Just to let everyone know, in case you have not read enough of these, this site and its contents are protected under US and international copyright laws (the Berne Convention). Unless you write the authors of each post, you are warned you have no right to further download, save, email, disseminate, or publicly display any contents found herein.
Most of the authors, including myself, will grant a limited license to post on other reputable Probate websites such as NASGA, Probate Sharks and the like for educational and teaching purposes of the public and others. HOWEVER, no license is granted to get anyone in trouble, file bogus ARDC complaints violating first amendment rights, SLAPP or CPA actions, etc. No license is granted to sell, license or make money off of any post or writing on this site. All works must be considered “unpublished” to protect my rights and the rights of others. The US Copyright Office defines “publication” as an offer to sell or license for profit, or provide sales or licensing rights to a third party. Those rights are not granted herein–you can use, download or further copy and email, fax, etc. but not for profit and not so as to turn my “unpublished works” into “published ones.” Also, unless you write me and specifically write for permission to use my writing, you risk the fact I may deem your publication “unsuitable” and not in accordance with the rights of probate victims and therefore a copyright violation.
You are allowed under US copyright laws to take small portions, perhaps a sentence or two, and write commentary on it. Further, you are allowed to summarize a post. That is not copyright infringement.
CF is currently having problems understanding the concepts of copyright infringement. It’s easy — don’t copy, download, repost or resend anything from this blog. You, CF, are esp. not authorized due to your behaviors exemplified in the Table of Torts page. You actions, in general, are reckless, wilful and wanton and do not respect the rights of others.
My advice: write your own stuff and leave others alone. Write your own (bogus) blog and leave others alone. Neither Ken nor I represent Gloria and I have made it clear to her I don’t want to represent her, I want to be as a responsible member of the public to her so I can post freely.
More information: Under the Berne convention, you no longer have to have a copyright registration in order to sue for infringment, but you had better get it soon after, because the Fed. Dist. Ct. judges like that. You do not have to use a proper copyright notice to claim your stuff (circle c, name or identifier of copyright owner, year(s) of publication)
Copyright infringement is a serious matter with statutory damages of about $10,000 per occurrence plus attorneys fees. The laws are extremely pro plaintiff. Punitive damages are available for wilful infringement. If a defendant does not settle and resolve the claim prior to trial and he loses, that means the judgment goes right to the US Marshall, and generally an arrest is made and a complaint brought for criminal copyright infringement.
I am, therefore, a stickler for asking people permission to post. I always get that, until people start to say “oh, please use my standing permission.”
Thanks for understanding. I expect others to respect my copyrights in my work product, as I am always asking for permission to post first, and accordingly respect the rights of others in and to their copyrights.
Further information: If someone sends me something without permission to post, I can still summarize facts in my own words and phrases. That is not copyright infringement because the underlying facts and information contained in what we read are not copyrightable. Copyright only protects our creative expressions of thoughts and ideas–it does not protect the facts and information.
For example, items not copyrightable:
1) short sayings and phrases. you should have minimum 3 or more lenghty sentences to get a copyright;
2) facts and information. as long as you say these in your own words, you are safe from copyright infringement;
3) legal pleadings and facts. the US, county and local courts actually own the case law and if they publish it on a website, go ahead and use it however you want. BUT, the major services that charge for access like Westlaw, FastCase, Lexis/Nexus, etc. rearrange the cases, put in page numbers to various citation sources and do a certain amount of formatting that might arise to copyright, I’m not quite sure. SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the US) may be very favorable to them and say their formatting, arrangement and page number disclosures are copyrightable, but I think that’s pretty much on thin ice. To be safe, only copy from the government websites that publish opinions. Short excerpts from any source are allowed under US copyright law for commentary. Don’t take the whole thing or large portions you don’t need to use is the general rule.
Legal pleadings in general, are not copyrightable because they’re supposed to be an arrangement of facts and fact applied to case law and presumably that should be a technical analysis and not a creative expression. In any case, Nimmer on Copyrights says they’re not copyrightable and I agree.
4) facts, figures, instructions, ingredient lists, etc. are not copyrightable. Recipes are not copyrightable, but an arrangement of recipes in a cookbook or creative commentary on individual recipes is copyrightable.
5) clothing fashions and design are not copyrightable. I think it’s primarily because this is a woman’s game and so it has been excluded, and also there are hundreds of millions of pieces of clothing produced every year, so that would be impossible to control and regulate. The sheer numbers of clothing registrations and clothing fights would be daunting.
6) functional items are not copyrightable. If they are new and useful and unobvious to one skilled in the art, then they are patentable. Look for “pat. pending” or a US patent number and get a good patent atty to “design around” if that is possible and practical and the patent has issued. We still have the right to hold patents in secret, so be wary of that “pat. pending” label.
From the US Library of Congress Sheet on Copyright regarding publication:
Publication is no longer the key to obtaining federal copyright
as it was under the Copyright Act of 1909. However,
publication remains important to copyright owners.
The 1976 Copyright Act defines publication as follows:
“Publication” is the distribution of copies or phonorecords
of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership,
or by rental, lease, or lending. The offering to distribute
copies or phonorecords to a group of persons for purposes
of further distribution, public performance, or public
display constitutes publication. A public performance or
display of a work does not of itself constitute publication.
note: Before 1978, federal copyright was generally secured
by the act of publication with notice of copyright, assuming
compliance with all other relevant statutory conditions. U. S.
works in the public domain on January 1, 1978, (for example,
works published without satisfying all conditions for securing
federal copyright under the Copyright Act of 1909) remain in
the public domain under the 1976 Copyright Act.
Certain foreign works originally published without notice
had their copyrights restored under the Uruguay Round
Agreements Act (URAA). See Circular 38b and see Notice of
Copyright section on page 4 for further information.
Federal 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 1976 Copyright
Act automatically extended copyright protection to full
term for all works that, as of January 1, 1978, were subject to
Copyright Basics · 4
A further discussion of the definition of “publication” can
be found in the legislative history of the 1976 Copyright
Act. The legislative reports define “to the public” as distribution
to persons under no explicit or implicit restrictions
with respect to disclosure of the contents. The reports state
that the definition makes it clear that the sale of phonorecords
constitutes publication of the underlying work, for
example, the musical, dramatic, or literary work embodied
in a phonorecord. The reports also state that it is clear that
any form of dissemination in which the material object does
not change hands, for example, performances or displays on
television, is not a publication no matter how many people
are exposed to the work. However, when copies or phonorecords
are offered for sale or lease to a group of wholesalers,
broadcasters, or motion picture theaters, publication does
take place if the purpose is further distribution, public performance,
or public display.
Publication is an important concept in the copyright law
for several reasons:
• Works that are published in the United States are subject
to mandatory deposit with the Library of Congress. See
discussion on “Mandatory Deposit for Works Published
in the United States” on page 10.
• Publication of a work can affect the limitations on the
exclusive rights of the copyright owner that are set forth
in sections 107 through 122 of the law.
• The year of publication may determine the duration of
copyright protection for anonymous and pseudonymous
works (when the author’s identity is not revealed in the
of the Copyright Office) and for works made for
• Deposit requirements for registration of published works
differ from those for registration of unpublished works.
See discussion on “Registration Procedures” on page 7.
• When a work is published, it may bear a notice of copyright
to identify the year of publication and the name of
the copyright owner and to inform the public that the
work is protected by copyright. Copies of works published
before March 1, 1989, must bear the notice or risk
loss of copyright protection. See discussion on “Notice of