in print. It's not on the web as far as I can tell. If I was to give the copyright office or someone a copy of my work or a summary of it could they find simular works to see if I'm stepping on someone elses toes that I don't even know of. I could then take this new work to a lawyer and see if there is a problem.

Thanks to all for helping me to clarify what I need to know about this issue.

totter




msg:928602
 7:44 am on Dec 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

to stapel
copy was a poor choice of words in my previous posts. It should have been either paraphrase or quote.

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