October 5, 2009

Copyright Control

Article Source Linux Journal
October 5, 2009, 3:49 pm

Copyright law is "interesting" to say the least — and incredibly contentious. For some, it is an evil that stifles progress. For others, it is all that stands between them and bankruptcy. As with anything, the nature of copyright is not black and white — there are not just shades of gray, but a whole rainbow of copyright colors.

One item to clarify before going forward: copyrights should not be confused with patents, which are even more contentious, especially in the software world. Copyright, at least in the United States, is automatic — copyright attaches to content as soon as it is created. (The option exists to register ones copyright, but doing so provides protections in addition to those imparted automatically.) Copyright protects creations — written material, works of art, musical compositions, etc. — from being used or claimed by others, much the way trespassing laws protect ones home from being used or claimed by others and a whole host of laws protect ones children from the same...

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