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best copyright verbage to protect personal works? (13 posts)

  1. jimmywhofan
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Hi, I am managing a blog for my sister, in which she is going to publish papers she is writing in grad school. She wants to make sure she is completely safe from people getting on there and copying it, and using it, and her being responsible.

    I would like to know the best text to warn people from using her work..and whether it should be on a seperate "terms" page, or something like that, or if a "copyright 2005 - Jane Doe" is sufficient. Even if the "copyright 2005" is sufficient, I would still like some advice on the best words to use like "This is my work and is not to be taken and used by anyone else..etc." But I still want the works to be distributed properly, if people want to.

    Hope this makes sense! Thanks!

    Jack

  2. vkaryl
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    There's no reason to "over-verbiage" it. A simple copyright date with name is all that's needed.... because it won't stop anyone from stealing stuff anyway.

    If your sister doesn't want anyone to steal her work, she shouldn't put it online period. Nothing you can say or do will stop thieves.

    Sorry - there's no iron-clad rule on the 'net.... except that thieves are thieves.

  3. jimmywhofan
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Ok - Thanks. I've discovered the Creative Commons license...do you think this would be a good choice?

  4. vkaryl
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    ANY license is a better choice than none. However, most licenses allow for certain derivative works, and derivatives is a really seriously iffy situation.

    I write. This is what I use (based on consultations between my attorney and my agent):

    Copyright 2005 and following "my legal name here". All rights reserved. No unauthorized use permitted; all derivative works must have prior approval.

    I also list contact email within that paragraph.

    I have to tell you though that I spend a good deal of time on a monthly basis tracking down and C&D'ing people who steal from me, regardless the above.

    Why does your sister want to put stuff out online before she's ready to publish? That's asking for theft. It's also asking for being on the wrong end of someone saying, but I did it first! And they will....

  5. jimmywhofan
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I'm not sure I understand your question. She is publishing her stuff. (putting on website = publish, right?). These are papers that she doesnt intend on turning into anything really, so she wants to just put them on her blog...to promote discussion and interest. They are about philosophy, history, and culture. She just primarily doesnt want to be guilty of aiding in plagiarism..if someone copies her stuff and turns it into a university or high school as their own work.

  6. vkaryl
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Ah. I for some reason thought you meant that she was planning to publish in her own right eventually, perhaps as a graduate or master's thesis.... In my view "publish" when combined with "papers" = the "publish or perish" algorithm generally found in academia.

    Well, there's only so much you can do. Use a similar copyright statement, and register with copyscape - http://copyscape.com/ - the best of which service costs a bit, though it's not outrageous.

  7. stevejohnson
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    jwf,

    As has been said, there's really not a whole lot you can do to keep people from stealing web page content, except keep a watchful eye every once in a while if it's really important to you. A simple copyright notice with the copyright symbol, year, and name is all that is really needed, in a technical sense (and as a purely technical matter, the notice isn't even essential. Copyright is automatically granted at inception, and doesn't have to be claimed or applied for).

    If someone copies her stuff and calls it their own, your sister wouldn't be guilty of aiding in anything. That line of thought, frankly, doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

  8. vkaryl
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    stevejohnson: there have, unfortunately, been situations (in Utah, which is the only state I'm qualified to discuss) where a person who has published papers online has been "taken to task" for "aiding and abetting" the use of those published works by those who did not originate them, enabling those users to pass courses which otherwise they might not have passed. It's indubitable that in some of those cases there was intent to "aid and abet". The problem is that the justice system doesn't always differentiate particularly well - ESPECIALLY in this state it seems.

    While this is a travesty in many directions, NO ONE wants to get hauled into court for the simple fact of having published hisser own work online. However, it happens. jwf and his sister are right to worry a bit. It's stupid, but again, NO ONE wants to deal with it - attorneys are expensive.

    The internet is a priceless resource - if you can't find it online, it most probably doesn't exist. It's also a priceless resource - for the lazy and the unscrupulous. Think about it.

  9. angsuman
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    You may also want to protect your feeds. Either send out excerpted (short amount of text only) feeds or you can use my feed copyrighter plugin to automatically add copyright message to your feed (any variant supported).

  10. jimmywhofan
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Great, thanks guys (and gals?) for your help. Thanks also angusman, will have to look into that.

  11. jimmywhofan
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Alright so Ive found a very scary "Terms and Conditions" from one website....could I just basically copy that (inserting my website name), and use that?? Or could there be something illegal about that?

  12. vkaryl
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    You should contact the site owner and explain what you're attempting to do, and ask permission to rework their T&C for your specific situation.

    It's not nice to just rip stuff off. Especially for someone who's posting about preventing plagiarism.

  13. jimmywhofan
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    That's a good point...and that's why I'm asking here first. I will do that.

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