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Thread: Copyright. Who does it belong to?

  1. #1
    Part Time Goth TianaKaeSha's Avatar
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    Okay. I need some help please. I need to use ABC and XYZ to protect myself from the looming agro...

    Senario.

    ABC became a paid member of XYZ inc. During their time as a member of XYZ inc, ABC decided it may be nice to create a website for them. They gathered all their own material, used their own documents and their own images. The site was held on geocities.com under ABC's name. ABC was not paid to create this site. Nore were they acknowledge for doing this site. Yet out of good faith added "Copyright XYZ inc." at the bottom of the website.

    When ABC decided they did not like XYZ inc anymore they removed the website. When XYZ found out, they demanded it was put back online and that all content be forwarded to them as it was under their copyright and they own all images - not ABC. ABC refused saying that they were never paid, nor asked, nor recognised for doing this site in the first place and that because all images were theirs and all text was theirs, XYZ inc had no right to it.

    Now XYZ appears to have taken all of this information anyways for use. It seems they have taken it from the cache. They have slandered ABC in the XYZ newsletter and claim that ABC is at fault because it was "their" info.

    What do you think? Is it XYZ's information because "copyright XYZ inc" was at the bottom of the page? or is it ABC's because it is all their original data?

    any help on this issue would be greatly appreciated

    --Tiana

  2. #2
    Vote for your dog
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    Originally posted by TianaKaeSha
    Yet out of good faith added "Copyright XYZ inc." at the bottom of the website.
    1. Was it previously copyrighted to you (ABC) elsewhere?

    2. Was the site created on your personal software licenses or their (XYZ) licenses?

    3. Good faith only exists when their money is in your bank.

    Best of luck,
    Orkar

    Oops and 4. Geocities may own the copyright due to their legal agreement when you posted the site.

  3. #3
    Part Time Goth TianaKaeSha's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Orkar
    Originally posted by TianaKaeSha
    Yet out of good faith added "Copyright XYZ inc." at the bottom of the website.
    1. Was it previously copyrighted to you (ABC) elsewhere?

    2. Was the site created on your personal software licenses or their (XYZ) licenses?

    3. Good faith only exists when their money is in your bank.

    Best of luck,
    Orkar

    Oops and 4. Geocities may own the copyright due to their legal agreement when you posted the site.
    Well it is not me, but a friend. I have issues with XYZ with work that I have done for them.... but am not so concerned about it. They are using my work and then editing it after I have created it. I am not really concerned though.

    I am not sure about if the info was copyrighted to her elsewhere or not. The site was created on ABC's own computer using her software and geocities. XYZ is a club and has no computer assets at all.

    I am not sure what the geocities legal agreement is but I may bring it up. the problem is, you see, that the club has now taken all the text information from the old site and is creating a new one with it. they claim that all text information is theirs, when ABC actually wrote all of it (from what I gather). Now they are going to publish it on their site and I want to know if they are allowed because she added "copyright XYZ" on the site - thinking that the club would never screw her over.

    thanks for the info though.

    --Tiana

  4. #4
    tell me, is this sellable..... OddDog's Avatar
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    just placing the copyright tag on something does not copyright it. there is a register for these things.

    it seems likely that noone has actually copyrighted the material. so i recommend that your friend does this. this has a cost.

    then go to court. this also has a cost.

    if your friend decides that the costs are to high, well forget it.

    the question to ask is if it is worth the hassle.

  5. #5
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, it appears that your friend may have gave up her rights when she put "Copyright XYZ" on the site.
    I never apply the copyright statement for a site until it is paid in full. (I know that wasn't possible in this situation."

    It appears, though, that the site was hosted by her on her Geocities account (I think... is that correct?) therefore she has the right to remove it at any time. If she transferred the site's copyright to XYZ, then they only have rights to the graphics and information... not the hosting.

    Furthermore, since there was no contract (correct?) to build this site, there is no stipulation for the source files. In many of my contracts, I will claim rights to the souce files, so this could be arguable whether she will be liable to hand them over.

    At any rate, this will be totally up to a judge if it goes to court to interpret the laws they way they understand them the best. I doubt it will go to court, but it may. It already seems that XYZ is creating a new site anyway, so all it would be at that point is bad blood between the two.

    Here are a few Internet copyright links you may want to check out...

    WWW Multimedia Law

    Internet Copyright Law FAQ

    Internet Law Library

    Best wishes to your friend, Tiana... sounds like a pretty undesirable situation to be in!

    Jay

  6. #6
    Part Time Goth TianaKaeSha's Avatar
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    Thanks Jay...

    There was no contract. She was never even asked to make a site. She thought it would just be something nice to do for the club. It was on her account with all of her own stuff.

    It seems that they have taken all of the text files and using her information, have created a new site. They have not got permission to use her work. As far as I know she has it published elsewhere - under her name. (she runs a different club that was affiliated with XYZ and she had the information for that but XYZ claims that because it had the tag copyright XYZ - it is theirs.)

    This runs into further problems. They have a magazine of which I was the editor. They have tags on the back saying "all material and images contained herin are the property of XYZ", yet all articles images and stories were provided by other people. Does this mean that they are entitiled to claim it as their own? (which is what they are doing) personally I believe that copyright is the ownership of those who created the piece unless it is sold or 50 years old...

    OddDog. Placing a copyright tag on something does nothing, I agree - anyone can steal your work. But if you created it Copyright is yours as it is your itellectual property. you do not have to formally register anything for copyright to apply *in australia*.

    I doubt any of this will go to court as neither have money for legal fees... but as it is my friend's intellectual property I see her as being in the right. legal action may be threatened, but she needs to know where she standds...

  7. #7
    FK Photoshop Slut rugbystud's Avatar
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    Whatever u do Tiana, DONT give them ur source files. They're like... the BIBLE!

  8. #8
    Part Time Goth TianaKaeSha's Avatar
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    Originally posted by rugbystud
    Whatever u do Tiana, DONT give them ur source files. They're like... the BIBLE!
    hehhe... I know that. nothing was done in flash.
    everything I did was print media, and I am not giving it away... not that they would be able to use it as it was in pagemaker

    We are just covering our bases. A new club has formed and although we did not want to really be rivals to the otherclub *XYZ*, we are. there is a slinging match between us and and they are doing everything in their powers to make us look bad. they are verbally slandering us (though not obviously) in publications and what not...

    it is just a pain in the neck.

    I am just worried that they will publish my friend's work on their new site claiming it as their own, and not giving her credit, even though it is hers....

    --T

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