FALL 2010
Cyberlaw
Course No.: 9200-710 (& 810)-001
Course ID:  85723 & 85725
Time: M, W 4:45-6:15 p.m.
Room TBD
Professor Jay Dratler, Jr.
Across from Room 231D (IP Alcove)
Home: 330-835-4537
Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010  Jay Dratler, Jr.  
For permission, see CMI.

Copyright Notice Provisions of Copyright Act of 1976,
17 U.S.C. 401, 402



17 U.S.C. 401.  Notice of copyright: Visually perceptible copies
    (a)  General provisions.  Whenever a work protected under this title is published in the United States or elsewhere by authority of the copyright owner, a notice of copyright as provided by this section may be placed on publicly distributed copies from which the work can be visually perceived, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.  (Emphasis added.)
    (b)  Form of notice.  If a notice appears on the copies, it shall consist of the following three elements (Emphasis added.):
      (1)  the symbol (the letter C in a circle), or the word "Copyright", or the abbreviation "Copr.:"; and

      (2)  the year of first publication of the work; in the case of compilations or derivative works incorporating previously published material, the year date of first publication of the compilation or derivative work is sufficient.  The year date may be omitted where a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work, with accompanying text matter, if any, is reproduced in or on greeting cards, postcards, stationery, jewelry, dolls, toys, or any useful articles; and

      (3)  the name of the owner of copyright in the work, or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of the owner.
    (c)  Position of notice.  The notice shall be affixed to the copies in such manner and location as to give reasonable notice of the claim of copyright.  The Register of Copyrights shall prescribe by regulation, as examples, specific methods of affixation and positions of the notice on various types of works that will satisfy this requirement, but these specifications shall not be considered exhaustive.
    (d)  Evidentiary weight of notice.   If a notice of copyright in the form and position specified by this section appears on the published copy or copies to which a defendant in a copyright infringement suit had access, then no weight shall be given to such a defendant's interposition of a defense based on innocent infringement in mitigation of actual or statutory damages, except as provided in the last sentence of section 504(c)(2).
17 U.S.C. 402.  Notice of copyright: Phonorecords of sound recordings
    (a)  General provisions.  Whenever a sound recording protected under this title is published in the United States or elsewhere by authority of the copyright owner, a notice of copyright as provided by this section may be placed on publicly distributed phonorecords of the sound recording.  (Emphasis added.)
    (b)  Form of notice.  If a notice appears on the phonorecords, it shall consist of the following three elements (Emphasis added.):
      (1)  the symbol (the letter P in a circle); and

      (2)  the year of first publication of the sound recording; and

      (3)  the name of the owner of copyright in the sound recording, or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of the owner; if the producer of the sound recording is named on the phonorecord labels or containers, and if no other name appears in conjunction with the notice, the producer's name shall be considered a part of the notice.
    (c)  Position of notice.  The notice shall be placed on the surface of the phonorecord, or on the phonorecord label or container, in such manner and location as to give reasonable notice of the claim of copyright.
    (d)  Evidentiary weight of notice.  If a notice of copyright in the form and position specified by this section appears on the published phonorecord or phonorecords to which a defendant in a copyright infringement suit had access, then no weight shall be given to such a defendant's interposition of a defense based on innocent infringement in mitigation of actual or statutory damages, except as provided in the last sentence of section 504(c)(2).

Professor's note: Effective March 1, 1989, the Berne Convention Implementation Act, inter alia, replaced the word "shall" in Sections 401(a) and 401(a) with word "may," as emphasized above.  By this Act, the United States finally acceded to the Berne Convention, which had been the primary basis of international copyright relations for over a century.

This change made the use of copyright notice optional for the first time in the United States' copyright history, in accordance with the Berne Convention's prohibition against copyright "formalities."   Although copyright notice is now optional, the law required it on published copies and phonorecords before March 1, 1989, and virtually all publishers still use it, both for traditional and practical reasons and to invoke the minor advantages of Sections 401(d) and 402(d).

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