On 3/22/09, Michael Risch <Michael.Risch@...> wrote:
> All -
> To clarify (and state more strongly what I said in the last post):
> 1. For joint works (which this is, so long as each author is a joint contributor and not assigning to a non-profit), the copyright term in the U.S. is the death of the last surviving author +70 years. Note that this date will differ for different versions, as the authors are different.
That's perfect, and in tune with most of the rest of the world.
Since expiration is not an issue, the date we are concerned with is
the start of the work, to remind that it's always been copyrighted
from the start.
> 2. The Statute (17 U.S.C. 401(b)(2)) says this about the notice: "the year of first publication of the work; in the case of compilations or derivative works incorporating previously published material, the year date of first publication of the compilation or derivative work is sufficient." This means that 2002-2009 OR 2009 is acceptable AND NOTHING ELSE.
So I understand the *first* publication of the joint work would be 2002.
As a conclusion, I believe the best we can have is:
(c) Copyright 2002-2009 by authors of the TikiWiki CMS/Groupware Project
And we'll need some script in the release process which always puts
the current year instead of 2009... :-(
> 3. Here is the copyright office circular on this: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ03.html
> 4. Note that a copyright registration must ALSO be made to get the benefit of the notice within 90 days of publication.
> I realize this is a pain and that you don't like it, but if you aren't going to take the steps to get the benefit of the statute, then don't bother putting the notice in at all. That's an appropriate choice in the cost/benefit tradeoff - there will still be copyright protection. This is all I'll say on the issue - if you all want to go pay a different lawyer to tell you the same thing, my feelings won't be hurt.
We are very thankful for your work. It's just that a lot of us are not
famailiar with the specifics of US copyright law. The US is among the
last countries to sign the Berne Convention, and we are more used to
the Berne Convention logic (automatic copyright, no notice required).