Demaestro - 6:00 pm on May 1, 2010 (gmt 0) [edited by: Demaestro at 6:52 pm (utc) on May 1, 2010]
Syz, you are missing the point.
If I write a unique, never heard, completely original joke and publish it, no matter how many people repeat it in public I still hold the only copyright to it and if anyone else publishes my joke then they violate my copyright.
If I create a unique video and publish it, no matter how many people forward it in an email, I still hold the only copyright on it.
I can't lose my copyright by the actions of others. It is as simple as that.
Copyright isn't like a trademark where I have to protect it or lose it, which is what I think you may be thinking about.
I'm guessing that you mean here the spread of a url.
No, I mean people attach the video file or embed the video file into an email directly.
The Wikipedia article quoted doesn't support what you are saying. All it is doing is pointing out that you can't copyright an idea, or information, like facts or general truths.
It is saying:
I can't copyright 1+1=2.
I can't copyright that Obama is pres of the USA.
Example if I write an article about a bank robbery and I report the facts with some of my own insight, then as a whole piece that article is protected by copyright. You can't copy my article and publish it for your own means without my permission.
However the facts contained within my story aren't protected by copyright, so if you read my article and remove the facts, like time of day, which bank was robbed, how many perpetrators were there, were they armed, and so. Then you take those facts write your own story and add your own insight then you have created your own article and that article will have protection from others copying it as well.
Of course there are fair use situations where one can copy an article, but you can't republish it. You could photocopy it so it was 5 times the size so your grandma could read it, as an example.
That is all that wiki quote is outlining though.
Like I stated before, you don't lose your copyright through the actions of others. Copyrights don't enter the public domain due to being popular or widespread.
[edited by: Demaestro at 6:52 pm (utc) on May 1, 2010]