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  • how to copyright program

    Hi Guys I read that the end exe that is cxreated by media studio is the designers property, but I am un sure how too copyright the exe and it contents. if anyone has done this before please help me with some direction in the procces. Thanks Rich

  • #2
    Re: how to copyright program

    Hi. I have been working on that too. If you go through an attorney, you will pay a fortune. I found a company, LegalZoom.com that might be able to help you. I can't guarantee it because I am still trying to figure this out too but you might want to check it out!

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    • #3
      Re: how to copyright program

      Copywriting something is easy. Slap a price on your program, and offer it for sale. That’s all there is to it. Clearly (and correctly) labeled, and offered for a price, are the only 2 legal requirements to copywriting something. It should go without saying that it has to be material that you have rights to. Be sure to label your program as being copywritten, in a conspicuous spot, for instance, on the ‘About’ software page. Wouldn’t hurt to add it to your license too. Use Copywrite 2003 or © 2003. Use the same format that everyone else uses.

      If you really want to get fancy, register it with the Library of Congress. It costs less than $50, the last time I checked. You’ll have to send them a copy, fill out a form, and pay the small filing fee, but that’s about it.

      Copywriting something is not the same as Patenting something. Don’t be fooled into thinking that having something copywritten is going to give you much in the way of real protection. There isn’t a group of Copywrite police running around protecting your property. Policing is completely up to you. It can be even uglier than that. If you fail to actively and vigorously defend your Copywriten material, you can lose your rights to defend it in the future. In other words, if you fail to notice, and actively defend your material against some fellow in Peoria, making unauthorized copies and selling them to his friends, it gives me leverage in saying that you have abandoned your copywrite claims, and I should be able to make and sell mass copies.

      I’m not a lawyer, just a layman, but I have spent a fair amount of time studying this very thing. My best advice, if you’re a little guy like me, is to skip spending money on a lawyer, they are unnecessary, just label it clearly as being copywriten, then offer it for sale (you pick the price, any price will work). If it’s real important to you, you might go ahead and list it with the Library of Congress. If you ever find someone violating your Copywrite, then you might want to have a lawyer send them a notarized cease and desist letter, if that don’t stop them, then you have to weigh the whole idea of litigation. It may be worth it to you to sue them, or not.

      If your Copywrite ownership is more complex, spend the few bucks and register it with the Library of Congress. The form lets you assign percentage of ownership among multiple people.

      When I started looking into this, I thought I’d need a lawyer, have to spend a small fortune, and fill out a mountain of paper work. You can imagine my shock when I found out how easy it really is. I don’t mean to sound negative on the legal protection side, yet I think that it’s important that you keep semi realistic expectations, remember it’s not a Patent, it’s just a Copywrite.

      Remember, I’m not a lawyer, so if this sounds too good, or too bad to believe, I’d suggest that you start your own search at the Library of Congress website. I’d bet the same advice I found at the local library, is now available on their website.

      Good luck you old Publisher!

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      • #4
        Re: how to copyright program

        Well here's the scoop. It all depends on why you are copyrighting. If you want something that is going to reliably facilitate you bringing litigation against others then you need a formal copyright. If you are just trying to prevent owners of similar products (created after yours was) from bringing litigation against you then just getting the product to market first is fine. If you are just trying to prevent someone else from copyrighting something you're already selling then just getting the product to market first will also serve your needs.

        The bottom line is that all theories are equal now but once you actually hit a court room all bets are off. Only a formal copyright will protect you "for sure" in that scenario and even then you might still lose if their lawyer is markedly better than yours...

        If you intend to be serious about anything legal then proceeding without a lawyer is not an option. You might save money but in the long run you'll pay the fee one way or the other. In the case of a dispute it's not an issue of what anyone else thinks, it's going to be 100% what the judge/jury thinks... Also, if you do hire a lawyer and he fails to do his job properly then you can sue him, whereas it's much less profitable to sue yourself in case of mishap.

        Anyhow I always take this approach. I envision myself standing in front of a judge and the judge is saying, "Whaddya got?!", and if I feel I'm already prepared for that I move forth, if not, I contact a lwayer. Never use the yellow pages to find a lawyer BTW. Go find someone you admire who uses lots of lawyers regularly and ask them who to use. The difference between the best lawyer and the worst lawyer in any town is HUGE, some will become judges in the next couple years, and some will become short order cooks. Paying extra for the best lawyer in town is always worth it in the long run. The best lawyers always win somehow, that's why they charge so much. Just like an NFL quarterback, the ones who complete the most passes get the biggest salaries.

        Corey Milner
        Creative Director, Indigo Rose Software

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