USA copyright law is somewhat different from other nations' and from the
international version. But: basically:
-copyright is good for the author's life plus 75 years
-heirs can give rights or deny rights to republish during 75 yrs, but after
that, the work can not be "willed" to anyone else.
-"fair use" of portions of a copyrighted work allows brief quotations without
permission (usually for reviews or to cite a point); but "brief" sometimes
must be defined by courts in disputes.
-copyrighted work can be used in educational settings if the copying is
incidental and done without extensive pre-planning.... that is, if a teacher
suddenly (during or immediately before a class) wants his students to see a
work, it can be copied, but not sold.
-individuals get by with making any copies for their own personal use, but copy
stores, like Kinko will not copy unless presented with a release from the
copyright holder regardless of the intended sole personal use (to protect
themeselves) but usually will ignore some customer copying using the customer's
own hands. Some works have joined the paper version of BMI where a small fee
can be transferred to the holder by a copy store when copying is done.
-copyright only exists when it is enforced. One test involves judging if the
copying has materially harmed the owner or the owner's market for the work. No
measurable harm, no foul, it goes.
-copyright is lost if the owner freely gives his work away to the public
without attaching a notice of copyright (c in a circle etc.).
There are many items that can not be copyrighted, like the schematic symbol for
a resistor or even a diagram of a power supply if that circuit is in wide
public use. "Kleenix" was denied copyright with the argument that the word had
entered the language to such a thorough extent as to no longer just refer to
one branded product. A specific singing of a song can be copyrighted but if
another person sings it, copyright is in a grey area. The fun really begins
when copying is made off the Internet--is the stuff freely given or what?
Some countries, like China, do not obey copyright laws.
Charles Harpole email@example.com
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> To: email@example.com
> Date: Tue, 18 May 2010 23:06:05 -0400
> Subject: [Amps] Heathkit Copyright
> It depends on time of "public domain" & etc. - are you really learned
> with copyright [not "copywrited"] law?
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