Re: [ADMIN] Copyright issues

From: Admin of The Keep (
Date: 10/17/96

On Thu, 17 Oct 1996, Steve Reeves wrote:

>   I know it's not a copyright.. I just said I've heard it called the "Poor
> Man's Copyright"
> before.  :>

  But it was referred to as a "copyright" twice before that.  And you made
  no effort to explain that it wasn't a copyright; it was just one way you
  could have proof that you had it first.

>   I also was aware of that.  :>  You just have more protection if you put a
> copyright 
> notice on it.  :>

  No, you have no more protection if you put a notice on it.  Or rather,
  you have the same amount of protection if you don't.  It's still
  copyright, it's still treated legally the exact same.  But since many
  people are ignorant of the copyright laws, the notice serves as a
  reminder to all those idiots that think, "It doesn't have a copyright
  notice on it, so I can stomp all over it and it's creators."

> >  TSR attempts to copyright everything; they don't realize that you can't.
>   Right.  They've sued people over it before... but I'm not positive of the
> outcome.

  I don't think TSR wins much.  They try to sue over very petty things.
  Trying to sue over using the word "Drow" as a fictious creature with a
  specific description and home-place (underground) is a BIG stretch of
  the laws.  Especially considering the word "Drow" relating to mythical
  creatures has been around for hundreds (thousands?) of years.  Can't
  remember where they originated from, though.

> And, unfourtunately for us, there usually are no penalties for claiming you
> have more rights than you actually do.  [I mean, to a point.  It is
> certainly possible to get in trouble by claiming you have some absurd right
> you actually don't and acting on that "right".]

  Actually, if you go into a bank with a loaded musket and say you have a
  right to all the money in the bank; I think there might be a small
  penalty... :)  Not that, that has anything to do with copyrights,

  BTW, did you know that four lines, one on top of another, each less than
  an inch long (half an inch?), all of them solid, is trademarked?!  I
  mean, you can't draw four lines atop each other without risking imposing
  on some companies' trademark.

  The state of trademarks and copyrights (eg., too many spent on things
  that are ridiculous) remind me of one small long distance company ran
  by this guy whom charges tons more than any of the others and his
  company goes under the names, "I dunno," and "Whatever," and "I don't
  care," etc.  So when the operator asks which long distance company
  you want and you say, "I don't care," you get put through to that
  guy's company? <grumble>  A sick, but legal, scam.  It's become where
  this guy can hold so many aces that the cards are inexoriably stacked
  against you; destroying competition unless people are careful and
  measured about what they do.  Right now, most of what we perceive to
  be TSR's aces are just bluffs and not trumps at all -- but a few bad
  mistakes can make you wish you never broke the suit afterall (wow,
  I managed to stick with the card game metaphor :)).

  "Forgive me father, for I am sin."

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