Re: legal status of ©?

Murray Altheim (
Sun, 14 May 1995 19:00:44 +0500

>Does anyone want to comment on whether © is legal as a copyright
>signature? It's well known that "(c)" isn't, for example. What about
> Brian
> http://www.[hyperreal,organic].com/

Following are some links regarding U.S. trademark and copyright law,
including some text from the document "Copyright Basics". This should give
those interested some leads into this important issue:

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office:

Intellectual Property and the National Information Infrastructure's
preliminary draft of the report of the Working Group on Intellectual
Property Rights, a subgroup of the Information Infrastructure Task Force:

The Copyright Office, which is under the Library of Congress, provides
similar information on copyrights:


And an excerpt from the document "Copyright Basics":


------- start of excerpt -------


Copyright Secured Automatically Upon Creation

The way in which copyright protection is secured under the present
law is frequently misunderstood. No publication or registration
or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure
copyright (see following NOTE). There are, however, certain
definite advantages to registration.

* * * *
NOTE: Before 1978, statutory copyright was generally secured by
the act of publication with notice of copyright, assuming
compliance with all other relevant statutory conditions. Works in
the public domain on January 1, 1978 ( for example, works published
without satisfying all conditions for securing statutory copyright
under the Copyright Act of 1909) remain in the public domain under
the current act.

Statutory copyright could also be secured before 1978 by the act
of registration in the case of certain unpublished works and works
eligible for ad interim copyright. The current Act automatically
extends to full term (sectin 304 sets the term) copyright for all
works including those subject to ad interim copyright if ad
interim registration has been made on or before June 30, 1978.
* * * *

Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created,
and a work is "created" when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord
for the first time. "Copies" are material objects from which a
work can be read or visually perceived either directly or with the
aid of a machine or device, such as books, manuscripts, sheet
music, film, videotape, or microfilm. "Phonorecords" are material
objects embodying fixations of sounds (excluding, by statutory
definition, motion picture soundtracks), such as cassette tapes,
CD's, or LP's. Thus, for example, a song (the "work") can be fixed
in sheet music ("copies") or in phonograph disks ("phonorecords"),
or both.

If a work is prepared over a period of time, the part of the
work that is fixed on a particular date constitutes the created
work as of that date.

------- end of excerpt -------

Now it is day. The sun is up. Now is the time for all dogs to get up.
"Get up!" It is day. Time to get going. Go, dogs. Go!
-- Dr. Seuss
Murray M. Altheim, Information Systems Analyst
National Technology Transfer Center, Wheeling, West Virginia, USA