|FROM ||Rick Moen
|SUBJECT ||Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Apple crimes
Correcting my hilarous typo, that in this case could be confusing on
accout of technical subject matter:
> You are mistaken. The Copyright Act and Berne Convention Treaty vest
> the copyright title over any covert work in the creator's hands at the
> instant of the work's creation 'in fixed form'.
Should be 'covered'.
Here's the reference for automatic vesting of copyright title in the creator's
Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in
original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression,
now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived,
reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid
of a machine or device. Works of authorship include the following
The current Copyright Act (Chapter 17 of the United States Code,
abbreviated as 17 U.S.C.) reflects amendment in 1988 when Congress
passed the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988 to domesitically
implement the Berne Convention (full title: Convention for the
Protection of Literary and Artistic Works). The biggest single change
adopting the Berne Convention made to USA law was to make copyright
title _automatic_. Starting shortly after the erne Convention
Implementation Act, it was no longer possible for works to lapse to the
public domain solely because the stakeholder failed to attach a
copyright notice to some instances of the work.
The latter mishap became an issue in the judge's preliminary opinion in
the AT&T v. Regents of the University California case over BSD Unix:
The judge observed in passing that AT&T had failed to include copyright
notices on some distributed copies of (if memory serves) Version 7 Unix,
hence the entire basis for their lawsuit against UC Berkeley and BSDi
was in grave doubt. This is one of the reasons Novell (successor in
interest to AT&T) settled the lawsuit really quickly after that, along
with the fact that Novell CEO Ray Noorda thought the lawsuit was
bullshit and shouldn't continue.
Anyway, the point is that copyright belongs initially, by automatic
operation of the law, to the creator, and (ordinarily, other than some
legal mechanisms such as the Work Made for Hire Doctrine) rests with
that owner & heirs until copyright expiration, unless transferred in
writing to someone else.
If for some reason you doubt this, look at the copyright notices for the
Linux kernel, which correctly reflect the names of all the contributors.