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Subject: Copyright Law FAQ (5/6): Further copyright resources

This article was archived around: 9 Apr 96 18:51:24 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: law/Copyright-FAQ
All FAQs posted in: misc.legal, misc.legal.computing, misc.int-property, comp.patents
Source: Usenet Version

Posted-By: auto-faq 2.4 Archive-name: law/Copyright-FAQ/part5
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT COPYRIGHT (V. 1.1.3) Part 5 - Further copyright resources. Copyright 1994 Terry Carroll (c) 1994 Terry Carroll Last update: January 6, 1994. This article is the fifth in a series of six articles that contains frequently asked questions (FAQ) with answers relating to copyright law, particularly that of the United States. It is posted to the Usenet misc.legal, misc.legal.computing, misc.int-property, comp.patents, misc.answers, comp.answers, and news.answers newsgroups monthly, on or near the 17th of each month. This FAQ is available for anonymous FTP from rtfm.mit.edu [], in directory /pub/usenet/news.answers/law/Copyright-FAQ, files part1 - part6. If you do not have direct access by FTP, you can obtain a copy via email: send a message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with the following lines in it: send usenet/news.answers/law/Copyright-FAQ/part1 send usenet/news.answers/law/Copyright-FAQ/part2 send usenet/news.answers/law/Copyright-FAQ/part3 send usenet/news.answers/law/Copyright-FAQ/part4 send usenet/news.answers/law/Copyright-FAQ/part5 send usenet/news.answers/law/Copyright-FAQ/part6 quit DISCLAIMER - PLEASE READ. This article is Copyright 1994 by Terry Carroll. It may be freely redistributed in its entirety provided that this copyright notice is not removed. It may not be sold for profit or incorporated in commercial documents without the written permission of the copyright holder. Permission is expressly granted for this document to be made available for file transfer from installations offering unrestricted anonymous file transfer on the Internet. Permission is further granted for this document to be made available for file transfer in the data libraries of associated with the following Compuserve Information Services fora: the Legal Forum, the Desktop Publishing Forum, the Show Business Forum, and the Ideas, Invention & Innovation Forum. This article is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. Nothing in this article represents the views of Santa Clara University or of the Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal. While all information in this article is believed to be correct at the time of writing, this article is for educational purposes only and does not purport to provide legal advice. If you require legal advice, you should consult with a legal practitioner licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Terry Carroll, the FAQ-maintainer, is a computer professional, and is currently (January 1994) a student in his final semester at Santa Clara University School of Law, is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal, and is seeking employment as an attorney. If you have any additions, corrections, or suggestions for improvement to this FAQ, please send them to one of the following addresses, in order of preference: 71550.133@compuserve.com tcarroll@scuacc.scu.edu I will accept suggestions for questions to be added to the FAQ, but please be aware that I will be more receptive to questions that are accompanied by answers. :-) FAQ ORGANIZATION. The following table indicates the contents of each of the parts of the FAQ. Part 1 - Introduction (including full table of contents). Part 2 - Copyright basics. Part 3 - Common miscellaneous questions. Part 4 - International aspects. Part 5 - Further copyright resources. Part 6 - Appendix: A note about legal citation form, or, "What's all this '17 U.S.C. 107' and '977 F.2d 1510' stuff?" TABLE OF CONTENTS (for this part). Part 5 - Further copyright resources. 5.1) Where can I get more information on copyright? 5.2) What materials related to copyright are available on the Internet? 5.1) Where can I get more information on copyright? The U.S. Copyright Office General Information Package 118 provides general information on copyright law. Copyright Office Circular 2, "Publications on Copyright," provides a complete list of publications relating to copyright which are available from the Copyright Office. These materials and many others may be ordered (generally free of charge) by calling the Copyright Office Hotline at 202-707-9100 and leaving a voice mail message. Call the Hotline only if you already know the number of the publication you want. If you don't know the publication number, the Copyright Office maintains a prerecorded information line at 202-707- 3000. This line provides an automatic voice mail attendant that provides information according to responses presented from a touch-tone keypad. Much of the information in section 2.6 was obtained from this information line. The book "Intellectual Property in a Nutshell," by Arthur R. Miller of Harvard Law School and Michael H. Davis of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (West Publishing, 1990, ISBN 0-314-75738-4), provides a fine introduction not only to copyright law, but also to patent and trademark law. It's typically available from college or law school bookstores for about $15. The authoritative secondary source for information on copyright is the five-volume loose-leaf opus, "Nimmer on Copyright." Originally written and maintained by the late Professor Melville Nimmer and now maintained by his son, David Nimmer, this is the most respected source of copyright information, short of the texts of the statutes, regulations, and cases themselves. Nimmer is frequently cited by courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, as an authority to justify their opinions. I've been surprised to find short essays on even the most obscure copyright questions (e.g., whether a food recipe is subject to copyright). I heartily recommend it as an initial source for research. It is, however, a bit dense for casual reading. Several readers have recommended L. Ray Patterson & Stanley W. Lindberg, "The Nature Of Copyright" (1991), ISBNs 0-8203-1362-9 (paperback) and 0- 8203-1347-5 (hardback). Patterson and Stanley reportedly argue for a broad interpretation of a user's rights in a work, and a more narrow interpretation of the right of the copyright holder. Be aware that this interpretation may or may not match the law of your jurisdiction. In preparing this FAQ, I consulted the casebook that was used in my Copyright class in Fall of 1991 at Santa Clara University School of Law: Joyce, Patry, Leaffer and Jaszi, "Copyright Law, Second Edition" (1991), ISBN 0-8205-0115-8. Like most casebooks, it contains edited versions of most of the landmark decisions in the law, including most of the cases that are cited in this FAQ. It's not for beginners, but it's well- written, and often contains illustrations of the works being discussed in the cases (a very useful feature, since copyright questions often turn on questions of similarity or originality that can only be determined by seeing the work). The book's best features are a good review of the history of copyright, an excellent description of the international treaties covering copyright, and a detailed bibliography at the end of each chapter. An unfortunate feature is the index, which is not the best organized, and often provides incorrect page numbers (perhaps because of the editors' hurry to include the Feist case that had been decided only a few months before the book was in stores). Nolo Press publishes two books on copyright for the lay reader: "The Copyright Handbook: How to Protect and Use Written Works," by Stephen Fishman, ISBN 0-87337-130-5 ($24.95) and "How to Copyright Software," by M.J. Salone, ISBN 0-87337-102-X ($39.95). My knowledge of these books is limited to the entries in the catalog, but Nolo Press generally enjoys an excellent reputation for publishing accurate and understandable books on law. Nolo's telephone number is (510) 549-1976. 5.2) What materials related to copyright are available on the Internet? The following is a list of materials relating to copyright that I have been able to verify are available on the Internet. STATUTES: - FATTY.LAW.CORNELL.EDU - Most portions of the current copyright law have been made available by Cornell University. To review the statute, enter the command telnet fatty.law.cornell.edu 8210 and sign on with a user ID of "www." No password is necessary. This will allow you to use the World Wide Web software to navigate the copyright law. It also includes access to the Berne Convention. TREATIES: - THE MULTILATERALS PROJECT - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy maintains the Multilaterals Project, an anonymous ftp site with a number of multilateral treaties, at jade.tufts.edu. This archive includes versions of both the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention. The treaties are in directory /pub/diplomacy. The following files are of particular interest: README - A one-page description of the Multilaterals Project, by Peter Stott, its director. INDEX - An index of all the treaties and other documents available from the project. BH006-1971.txt - The 1971 Paris text of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. UNTS11850.txt - The 1967 Stockholm text of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. The United States is not a party to the this text. UNTS13444.txt - The 1971 Paris text of the Universal Copyright Convention. In addition, The Berne Convention may also be viewed via telnet to fatty.law.cornell.edu as noted above, under "STATUTES." OTHER RESOURCES: - THE CNI-COPYRIGHT MAILING LIST - The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) sponsors CNI-Copyright, an Internet mailing list devoted to copyright issues. To join, send a message to LISTSERV@CNI.ORG with a single line of text in the body that says: SUBSCRIBE CNI-COPYRIGHT your name If that doesn't work, send a message to CRAIG@CNI.ORG (Craig Summerhill) and ask him to manually add you to the list. After joining, messages may be sent to the list at CNI-COPYRIGHT@CNI.ORG. Archives of the CNI-COPYRIGHT list are available and may be searched online via telnet. To access them, telnet to a.cni.org, login with the ID "brsuser" (no password is required), and follow the instructions presented. CNI-COPYRIGHT archives are in the COPY database. CNI is a not for profit corporation and is a joint project of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), CAUSE, and EDUCOM. It promotes the creation of and access to information resources in networked environments in order to enrich scholarship and to enhance intellectual productivity. - COPYRIGHT GUIDE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS - FTP site moink.nmsu.edu ( has a repository, /pub/rec.photo, for files related to photography. Among the files contained in this directory is the Copyright Guide For Photographers, produced by the American Society of Media Photographers, Inc. While the Guide is particularly oriented towards photographers, much of the information it provides will be of use to anyone interested in copyright. The file asmp-copyright-guide is an ASCII version of this document. A TeX version is also available, in asmp-copyright-TeX.tar.z. - USENET NEWSGROUPS - There are several newsgroups that from time to time discuss copyright issues. misc.legal: the main newsgroup covering legal issues, including copyright law. misc.legal.moderated: A moderated analog to misc.legal, but moderated, and probably with a higher signal-to-noise ratio as a result. misc.int-property: Discussions of intellectual property; copyright, patent, trademark and trade secrecy, and their alternatives. misc.legal.computing: Legal issues related to computers. Copyright and patent issues predominate. comp.patents: Moderated newsgroup discussing issues related to computers and patents, including software patents. The newsgroup is moderated by patents-request@cs.su.oz.au (Peter Treloar). Please note that the focus of this group is more on patent law than copyright law. comp.software.licensing: Trends, practices, and techniques in software licensing. gnu.misc.discuss: Discussions in this group frequently include issues of software patents, copyright, and "copyleft."