When and How Do I Use the Copyright Symbol?

Forbes.com: “You trademarked your brand or company name and you can use a trademark symbol going forward. That’s great news, but knowing when and how to use that symbol can be confusing.”

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Loss of Internet Domains Can Cause Embarrassment

An internet domain is the unique url for a celebrity, business brand, product, or service. These domains can be easily purchased for a few dollars or dirhams, and there are many examples of disputed or “stolen” or hijacked domains. It is usually the responsibility of the public relations department of an organization to purchase, renew and protect the Internet domain each year or every few years by paying a small fee to an internet domain registry, and keeping the email contacts for any disputes up to date.

A PR department that forgets or neglects to pay for the domain can cause all kinds of havoc and loss of prestige for the company they work for, including loss of email communication, loss of website, and dilution of brand.

Recent examples of loss of domain:

  • The domain for a candidate for president of the United States, JebBush.com, redirects to the website of his opponent, DonaldjTrump.com. HillaryClinton.net also redirects to DonaldjTrump.com. Click for details.
  • Apple has had to dispute use of the domain Iphone5.com. Gucci claims it should own guccishoponline.org.
  • Cybersquatters in China are buying up famous brand names for companies and products and trying to sell them back for high prices. See http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/aug/28/domain-name-disputes-brands-cybersquatters

 

Different Standards for Copyright of Online and Printed Material Spark Global Debate

If a publisher reprints an article in a book without the author’s permission and without compensation, that is, legally, a copyright violation. But if a publisher links to the same article online, that is considered fair use, and indeed, the publisher is thought to be doing the author a favor, by giving his material more exposure.

“This almost instinctive distinction between what is proper in the analog realm and what is proper in the digital realm is at the center of a global debate about the state of copyright law,” writes Louis Menand in an important exploration of evolving copyright law in The New Yorker.

“Statutes protecting copyright have never been stricter; at the same time, every minute of every day, millions of people are making or using copies of material—texts, sounds, and images—that they didn’t create. According to an organization called Tru Optik, as many as ten billion files, including movies, television shows, and games, were downloaded in the second quarter of this year. Tru Optik estimates that approximately ninety-four per cent of those downloads were illegal. The law seems to be completely out of whack with the technology.”

Read Menand’s piece here.

Of particular interest are the anecdotes about Mickey Mouse; George Harrison’s song “My Sweet Lord” ruled a copyright violation of “He’s So Fine” by the Chiffons;  and Warner/Chappell Music claims to own the copyright to “Happy Birthday to You.”

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