[Coco] mikeyterm (software copyrights)
farna at att.net
Thu Sep 18 10:58:51 EDT 2008
Just remember that copyright is like speed limits -- someone has to be there to enforce it or it's really worthless. The copyright was changed at the urging of big companies like Disney who have "commodities" like Mickey Mouse, whose copyright would have expired long ago, that they count on. If you violate a copyright there has to be someone to complain or it's a moot point. But a company like Disney WILL complain! In order to win a judgement they have to prove damages, or that a profit was being made at the least. Most, even Disney and the US auto makers, simply issue a "cease and desist" letter from their legal staff as a first step, then pursue legal action if you continue. I'm not sure if the law requires them to tell you to stop first or not, I would think that it does, but they could continue legal action even if you did quit IF they could prove/suspected you made a substantial amount of money from them. Shortly after Daimler too over Chrysler the legal-beagles went after clubs that were using the Mopar and other Chrysler logos. they issued cease and desist orders with instructions on how to license the logos. They got a lot of complaints, and lost quite a few customers! They did allow clubs free use, but only after an approval process. Someone finally realized it was costing them a lot for nothing and they stopped messing with the clubs who just sold T-shirts and calendars locally anyway.
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2008 21:01:16 -0700
From: shadow at shadowgard.com
> > Copyright doesn't expire that quickly.
Yep. In fact given when the term was changed, *no* personal computer
software copyright is going to expire (in the US at least) before
2025. Might even be 2050.
Term is either 50 or 75 years for copyright not owned by the author
(I forget which). Thus nothing written after 1975 would expire before
the years I gave above.
For stuff where the author has the copyrigt, the clock doesn't start
until the author *dies*.
so unless the author has placed the software in the public domain,
you are violatimng copyright unless you have his permission.
Oh yeah, if someone *other* than the author say it's in the public
domain and you distribute it, relying on their advice and they are
wrong, you are still legally liable for the infringement.
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