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Old 2006-05-21, 13:59   #9
xilman's Avatar
May 2003
Down not across

2·7·827 Posts

Originally Posted by Wacky
De facto, he does have limited copyrights in some communications. However, I don't see how those rights would preclude ANYONE from continuing the project.

If he has filed for, and obtained, specific trademark or similar rights, he needs to state so and refer us to the legally recorded documents which demonstrate those grants. Otherwise, he is just ranting and, as a fool, his hot air signifies nothing more.
Under UK law (and I defer to your greater knowledge of US law), the "creator" of a document automatically owns the copyright to that document without having had to register the document with anyone. The mere act of creation is sufficient. Note that, legally, the "creator" need not be the same person who actually puts the work into concrete form as contract law provides for others to take on that role --- employers, for instance.

The position with regard to the other principle forms of intellectual property is quite different. Trademarks must be registered and defended. Patents must be applied for (and granted).

As far as I understand US intellectual property law, the postion is broadly similar. There are differences of detail (such as first-to-invent versus first-to-register,and what constitutes "disclosure", both examples taken from patent law) but the differences appear to be quite minor. The accession of the US and UK to the Berne convention on copyrights and the membership of each country in WIPO has lead substantial convergence.

I've been exposed to quite a bit of this sort of stuff, having worked for the UK subsidiary of a US-registered multinational corporation the principle business of which is the creation and exploitation of intellectual property.

Unless TTn assigned copyright of his postings to some other person, he still has control over their copying. Not absolute control, as various fair-use provisions apply in some legislations. He can forbid further redistribution without a license/licence from him but his rights under IP legislation do not prevent others from creating new documents, neither do they prevent others (Xyzzy for instance) from destroying copies already in their ownership.

I wish to make explicit that none of the above constitutes legal advice in any jurisdiction.


Last fiddled with by xilman on 2006-05-21 at 14:04
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