Re: Information & Power /Alexandria library

Michael S. Lorrey (
Mon, 03 May 1999 11:33:34 -0400

Randall Randall wrote:

> I've lately thought that on Mon, 03 May 1999, wrote:
> >
> >How is a copyright theft by state grant? I view it as a 'brand" to identify
> >one's property
> Why don't you just mark all your property yourself? Copyright is most
> useful when you want to tell someone *else* what they can and
> cannot do with their own printer or CD-R burner. I have no problem
> with copyright by contract, but I don't think it would be enforceable.

You can do whatever you want with your CD burner, so long as it is not infringing on my rights to my information. Its as simple as me having the right to do whatever I want with my guns, so long as I am not shooting you with them for no reason. Simple delineation of property lines.

Moreover, you can mark your property yourself as a copyright. You no longer have to register a copyright with the government. The registration is simply a matter of establishing a more formally accepted origination date. You can copyright your information, and I can copyright my information. If we originated the same information separately with nobody influencing the other, then we both have the same right to that information. This is where what is called the 'poor man's copyright' comes in, where you mail yourself a copy of the information, so it is post dated, but you don't open it. This establishes your origination date. Essentially if your information is published, a year later it is assumed to be sufficiently disseminated in the public that you have exclusive right to that information. If someone originates their own identical information within that period, then there is shared rights to that information.

For example, an architect I know designed a building, and it was built (and he retained a copyright on the design). A photo of this building made it into an industry mag, where another architect on the other side of the country noticed that the building was almost an exact duplicate of one of his designs (in appearance). He sued, but since no 'germination' evidence could be established, and both men designed their buildings at about the same time, they both had a right to the design.

Mike Lorrey