Re: copyright

From: Jim Carlile (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Feb 17 2008 - 03:21:58 PST

In case anyone's interested, I looked up the existing copyright law for a
sample year, 1967, and it turns out there was a strict two-copy deposit
requirement, that if not done soon enough, would void a published copyright notice,
with a $100 fine to boot. This would have by necessity involved
"registration"-- you just couldn't send them in alone. It also cost $6 a pop to register
works back then.
There was also a really interesting "mechanical work done within the United
States" clause, which required that the work had to be actually made in the
U.S., if there were more than 1500 copies in English. Elsewise, no U.S.
copyright (that explains all the U.S. printings with British plates, or even
British printed pages, re-binded here....)
This all brings up some interesting issues, like-- are all these obscure,
published things really copyrighted? Did the creators pay the fee and send two
required copies to the Copyright Office? None of the present-day charts I
have seen even mention this deposit requirement as a condition of copyright for
PUBLISHED works. They gloss over this important requirement, and make it sound
 like 'notice' was all that was necessary.
INFRINGEMENT.—After copyright has been secured by publication of the work with the
notice of copyright as provided in section 10 of this title, there shall be
promptly deposited in the Copyright Office or in the mail addressed to the
Register of Copyrights, Washington, District of Columbia, two complete copies of
the best edition thereof then published, or if the work is by an author who is
a citizen or subject of a foreign state or nation and has been published in a
 foreign country, one complete copy of the best edition then published in
such foreign country, which copies or copy, if the work be book or periodical,
shall have been produced in accordance with the manufacturing provisions
specified in section 16 of this title; or if such work be a contribution to a
periodical, for which contribution special registration is requested, one copy of
the issue or issues containing such contribution; or if the work belongs to
a class specified in subsections (g), (h), (i) or (k) of section 5 of this
title, and if the Register, of Copyrights determines that it is impracticable
to deposit copies because of their size, weight, fragility, or monetary value
he may permit the deposit of photographs or other identifying reproductions
in lieu of copies of the work as published under such rules and regulations as
be may prescribe with the approval of the Librarian of Congress; or if the
work is not reproduced in copies for sale there shall be deposited the copy,
print, photograph, or other identifying reproduction provided by section 12 of
this title, such copies or copy, print, photograph, or other reproduction to
be accompanied in each case by a claim of copyright. No action or proceeding
shall be maintained for infringement of copyright in any work until the
provisions of this title with respect to the deposit of copies and registration
of such work shall have been complied with.
§ 14. SAME; FAILURE TO DEPOSIT; DEMAND; PENALTY.—Should the copies called for
 by section 13 of this title not be promptly deposited as provided in this
title, the Register of Copyrights may at any time after the publication of the
work, upon actual notice, require the proprietor of the copyright to deposit
them, and after the said demand shall have been made, in default of the
deposit of copies of the work within three months from any part of the United
States, except an outlying territorial possession of the United States, or within
six months from any outlying territorial possession of the United States, or
from any foreign country, the proprietor of the copyright shall be liable to
a fine of $100 and to pay to the Library of Congress twice the amount of the
retail price of the best edition of the work, and the copyright shall become
periodical specified in section 5, subsections (a) and (b), of this title,
except the original text of a book or periodical of foreign origin in a language
or languages other than English, the text of all copies accorded protection
under this title, except as below provided, shall be printed from type set
within the limits of the United States, either by hand or by the aid of any kind
of typesetting machine, or from plates made within the limits of the United
States from type set therein, or, if the text be produced by lithographic
process, or photoengraving process, then by a process wholly performed within
the limits of the United States, and the printing of the text and binding of the
 said book shall be performed within the limits of the United States; which
requirements shall extend also to the illustrations within a book consisting
of printed text and illustrations produced by lithographic process, or
photoengraving process, and also to separate lithographs or photoengravings, except
where in either case the subjects represented are located in a foreign
country and illustrate a scientific work or reproduce a work of art: Provided,
however, That said requirements shall not apply to in raised characters for the
use of the blind, or to books or periodicals of foreign origin in a language
or languages other than English, or to works printed or produced in the
United States by any other process than those above specified in this section, or
to copies of books or periodicals, first published abroad in the English
language, imported into the United States within five years after first
publication in a foreign state or nation up to the number of fifteen hundred copies of
each such book or periodical if said copies shall contain notice of
copyright in accordance with sections 10, 19, and 20 of this title and if ad interim
copyright in said work shall have been obtained pursuant to section 22 of
this title prior to the importation into the United States of any copy except
those permitted by the provisions of section 107 of this title: Provided
further, That the provisions of this section shall not affect the right of
importation under the provisions of section 107 of this title.

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