FACTS AND MORE FAQs. . .

THIS WEEK IN IP HISTORY

August 10, 1909 ® FORD trademark for "explosive-engines and their parts" registered in 1909...[insert Pinto reference here]

August 10, 1920 ® VERMONT MAID trademark for blended cane and maple table syrup registered...mmmm...Vermont syrup...Delish!

August 11, 1942 Hedy Markey receieved a patent for a secret communication system in 1942...ssshhh, it's a secret!

August 13, 1890 © Publisher registers an edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" in 1890...the scarlet letter was last seen attached to a Los Angeles Lakers jersey, number 8.

August 14, 1889 © "The Washington Post March" by John Phillip Sousa is registered in 1889...and The Washington Post has been a pillar of journalistic integrity ever since.

August 15, 1989 © President George Bush issues a proclamation commemorating the bicentennial anniversary of the 1st patent and copyright laws in 1989...probably the last time a Bush made a proclamation of any kind.

August 16, 1949 Patent #2,478,967 granted to Leonard Greene of Mineola, NY in 1949 for an "airplane stall warning device"...so, where's the turbulence warning device?!?

August 17, 1993 Patent #5,236,208 issued in 1993 to Thomas Welsh for a platform steerable skateboard...now if only they can outfit one with airbags.

©OPYRIGHT THROUGH HISTO®Y

Since ancient times, the right to control copying of authored materials has existed.

Under Roman law, the right to control use of an authored work was determined by ownership of the work itself.

". . .and therefore if Titus has written a poem, a history or an oration, on your paper or parchment, you and not Titus are the owner of the written paper." The Institute, Book 2, Title 1, sections 33 and 34

Under Roman law, the owner of the paper had superior rights to even the person making up the words or drawings. Fortunately, for most artists and authors outside of the "Hollywood" system, Roman law no longer controls.

THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT
Until the invention of the printing press in the middle ages, in order to copy a work, the text had to be recopied by hand. Such arduous work prevented large scale copying. Long before the Internet, the printing press brought on many new challenges for the copyright owner.

The first known copyright was granted in Venice, Italy on September 01, 1486.

After alleged "infringements" the first English (U.K.) copyright laws were enacted by Queen Anne who extended letters to favored publishers which granted them a monopoly over the reproduction of certain works.

Even our own founding fathers recognized the importance of copyright. U.S. Constitution Article 1, Section 8 grants to authors and inventors the right for a limited time to have exclusive rights to exploit their creations. No doubt author, inventor and Federalist, Thomas Jefferson who served in the Copyright Office had a significant impact in ensuring such rights.

Congress enacted the first United States Copyright Act in 1790. 1 Stat. 124 1st Congress 2nd Sess., c.15.

FLASH FORWARD
Forget Guggenheim, in the digital age, one "cut and paste" copy of a popular text, .jpeg photo or MP3 music title can reproduce online faster than tribbles on the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Effective protection against infringement requires action in an "INTERNET MINUTE" (about 59 seconds less than a "New York minute").

DON'T DELAY - GET IMPACT

Take swift action against cybersquatting, Meta Tagging and good-old-fashioned infringement.

GET THE A&S ADVANTAGE!

MULTIPLE COPYRIGHTABLE SUBJECT MATTERS COVERED --
DO I NEED ANOTHER APPLICATION?


We often receive questions about the extent and degree of protection of multiple works under a single Copyright application. Sometimes these inquiries are made by textile manufacturers seeking in a single application, to register a catalog of works (by a single artist or making up a particular line, style or theme, e.g., "the fall collection").

Sometimes, the creative Artist herself seeks to register and protect under one Copyright application, an entire book of drawings (whether cartoons, caricatures, landscapes, or patterns, etc.).

Other times, we hear from website designers or book publishers seeking to register in a single application, all photographs, graphics and text on a particular website or publication.

While we do indeed encourage our Artist and Designer clients to take such an important step toward obtaining strong copyright protection for their work, AS A GENERAL RULE THE MORE LIMITED THE CONTENTS OF AN APPLICATION, THE STRONGER THE PROTECTION.
For this reason, we advise our clients to seek independent registrations of each separate work wherever possible.

EXAMPLES:
Cartoons: We have advised clients that even within a single work, there may exist more than one independently copyrightable element. (e.g., each of the characters in a particular cartoon feature - Bart, Homer Lisa . . . or Mickey, Donald and Goofy).

If a cartoonist was to bring legal action against an alleged copyright infringer who had not reproduced the original drawings but rather had "borrowed" a single element (e.g., a lesser known chararacter, e.g., Flanders, Principal Skinner . . . or "Sneezy") and had incorporated the character into another original setting and plot (a derivative work) the cartoonist would have a significantly better chance of
obtaining an injunction and recovery of damages if the character were independently registered (e.g., in a "style guide" - showing the
character in different poses) rather than being featured only in two frames in a less than prominent portion of the work.

With Internet copying being as easy as it is, it stands to reason that the difference between "irreparable harm" and "deminimus" (mere nuisance) copying might in some cases depend on whether an infringer took all of the copyrighted material from a website, rather than only one small portion of it.

In the era of song sampling (where an artist only takes a few notes or words from a popular song), there have been cases where Courts have ruled that the copying, though potentially actionable, (for compulsory license purposes) does not rise to the level of a wholesale infringement to warrant an injunction, statutory damages for wilfulness and attorneys fees.

In any case, a savvy website designer, who had independently registered every single photo (or underlying artistic material) from an online catalog, would have much better chances against an internet pirate than would the site designer who had sought protection for his entire website in only
a single application.

Therefore, a copyrighted photo is better than a copyrighted catalog of photos. A copyrighted drawing stronger than a book of drawings. Similarly, plagiarism of only one small portion of text is much less actionable than wholesale copying of an entire novel. With that in mind, you can seek copyright protection for your entire work as a "compilation", or better still, for any portion which is likely to be infringed.

We encourage our author and artist clients to seek strong and independent protection for each of their works and for any components included within such works. For this reason, we offer a substantial discount for volume or bulk filings.

REGISTER YOUR COPYRIGHT NOW - ONLY $249.

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