Facts About Copyrights

Reprinted from Roadmaster Directory
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Copyright is a widely misunderstood concept. The fact is,
everything you've ever written, from your school notes to family
bulletins, is yours, and unless you copied it from a copyrighted
source, you own the copyright. This simple legal principle is
accepted in most free-world countries, but it's almost useless
to you in a court of law without some sort of proof.

The simplest way to assert copyright is to print (C) Your Name,
Year. You'll notice we use this notification on much of our
material. It is not necessary to add the legal warning which we
use, however.

You can protect your copyright cheaply, and with a high degree
of legal protection, by sealing the item to be copyrighted in a
tamper-proof envelope, stamping the envelope over any point
where the envelope could be opened, having your postal clerk
postmark the stamps over the seal points, and mailing it back to
yourself.

Label the envelope for future reference, and if you can, smudge
the fresh postmark ink so there's a gray blotch between stamp
and envelope. It can be scrutinized in court for tampering, and
any half-decent forensic scientist will be able to shoot down
amy zealous attorney who tries to prove you faked it. You can
copyright whole books this way for under $2.00.

You are not strictly required to register your copyright, but it
is the best protection, and if you do wish to copyright, write
to:

Register of Copyrights. Library of Congress, Washington. DC
20059 (U.S.) or: Supply and Services Canada, Publishing Center,
Mail Order Section, Hull QC K1A 0S1 for a copy of the Copyright
Act Act in Canada, and Industrial Design Branch, Bureau of
Corporate Affairs, Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada,
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C9 for general inquiries.

It costs money to register a copyright, so unless you really
require solid protection, or demand confidentiality, it may not
be worth your while.

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