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kindfluffysteve

idea for proving copyright

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I understand that it is necessary to prove copyright for copyright to be effective. old idea of self addressed envelopes seem mythed up. what about digital watermarks. I could apply some simple encryption to a segment of code in the exec which reads out my name and such. Then if something was, amazingly copied and passed off as somebody elses work, at some later date, i could perhaps go to court and prove that all these games sold were done by me because it contains my name within the exe. Some simple encryption would make it not obvious that such a method was used to prove who the creator was.

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This sounds like a good idea, but it is contingent on you being able to succesfully explain digital watermarking to a judge/jury.

It would probably be easier and safer to simply obtain a registered copyright, since you really need that to sue for damages anyway.

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quote:
Original post by Joe-Bob
What''s wrong with self-addressed envelopes? They work just fine.

No they don''t because all they prove is that you posted an envelop to yourself. You can send an empty, unsealed envelop through the post and put whatever you want into it at a later date.

You need to lodge a certified copy of code/documents with someone who would be considered a suitable witness (such as a lawyer, bank or maybe an accountant).



Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

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quote:
Original post by Obscure
quote:
Original post by Joe-Bob
What''s wrong with self-addressed envelopes? They work just fine.

No they don''t because all they prove is that you posted an envelop to yourself. You can send an empty, unsealed envelop through the post and put whatever you want into it at a later date.

You need to lodge a certified copy of code/documents with someone who would be considered a suitable witness (such as a lawyer, bank or maybe an accountant).



Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant



What dan is referring to here is what is called ''living copyright'' an old publishing tradition. It''s good to have about ten living copyright individuals in your life, based on the amount of finished IP copyrights you crank out. Usually, living copyright is established first with your personal attorney with what is called a ''claim of authorship letter.''

This letter describes the idea, what parts came when and is usually easily put together if you simply date your drafts and read details written in the drafts.

Then actually notate you claim copyright for the aforementioned described IP, and send the final draft or code along with the letter to the attorney. Then, you register with the Registrar of copyrights at the LOC, and mail the original to the atty and keep a copy for yourself. The atty will keep everything on one file in a data storage facility that will not burn or get flooded and so forth.

Then, you can register with the Writer''s Guild of America if you wish, they take all kinds of claims, but the fee is more frequent, even though still not expensive.

The best copyright protection of all is silence. This is practiced by the art of qualification. I usually ask, "Are you a representative of a production company or a director seeking new screenplays for development?" in the case of my written work. If they answer is no to that question, then they get the generic pitch, and nothing more.

"What''s your story about?", is the cheapest way to steal in showbiz. Your enthusiasm as a writer to get produced will overwhelm your intelligence as a practicing professional every time.

I simply say that I never discuss intellectual property in detail while it''s on the market. If that is not good enough for them, then they are not in the business, and don''t need to know anyway. There are far fewer people out there than you think in a position to buy your work, and it is music to their ears to hear you say you have discussed the idea with absolutely no one except your attorney, selected living copyright individuals (whom by definition are not going to talk to anyone about anything you tell them, otherwise, they are not a good candidate for the job) and nobody else.

It makes them realize you respect the value of your work, the importance of surprise as a competitive advantage, and last but not least, not letting on about your work creates the perception of how much you value your work, and that has value to others, even if they are not in the IP business.

Some people might also think that if this person is talking so much about the project, how much do they value it?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Joe-Bob
What''s wrong with self-addressed envelopes? They work just fine.

Then you need to get an official US Post Office representative in courts to certify that the letter had indeed be stamped at the said date by its services. Worked 50 years ago. The US Post Office declared back then that it will no longer be represented in courts on such issues because of the huge costs that entails.

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quote:
Original post by Obscure
quote:
Original post by Joe-Bob
What''s wrong with self-addressed envelopes? They work just fine.

No they don''t because all they prove is that you posted an envelop to yourself. You can send an empty, unsealed envelop through the post and put whatever you want into it at a later date.



How about when you post the envelope, you put the stamp on the wrong side of the envelope, over the sealed section, so that it is stamped across the flap - I think this would provide better evidence of it holding the contents upon postage, since it is extremely difficult to reseal an envelope and line up a postage stamp.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by jamessharpe
How about when you post the envelope, you put the stamp on the wrong side of the envelope, over the sealed section, so that it is stamped across the flap - I think this would provide better evidence of it holding the contents upon postage, since it is extremely difficult to reseal an envelope and line up a postage stamp.

You''d have the same problem anyway: US Postage won''t send anyone to testify in court for copyright issues. FedEx and UPS have the same stance. Bite the bullet and pay an escrow.

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> what about digital watermarks

I''ve heard of someone who encoded its copyright notice in all the music and sound files. The inaudible 1 KHz bursts, once digitally filtered out from the real music, spelled out the notice using Morse code.

-cb

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by jamessharpe
quote:
Original post by Obscure
quote:
Original post by Joe-Bob
What''s wrong with self-addressed envelopes? They work just fine.

No they don''t because all they prove is that you posted an envelop to yourself. You can send an empty, unsealed envelop through the post and put whatever you want into it at a later date.



How about when you post the envelope, you put the stamp on the wrong side of the envelope, over the sealed section, so that it is stamped across the flap - I think this would provide better evidence of it holding the contents upon postage, since it is extremely difficult to reseal an envelope and line up a postage stamp.


In the US, the ONLY way you can file for damages on a copyright infringement case is if you register the copyright with the copyright office. If you have not registered, then you have NO claim to damages.

So, in order to actually enforce your copyright, you need to register it officially, the correct way, not through some outdated urban legend method.

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
In the US, the ONLY way you can file for damages on a copyright infringement case is if you register the copyright with the copyright office. If you have not registered, then you have NO claim to damages.

Sorry but this is NOT true. registration is not a condition of copyright protection in the US but it does provide some additional benefits to encourage registration.

With unregistered copyright you can only get only an award of actual damages and loss of profits. If registration is made statutory damages and attorney''s fees will be available as well.

There are other benefits which can be found at the US Copyright Office





Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

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