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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member kate S =D's Avatar
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    Disclaimer with you name on?

    Hi,

    I have a burning question, but couldn't find an appropriate forum to ask, hope someone here could help me..

    You know when you go to a site, and see those copyright disclaimers at the bottom of the page? Sometimes, it has the webmater's own name like *Concept & Written Content is copyright James Edward, 2000-2001.*

    I'm making my own site, so should I put a similar phrase at the bottom of my page with my name replaced on it? Or you have to register or something? I know this sounds very silly, but almost every site I visit has this kind of disclaimer stuff.

    Just curious..

    TIA!

  2. #2
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Under US Copyright law any unique creative work is automatically copyrighted at it's inception. You do not need to put a disclaimer or a copyright statement on your website for this.

    However a statement does serve the purpose of reminding a would be theif that this information is indeed copyrighted.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast pff's Avatar
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    Yes but how can someone judge and decide who created it first? I mean if he says I did, and you say I did, how are they gonna decide?

    Thanks
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  4. #4
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    If someone copies your work and then claiming he did it first is a defense he may use when you sue him.

    You'll both present your cases and the judge will decide who is telling the truth.

    Then he will assign damages, and since one person outright lied about it and said he did it first the punitive damages would probably be high.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  5. #5
    Bimbo With A Brain! silver trophy Saz's Avatar
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    I guess one thing you could do to help back yourself up would be to keep copies of all the original graphic files in the format in which you created them before you saved them as gifs or jpg's for the web. It's what I've been doing. Whether or not I'll need to defend myself in court and whether or not the graphic files will help, I guess only time will tell.
    Saz: Naturally Blonde, Naturally Dizzy!
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  6. #6
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    This topic often comes up here, and I'll try my best to say it as I see it. I do not have a legal background.

    Due to international copyright agreements, these laws apply in almost all countries of the world.

    All works that are written are protected by copyright the moment that they are written down, on paper or on a hard disk, etc. This includes design, text, graphics, photographs, sound, you name it.

    The copyright protection applies with or without registration of copyright (US only) or a copyright notice. The copyright protection means that legally, nobody is able to copy your work without your permission, unless it comes under the local acceptable use guidelines.

    However, it would be very hard in most cases to prove that something is your own work. To make it easier, it is encouraged that you put a copyright notice on your work. The copyright notice must include the year that the work was created, the owner of the work, and the symbol . It must be a C in a circle, simply putting (c) is not recommended.

    Other optional things you may wish to include in the copyright notice are the word "Copyright", and a statement such as "All Rights Reserved." These are optional and not required. They may help in some circumstances in some countries.

    A common copyright notice is "Copyright 1999 John Doe. All Rights Reserved."

    The copyright notice does not alter the fact that the work is protected by copyright - all it does is help to identify the owner of the work and the date.

    Another thing that helps to identify the owner of the work and the date is earlier revisions, original documents, and anything that can be considered evidence that somebody created the work. Also receipts, contracts, etc in case the work has been traded etc etc the list goes on.

    In the US, they have a further hurdle. In some cases, when a claim gets to court, it is beneficial to have registered the work with the Library of Congress. This does not alter the fact that the work is protected by copyright - all it does is simply the judicial process in some way and give some benefits. I don't know what. Thankfully, in other countries this is not an issue.

    Once again, I am not a legal expert. These are only things I've learned from poking around the internet.
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  7. #7
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    Kate,

    I understand you're in the UK, but for any of our American viewers who have the same question, I'll simplify what getting a Library of Congress Copyright can do for you (since I've received them before).

    Basically what this does is protect your work, and any derivatives of it, from being unlawfully copied. You get a statement that shows the name, description, and the date that copyright began. If you have such a paper when you go to court, it is almost certain that the courts will rule in your favor, since you have an official government stamp that says "you were the first to design this."
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Also, if I remember correctly, in the US, if you haven't registered a copyright, then you can only force the other party to stop using your works. If you did register it, then you can get money for the actual damage the other party did by using your work.

  9. #9
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    Also, if I remember correctly, in the US, if you haven't registered a copyright, then you can only force the other party to stop using your works. If you did register it, then you can get money for the actual damage the other party did by using your work.
    Not true.

    Damages rewarded are a completely different issue.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by aspen
    Not true.

    Damages rewarded are a completely different issue.
    Hmm, I guess my 11 years of law school didn't serve me well.

    Just curious, but how are the damages rewarded? How do they determine how much the defendant has to pay if he loses?

  11. #11
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    now you know you didn't go to law school...

    There are actual damages and punitive or statutory damages.

    Actual damages are damages resulting from the illegal use of your work. These damages include money lost because of the theft and profit gained by the theif because of the theft. If you weren't making money off the piece and if the person using it wasn't making money off it either then you wont be rewarded any of these damages except for court costs.

    Punitive damages are meant as punishment. These can be high, low, or in between depending on the infraction. If someone did it innocently, thinking it was okay, and wasn't making any money off it. You probably wont get much here.

    But if the person knew what they were doing and tried a stunt like claiming it was their original work the judge would probably decide they need some punitive punishment.

    Additionally in the US commercial copyright violation involving more than 10 copies and value over $2500 was recently made a felony, so in that situation you'd be facing criminal as well as civil liability.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Member kate S =D's Avatar
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    A BIG thank you to everyone who replied! You guys are cool~~

    Gosh, there's just so many things to learn~~


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