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The Roots of Print, Power, Politics, Literacy, Ballads, Plays, Thought and failed Censorship.

Who is allowed to know how to write, who is allowed to read, who is allowed to hear, who is allowed to print, who is allowed to publish!

It is now and has always been about our unknown culture makers who shape our consciousness vs. the Owners of culture - the Power Elite who through their wealth own the supply chain and can exert their power using thought control over the people. It is now and always has been about your right to know what you want to know. [1]

Copyright law established internationally by the Berne Convention of 1886 and amended from time to time ever since, most notably in 1909, 1911, 1956 and 1988, protects the works of authors, composers and publishers. This includes copyrights in addition to music, such as in art, literature and other intellectual properties. Ninety-six nations currently are signatories.

1710 the British Parliament drafted the Statute of Anne, which was intended to "promote learning and education" within the Empire. This statute both established the concept of the public domain and shifted power back to the authors from publishers. In 1740, the Statute of Anne was reinforced and modified, and became what we know as copyright law. The concepts of copyright and public domain were finally firmly upheld against all legal challenges in 1774, and the founding fathers of the United States lifted the concept for its Constitution.

The Economist On Why Copyright Needs To Return To Its Roots from the monopoly-money dept.

An article in The Economist from earlier this month highlights what many Techdirt readers know well: the current state vs the historical intent of copyright brought forward by The Statute Of Anne. When Queen Anne gave her assent on April 10th the following year—300 years ago this week—to "An act for the encouragement of learning" they were less enthused. Parliament had given them rights, but it had set a time limit on them: 21 years for books already in print and 14 years for new ones, with an additional 14 years if the author was still alive when the first term ran out. Thinking about the times, one could see how such a system might encourage the creation of more works of art. An artist is given a limited time on which they have a monopoly on the production of copies of their works, a limited time for exclusively monetizing their works via those copies. After 14, 21 or possibly 28 years, the author had better have another work available to copyright if they decide to continue living off the proceeds of their works. But today's rules give no such incentive. An artist that creates a popular work is almost guaranteed of being able to derive income from that single success well into their afterlife. Not only is the artist not incentivized to continue their creation, some of their descendant generations can rest on their laurels, allowing lawyers to gather income for them -- often from well-intentioned future artists who actually are trying to create new work from the existing.


A copyright owner has 5 rights:

The copyright owner can grant permission to someone else to exercise any of these rights.This permission is called a license. The terms of the license agreement determine when, where, how, and to whom the materials are be distributed and at what cost. The terms resolve all the issues discussed between the copyright owner and publisher and are now written into the relevant license agreements.
As is the case with other "property rights"-- which is what copyright stakes its claim upon --

Contracts are the means whereby permission is granted, parties may sign away all or part of their rights to a particular property, upon an offer having been made by one side and agreed to by the other. Though third parties may receive benefits of a contract, they cannot become obligated by one. And here is where the problems start.

Copyright gives..... The creator of intellectual property protection under copyright law, which is limited to the life of the author plus 70 years. You don't need to do anything under current law to establish copyright--it's no longer necessary, even, to post a copyright notice. All one needs to do is to create the work in a recognized medium, but you want to be able to prove that you created it and when it was created. Under copyright, no one may, really, do anything with your work without your permission.
Get it copyrighted - Register your work with the US Copyright Office. You want to register your copyrights, as it gives you enormous legal protections. When it comes to book authors, that usually means negotiating with the publisher and having it do the registration for you.

Infringement / Stealing Copyrighted Material

Used without permission.  Take a look at the take-down notice provision of Section 512 of the Copyright Act and Fair Use Network.
You can send a takedown notice by email directly to whoever you want in accordance with the Designation of Agent form filed by the company with the Copyright Office.

Why Bother?
Consider filing copyright applications on any web site or other copyrightable work that (1) can be infringed, (2) you care about enough to pursue an infringer, and (3) is worth the $35 onlinbe filing fee and the time it takes to fill out a application. You can download the application forms and circulars from the Copyright Office web site.

Certificate of Registration
If you're a book author, have you ever seen a certificate of registration? Have you checked the US Copyright Office site and searched to see if there's a record of your copyright registration? Can you find your registration in the online database? If you have written a book under a contract that specified copyright to be registered in your name, check the database.

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